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WHOPPER – To the Lying Fly: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

Usually, a Whooper column is written to expose a story or column that distorts information or presents a misleading narrative. Today, we shine the light of truth on a piece that does all of that PLUS it includes some utter stinkin’ indefensible flat out lies.

The article in question appears in San Jose Inside’s column, The Fly (1/27/16). Its title is, “County Funds Sales Tax Poll to Support Labor Council Agenda.”

After describing the poll that the county is considering, The Fly goes on to say, “South Bay Labor Council (SBLC) chief Ben Field had EMC (that’s the pollster) ask voters the same question last year, yielding less-than-favorable results.” In a single sentence, The Fly manages a double lie. First, the County poll asks voters in detail about a general tax and a general tax combined with an advisory vote. The SBLC poll included neither of these. Second, the SBLC poll generated astoundingly favorable results that suggested a special tax would pass, possibly with votes to spare.

Now, I want to give the folks at The Fly a chance to clear their name. So here’s my proposal. We’ll find some third party who everyone trusts and let them see the SBLC poll. If the poll includes the same questions as the county poll (that is – it tests a special tax, a general tax, and a combined tax), and if it produced results unfavorable to the SBLC, I’ll donate $1,000 to the charity of The Fly’s choice.  If the poll did not include the same questions, and it produced favorable results, The Fly Staff donates $1,000 to the non-profit of my choice. But in the spirit of full disclosure, my charity will be the VMC Foundation, which helps provide health care to low-income people of color. That’s a choice The Fly may not be able to stomach.

By the way, this article is full of other whopper-type distortions.

It implies that a $64 million program will shelter 6000 homeless. That amount would allocate about $10,700 per homeless person. What kind of shelter can you get in Santa Clara County for eleven thousand dollars?

Finally, it argues that the 1/8 cent sales tax for county services adopted in 2012 generated more money than the County needed. The genesis for this bizarre and misleading claim is that the Board of Supervisors allowed community groups to compete for $9.6 million of the first year’s tax proceeds. The Fly somehow neglects to mention that non-profits submitted proposals for projects costing tens of millions of dollars beyond the available $9.6 million. Almost all of these were for credible programs dealing with human needs ranging from senior services to diabetes prevention. The only way to argue the Measure A funds weren’t needed is if you believe life and death, and suffering and well-being, are all equivalent outcomes.


Opportunity To Work Initiative – First of Its Kind in the Nation

Today, Silicon Valley Rising (SVR) filed the Opportunity to Work Initiative which would require employers to offer qualified part- time employees the opportunity to work additional hours before hiring new part-time or temporary employees.  It is the first initiative of its kind in the country.  Although San Francisco and SeaTac have adopted similar ordinances, no previous initiative has aimed to provide part-time employees access to more work hours.

The measure will help workers get access to available work hours so their paychecks cover the bills and put food on the table.  It will help prevent employers from hiring new part-time workers instead of giving more hours to current employees simply to avoid paying health insurance or other benefits.  And it will ensure that women who are qualified hourly workers, yet statistically receive fewer hours than their male counterparts, have access to more work.

Underemployment is a crisis in Silicon Valley and is placing working families in devastating financial instability.  Employees want to work more, but without access to more work hours, their ability to support their loved ones is limited.

The Opportunity to Work Initiative is a major step toward ensuring that the working families in Silicon Valley earn enough to not only meet their basic needs, but thrive.


Lan Diep Announces Run for San Jose City Council

Attorney Lan Diep has just announced his run for the San Jose City Council District 4 seat.  Diep ran for the same seat in the 2015 special election, coming in third and missing the runoff by 13 votes.  The Republican, previously Chamber of Commerce backed candidate, could be a strong contender to unseat incumbent Manh Nguyen.


Reed Withdraws Pension Measure

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has finally made a decision we can stand behind: he has withdrawn his floundering measure that attacks the retirement security of public workers in California.  Polls recently conducted showed waning support for the measure, making it impossible for Reed to drum up the $3 million dollars in financial support he needed to get the qualifying signatures. As we saw during his tenure as Mayor, Reed is hell-bent on eliminating protections for public workers, such as police officers and fire fighters, ultimately putting the safety and well-being of our city and state at risk.

While this is not the first time Reed has unsuccessfully attempted to put a pension measure on the ballot, hopefully it’s the last.


Chad Walsh Resigns from West Valley-Mission Community College

As predicted, conservative West Valley-Mission Community College District Board Member Chad Walsh has officially resigned. Walsh’s resignation, effective January 7, 2016, was received by the County Office of Education earlier this week.  The Board will now vote on whether to appoint a replacement within 60 days or hold a costly election.  The best bet is that the Board will appointment Walsh’s replacement on March 1st.


Beau Goldie – Trickling His Way Out of the Water District

Today when the Santa Clara Valley Water District posted a notice of a special Board meeting regarding “Discipline or Dismissal,” it could mean only one thing: Water District CEO Beau Goldie is on his way out.  Last year was filled with talk of Goldie’s mismanagement of the Water District and questionable decision-making when it came to awarding contracts.  Now it looks like Goldie’s fate has been sealed, but apparently Goldie is not going quietly.  Efforts to negotiate a smooth departure for the CEO have failed, and now the Water District Board is left with less diplomatic alternatives. Per today’s meeting, the Board will be moving forward with appointing an acting CEO.


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

City of San Jose

Agreement with San José Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority (SJSA) is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1991 to promote San Jose as a location for high profile, marquee state, national and international sporting events and to develop and support existing sporting events and organizations in San Jose and the Bay Area.

The proposed agreement is a continuation of prior agreements with the SJSA. The term of the agreement is from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2019, and is retroactive. Key activities required of SJSA include:

  • Serve as the City’s primary outside organization for contacting national governing bodies, institutions and professional organizations, sports promotion and domestic and international sports organizations, to solicit high-profile sporting events for San Jose.
  • Solicit funds through fund raising activities to support the SJSA and to underwrite events.
  • Inform local residents of sport activities taking place in the community, answer sports-related requests, create a more positive attitude among residents toward sporting events, and in general serve as a coordinating agency with other sports & community service groups.
  • Keep abreast of new marketing trends in sports entertainment which will improve San Jose’s position as a host city.
  • Explore local, regional, national and international publications for publicity opportunities describing San Jose and the surrounding area as a sporting event venue.
  • Maintain current active membership in national and state event and sports associations.
  • Design, purchase, provide and distribute the necessary books, pamphlets, brochures, circulars and such other promotional literature and materials to effectuate and implement a promotional program of the City.
  • Coordinate SJSA sponsored or sanctioned events and maintain a close working relationship with the City’s Office of Economic Development, Public Outreach Manager, Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, authorized operators of City-owned facilities, Development, etc.

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