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Policy Watch: Week of 10/31

City of San Jose

Modifying resolution policy to limit City Council’s actions on national issues, plus letter in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

As recommended by the Rules Committee on October 19, Council will consider amending the Resolution policy to allow Councilmembers to issue letters individually or collectively representing their position, and not the Council position, on an issue which is outside the purview of the Council.  The proposed revisions would limit the Council from being able to pass resolutions on national issues which may not directly be municipal matters. Original policy was adopted in 1979.

New letter from Mayor Liccardo and Councilmembers Herrera, Peralez, Carrasco, and Jones in support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline Project; and updated resolution.

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Most of us know that the Mercury News has a long and shameful history of misusing its role as a critic of sleazy campaign advertisements or mailings. Basically, it expresses outrage at anything that tarnishes its preferred candidates and whitewashes the attacks on those it opposes.

Scott Herhold’s recent column on the “nasty shots” of 2016 is one more incident in this malodorous tradition. Herhold launches his strongest criticism against campaign materials issued on behalf of Mike Honda and Ask Kalra.

My first observation is that – by pure coincidence – these candidates are both vehemently opposed by the Mercury News. A corollary observation is that this type of coincidence has been going on for decades.

But my second observation is of greater interest. The “nasty” attacks that Herhold lambastes appear to be accurate. You know… the truth…what newspapers are supposed to be committed to. Let’s examine the facts.

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How can Californians best support Clinton? Cross the border.

It should come as little surprise that Hillary Clinton is well-positioned to gain California’s fifty-five electoral votes on November 8, given the state’s strong Democrat registration advantage and diverse demographics. In fact, the pollsters at FiveThirtyEight estimate she has a 24.9% lead over Donald Trump, pegging her chances of state victory at 99.9%.

If the race for California is already decided, what can Golden State residents do – in addition to voting – to support Clinton? Volunteer in Nevada.

This past weekend, I drove Reno and walked door-to-door in several neighborhoods in support of Hillary. The Silver State presents a much closer race, where Clinton presently holds a 4% advantage in polls. The strategy of the campaign organizers is to ensure  supporters vote on Election Day, if not sooner.

Armed with a clipboard and campaign literature, I spent hours knocking on doors, answering voter questions about polling locations, and even recruited a few people to volunteer for future outreach efforts. It was rewarding to connect with people, and re-humanize an election that Trump has turned nasty and disheartening.

When my time in Reno came to a close, I debriefed with a local volunteer in the office headquarters. She thanked me for making the trip, and noted that many of the weekend’s volunteers traveled up from California. While driving home on I-80, I passed several vehicles with California plates and Hillary bumper stickers. We shared a quick wave and a smile. Together we had been part of a larger effort.

As you think about how you want to participate in this year’s election, consider traveling to Nevada. You can contribute to an important campaign in a critical battleground state.

By Peter Leroe-Muñoz Vice Mayor of the City of Gilroy


Policy Watch: Week of 10/10

City of San Jose

San Jose: Potential changes to Affordable Housing Impact Fee; KMA report released; exempted projects so far would have brought in $112M in fees 

Provide recommendations to staff regarding the following recommended changes to the Affordable Housing Impact Fee (AHIF):

  1. Add an exemption to change the threshold size of rental projects to which the AHIF applies from three (3) units to 20 units;
  2. Reduce the existing housing impact fee by $4.00 per square foot for mixed residential/commercial market-rate rental projects receiving all Planning Permits by the earlier of January 31, 2020 or adoptionof a new Urban Village plan, in which the commercial square footage equals of each building exceeds eight percent (8%) of the project’s square footage for the projects in the Downtown and Diridon Station areas and the following urban villages: Valley Fair/Santana Row, West San Carlos, The Alameda, East Santa Clara Street, Roosevelt Park; and
  3. Amend the provisions exempting For-Sale projects from the AHIF to make the standard consistent with the staff report and the adopted AHIF regulations and the adopted Inclusionary Housing guidelines

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Groundbreaking workforce standards on VTA’s Tamien project

Billions of dollars in public and private funds are pouring into our region to fuel Silicon Valley’s development boom. But the boom is a double-edged sword: without enough middle-class jobs for our community, long-time residents are being priced out.

We urgently need innovative ways to leverage this development and ensure it leaves a lasting investment in expanded opportunity. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is pioneering an approach to public-private development that is poised to provide an important new model.

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