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Council Member-Elect Sergio Jimenez Takes His Seat at City Hall

Yesterday, San Jose City Councilmember-elect Sergio Jimenez was appointed to fill the District 2 vacancy that will be left after Councilmember Ash Kalra heads to the State capitol for his new role as Assembly Member. Kalra, who won California’s 27th Assembly District race will take office in early December, approximately one month before his term as Council Member is up.

To ensure that District 2 is represented through the month of December, Jimenez will cover the remaining term of office which expires on December 31, 2016 before being sworn-in as District 2’s Council Member in January 2017.


Policy Watch: Week of 11/28

City of San Jose

Liccardo / Peralez memo proposing extension of downtown residential high-rise incentives

Mayor Liccardo and Council Member Peralez are requesting that the Rules Committee agendize for City Council deliberation on December 13, 2016, to direct the City Manager to extend the Downtown High-Rise Incentive Program for new construction of residential buildings of at least 12-stories in height for the next 1,500-units (including existing allocations) in the Downtown Growth Area, as defined by the Planned Growth Area Diagram in the Envision 2040 San José General Plan.

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Sylvia Arenas Wins District 8 Seat

As The Left Hook predicted based on voting trends, Sylvia Arenas has secured a victory in the race for the San Jose City Council District 8 seat. After nearly two weeks, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters tallied the last vote, solidifying Arenas’s lead and earning her a place on the City Council.

The margin by which Arenas won triggers an automatic recount, but seldom if ever has a recount changed the outcome of an election. The recount is scheduled to begin next week.




Sylvia Arenas Headed to Victory in District 8

The neck and neck race for San Jose City Council’s District 8 seat appears to have a winner: Sylvia Arenas. Arenas is currently up 88 votes and with less than 300 votes left to be counted, it is nearly impossible for the results to sway in her opponent’s favor. Since Election Day, the margin between Arenas and Jimmy Nguyen has been tight, but today, as the last votes are processed, Arenas continues to grow her lead over Nguyen and seems to be headed to a seat at the San Jose City Hall Chamber.


Policy Watch: Week of 11/21

City of San Jose

Approving amending the Minimum Wage Ordinance to reach $15 by July 2019 & adding exemption for youth under 18

Recommended action: Approve an ordinance amending the San José Municipal Code relating to Minimum Wage.

On November 15, 2016, City Council directed staff to return on November 29, 2016 with an ordinance to modify the existing minimum wage ordinance as follows:

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San Jose Votes for a $15 Minimum Wage by 2019 in Response to Community Pressure

Yesterday, the San Jose City Council voted to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2019, three years before the state of California reaches that standard. San Jose — the 10th largest city in the nation— is the latest to join five other Santa Clara County cities in a regional effort to raise the wage.

In the wake of the successful 2012 campaign to raise the minimum wage in San Jose, community support built to raise the wage in other South Bay cities.  Mountain View and Sunnyvale moved to raise the wage to $15 an hour by 2018 and other cities started to follow suit.  The Cities Association of Santa Clara County took up the cause by advancing a regional standard of $15 an hour by January 2019.  Los Altos, Palo Alto and Cupertino and have since voted for $15 by 2019.

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Policy Watch- Week of 11/14

Santa Clara County

Approving authority to purchase property interest in the San Jose Marriott hotel from the former Redevelopment Agency

The Property is currently comprised of a 510-room, 27-story hotel that provides many benefits to the public and the San José downtown economy, not to mention the many jobs provided to service the hotel.  The Real Property Interest is being offered for direct sale by the Successor Agency pursuant to the Redevelopment Dissolution Law and Oversight Board’s Disposition Process.

Acquisition of the Real Property Interest by the County would ensure these benefits are maintained for many years to come.  Just like the Successor Agency, the County would not have any obligation over the management and operations of the hotel, apart from ensuring the hotel owner maintains the property as a first-class hotel.

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Labor Wins Big in Local General Elections

Bucking the national trend local Labor-backed candidates and measures did extraordinarily well in Tuesday’s election.  Here’s a recap:

In what was one of the most contested and expensive races in San Jose, Ash Kalra won his bid for Assembly District 27, surpassing his opponent Madison Nguyen by nearly 5,000 votes and counting.  Charter schools, a primary funder of Nguyen’s, and other outside interest groups spent $5 million against Kalra. Despite all the money spent attacking him, Kalra, who has an impeccable record of fighting for working people, pulled off one of the largest political come-from-behind victories in South Bay history.

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Vote Now to Save a Life

As the election campaign enters its final week, many are fatigued, but none so much as Labor Council Political Director David Urhausen, who has been running the South Bay’s largest, most sophisticated field campaign 24×7 for over two months.  To his credit, the campaign has contacted well over 100,000 voters, and convinced many of them to support good causes and candidates.  How has he managed this feat of political organizing?  The answer, in part, is found in the photo above.

Simply by pushing the button photographed above Urhausen is able to place an emergency order of Red Bull, and he has been pushing the button pretty often.  The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that the daily consumption of five cans of Red Bull (or other similar energy drink) does not raise safety concerns for the general healthy adult population.  Unfortunately, Urhausen is dangerously close to surpassing that limit.

Here’s what you can do to help.  Vote and tell your friends to vote.  The sooner this election is over the less likely that Urhausen succumbs to a toxic overdose of Red Bull.  Vote now to save a life.


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