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Labor Movement Loses Key Leader with Passing of Mike Garcia

On Cesar Chavez Day  we remember another key Labor Movement leader who passed away earlier this week, former SEIU USWW President Mike Garcia.  Garcia was an unwavering advocate for working families, dedicating his life to improving working conditions, increasing wages, and empowering those who were most vulnerable, especially immigrant workers. He championed the Justice for Janitors movement, leading a historic strike in Los Angeles in 2000 in which workers at 500 worksites walked off the job for three weeks.

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After losing her bid for San Jose Mayor in 2014 and her bid for State Assembly in 2016, Madison Nguyen isn’t giving up on elected office. This time she has her eye on County Supervisor Dave Cortese’s seat.  Cortese isn’t termed out until 2020, but Nguyen is wasting no time campaigning.  She’s already making the rounds and asking for support.  As the head of the non-profit Hunger at Home, Nguyen will have to be careful not to mix work with politics, but her non-profit gig apparently gives her plenty of time to campaign on the side.



Policy Watch: Week of 3/27

Santa Clara County

Yeager referral to develop County program for access to child care, education, health care for kids age 0-8

A referral from Sup. Yeager directs administration to report on the possibilities of creating a program with a goal of providing comprehensive health care, quality early learning, and quality child care from birth to age 8. The report should consider a pilot program involving a school site or school district and other institutions; and an evaluation of the feasibility, costs, and actions needed to provide all County residents with universal access to comprehensive health care, quality early learning, and child care from birth to age 8.

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Is the Judiciary the Least Honest Branch?

Listening to the Gorsuch confirmation hearings makes me wonder whether the judiciary has become the least honest branch of government.  We have been through this tedious kabuki theater again and again: asked their positions on seminal cases, like Roe v. Wade, judicial nominees respond reflexively that they cannot answer because the same question might come before them on the bench, and it would be wrong to prejudge it.

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Santa Clara City Council Approves Silicon Valley’s First Worker Retention Ordinance for Service Workers

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara City Council made history by becoming the first city in Silicon Valley to pass a worker retention ordinance. This ordinance, which received unanimous support from the City Council, will provide job security for food and building service workers in the city. Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta lead the efforts by introducing the language of the ordinance at the end of January. Caserta was drawn to the issue last year when he met with tech cafeteria workers and heard about their job security concerns.

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Policy Watch: Week of 3/20

City of San Jose

2017-18 Mayor’s March Budget Message

Conduct a Public Hearing and approve the FY 2017-2018 Mayor’s March Budget Message.

Where:  San Jose City Council

When: Tues. March 28, 2017, 1:30pm, Council Chambers

Link to item:  n/a

Link to agenda:

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Rumored Candidates for San Jose City Council District 9 Race


San Jose Council Member Don Rocha is terming out of his District 9 seat in 2018, and names of possible candidates are already being floated.

The three individuals rumored to be interested in replacing Rocha all sit on local schoolboards. The first is Pam Foley, Board President of the San Jose Unified School District, whose term expires in 2020. The second is Cambrian Board Trustee Doron Aronson. Aronson has been a Board Member since 2012 and his term expires in 2020. Rounding out the list is Dr. Jeffrey Lease, who has been a San Jose Evergreen Community College District Trustee since December of 2010.

We expect more to throw their hats in the ring.  Stay tuned.


The Crying Need for a Good Jobs Strategy

The presidential election was a primal scream for good jobs, but many elected officials seem not to have heard it.  It’s time for a simple, common sense reform to address the crying need for family-sustaining employment:  Every public policy that involves employing people should create good jobs. 

Although direct government employment generally pays at least a living wage, the jobs created indirectly by the government often pay workers on the cheap.  It’s time for elected officials at every level to reevaluate this cheaper-is-better approach toward paying workers:

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