Council Vote Ensures Community Needs Are Heard During Google Negotiation

Yesterday, the San Jose City Council voted to enter into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with Google for the sale of the City-owned properties in the Diridon Station Area. Included as part of the ENA was the requirement that the developer implement a transparent community engagement process, which should include local residents, small businesses, faith-based and local organizations. Additionally, the outreach process should include organizations whose mission is to represent the interests of low income and working people, such as affordable housing advocates, tenants’ rights groups and labor, among others, to ensure that important issues such as displacement and quality jobs are addressed.

This vote was a step towards ensuring Google’s growth contributes to a more inclusive Silicon Valley. This project, which will transform San Jose, will bring up to 20,000 programmer and engineer jobs, as well as an estimated 8,000 service workers. As such, community benefits like affordable housing and displacement protections, good jobs for construction, retail, and service workers, and other measures to address the impact of the project on the community are a critical part of the City’s negotiation with Google.

The project relies on public resources, from 16 parcels of prime public land, to major zoning changes, to over $8 billion in transit investments at Diridon Station.

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