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Posts from the ‘Economy’ Category


Policy Watch: Week of 2/13

Santa Clara County

Report on ordinance to prevent discrimination against renters with Section 8 vouchers

At the February 7, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting, the County Counsel presented a recommended ordinance to ensure that all persons with the ability to pay for housing, whether through their own funds or using a subsidy such as Section 8, are considered for housing. By adopting the proposed recommendation, the County would join dozens of jurisdictions that proscribe rental discrimination based on income source, and help to promote access to housing for all. This item is a committee report on that ordinance.

Where: Santa Clara County Housing, Land Use, Environment, and Transportation Committee

When:  February 16, 2017, 10am, Board of Supervisors’ Chambers

Link to agenda:


Valley Transportation Authority

Feedback on draft guidelines for Measure B funding

Beginning next week, VTA advisory committees will get their first look at the proposed guidelines for carrying out dozens of transportation projects slated for 2016 Measure B funding.

Starting Wednesday, February 8, VTA Planning staff will present draft guidelines for the Bicycle & Pedestrian, Caltrain Corridor Capacity Improvements, and Caltrain Grade Separation Program Areas to VTA’s Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee (CMPP) and four advisory committees –Policy (PAC), Technical (TAC), Citizens (CAC) and Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committees (BPAC).

Where: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

When: mulitple

Link to item:


City of San Jose

Councilmembers proposing issues for Priority Setting; incl. development policies near BART stations, public notice on land use proposals, public art fee, anti-displacement ordinance & more

Approve requests to agendize for City Council consideration during the City Council’s Priority Setting Session on February 28, 2017:

  • Revision to Council Policy 6-30. (Nguyen)
    1. A revision to Council Policy 6-30, Public Outreach Policy for Pending Land Use and Development Proposals to start the community engagement process sooner and better target neighborhoods that will be impacted for feedback
  • Build a Better BART Initiative. (Diep)
    1. Exploration of incentives and policies to attract commercial development near future BART stations
    2. Exploration of policies that will support the development of 100% deed restricted affordable housing near future BART stations; and
    3. Updating the citywide commercial development design guidelines (which have not been updated since 1989) and downtown design guidelines (which have not been updated since 2004) to create vibrant neighborhoods near transit
  • Personal Care Business (Massage Parlor) Compliance Initiative. (Peralez)
    1. An update to the San José Municipal Code (SJMC) requiring all personal care businesses that provide any form of massage services to provide a “state registration certification” and any required permits to be approved prior to receiving the City’s business tax certificate
  • SPUR Work Items. (Peralez)
    1. To augment the nominated Priority Setting item entitled “Priority Response to SPUR and Staff Identified Work Items”
  • Private Percent for Art Ordinance. (Carrasco)
    1. To explore a Private Percent for Art Ordinance. — 1% investment set aside for public art on new capital construction
  • Garage Conversion Ordinance. (Carrasco)
    1. To explore a Garage Conversion Ordinance to establish procedures whereby owner-occupants of single-family residential real property on which certain illegal garage conversions now exist would have a limited time to seek to legalize converted garages.
  • Anti-Displacement Preference Ordinance. (Carrasco)
    1. To explore the development of policy that will allow a set-aside in affordable housing developments that prioritizes residents who are being displaced that live in low-income neighborhoods undergoing displacement and/or gentrification.

Where: Public entity: San Jose Rules Committee

When: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017, 1:30pm, W118-120

Link to agenda:  

Study session for proposed Community Choice Energy program – estimated over 100 additional jobs and $11.5M in labor income

Receive an update on the findings of the draft business plan for San José Clean Energy, and Continue to prepare City Council for a decision on whether to proceed with San José Clean Energy at the March 28, 2017 Council meeting.

Key Findings: Economic Development

SJCE could have a variety of economic development benefits within San José, such as through special economic development rates to incentivize manufacturing or job growth related to the local solar development. The estimated $23 million in electric bill savings to residents and businesses each year (full operation) under SJCE alone is estimated to result in:

  • Over 100 additional jobs in the San José area
  • $11.5 million in labor income
  • $18.5 million total value added

Next Steps: Following the Council Study Session on February 13, staff intends to host a community outreach meeting and incorporate both Council and public feedback into a final Business Plan and into Council recommendations for SJCE. Staff will return to Council in March/April 2017 with a recommendation on next steps.

Where:  San Jose Council Study Session

When:  Monday, Feb 13, 2017, 1:30pm, Council Chambers

Link to agenda:


City of Sunnyvale

Council priority setting for 2017 

Annual Council meeting to vote on priority policy and budget issues for the year. Council packet is not yet posted.

Where: Sunnyvale City Council

When: Feb. 17, 2017, 8:30 am

Link to agenda:


San Jose Evergreen Community College

Support Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) And Other Vulnerable Students  

The original resolution presented to the board on January 10 has been updated to include other vulnerable populations as a result of President Trump’s executive order banning refugees into the U.S. and limiting the migration of people from 7 Muslim-majority countries.

Where: SJECCD Board of Trustees

When:  02/14, 6:00pm at SJECCD Board Room

Link to agenda:


Gavilan College Board

Resolution in support of undocumented students

The Board will discuss a possible resolution stating the district’s support and commitment to undocumented students, and what language should be included in such a resolution. Following Board direction, a final resolution will be brought to the March Board meeting for review and approval.

Where: Gavilan College Board

When: 02/14, 7:00pm at Coyote Valley Site

Link to agenda packet:,%202017%20agenda%20packet.pdf


Santa Clara County Board of Education

Public hearing on Rocketship Alma Academy Charter

On January 20, 2017, the Charter Schools Office of the Santa Clara County Office of Education received a Petition for Renewal for Rocketship Alma Academy, a countywide K-5 charter school which serves 558 students and is located in the San Jose Unified School District.  Rocketship Alma Academy was approved on November 16, 2011, as Rocketship 7, and opened its doors during the fall of 2012.  If approved, Rocketship Alma Academy shall be renewed for five more years beginning July 2017 through June 30, 2022.


When: 02/15, 7:00pm at SCCBOE

Link to agenda:

Resolution in support of SCC undocumented students and families

Resolution designed to affirm support for undocumented students and families through the federal protections currently in place. It identifies SCCOE schools and programs as safe havens for student and their families and that information and training regarding the applicable laws will be shared with staff, families, and community partners.


When:  02/15, 7:00pm at SCCBOE

Link to agenda:

Resolution in support of the Dream Act

The Federal DREAM Act, first introduced in Congress in 2001, is a bipartisan legislation that opens the possibility of higher education, as well as a conditional pathway to US citizenship, for undocumented students who were brought to the US as children. The Santa Clara County Board of Education reaffirms its support of this legislation because of the impact it has for undocumented students and families.


When: 02/15, 7:00pm at SCCBOE

Link to agenda:


Cupertino Unified School District

Discussion on communication with community regarding safe haven for immigrant students

The board will discuss possible actions that may reduce the stress our immigrant families are facing as a result of the national elections and actions recently taken by President Trump.  Possible solutions presented include a Board Resolution, a letter to the community and/or resources posted on our District website for our families.

Where: CUSD Board

When: 02/14, 6:00pm at Stevens Creek Elementary

Link to agenda packet:


Milpitas Joins Regional Effort to Increase Minimum Wage

Tonight, the Milpitas City Council voted 4 to 0 to raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2019, three years sooner than mandated by the State of California. Workers in the City will see their first raise in July of this year.  Voting in support of $15 by 2019 were Council Members Marsha Grilli, Anthony Phan, Bob Nuñez and Mayor Rich Tran. Council Member Garry Barbadillo had to leave the meeting prior to the vote.

Milpitas is the seventh city in Santa Clara County to join the regional effort to raise the wage for workers struggling to survive in the extraordinary expensive Silicon Valley. This regional approach, including today’s vote in Milpitas, means that more than 80% of county’s population is covered by an increased minimum wage.


Chamber Email Riddled With Misleading Information About Opportunity to Work Initiative

Earlier this month Victor Gomez, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, sent out an email containing false information about the Opportunity to Work (OTW) initiative, which will be on the November ballot in San Jose. In fact, the Chamber deliberately mislead many of the email recipients who are not covered by OTW to believe that they would be gravely impacted by the measure. Employers with 35 or fewer employees – the vast majority of San Jose’s employers – are exempt from the measure. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the Chamber’s email.

Below are some of the Chamber’s misrepresentations, followed by the truth about OTW:

Read more »


Opportunity to Work Headed to San Jose City Council, Supporters Urge Adoption

Today, the San Jose City Clerk announced that the Opportunity to Work Initiative has the signatures needed to be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The Council, which will hear the item at their May 24th meeting, has the option of placing the measure on the November 2016 ballot, adopting the ordinance or requesting an impact report. Silicon Valley Rising, community and religious leaders, and impacted hourly workers are urging City Council to adopt the measure.

Last month, a new report by Working Partnerships USA, The Center for Popular Democracy and the Fair Workweek Initiative, uncovered an epidemic of underemployment in San Jose. To help combat the crisis locally, Opportunity to Work would require employers to offer current, qualified part-time employees the opportunity to work additional hours before they hire any additional staff. This is the first initiative of its kind, aimed at providing part-time employees across all industries access to the hours needed for a reliable, livable paycheck.



Sunnyvale Votes to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 by 18

By a vote of 4-1-1 last night, the Sunnyvale City Council chose to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018, four years sooner than mandated by California’s new minimum wage law.  Sunnyvale is the first city in California to advance the timeline by which it gets to the $15 minimum wage since Governor Brown signed the legislation into law earlier this month.

The extraordinarily high cost of living in Silicon Valley makes it nearly impossible for minimum wage earners to pay rent and put food on the table. For these workers, getting to $15 an hour faster than required by the state means a greater ability to pay for their basic needs.

Yesterday’s decision, led in large part by Councilmembers Jim Davis and Jim Griffith, is a perfect example of a City Council understanding the needs of its families and moving forward with policies that help its residents.  Joining Councilmembers Davis and Griffith in support of $15 by 2018 were Vice Mayor Gustav Larsson and Councilmember Tara Martin-Milius.  Mayor Glenn Hendricks was the sole no vote and Councilmember Pat Meyering abstained.

Sunnyvale’s decision to join Mountain View in raising the minimum wage faster than the state’s $15 by 2022 puts pressure on other regional cities, like San Jose, to keep up.


Statement from California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski on signing of SB 3 to raise California’s minimum wage to $15

“With the Governor’s signature on SB 3 today, California strikes a serious blow to income inequality. This new law lifts families and strengthens our communities.

The statement California made today will echo throughout the country. By boosting 6 million workers across the state, we’re saying that all work is valued and all working people have value. No matter your job, you are contributing to the economic success of your company, your community and your nation. By lifting those at the bottom of the economic ladder, we level the playing field for everyone. California is setting all workers on a path out of poverty and restoring the American Dream.

This historic signing is testament to the power working people hold when we stand together to fight for justice. California has once again set the bar for the rest of the country. We’re on the leading age of a movement to change America. The wave of higher wages that starts here today will cascade to other states, bringing with it fresh hope to millions of working people across the country.”


This statement was originally posted on the California Labor Federation’s Labor’s Edge Blog


Governor Brown, Legislative, and Labor Leaders Agree to $15 by 2022

Today, Governor Brown, Legislative leaders and the Labor movement made history by announcing a policy that would raise the wages of underpaid Californians to $15 per hour by 2022. More than one in three California workers, or nearly 6 million Californians, will receive a raise under this policy. Combined with workers who are already on a path to $15 because of local efforts by organizations such as Silicon Valley Rising in the South Bay, more than 6.5 million workers will now have a path to a $15 wage.

The agreement in California is the latest victory for the Fight for $15 and underpaid workers who three years ago launched their movement for higher pay and union rights. In California, local Fight for $15 organizations have won key victories in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In Silicon Valley, cities such as Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto, have already committed to a $15 minimum wage, thanks to the regional work by Silicon Valley Rising.

Additionally, the policy ends an unfair exclusion of home care workers from a state guarantee of three paid sick days for all workers. When this agreement is signed into law by Governor Brown, California will be the first state in the nation to adopt this  standard for all workers.


San Jose Does Not Have a Spending Problem; It Has a Revenue Problem

To turn a catch phrase on its head — San Jose does not have a spending problem; it has a revenue problem.  The City has a structural deficit because revenues are insufficient to pay for essential services.  That structural deficit predates the catastrophic losses to the City’s two pension funds, and without more revenue it will continue, despite the fact that the City is instituting pension reform.

Even the City business community now supports a tax increase.  At yesterday’s City Council meeting, Chamber of Commerce head Matt Mahood and Silicon Valley Leadership Group head Carl Guardino joined organized labor in backing an additional 1/4 cent sales tax.  Now, for the first time in memory, there is a consensus that City taxes should increase.  The City Council voted 9-2 to put a 15 year 1/4 cent sales tax on the June ballot.

San Jose State Professor Scott Meyers-Lipton and others have argued that a gross receipts tax (GRT) would generate more revenue to close the City’s structural deficit and it would be more equitable.  The City staff’s memo on the GRT provided evidence in support of those arguments.  However, the business community hates the GRT, and Mayor Liccardo managed to address tax equity concerns with an alternative proposal to double the City’s business license tax.

The Mayor’s proposal helps ensure that the increased tax burden does not fall only on City residents, but is borne as well by City businesses.  In combination with the 1/4 cent sales tax, the increased business tax will close the structural deficit and restore essential City services in a way that is fair to residents and businesses.  The City Council passed a motion to pursue a doubling of the business tax on a 10-1 vote.  In June the Council will vote on the language of a tax measure for the November 2016 ballot.


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.


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.


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