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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category


Policy Watch: Week of 4/3

City of San Jose

Creating new “office/R&D” development categories to reduce construction tax for applicants; new memo recommends further lowering proposed total tax rate from 2.5 to 2%

Since presenting the item to the Community and Economic Development Committee on January 23, 2017, staff has obtained additional feedback from the development community and conducted additional analysis of the fiscal implications of a single “office” use category at alternative rates. In addition, as requested by Committee staff is providing additional analysis regarding the City Manager’s authority to approve required refunds.

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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.



Khamis v. Liccardo for Mayor?

The rumor around City Hall is that Republican Council Member Johnny Khamis is considering running for Mayor against Sam Liccardo in 2018. Is it no surprise that Council veteran Khamis was hoping to be appointed Vice Mayor and was handed a blow when Liccardo bowed to the political reality of a more progressive City Council by appointing Magdalena Carrasco instead.  While this slight might be the motivator in inspiring Khamis to run against his often-time ally, perhaps Khamis is making the move because he sees his clout on the Council diminishing as a more progressive majority sets the Council agenda.


Policy Watch

City of San Jose

Approving Ad-Hoc Council Committee on Development Services to facilitate private sector development; Mayor Liccardo to chair

As recommended by the Rules and Open Government Committee on July 27, 2016, approve the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Development Services and setting the following dates for the meetings to be held in the City Manager’s Conference Room.

August 25, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

September 29, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

October 27, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

November 18, 2016 10:30 – 12:00pm

December 15, 2016 9:00- 10:30am

The Agenda for the meetings will address: (1) Key Process Improvements, including updating performance metrics, creating a development services dashboard, and implementing change management, cost of service study adjustments, and code reform programs; (2) Update on Development Services staffing, filled positions and vacancies; (3) Status Report on Major Development Projects in Entitlement and Construction Process; and, (4) Customer/Public Feedback.

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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:

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The Latest on Who Is Running for Which City of Santa Clara Council Seat

As of 5 pm yesterday, all candidates who had filed to run for Santa Clara City Council had officially selected the specific seat for which they would be vying. Below is the breakdown of the current candidates and the Santa Clara City Council seats they are running for:

Seat 3
*Debi Davis
John McLemore

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New Poll Shows Honda Holds Considerable Lead over Khanna

A new poll released earlier today shows that, among likely general election voters, Congressman Mike Honda holds a considerable lead against Ro Khanna in California’s 17th Congressional District race. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, shows that Honda heads Khanna 41% to 35%, with 23% of voters undecided.  Additionally, Honda leads Khanna in favorability and name recognition, with 52% of voters viewing him favorably.


Lan Diep Beats Manh Nguyen…AGAIN

The official recount is over and Lan Diep has been named the winner of the San Jose City Council District 4 race, again.

But the news of a confirmed defeat has not stopped Nguyen and a voter from requesting yet another recount, this one at their own expense.  The recount will cost approximately $20,000 and take one month.  The general consensus is that Diep’s margin remains and, in what will be a long, drawn-out race, Diep will, for the third time, be named the new City Council Member for District 4.



Advice To The San Jose City Council: How To Deal With The Chamber Of Commerce’s Lies

Now that the Opportunity to Work Initiative has been placed on the November Ballot, I’d like to make a prediction. San Jose’s elected leaders are going to hear from outraged business owners who will argue the proposal will do them grievous harm. The source of their information will be the Chamber of Commerce, and the information will be a disgraceful pack of lies. Some might say, lying is to the Chamber as swimming is to a duck. It just comes naturally.

Since I’ve been involved in local government for nearly four decades, I have a solid historical perspective on this issue.

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Election Day Scorecard


One indicator of the political strength of an organization or individual is the success of the candidates they endorse, particularly in contested races for open seats.  In the hotly contested race for the open seat in the 27th Assembly District, which pitted Ash Kalra, endorsed by Labor, against Madison Nguyen, endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor and the Mercury News, both candidates advanced to the November Election.  Below is a scorecard for the three open seats on the San Jose City Council, which will determine the balance of power there.

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