Our quality of Life; Improving your services & Community
District 4 is home to some of San José’s most beautiful views and parks, home to major tech industry, and a major corridor in and out of Silicon valley. This is why North San José is being targeted for massive development around the new BART station and along the North First Street Corridor. San José as a whole is going to be transformed over the next decade, and you deserve good stewards to navigate us through these changes. We need to ensure that as we welcome new residents and new jobs, and build on what makes San José the economic, residential, and cultural icon that it is. Our development must enhance the vibrancy of the community and the quality of life for all because we cannot displace our working families in favor of new and shiny buildings.
Our quality of life depends on the services that the city provides and on integrating the diversity and culture that comes from our neighborhoods. On Council, I will work towards improving city services and building on the neighborhoods and community spaces that brought us together as a city.
Building on the Neighborhoods and Gathering Spaces that Brought Us Together
North San José has diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique history and culture. From the independent and tight knit families of Alviso to the gleaming new housing developments of River Oaks, from the entrepreneurial immigrant businesses in Berryessa to the single family enclaves in Piedmont and Penitencia, our diversity is our strength. We must find solutions that work for each neighborhood as we grow to ensure residents are uplifted and our quality of life is strengthened.
There are already examples of what we risk as growth occurs. Right now, we are at risk of losing the Berryessa Flea Market as development around the BART station grows. It is one of the cultural icons of our city, and has been a gathering place for everyone in San José since 1960. I will work to preserve the Flea Market for our small independent vendors and to maintain it as a communal gathering location for all of San José.
Also, the growth and vision of “Uptown” has failed to materialize. With our transit lines and location, we are connected to Downtown, but we have not found the ability for us to utilize this for commerce and play within our own neighborhoods. Residents in River Oaks want to build stronger relationships with neighbors, but with high transient and turnover rates, it is hard to build a community of familiar faces. In short, there is no “there” there. Building strong communities requires more than just housing, residents need active areas to connect and play. It requires places where people can gather, with activities for kids to adults to seniors. I will actively seek out and work to build our community. I want to see more and stronger neighborhood associations, and ensure everyone is connected, like family.
Improving City Services by Retaining Good Talent.
What is the city aside from the services that it provides? What is the city besides the people that it serves? Right now, San José has 600 vacancies in its departments across the board, including in our police department. Despite our ability to hire young talent, the struggle we face is keeping them. Additionally, some departments face up to 28% of their employees becoming eligible to retire in the next few years.
We need to ensure that what we offer to city staff is competitive with our neighbors. Employees who dedicate their career to our city contribute greatly to our quality of life because they build the relationships and institutional knowledge that makes the delivery of city services more efficient and more effective. When we lose these employees, and cannot replace them with dedicated staff, we exchange the culture of public service with simple bureaucracy.