Emails and phone calls have been flooding into my office over the past few days about an NBC-11 story that talked about a possible overnight homeless parking facility for the County-owned lot at the southeast corner of Almaden Expressway and Camden Avenue. My staff and I are busy responding to each of you. Like you, I want to see the homeless get the help they need – the City and County are committing millions of dollars to these efforts – however, I do NOT support placing any overnight parking facility in our residential neighborhoods and will fight any attempt to do so.
This is NOT a City of San Jose proposal, and there is a lot of misinformation out there on Nextdoor and elsewhere about the proposal, so I want to bring you all up to date with the information I have.
The County Board of Supervisors tasked staff with the responsibility for developing new solutions to provide shelter for the homeless. A County Housing Task force was formed which has held public meetings. At their most recent meeting, the task force was presented with an 11-page report with 26 possible recommendations. One of these possible recommendations, found on page 4 of the report, mentioned a lot at Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill Road, which was an error – the lot they were referring to was, in fact, the former VTA lot at Almaden Expressway and Camden Avenue. This now-County-owned lot was identified by County staff as a possible site for a Safe Park for overnight parking by homeless people with vehicles.
The Housing Task Force voted to have the County staff bring a package of recommendations to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on September 15. This package is expected to include only some, not all, of the possible recommendations.
Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who represents the Almaden Valley area and is on the Housing Task Force informs us that he has not endorsed nor proposed this or any location for use as a parking lot for homeless who live in their vehicles. Supervisor and Board President Dave Cortese informs us that he, too, has not endorsed nor proposed the use of this property. Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who is on the Housing Task Force and supplied some of this background information to us, indicated that she does not expect County staff to recommend that the Supervisors proceed with a Safe Park on this site. Instead, she expects that staff will recommend that the County work with the City of San Jose on a City-identified site elsewhere.
As mentioned, the County Board of Supervisors meets on September 15. These meetings are open to the public and any member of the public who wishes to speak on any of the items on the agenda is given the opportunity to do so. You will find the agenda for the meeting posted on the County’s website after 5 PM on September 10th. The Supervisors meet in the Board Chambers at 70 W. Hedding Street and the meeting begins at 9AM. I have made it clear to the Board of Supervisors that I do not support the consideration of this location for a Safe Park for homeless in their vehicles, and I encourage you to speak out, as well.
REPORTING ENCAMPMENTS AND GETTING HELP TO THE HOMELESS:
Board of Supervisors to Discuss Sanctuary Policy on Sep. 15th
We have also received many constituent emails and calls about the County’s Sanctuary policy. Recent murders perpetrated by previously-deported unauthorized entrants released from police custody has shined a light on jurisdictions that do not cooperate with Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Santa Clara County is one of the counties with a de-facto non-cooperation policy that would prevent the County from holding dangerous criminal aliens for processing by ICE. On September 15th, the County Board of Supervisors will receive a report from the Bail and Release Work Group and discuss possible changes to their policy. Supervisors Wasserman and Simitian had previously attempted to modify the policy on the advice of County Sheriff Laurie Smith and District Attorney Jeff Rosen, but were unsuccessful. The District Attorney has emphasized the need to have every tool available to help keep the unauthorized entrants who have committed serious crimes off our streets. If you care about this policy you need to attend the meeting on the 15th to speak out. You can also send a message to the Board using the County’s web form. More details will be available once the meeting agenda is posted after 5 PM on September 10th
Saying Farewell to Rayshelle
I consider myself blessed to have a staff who are dedicated to public service and work so hard for the betterment of our City and its communities. Each of them take their jobs very seriously, and have a genuine passion for serving others. So, whenever we have staffing changes in the office, it’s always difficult to say goodbye. Rayshelle Edmunds has been a part of the D10 team from the very beginning. In fact, she was the first person I hired to join my team. Next Friday, Rayshelle and her husband, Mike, are saying goodbye to San José and heading up to Portland, Oregon. Rayshelle has accepted the position of Marketing and Advertising Director for the largest private school in the state.
For the past two and a half years, Rayshelle has been an instrumental part of the D10 team. She has worked on several policy issues, from Education and Parks and Recreation to Transportation and the Environment. In addition, she has created our newsletters, built the District 10 website, and done the majority of the promotional and graphic design work for District 10 events. She has particularly enjoyed working closely with the Almaden Senior Association, the Playa Del Rey Neighborhood, and the Vista Park Neighborhood.
Rayshelle’s departure hits us doubly hard because we are also losing her husband, Mike. Mike has been a tremendous behind-the-scenes volunteer for District 10. He has gotten his hands dirty at every neighborhood cleanup event and donated hours of time (and his truck!) to hauling equipment for large District 10 events.
Thank you, Rayshelle and Mike, for your dedication and service to our community. You will be missed, but we also know you will succeed and make the most of this new chapter in your lives! We wish you all the best!
Economic Development Updates
This past Tuesday, Sept. 1st, The City of San Jose approved an agreement with Becton, Dickinson and Company (also known as BD Biosciences) in which the City will provide $500,000 for the acquisition of clean room tools and equipment at their manufacturing and production facility in San Jose.
This agreement will enable BD Biosciences to retrofit its current location in San Jose which will improve their clean room environment space that is necessary for the manufacturing of the cell analyzers laboratory equipment. They will invest nearly $50 million in building improvements to retrofit their facility and support the retention of 1,200 jobs.
The tax revenue that will be generated by BD Biosciences’ investment, the good-paying manufacturing jobs that are anticipated, and the other economic activity that this project will generate for the City of San Jose makes this investment very important for our City. The manufacturing incentive also includes a claw-back provision to protect the City if, for some reason, the City does not realize new revenues sufficient to cover the cost of the incentive. This ensures that the tax payers are protected from risk.
We are excited that of all of the places to do business that BD Biosciences could choose, they have chosen to modernize and grow right here in San Jose!
In addition, we were pleased to welcome U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to the Silicon Valley for his announcement that the FlexTech Alliance, a San Jose-based consortium working on next-generation flexible technology, had won a $75 Million Department of Defense award to create and manage a Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Facility.
The federal funding will span a five-year period and will be matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources, including the City of San Jose, private companies, universities, and several U.S. cities and not-for-profit organizations.
We look forward to the cutting-edge developments that this public-private partnership will bring forward. As the San Jose-Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce noted in their recent update, “Flexible hybrid electronics have the power to unleash wearable devices to improve medical health monitoring and personal fitness; soft robotics to care for the elderly or assist wounded soldiers; and light-weight sensors embedded into the very trellises and fibers of roads, bridges, and, and other structures across the globe.”
We can be proud that San Jose will be the place where these technological innovations will have their genesis!
District 10 Newsletter Gets a Makeover!
As you can see, the District 10 Newsletter has gotten a makeover. Recently, our office began using a new database system, and with that came updated newsletter capabilities! We are still working through the nuts and bolts of our new systems, and would appreciate your patience as we refine things. With that said, we are always striving to improve upon every aspect of our work, so we would also appreciate feedback on how we can make your newsletter-reading even better!
District 10 Internship Opportunities