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District 9
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Ph. (408) 535-4909
Fax (408) 292-6471

District 9 October Newsletter



District 9 News



Donald Rocha

San Jose City Hall, District 9 200 E. Santa Clara St. 18th Floor, San Jose, CA 95113
P: (408) 535-4909
F: (408) 292-6471

District 9 Website


District 9 Staff

Shirley Goings
Executive Assistant

Peter Hamilton
Chief of Staff

Scott Hughes
Policy Aide

Andrea Hyde
Policy Aide

Jacklyn Joanino
Policy Aide


Sign-Up for City-Wide Classes: 

Community Activities and Registration 

 Camden Community Center's Senior Nutrition Program

For lunch menus and nutrition and wellness information, visit the Camden Cafe website


Drought Watch

San Jose faces a mandatory 30% reduction in water-use. Make water conservation a top priority, both inside and outside your home.

Learn what you can do to conserve water.

Report Water Waste 
(408) 630-2000


2015 - 2017


The City of San José provides dumpster service to its neighborhoods once every three years.  Click on the map for your next Neighborhood Clean-Up date. 


Prevent Crime with these  Security & Self Defense Tips

To arrange for a crime prevention specialist to conduct a Neighborhood Watch Meeting, contact the

San Jose Police Crime Prevention Unit:

(408) 277-4133


City of San José
Important Phone Numbers

Abandoned Vehicles
(408) 277-5305

(408) 277-8900

Anti-Graffiti 24-Hour Hotline
(866) 249-0543

Animal Care & Services
(408) 794-7297

City Hall Customer Service
(408) 535-3500

Code Enforcement
(408) 535-7770

Crime Prevention 
(408) 277-4133

Family & Domestic Violence Center
(408) 277-3700

Gang Prevention Hotline
(408) 293-4264

Homeless Outreach
(408) 510-7600

Police Emergency
911, (408) 277-8911 (cell phone)

Police Non-Emergency
311, (408) 277-8900 (cell phone)

 Park & Trail Concerns
(408) 793-5510
(voicemail only) 

Park Volunteer Unit
(408) 535-3588

(408) 794-1900

Streetlight Repair
(408) 794-1903 (
7 am - 4 pm) (408) 277-8956 (After Hours)

Sewer and Signal Lights
(408) 794-1900



 October Newsletter




Dear Neighbor,

Homelessness is one of the concerns I hear about most frequently from residents. Whether it’s concerns about encampments along highways or down in creeks, or about people living in cars or RVs parked on residential streets, the impact of homelessness on neighborhood safety and quality of life has generated lots of concern.

In addition to hearing concerns from residents who live near homeless encampments, I’ve also begun hearing from homeless and formerly homeless individuals about their frustration with the problem. In July, I was invited to tour two homeless encampments by formerly homeless individuals who are working with Sacred Heart Community Service to advocate for more affordable housing. I was able to talk with some of the folks living in the encampments about their struggles living outside.

What I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a common thread in the conversations I’ve had both with residents who live near homeless encampments and homeless individuals themselves. Both groups are often frustrated by the City’s encampment cleanup efforts: the City cleans up homeless encampments, or asks people living in their cars to move, but oftentimes the homeless encampment simply reappears in the same place soon after, or the person living in their car parks on the same street again within a short period. This is frustrating for residents who live near encampments because the problem is never solved. It’s even more concerning for homeless individuals because the City is repeatedly forcing them out of one encampment after another without making it any easier for them to find housing. We’re just moving the problem around without making any real difference.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that cleaning up encampments is not the best solution. Even if we do succeed at preventing re-encampment at one location, that just means the encampment will move to another location and cause all of the same problems. The only real solution to the problem of homelessness is to make it possible for homeless individuals to find permanent housing.

Placing homeless individuals in housing can be challenging, in part because of the expensive rental market in Santa Clara County. Even when low income individuals are given housing vouchers or other forms of assistance, rents are so high that they often still cannot afford a place to live. The supply of housing in our area—in particular the supply of affordable housing—is not large enough to meet demand.

Given the urgency of the problem, the City is pursuing a number of strategies to make housing available for homeless individuals as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. In the past few weeks, the Council has taken action on two of those strategies, which I’d like to update you on:

  • The Plaza Hotel – The Plaza Hotel is an old hotel located Downtown near the corner of San Fernando St. and Almaden Ave. It has been out of business for many years and currently sits empty. The City is attempting to purchase it and use it to house homeless individuals. Because the structure already exists and no new construction needs to take place, this is a relatively quick way to increase the housing supply. You can read more about it here.
  • Modular Housing – City staff has analyzed a number of strategies to build new housing quickly and cheaply. They’ve concluded that building modular housing is the most cost-effective and viable approach. On September 22nd, the Council directed staff to continue pursuing a modular housing development. You can read more about it here. 

In addition to these shorter term strategies, the City is also pursuing means of generating new funding sources for affordable housing. Here’s some of what we’re doing:

  • Inclusionary Zoning – Inclusionary zoning is a requirement that new for-sale residential developments include affordable housing as part of the development, or, alternatively, pay a fee for affordable housing to be built elsewhere. The City Council passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance a few years ago, but it was challenged in court. The California Supreme Court upheld the ordinance earlier this year. The case has been appealed to the United States Supreme Court—we’re currently waiting to hear whether they accept the case.
  • Residential Impact Fee – A residential impact fee is similar to inclusionary zoning. The difference is that it applies to new rental housing, not new for-sale housing, and instead of requiring that affordable housing be built as part of a new development, it requires that new developments pay a fee that can be used to construct new affordable housing. The Council approved a residential impact fee late last year.
  • Commercial Linkage Fee – A commercial linkage fee requires that new commercial and industrial development pay a fee to fund new affordable housing construction. The rationale is that new commercial development creates new jobs, and new jobs create a need for more housing. Job creation is very important for the economic health of our region and brings economic opportunity to our residents, but it also comes with its own challenges. The strength of our economy is part of the reason why housing is in such high demand, and is thus so expensive. The Council has not yet approved a commercial linkage fee, but it’s on the list of options that we’re considering and I hope the Council will have an opportunity to decide on it soon. 

In addition to these actions at the City level, the County of Santa Clara is also exploring ways to combat homelessness. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors, at the recommendation of Supervisor Dave Cortese, created a countywide Task Force to identify strategies to solve the problem of homeless. The City of San Jose was given a seat on this Task Force, and Mayor Liccardo kindly asked me to take the seat.

As a member of this task force, I’ve urged consideration of strategies that can be implemented quickly to make a difference in the short term. To view the recommendations the task force has already submitted to the Board of Supervisors, click here.

I’ve also made a point of advocating for a coordinated, countywide approach to the problem. Homelessness is not only a problem for San Jose; we will need the help of all cities and jurisdictions within the County to solve the problem. For the next Task Force meeting on October 9, I’ve drafted a resolution calling on all cities in the County to consider a consistent set of strategies to combat homelessness, including the affordable housing funding strategies I mention above.

Above all, I believe elected leaders need to bring a sense of urgency to this problem. Both residents who live next to encampments and have their quality of life impacted, and homeless residents who endure the hardship of living outside, deserve rapid action.

Should you have any questions or concerns you'd like to share with me, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (408) 535-4909.


Don Rocha

SJPD Announces October as Crime Prevention Month

October is nationally recognized as Crime Prevention Month. The San Jose Police Department Crime Prevention Unit reminds you that crime prevention is everybody's business. Make Crime Prevention a priority this month and learn how to keep yourself and your community safe. 

  • Start a neighborhood watch meeting in your community.
  • Attend classes on personal safety, gang awareness or internet safety.
  • Discuss safety issues with your family and co-workers.

To learn more, contact the Crime Prevention Unit at (408) 277-4133 or visit

Spare the Air

Spare the air, today and every dayIn the Bay Area, the summer Spare the Air season generally runs from April through October. During the summer months when ground-level ozone, or "smog," becomes a pollution problem, the Air District issues Spare the Air Alerts for days on which air quality is forecast to be unhealthy and ozone concentrations exceed federal health-based standardsDaily air quality forecasts are posted online and recorded on the 1-800-HELP-AIR phone line. The EnviroFlash AirAlert email system also notified registered Bay Area subscribers.

On these Spare the Air days, residents are urged to cut back on activities that cause pollution, such as driving, using oil based paints, using gasoline powered lawn mowers, or using household aerosol products like hairsprays.  For more information on how you can make a difference, please visit

Waste No Food

In September, Silicon Valley Talent Partnership and Waste No Food announced a new public/private partnership Feeding Silicon Valley. This new venture uses a mobile app called Waste No Food to link food donors such as Levi's Stadium and Team San José with nonprofits such as Martha's Kitchen and Salvation Army who can serve food to our most vulnerable communities. Waste No Food was founded by 17-year old Kiran Sridhar after he learned that 40% of all food produced is wasted.

Interested in joining as a food service industry donor, nonprofit recipient or volunteer food runner? Please visit To download the Waste No Food app, you can find it in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.


teensReach is the youth council for the San José Public Library, providing a key way for young adults to build their leadership skills by developing and participating in library activities, as well as becoming library advisors and advocates. Some of the activities teensReach members have been involved in include: children's craft programs, volunteering at our Summer Reading Celebration registration table, and representing San José Public Library at community events. Volunteer opportunities are available at various library branches, including Cambrian and Pearl.

To join teensReach, you must be 13-18 years of age, have a strong interest in the library, enjoy working with people of all ages and cultures, and be willing to learn new skills. To learn more, visit

 Girls Who Code

Interested in learning how to code? The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is now enrolling for its 7-week intensive computer science course that embeds classrooms in technology companies and universities. Girls learn everything from robotics to mobile development to HTML and CSS while gaining exposure to the tech industry and receiving valuable mentorship from women working in technology.  Learn more about the Summer Immersion Program and register today.

Outdoor Classes for Homeschool Students: Solar Series 

Join the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy this fall for environmental science classes designed specifically for homeschool students! GRPC leads hands-on, outdoor programs that focus on the Guadalupe River watershed and the cultural and natural history of Santa Clara County, integrating scientific learning with an intimate experience of nature and place.

The Solar Series will begin in October with lessons about solar energy and its importance for the wildlife of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens.  All programs take place at the Guadalupe Visitor & Education Center, 438 Coleman Avenue, every Wednesday and Thursday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.  Ages 5-12; $15 per student per class.  Drop-ins are welcome but pre-registration is preferred, space is limited.  For more information, visit, or call 408-298-7657.

Preparing for Flooding During the Drought

A Message from Linda Lezotte, District 4, Santa Clara Valley Water District

With predictions of a strong El Niño this winter, we must all prepare for a high volume of rain, which, if it comes all at once, could lead to flooding.  Residents and businesses can do their part to help keep their communities safe in the event of strong rains:

  • Have an emergency plan and kit in case you are stranded at home.
  • Know your flood hazard, and if you are in a flood hazard zone, be sure to purchase flood insurance, which is important in helping you recoup any losses after a flood.
  • A clogged storm drain can lead to street flooding.  Clear the area around storm drains and be sure not to dump anything down them.
  • Do not drive in flooded areas. It only takes 2 feet of moving water to carry away most vehicles including pickup trucks and SUVs.
  • Know where your local sandbag distribution point is, and how to prepare a sand wall.  The water district, as well as cities, frequently has them near areas prone to flooding.
  • Report blockage, such as trash or a tree down during a storm, to (408) 630-2650 or and click on the Access Valley Water button.

Sign up to receive flood safety alerts and tips by texting the word “WATER” to short-code number 84444. For more information, visit Lezotte, District 4 representative of Cambrian, Willow Glen, Blossom Hill, North Almaden, is available for questions or comments at (408) 265-2600.

PRNS Fall Leisure Class Registration Now Open

Make the most of fall with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services and register for a leisure class at your favorite community center.  PRNS offers more than 800 classes and programs that include dance, music, health and fitness, gymnastics, theater, and many more! View the Camden Community Center's online brochure or list of courses. 

Calendar of Events

Friends of the Cambrian Branch Library Book Sale

Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Cambrian Branch Library Community Room, 1780 Hillsdale Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

Come browse the Friends of the Cambrian Branch Library's Book Sale! Great bargains can be found on gently used books and media. Books and media will be 1/2 off after 3:00 PM, excluding specially priced books and media.  And for the first time, the Library is holding a pre-sale for members only on Friday October 2, 2015 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM.  Thank you for supporting San Jose Public Library!

Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Discovery Meadow, 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110

The International Children's Festival, organized by the Pacifica Institute, is an event that brings together children and families from different world cultures and communities across the Bay Area.  Visitors can enjoy traditional dances, native music, and homemade authentic dishes and desserts from around the world.  In addition, children can enjoy magic shows, balloon twisters, face painting, puppet shows, and much more.  Profits from food sales will be donated to reputable charities such as Home & Hope and Embrace Relief.  Admission is free.  For more information, please visit

2015 Christmas Cantata

Saturday, October 3, 2015, 7:00 PM

135 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Please join the International Youth Fellowship and Gracias Choir at the Christmas Cantata.  With three beautiful, music-filled acts of birth, happiness, and glory, and one eternal message of hope, Gracias Christmas Cantata expresses the true meaning of Christmas.  Admission is free. For tickets, call (408) 766-0308 or visit

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 6:15 PM - 8:00 PM

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 1400 Parkmoor Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126

Learn about the joys and challenges of becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a disadvantaged youth at an informational recruitment meeting. Potential volunteers will have the chance to hear directly about the advocate experience and connect with others who share an interest in becoming a mentor to a foster child. Learn more at 

Pumpkins in the Park

Sunday, October 10, 2015, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

 Guadalupe River Park/Discovery Meadow, Woz Way & San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95110

Pumpkins in the Park is a harvest fair for families with a strong environmental education component.  It is designed to promote awareness of the Guadalupe River Park and celebrate the fall season. The event will feature a giant pumpkin patch, costume swap with Children's Discovery Museum, costume parade, carnival games, food, fresh apple cider, Guadalupe River Education, free kid's activities, and a children's concert.  Learn more at


Sunday, October 11, 2015, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Emma Prusch Farm Park, 647 S. King Road, San Jose, CA 95116

 Viva Calle SJ is a free program that temporarily closes miles of San Jose streets to bring residents together to walk, bike, skate, play, and explore. The event’s inaugural route, known as “Downtown and Eastbound,” stretches 6 miles from Emma Prusch Farm Park to the Calle Willow Business District, and through Downtown to St. James Park. This is a great way for residents and families to get outdoors and meet their neighbors.  Learn more at

  • Healthy Parks Healthy People - Sunday, October 11 & 25, 2015, 10:30 AM (Register online)
  • Martial Cottle Harvest Festival - Saturday, October 3, 2015, 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM
  • Silly Nature Stories - Sunday, October 4, 2015, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Welcome Back Hungry Migrant Birds - Sunday, October 10, 2015 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Binoculars Star Gazing - Saturday, October 17, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Dawn Photo Shoot - Sunday, October 18, 2015, 6:45 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Creepy Critters Aren't So Creepy - Sunday, October 18, 2015, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

For a complete list of events and locations, please call (408) 244-7476 or visit

Day on the Bay

Sunday, October 11, 2015, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Alviso Marina County Park, 1195 Hope Street, Alviso CA 95002

Supervisor Dave Cortese and the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department present the 6th Annual Day on the Bay at Alviso Marina County Park.  This Multicultural Festival celebrates our community’s diversity while promoting health amongst Santa Clara County residents. The day will feature fun activities for all ages, including free food, kayak rides, arts and crafts, live entertainment, a health resource fair and more.  For more information please visit or contact Supervisor Dave Cortese’s Office at 408-299-5030.

College Day: Family and Community Conference

Saturday, October 24, 2015, 7:45 AM - 1:45 PM

San Jose State University Student Ballroom

Twelfth graders and families are invited to get information on college preparation, financial aid, scholarships, careers, and the CSU and UC application process. This is a multilingual conference where workshops are presented in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.  Please register before October 9th.   SJSU is also looking for 100 volunteers to help with registration, lunch distribution, and bus pick-up and drop off.  Sign up to volunteer online!  For more information, visit

Breath of Life Walk

Breath of Life Halloween Costume Walk (5K)

Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Check-in at 8:30 AM)

West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070

The annual Breath of Life Walk is a chance for local community members to get together and show their support in the fight against lung disease. Each year, the walk attracts people directly affected by lung disease as well as family, friends and others who wish to build healthier communities. The event features a 5K walk with food, music, prizes, a costume contest, and tons of family fun. For more information, visit

Applied Materials SV Turkey Trot

Thursday, November 26, 2015 (Race times vary)

Race Start Location: Santa Clara Street & Market Street, Festival Site: Guadalupe River Park

Register now for early bird pricing for the Applied Materials "Silicon Valley Turkey Trot" on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th. Continue your healthy holiday tradition or start a new one with friends and family! This year, proceeds will go to five deserving beneficiaries. The Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, founded and produced by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, is now in its 11th year and the total amount given to charity has exceeded $5 million.  Choose from several events including the 5K and 10K runs and walks, and the kid's fun run.  Elite runners, joggers, and walkers will enjoy the downtown San Jose course, which is flat, fast, and flows through downtown neighborhoods and business areas. Register online for early-bird pricing.





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