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

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

The State of Our Parks

San Jose District 9 - News Communication

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A Message From Councilmember Donald Rocha


In This Edition


Councilmember Donald Rocha
San José City Hall, District 9
200 E. Santa Clara St., 18th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: (408) 535-4909
Fax: (408) 292-6471 

Dear Neighbor,

Over the past decade the City of San Jose has struggled to provide the basic services that our residents expect.  Police protection, street maintenance and park maintenance have all fallen below acceptable levels.  Due in large part to the generosity of San Jose voters who in 2016 approved both a sales tax and a business tax measure, the City is poised to make some progress towards restoring services in the upcoming fiscal year.  (The new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2017.)  The City Council approved a new Police contract in February which we hope will help us fill the many vacant positions in the Police Department, and the Mayor’s March Budget Message, which the Council discussed and approved this week, proposes some increased investment—particularly in the area of street maintenance. 

There is one basic service, however, that I feel we aren’t currently on track to improve: park maintenance.  Too many of our parks are in an embarrassingly bad condition.  I’ve heard increasing concerns from residents on this issue over the past year.  Missing basketball hoops, decaying irrigation systems, dead grass and trees, playing fields filled with moles and ground squirrels—all of these problems and many others have grown in recent years.  These poor conditions not only reduce residents’ use and enjoyment of our parks, but they are also a blight on the pride we take in our neighborhoods and our city.  As I mentioned, the Mayor’s March Budget Message did include some positive investments, but unfortunately it does not include any mention of increasing the Parks Department maintenance budget. 

The good news is that the March Budget Message is only the start of the budget process; there will be many opportunities for the Council to amend the budget before it’s adopted in June.  As part of the Council deliberation on the Budget Message this week, I issued a memo that attempts to set up some options for funding park maintenance that the Council can consider over the coming months.  In particular, my memo proposes that we consider defunding existing programs that may be lower priority than park maintenance and using the savings to enhance that service.  You can find a list of the programs I suggest that we at least consider defunding on the second page.  Proposing budget cuts is never popular (I took criticism at the council meeting for some of the cuts I suggested) but I believe strongly that part of my job as a Councilmember is to make hard choices about City priorities.  Every City program has its defenders, but that doesn’t mean that every program has equal value to the public.  When we can’t meet basic obligations at a level the public wants or expects (like park maintenance) I think we have to at least consider whether there are other lower priority programs that may need to take a back seat.

I was appreciative that the Council agreed to approve my memo, allowing us to at least have a discussion about how to fund park maintenance. I’m not done working on this issue—I will continue to look for funding options in addition to the ones I’ve already put forward and advocate that the Council make this issue a priority. I’ve been working for several months to raise the profile of this issue at City Hall leading up to the budget process, starting with a memo describing the problems I’d heard from residents back in October, which was followed up by a memo cosigned by Councilmember Sergio Jimenez. Councilmember Jimenez in particular has been a great partner on this issue. Before he was elected to the Council last year he served as a member of San Jose’s Parks Commission. He’s very familiar with park maintenance challenges and is a great advocate for our parks.

I’ve mainly focused on park maintenance in this newsletter because that’s the service that I don’t think has received enough attention so far, but as I mentioned the Mayor does propose some positive investments in his Budget Message.  I’d like to give a little more detail on the proposal that I think is most beneficial: the Mayor proposes to spend $50 million next year on pavement maintenance.  This level of investment will allow us to repave 200 miles of streets and begin repaving neighborhood streets for the first time since 2012.  I hear frequently from residents who are frustrated with the condition of our streets so I’m very pleased that the Mayor proposed and the Council has supported this level of investment.

If you have any feedback for me on what our budget priorities should be (or feedback or questions on any other issue) please feel free to get in touch with my office by phone at (408) 535-4909 or by email at district9@sanjoseca.govWe’re only at the beginning of the budget process, so additional feedback is very much appreciated.

Special thanks to the volunteers and staff who made the Lone Hill Park Beautification Day a huge success on Saturday, March 25!


Councilmember Donald Rocha

News & Announcements
Great American Litter Pick-Up

Save the Date for the District 9 Great American Litter Pick Up, Saturday, April 22, 8:30 AM - 11:30 PM.  The annual event is a city-wide effort.  This year, we will be tackling park projects at Doerr Park, Paul Moore Park, and Butcher Park, which include tree planting, painting, and landscaping. All supplies will be provided. Students can earn community service credit for volunteering at this event.

This year for the first time, the high school with the most volunteers will win a monetary prize from the Anti-Graffiti & Anti-Litter Program of the City of San Jose.

Register online at

Senior Scam Stopper Seminar

Councilmember Donald Rocha, in partnership with Assemblymember Evan Low, State Senator Jim Beall, and the Contractors State License Board, will host a Senior Scam Stopper Seminar on Friday, April 28 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Camden Community Center

Seniors and their families can learn how to protect themselves from fraud relating to home repair, identity theft, mail, auto repair, insurance, and more. This is a free seminar open to all members of the public.

Space is limited and RSVP is required. Please RSVP to (408) 446-2810.

Volunteer with Our City Forest

Leave a Green Footprint in your Community and volunteer with Our City Forest!  Weekly opportunities can be found at

Volunteers are needed in April & May to plant trees, care & water plants, help with nursery tasks, and more!

Family Camp Now Accepting Reservations

Family Camp at Yosemite is now accepting reservations at

Located in the heart of the Sierras near Yosemite National Park just east of Groveland, California, Family Camp is situated on 47 acres of leased land from the U.S. Forest Service. Family Camp at Yosemite provides an all-inclusive camping experience where guests of all ages can fish, hike, swim, participate in organized programs, or just sit back, relax and take it easy. Reserve your tent today for the 2017 camping season. For questions, please contact staff at (408) 794-6208 or

Become a Child Advocate

Are you looking for meaningful volunteer work with a child or teen? Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is recruiting volunteers to serve as friends, mentors and advocates for foster children in Santa Clara County, and hosts monthly Volunteer Informational sessions where you can learn how you make a difference to a child in the foster care system.  As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, you will undergo training and be empowered by the courts to provide critical emotional and educational support to a foster child and ensure that child's voice is heard in the dependency court system.  Learn more at

2017-2018 Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury Annual Recruitment

The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara is seeking volunteers to serve on the 2017-18 Civil Grand Jury.  The Court is seeking applicants of all backgrounds who have lived in the county for at least one year, are US citizens, are 18 years of age or older, and are willing to make the commitment of a one-year term, which will begin on June 22, 2017.

Those who are called to serve on the Grand Jury voluntarily enter this service with interest and curiosity in learning more about the administration and operation of the government in the county in which they live, in order to function as an investigatory body.  Individuals interested in applying may contact Tamara L. Davis, Deputy Manager of Jury Services, directly at 408-882-2721, or visit

Join the Adopt-A-Highway Program

The Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program provides an avenue for individuals, organizations, or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within California's State Highway System.

The Adopt-A-Highway program, which began in 1989, has been one of the truly successful government-public partnerships of our time. More than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced over 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside.  Participation can include removing litter (work frequency varies with location), planting and establishing trees or wildflowers, removing graffiti and controlling vegetation.  To learn more, please visit:

Junk Pick-Up Program
Large Item Pick-Up

Do you have junk, such as old mattresses, sofas, refrigerators, or tires, cluttering up your home or garage? San José residents in homes with garbage cart service (single-family homes, most townhomes and mobile homes) can schedule two free junk pickup appointments per year of three large items each.

Call to schedule your pickup:

  • Homes with garbage cart service in downtown, north, east, and south San José, call California Waste Solutions at (408) 213-7800
  • Homes with garbage cart service in west San José, call GreenTeam of San Jose at (408) 282-4400
  • Not sure? Look up your recycling collection company at
  • Residents in apartments and most condominiums should contact their property manager or GreenTeam directly at (408) 282-4400 to arrange for free junk pickup

Visit for more information. Help keep our neighborhood clean by reporting illegal dumping: 408-535-3500.

Upcoming Events
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Events

Every month, Midpen offers a wide variety of FREE docent-led activities throughout the preserves. Click through to find out more!

Open Space Authority Events

Spring is in bloom at Open Space Authority.  All activities are free to attend! Be sure to register when required.

  • April 1: Solar Astronomy at Berryessa Library
  • April 2: Spring Wildflowers at Rancho
  • April 4: Turtle Walk at Hidden Lake
  • April 5, 12, 19: Wildflower Walks
  • April 15: Starry Nights at Rancho
  • April 25 - May 25: Gentle Stretch and Walk Exercise Workshop
  • April 29: Anza Expedition Hike
  • See all Activities >>>

12th Annual Santa Clara County Veteran's Resource Fair

Saturday, April 8, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Fiesta Hall, 344 Tully Road, San Jose, CA 95111

The San Jose Veteran's Center Advisory Council proudly presents the 12th Annual Veterans Resource Fair, open to all veterans, active military personnel, and families.  There is free entry, free parking and lunch, door prize drawings, up to 80 exhibitors with great resources, and more. Visit for more information.

2017 US Memory Tournament

Saturday, April 15, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
eBay Main Street, 2025 East Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125

Students, professionals, memory amateurs, and memory record holders from all over the country will come together in San Jose to learn the secrets to a record breaking memory and then join the competition!

There will be five events in this game, cash prizes, and the winner will be ranked internationally! Refreshments provided. This event is FREE to the public.  Register online.

IPA Recruitment Community Meetings

Monday, April 17, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Mayfair Community Center Chavez Banquet Hall, 2039 Kammerer Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116

Thursday, April 20, 9:30 PM - 8:00 PM
San Jose City Hall Wing Room 119, 200 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

The City of San José is recruiting for a new Independent Police Auditor (IPA) and is interested in receiving community input on the ideal qualities of an IPA. The information collected will help inform the process and evaluation of candidates. Two community meetings have been scheduled to hear and collect input from residents. 

The Mission of the Office the IPA is to provide independent oversight of and instill confidence in the complaint process through objective review of police misconduct investigations.

To learn more about the recruitment, please call Cindy Escobar at (408) 535-4800.

Cambrian Relay for Life

Friday, April 28 – Saturday April 29
Dartmouth Middle School, 5575 Dartmouth Drive, San Jose, 95118

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Join the community to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.  For more information, please visit:

Spring Plant Sale Bonanza at Our City Forest

Saturday, April 29, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Our City Forest Community Nursery, 1000 Spring Street, San Jose, CA 95110

Join OCF for the Spring Plant Sale Bonanza at the Community Nursery.  Hundreds of tree and shrub species to choose from, 1/2 off select species, FREE workshops, crafts, music, refreshments and more. Join the event on Facebook or email

2017-2018 Community Budget Meetings

Monday, May 8, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Santa Teresa Branch Library Community Room

Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Berryessa Community Center Multipurpose Room

Thursday, May 18, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Bascom Community Center Multipurpose Room

Monday, May 22, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Eastridge Community Room

The City of San Jose will hold a series of community budget meetings where the public is invited to learn more about the City's budget process and share input on budget priorities for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  For more information about the meetings, please call Lisa Tulee at (408) 535-8119 or visit the City’s website at

Sacramento Bus Trip for Education

Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Join Santa Clara County Board President Dave Cortese on a FREE bus trip to our State's Capitol.  Meet with State Officials & Legislators, learn about their priorities, and discuss current K-12 & Higher Education issues. Share your ideas and concerns. For more information or to register, please visit or contact Mario B. Lopez at

Camden Summer Movie Series

Fridays, July 14 - August 18 (Activities start at 6pm and movie starts when dark)
Camden Community Center, 3369 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy family films.  Movies are subject to change.  Food trucks will be available at the showings. For more information, call 408-559-8553.

Important Resources

Abandoned Vehicles (408) 277-5305
Anti-Graffiti (408) 277-8900
Code Enforcement (408) 535-7770
Crime Prevention  (408) 277-4133
Illegal Dumping (408) 535-3500
Librarian (408) 808-3080
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)
Permits (408) 535-3555
Streetlight Repair (408) 794-1903 (7 am - 4 pm), (408) 277-8956 (after hours)
Traffic Lights (408) 794-1900

Contact the District 9 Team

Shirley Goings Executive Assistant
Peter Hamilton Chief of Staff
Scott Hughes Policy Aide
Andrea Hyde Policy Aide
Jacklyn Joanino Policy Aide
Brianne Urban Policy Aide


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