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200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

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February Mid-Month Announcements

In This Edition


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

P: (408) 535-4909  F: (408) 292-6471

Dear Neighbor,

A very important decision will be made in 2016 that could have a big impact on the City of San Jose’s budget for decades to come, but this decision won’t be made by the San Jose City Council. I’m referring to the possibility that the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will place a countywide ½ cent sales tax measure on the November ballot for voter approval.  The decision to place this measure on the ballot is up to the VTA Board of Directors, but it could have a big impact on San Jose’s budget: there’s discussion of drafting the measure such that VTA will give back some of the sales tax revenue to cities, like San Jose, for us to spend on critical local priorities, like road pavement maintenance.

All of the cities in the County have their own ideas about what the money should be spent on, and how much of it should come back from VTA to the cities. All of the details need to be worked out before the VTA board votes to put the measure on the ballot (the vote will likely happen in August) because the measure is intended to be what’s called a “special tax.”  What this means is that revenue from the tax will only be allowed to be spent on the specific list of transportation projects included in the ballot language.

As you can appreciate, San Jose has a real interest in how this measure is written. With over half the County’s population, we should try to ensure that it includes projects that will have the most public benefit.  Just this past Tuesday, the Council had its first discussion of which projects would be important to San Jose.  You can view both the staff memo and my memo on this item.  Here’s the list of priorities the Council came up with:

  • Road Maintenance – money would be set aside for repairing San Jose’s streets
  • Highway Interchange Improvements – expand the capacity of major highway interchanges to improve traffic flow
  • BART Project – extension of the BART line from Berryessa to Santa Clara through Downtown San Jose
  • Bus System Improvements – improvements to the speed and frequency of bus service
  • Pedestrian and Bike Safety – improvements to pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, sidewalks and trails
  • Affordable Housing – pursue opportunities to construct affordable housing along transit lines

This list is only a starting point for San Jose to enter the discussion, not a final decision. VTA has not released its analysis yet, and we don’t know what approach all of the other cities in the County will take.  Much could change over the next few months, and some of the priorities listed above may not be funded at all.

For that reason, I suggested at the Council meeting last Tuesday that this matter come back to the City Council in a few months’ time, when the VTA project list had been further refined and we had a better idea of what the final measure might look like. At that point, both the Council and the public might have a better idea of what San Jose should prioritize—the public could have provided feedback and the Council could have adjusted its position appropriately.  Unfortunately, Mayor Liccardo came out very strongly against my request.  He did not want this matter to return to the City Council for a vote.  He pointed out that the VTA board already has five San Jose representatives sitting on it, including himself.  He argued that those five people could represent San Jose’s interests without the Council voting again. 

As someone who doesn’t sit on the VTA board, I was disappointed at not having a second chance to weigh in. Nevertheless, I’m committed to continuing to advocate for San Jose’s priorities through other means.  In particular I want to make sure I’m advocating for priorities that are most important to the residents of District 9 and the City of San Jose.  To that end, I’ve put together an online survey on the topic.  It should only take a couple minutes to complete.  Here’s the link:

It includes the list developed by the City Council, along with other projects that are under consideration for inclusion in the tax. I’d like to hear which of these items is most important to you.  Some of them have already been funded by VTA sales taxes in the past.  BART, for example, is currently funded by two separate sales taxes; VTA already expects to spend over $4 billion in local money on the project.  Other priorities, such as road maintenance, aren’t currently funded by VTA sales tax revenue.  I am very interested to hear where you think the City’s priorities should lie.

You can also get in touch with me directly, through email. If this issue is important enough that you would also like to contact the entire Council, here are their email addresses:

I look forward to hearing your feedback.


News & Announcements
Update on Branham Park Renovations

The long awaited improvements to Branham Park, which were postponed earlier this year, are now back on track.  The City's Department of Public Works has negotiated with the terminated contractor’s surety, and has found a new replacement contractor to complete the work.  The City of San Jose will issue a Notice to Proceed, and the contractor will have 120 calendar days to complete the work. The project is expected to be completed by late June. 

The work will include replacing the existing play lot including new play equipment, surfacing and shade covers, replacing the existing walking circuit with a new porous concrete walkway, planting vines along the chain-link fencing, two new security lights by the existing pavilion and irrigation repairs.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact Dave Mitchell, Project Manager in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, at 408-793-5528 or

Update on Doerr Parkway Project

In 2011, the City's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department began planning the development of a strip of land along the corridor between Curtner Avenue, Custer Drive and Comstock Lane into a City trail (known as "Doerr Parkway") to become an extension of the existing Doerr Park. Adjacent to the City-owned property are 16 residential parcels that are all independently owned.  City Surveyor and Real Estate staff discovered inconsistencies between the backyard fence lines and the actual property boundaries on both sides of the City-owned strip of land. The Council has declared a portion of the City-owned property surplus to the needs of the City and transfer the property to the adjacent owners to eliminate the current encroachments that exist.

The City's Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services recently conducted a pre-construction meeting with the contractor to review the project and respond to any questions. The City’s Survey Team will visit the site in to identify the precise location of the future fence so to ensure that there are no neighbor concerns.  The contractor will receive his formal Notice to Proceed on March 1. He will have 11 days to start work.  Neighbors can expect to see construction activity underway no later than mid-March.  If you have any questions or comments, please call 408-793-5561.

Free Tax Help at your San Jose Public Library

Tax season is here and thanks to VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and the AARP Foundation, San Jose residents can get their taxes done for free at their neighborhood branch libraries. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese at most locations. AARP Foundation will provide tax help for residents 60 years and older with low and moderate income. For dates, locations, and more information, visit or contact Elizabeth Castañeda at 408-808-2175.

Trades Orientation Program

Working Partnerships USA is recruiting Santa Clara County residents age 18 and up who are seeking full-time work or a career change, like to work with their hands, are willing to study and learn, and have a strong interest in learning how to enter a working construction apprenticeship leading to a rewarding career.

No prior construction experience is needed – just a high school diploma or GED, drivers’ license, basic math skills and ability to do physical work.  If you know a woman who might just be ready for a new career, please pass this on. For more information or to apply, please visit

Family Camp Registration Opens January 31st

San Jose’s Family Camp is 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. The Stanislaus National Forest and the middle fork of the Tuolumne River serve as the scenic backdrop to this mountain playground. 

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 2016 camping season (June 10 - August 7). For questions, please contact staff at (408) 794-6208 or

Our City Forest Tree Amigo Program

Love working with plants and people? Want to commit to be a leader in the community? Sign up for Our City Forest's Tree Amigo Program. Graduates will become committed volunteers to help OCF promote a greener and healthier Silicon Valley.

The Tree Amigo Volunteer Program is a mixture of online and hands-on learning. Participants are asked to commit for the full month (January 25 - February 27), come to each Saturday morning in-person class to earn the Tree Amigo title and OCF t-shirt, and complete the reading and short assignments during the week.  If you or someone you know may be interested, email to sign up and request an application. Sign up for this exciting opportunity before January 23rd to ensure a spot in the class!

PEEP Exhibit on Display through March 12

Dr. Fung's thought-provoking art installation about human trafficking, titles "PEEP will be on display one more month (through March 12).  Artists like Dr. Fung (and art like Peep) create opportunities for the public to think about the issue of human trafficking, and then to act. 

The shipping container is a symbol of global trade - including the trade of human beings.  In PEEP, artist Jonathan Fung creates a metaphor within the venue of a peep show to address the loss of freedom for the faceless victims of human trafficking. The exhibit is located in San Jose's Parque de los Pobladores (Gore Park). 

2015-2016 County Children's Health Assessment

The County of Santa Clara, under the direction of Supervisor Dave Cortese, is conducting assessment of the Health of Children in Santa Clara County.  The goal of the assessment is to provide a countywide profile of behavioral health, preventive health and medical health status of children in Santa Clara County with a focus on the racial/ethnic disparities, which can serve as a valuable tool for policy makers, foundations, non-profits and government agencies to better understand this important population.  

If you receive a phone call or letter from the Public Health Department, please participate!  All information provided is confidential.  For questions about the survey, please contact The-Vu Nguyen from the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese at 408-299-5030 or

Flood Preparedness Tips & Sandbags

Sand bags are available late November through April.  At certain times, sites may be stocked with sand and empty bags.  Sites are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Residents should bring their own shovels, and consider bringing assistance to load bags.  San Jose locations are listed below:

  • City Main Yard, 1404 Mabury Road (self-fill, sand and empty bags provided)
  • City Central Service Yard, 1661 Senter Road at Phelan Avenue
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District Winfield Warehouse, 5905 Winfield Boulevard, between blossom Hill Road and Coleman Avenue (bag pickup street access only)

For questions, please visit

Midpen Regional Open Space Photo Contest

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District invites all visitors to enter its 7th Annual Digital Photo Contest, running now through March 31, 2016.  Midpen is seeking compelling digital images of nature, capturing the diversity of open spaces.  Images may show wildlife, plant life, natural landscapes or people interacting with nature, however, they must be taken in one of the open space preserves open to the public.  Enter online at

Free Large-Item Pick-Up Program
Large Item Pick-Up

Residents living in single-family homes can receive one free large-item pickup.  Additional pickups are only $27. For more information, visit

Did you know that Illegal dumping is a serious issue that can affect your safety, your community, and the environment?  When people illegally dump in neighborhood streets, parks, and creeks it results in visual blight and pollutes the environment. Report illegal dumping in San José by calling the Customer Contact Center at (408) 535-3500. If you witness dumping in progress, immediately call the San José Police Department non-emergency line at (408) 277-8900.

Upcoming Events
Public Informational Meetings: Affordable Housing Impact Fee & Inclusionary Housing
  • Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Monday, March 14, 2016, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 24, 2016, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Monday, April 11, 2016, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 13, 2016, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Housing Department has scheduled an additional series of eight meetings, from February through June, to provide up-to-date information on the Affordable Housing Impact Fee Program (with specific information on how developers might apply for the "pipeline exemption" for projects already in process), and Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Space is limited, so please RSVP by contacting Karen Goodman at 408-975-4416, or by email at

2016-2017 Community Budget Priority Setting
"Building the Budget from Zero"

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM  
Parkside Hall, 180 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95113

Residents throughout San Jose will have the opportunity to discuss and provide input on priorities for the 2016-2017 Budget and also participate in a “Zero-Based” budgeting exercise designed around programs and services that impact our neighborhoods.  In addition, we have expanded this year’s event to be open to all residents who want to participate (800 person capacity).  Register online at

RLEI Interactive Website Kick Off
RLEI Kick Off Event

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM  
San Jose City Hall Rotunda, 200 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

The Responsible Landlord Engagement Initiative (RLEI) is a program that helps communities stay safe and vibrant. RLEI works alongside neighborhood leaders, law enforcement, and local government to hold property owners and tenants accountable to making lasting improvements in their properties to maintain the wellbeing of the community.

The event will showcase the interactive website and the scalable customer relationship management platform.  RSVP by Friday, February 19 on Eventbrite:

Public Meetings: General Plan 4-Year Review
  • Thursday, February 25, 2016, 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 24, 2016, 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, April 7, 2016, 6:30 PM

Monthly meetings are planned through April to discuss progress on implementation of the City's Envision 2040 General Plan and to consider whether mid-course adjustments are needed.  The meetings will be held at City Hall in Wing Rooms 118-120, beginning at 6:30 PM.  For details, visit

Westfield Oakridge Senior Walk & Resource Fair

Friday, February 26, 2016, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM 
Westfield Oakridge Mall, Macy's Court, 925 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, CA 95123

Save the date for the 2016 W.O.W.W. Westfield Oakridge Winter Walk & Resource Fair for Seniors!  This event is hosted by Councilmembers Johnny Khamis, Donald Rocha and Ash Kalra, and sponsored by Alameda Family Funeral Home and Mortuary Services, Star One Credit Union, Westfield Oakridge Mall.

Volunteers are needed for this fun event!  For more information or to volunteer, please contact Andrea at 408-535-4975.

Santa Clara County Children's Summit

Friday, February 26, 2016, 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Microsoft Silicon Valley, 1065 La Avenida Street, Mountain View, CA 94043

The 9th Annual Santa Clara County Children's Summit invites community leaders to forge new partnerships and work across boundaries to achieve goals of the Children's Agenda: Every child safe, healthy, successful in learning, and successful in life. Don't miss this year's amazing line-up of speakers and workshops, and presentation of the Bold Steps for Children Award.  Register online or call (408) 795-3772. Early bird special: $75 until February 2nd. 

2016 State of the City Celebration

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Overfelt High School Gymnasium, 1835 Cunningham Avenue, San Jose, CA 95122

Mayor Sam Liccardo and the San Jose City Council cordially invite you to the 2016 State of the City Celebration.  Mayor Liccardo will outline key initiatives, budget priorities, and opportunities for residents to get engaged to make San José a safer, smarter city. In addition to the Mayor's speech, the event will honor outstanding citizens from each Council District and exemplary city employees. Register online.

Event Details:  This is a casual attire event.  You must bring a copy of your registration confirmation to gain attendance to the event.  The gym features theater-style seating, and there are no seat assignments.  After the program concludes there will be a Resource Fair with information about city services and employment, in addition to resources offered by some of San Jose's leading non-profits.

Adult Fitness Series at Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

Saturdays, March 5 - March 26, 2016, 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Visitor & Education Center, 438 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110

Burst out of winter with a new walking series sponsored by the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. Step by step, you’ll be healthier as a result of this class that leads you through the paved trails along the Guadalupe River. Learn proper stretches, toning exercises, and walking technique as you meet others who enjoy exercising outdoors along the way.  Varied fitness levels will be offered.  Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. For more information, visit or call 408-298-7657.

2016 Strong Girls, Strong Women Leadership Conference

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM  
School of Arts & Culture, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116

AAUW San Jose and the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy proudly present Strong Girls, Strong Women 2016: A Leadership Conference for High School Girls, Young Adults and their Adult Allies.  Conference includes:

  • Continental Breakfast & Lunch
  • Private screening of a new documentary
  • Networking fair to promote community resources and volunteer opportunities

Space is limited, Registration is FREE but RSVP is required.  Registered but still really want to help out? Bring NEW clothing, school supplies or unopened toiletry items (toothpaste/brush, deodorant, soap, etc.) and to be donated to Gifts for Teens! Donation baskets will be located at registration on March 12.

For more information contact: SCC Office of Women’s Policy: 408-299-5135 or

Camden Painting Party

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM 
Camden Community Center 3369 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

Have fun while you learn to paint! An artist will show you step by step how to create a gorgeous bird of paradise painting. You will receive a blank canvas, paints and brushes.  Everything else will be provided. Seating is limited. Please register by visiting or visit the Camden Community Center. Cost is $25 members/$40 non-members.

Free Financial Planning Workshop
Financial Planning Workshop

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM 
Camden Community Center 3369 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

Get your finances in order with a free financial planning workshop. This free workshop is hosted by the Financial Planning Association of Silicon Valley.  Pre-registration is required. To register, sign up online at or at the front desk. Use code #257.3.2015

City of San Jose Career Fair

Saturday, April 27, 2016, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM 
City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

The City of San Jose is pleased to announce its first Citywide Career Fair. With over 600 vacancies Citywide, there are career opportunities in multiple fields including: professional, managerial, trades, general administrative, police, and fire.  Participants will have the opportunity to meet and greet with Human Resources staff and Hiring Managers from multiple City departments. For more information please contact Sarah Nunes, Human Resources Department, at 408-975-1458.

2016 D9 Great American Litter Pick-Up

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Various locations throughout District 9, rain or shine

Celebrate Earth Day and mark your calendars for the 2016 District 9 Great American Litter Pick-Up! Join neighbors and the District 9 team to clean up litter and beautify our parks and neighborhoods.  Lunch will be served for all volunteers.  Students can earn community service hours by volunteering at this event.  Register online!

Silicon Valley Walk for Water

Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
St. Timothy's Lutheran Church 
5100 Camden Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

Join Silicon Valley Discipleship for the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Walk for Water in support of Water Mission!  In its inaugural year, over 500 people participated in the Walk through Cambrian Park and raised $186,000 to provide safe water to 6 communities around the world.  This year, Walk for Water hopes to raise over $250,000 for the cause.  Register online or contact Ruth Hardin for more information. 


City of San José Important Phone Numbers 

Abandoned Vehicles (408) 277-5305
Anti-Graffiti (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
Potholes (408) 794-1900
Streetlight Repair (408) 794-1903 (7 am - 4 pm), (408) 277-8956 (after hours)
Sewer and Signal 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


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