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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 Newseltter

San Jose District 9 - News Communication

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A Message From Councilmember Donald Rocha

2017 October Newsletter

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,

Throughout the year, the City Council, staff, and residents identify many issues and needs we wish to address in our community. My colleagues and I are constantly considering the many solutions, pilot programs, projects, and strategies to help improve quality of life in San Jose. With so many initiatives we want to work on, and limited staff time and resources, the Council is forced to prioritize. The Council has a priority-setting session twice a year.

The purpose of the Council priority-setting session is to identify the City’s highest priorities that require our more immediate attention, and ensure that our resources and time are being spent in a way that is efficient and impactful. Under this process, Councilmembers cast votes for the priorities they wish to be added to the work plan.

This process allows the City to stay on track with its current list of priorities, while also having the opportunity to consider new issues and needs that arise in our community. My colleagues and I will have the opportunity to vote for several priorities at the next priority-setting session on Tuesday, October 17.

One of my priorities is strengthening our tobacco retail license ordinance. Flavored tobacco products and menthol cigarettes are especially effective at luring young people into addiction. A survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 81% of respondents between the ages of 12 and 17 who had ever used an e-cigarette indicated that the first product they used was flavored, and also indicated that product flavoring was the reason for the use of e-cigarettes. Studies have also shown that young people who start smoking menthol cigarettes are at greater risk of becoming regular smokers than those who start with non-menthol cigarettes, and that 54.5 percent of high school tobacco users and 48.4 percent of middle school tobacco users smoke menthol cigarettes.

While the city does require tobacco retailers to obtain a license, my proposal aims at protecting young people from the dangers of nicotine addiction by further strengthening that ordinance. My proposal is modeled on a recent update to the County’s tobacco ordinance, accomplished under the leadership of Supervisor Ken Yeager, which prohibits new tobacco retailers from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, and most importantly, bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes in all but adult-only stores.

I’ve heard from concerned residents that convenience stores, many of which are located nearby schools, display flavored e-cigarette liquid right on the store’s front counter, next to candy displays. Parents are rightly distressed that these harmful products with flavors like “Cotton-Candy” are available in stores where youth have easy access.

I also proposed two other items that will be up for consideration at priority setting that particularly affect public health: smoke free housing and a ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers. In multi-family housing, many residents don’t have the option to escape tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke can drift into housing units from neighboring units, balconies, and patios. I believe we should explore a smoke free housing ordinance that protects all of our residents from being subject to second-hand smoke.

Additionally, I recommend the City explore options for phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers that pollute the air and degrade the quality of life for our residents. My office has received complaints from constituent over the years about sleep disruption or other annoyance caused by leaf blower noise. Leaf blowers are also a significant source of air pollution. As car engines have become cleaner over the years, but gas-powered leaf blowers have remained very dirty. I am mindful, however, that there are many small gardening businesses that use gas-powered leaf blowers. My proposal recommends exploring ways to lessen or avoid an impact on businesses that might result from gas-powered blowers being phased out.

Another item on the list for consideration is creating a safe parking program to providing safe, overnight parking, sanitary facilities, and other services to homeless individuals and families who live and sleep in their vehicles. As our city experiences an affordable housing crisis, the sad reality is that many people live out of their cars. The idea of a safe parking program is to take homeless individuals living in their cars out of neighborhoods and parks where their presence may lead to other issues, and into a safe area, like a church parking lot for example, where they can sleep without being shuffled around.

It will be interesting to see which additional priorities from other Councilmembers will be up for consideration come October 17. I want to take this opportunity to get your input on which of these four items you are most interested in. If you were to prioritize these items, which would you place at the top? Which would you place at the bottom? I’ve put together a simple survey to obtain the community’s thoughts and would love to hear from you. You can fill out the survey here:


I also want to remind the community that I am always open to hearing your ideas and concern year-round. I appreciate those who get in touch with my office regularly to keep me informed on issues that matter to them. In the November newsletter, I hope to update you on the Council’s action from the October 17th Council meeting. Until then, please feel free to can contact my office at 408-535-4909 or on this or other city-related policies and issues.


Donald Rocha

Councilmember, District 9

News & Announcements
Houge & Terrell Park Cleanups

Please join the community for two park cleanups this weekend!  Help show our parks some TLC and give back to our beautiful park system while meeting neighbors and enjoying the outdoors. No need to register, just come on by!

Houge Park - Saturday, September 30, 9:00 AM - 12:00
Breakfast provided (Hosted by Arab American Cultural Center)

Terrell Park - Sunday, October 1, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM 
Lunch provided (Sunday Series hosted by PRNS)

2nd Annual Cambrian 5K Run

Join Cambrian School District and Councilmember Donald Rocha for the 2nd Annual Cambrian Schools 5K Run on Sunday, October 15 to celebrate the community, promote wellness, and support the Cambrian School District.  The race begins at Steindorf Elementary on Ross Avenue. This event is appropriate for all members of the community ages 1 to 101, whether or not you attend or have a child in a Cambrian SD school.  Registration is now open!   Same day registration will be available at 7:00 AM the morning of the race. For questions, or to inquire about volunteering for this event, please call 408-377-2103 or visit

Applied Materials Turkey Trot

Register now for the 13th Annual Applied Materials "Silicon Valley Turkey Trot!" Join this Bay Area holiday tradition with friends and family on Thursday, November 23 in Downtown San Jose. Your registration supports five valuable local charities that focus on families in need. This run/walk features 5K and 10K distances, along with a Kids Fun Run and a festive costume contest. Sign up today at!

ExPosure Charity Fashion Show

Bullying is never okay. Show your support for the ANTI-bullying efforts of the PARTI Program at a charity fashion show on Thursday, October 19 from 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM at the Corinthian Grand Ballroom in San Jose.  The event features VIP designers, celebrity guests, performers, networking, and more. For tickets or more information, visit

Free Health Screenings

Mark your calendars for October 14 & 15 for the 2017 Open Air Health Fair.  The weekend-long event will be hosted at the Pavilion of the San Jose Flea Market in Berryessa, San Jose.  All are welcome to this celebration of Binational Health Week!  For more information, visit

  • Cardiovascular health and diabetes screenings for adults only (Gardner Family Health Network, Volunteer Nurses from Mission College)
  • Oral health screenings for children only (Children's Dental Group)
  • Vision screenings for adults and children with frames and lenses available for individuals to select, free of charge (See the Lord)
  • Flu shots for adults only (Walgreens)
  • Mammography (Alinea Medical Imaging)

Coca-Cola Scholarship Program

Each year, 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship through the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. It is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. With the 29th class in 2017, the Foundation has provided over 5,850 Coca-Cola Scholars with more than $63 million in educational support. Apply now.

First Time Homebuyer Program

In one of the toughest markets for first time homebuyers in years, local realtors are partnering with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley to provide grants that will help first time homebuyers with closing costs.  The Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, Santa Clara County Realtors Foundation, and C.A.R. Housing Affordability Fund are all working with Housing Trust Silicon Valley to make this possible.

For complete eligibility and program details, visit

Boards & Commissions Recruitment

The City of San Jose is recruiting to fill vacancies for several city boards and commissions, including a District 9 seat for the Neighborhoods Commission. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 2, 2017 by 11:59 PM. 

View Complete List of Vacancies:

Apply Online:

Download the MySanJose App

The City of San José is proud to present My San Jose, a state-of-the-art mobile tool that allows you to quickly and easily report common service requests such as potholes, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, streetlight outages, and illegal dumping. You can also report through the web portal at the app today!

Host a Neighborhood Watch Meeting

Did you know... That most residential burglaries occur during daylight hours?  How burglars can tell at a glance which homes are easy targets?  What to do if you see a suspicious person on your street? That crime rates in Neighborhood Watch communities can be greatly reduced through the simple, common sense measures you can learn by attending a Neighborhood Watch meeting?

SJPD is anxious to help residents implement Neighborhood Watch in their own neighborhoods. For more information or to set up a meeting, call 408-277-4133.

Dispose of Unused/Unwanted Medications

Do you have unused or expired medicine? Don’t rush to flush!  When unused or expired medicines are disposed of down the drain or flushed down the toilet, they flow through the sanitary system to the Wastewater Facility, which was not designed to remove all pharmaceutical compounds. Trace amounts may pass through the Wastewater Facility and be released into the San Francisco Bay. Do your part by safely disposing of your unused or expired medicines for free at a drop-off bin location.  

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 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

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

Upcoming Events
SoFA Farmer's Market

Sundays, now through December 31, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Parking lot across from California Theatre, 300 block of South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

The SoFA Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday, and features at least 16 vendors, with farm fresh certified organic produce, flowers, hummus and more.  The market also features a pop-up 1500 s.f. park with turf, games, live music, arts & crafts, and musical instruments for the kids.

Plug Into Nature with MidPen

Every month, Midpen offers a wide variety of FREE docent-led activities throughout the preserves. Click through the events below, or visit for a complete list of activities and events.

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence presents Light Up the Night

Thursday, October 5, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
San Jose Woman's Club, 75 S. 11th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence is excited to invite you to celebrate the care provided to survivors of domestic violence, and their children, for more than 46 years in Santa Clara County.  The event features wine tastings provided by Joseph George Wines, pictures at Queen Bee Photo Booth, a silent auction, and a raffle. Tickets are available for $35.

Disability Awareness Day

Thursday, October 5, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
San Jose City Hall Rotunda & Plaza, 200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Join community organizations and elected officials for a panel discussion on resources and support for the disability community. Celebrate diversity, awareness and empowerment for persons with differing abilities.  For more information, contact the Office of Councilmember Chappie Jones at 408-535-4901.

Community Meeting: Electronic Billboards

Thursday, October 5, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
San Jose City Hall Wing Room 120, 200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Thursday, October 12, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Bascom Community Center, 2nd Floor, 1000 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95113

You are invited to attend upcoming meetings to discuss proposals and to gather public comments on allowing Electronic Billboards in the City of San José. Proposed changes may include new policies and amendments to the Envision San José 2040 General Plan (General Plan) and the San José Municipal Code.  For more information, email

Day on the Bay Multicultural Festival

Sunday, October 8, 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 Recreations Department present the 8th annual Day on the Bay Multicultural Festival, featuring fun activities for all ages, including free food, pumpkins, kayak rides, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and giveaways. It also features a health resource fair that will provide a variety of health screenings free of charge to participants. For more information, visit

Pumpkins in the Park

Saturday, October 14, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Discovery Meadow, Guadalupe River Park, Woz Way & San Carlos, San Jose

Guadalupe River Park Conservancy's annual Pumpkins in the Park festival returns! Visit the pumpkin patch, listen to first-rate children's entertainers, play some carnival games, bring a costume for the costume parade, or check out the local community booths. Pumpkins in the Park offers fun for the whole family!  For more information, call 408-298-7657 or visit


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


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