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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 July Newsletter

San Jose District 9 - News Communication

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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,

The City Council does not meet over July, but when meetings resume in August some very important decisions will be awaiting us. I’d like to give you an update on one of those upcoming decisions: the modernization of the City’s business tax.

The City began exploring updating the business tax this spring. There were a number of reasons for the update.  First, the current rates charged by the City’s business tax were set in 1986, and have not been adjusted for inflation since that time.  Given the 137% increase in the consumer price index over the same period, the real value of the tax has declined substantially.

Second, under the current tax structure, companies with one or two employees bear 50% of the tax, while companies with over 500 employees bear just 8% of the tax. An update offers an opportunity to adjust the structure of the tax to reduce the share of the burden that falls on small business.

Under California law, only voters can approve changes to taxes. For that reason, the City Council directed City staff to prepare a ballot measure to update the tax that could be placed on the November ballot.  At the June 21st City Council meeting, City staff brought forward a draft ballot measure.  You can read their full report online.  The ballot measure proposed to increase tax revenue from $12.7 million per year to approximately $25.7 million per year, for the purpose of adjusting the tax for inflation since 1986.  The updated tax would also establish progressive tax brackets that decreased the proportion of the tax that would fall on small business.  Overall I think the proposed update was a very good effort to implement a reasonable increase in the tax while at the same time making the tax structure more fair.

There was just one element of the proposal that I thought could be improved: staff is proposing to significantly increase the proportion of the tax borne by residential landlords. For most businesses, the tax is calculated based on the number of employees.  For property rental businesses, however, the tax is calculated based on either the number of residential units being rented, or the square footage of commercial space being leased.  Under staff’s proposed ballot measure, the rates for residential landlords are increased by a much larger amount than the rates for other types of businesses, and as a result the proportion of the tax borne by residential landlords would increase substantially.  Currently residential landlords contribute about 7% of the total tax revenue; under the new proposal they would contribute 17%.  Employers, by contrast, contribute 83% of total revenue under the current tax, and would contribute only 69% under the revised tax.  You can find a more detailed description of these changes in a memo I issued for the June 21st City Council meeting. 

My perspective is that as we update the business tax, we should do our best to ensure that the tax is distributed equitably among different types of businesses. I’m concerned about the large jump in the tax for residential landlords, because it’s not clear to me that such a large increase is equitable.  Some have argued that we should tax residential landlords more than other kinds of business, because residential tenants cost us more money in services than employees do.  I take a slightly different view.  My opinion is that the purpose of the business tax is to ensure that all businesses help to fund the services that are needed in our community.  Even if large employers don’t profit directly from residential real estate, they benefit from the fact that there is residential property available to provide housing for their employees.  I believe we should set up the business tax to ensure that all businesses contribute to funding the services needed in our community on an equitable basis, and not attempt to shift the burden disproportionately to residential property owners.

When the City Council considered the draft proposal on June 21st, they directed City staff to do more work on whether the tax on residential landlords is set at the right level, and return to the City Council in August for a final decision.  I will be taking a close look at the additional work that staff does in August and will advocate for putting a fair, equitable tax on the ballot for voters to decide upon in November.

I’d be happy to receive any feedback you may have on this issue, or any other matter of interest. You can reach me by email at or by phone at (408) 535-4909.


News & Announcements
San Jose City Hall Closed for 4th of July

San José City Hall and other City offices will close on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. All City offices will reopen on Tuesday, July 5. The Police and Fire Departments, along with other critical City services, will remain unaffected by the closure.

Stay Safe and Enjoy the 4th of July

Celebrate the 4th safely and leave fireworks to the professionals.  All fireworks, including so-called "safe and sane" fireworks, are illegal in San Jose.  In April, the City Council approved higher fines for the sale, use, possession, or storage of fireworks.  Now, the fines for fireworks-related violations are $500 for a first violation, $700 for a second violation, and $1,000 for a third violation.  The City of San Jose will increase enforcement for illegal fireworks use over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  During this period, residents will also be able to report violations online by visiting

Local residents can still enjoy fireworks at large public displays that are permitted and run by professional pyro technicians.  Fireworks shows happening Monday, July 4, include the Rotary Fireworks Show at Discovery Meadow in Downtown San José, the July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show at Almaden Lake Park, and the San Jose Giants Independence Day Celebration at Municipal Stadium.

2016 Celebrate Cambrian Festival

The 11th Annual District 9 Celebrate Cambrian Festival is Sunday, August 28, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Camden Community Center!

Please join Councilmember Rocha and the community for a fun, family event showcasing a resource fair, live entertainment and performances, local food vendors, and a kids' fun zone.  For questions regarding sponsorship and resource booth opportunities, please email

Save the Date: Cambrian Fun Run

Save the date for the first annual Cambrian Fun Run, scheduled for Sunday, August 21, 2016!  Councilmember Don Rocha is excited to partner with the Cambrian School District to coordinate a 5K run/walk.  The run will kick-off the new school year and take place throughout the Cambrian neighborhoods.  A health and wellness resource fair will take place after the run at the new Steindorf K-8 Magnet school.  More details to come, so please save the date!

Our City Forest Fall Recruitment for AmeriCorps Service Members

Our City Forest (OCF), Silicon Valley’s environmental non-profit leader, is recruiting now for full-time AmeriCorps service members for this fall.  AmeriCorps service members can earn money for school while serving and beautifying our community.  Service members can also receive environmental service job experience, a living stipend and education award. This is an 11-month full time position and starts on September 6th. 

Apply online at Email or call the AmeriCorps Program Manager, Bryan Hammond at or 408-998-7337 x 127.

Summer Reading Challenge: June 1st - July 31st
Summer Reading Program

San José Public Library challenges everyone to spend time reading, learning, exploring, and energizing this summer. Play games, earn great prizes, explore library services, and attend one of the many events held at libraries across the city. The Summer Reading Challenge is not only fun but it's also beneficial for children.

Participate in the Summer Reading Challenge online or visit your local library. For more information, visit

National Night Out is August 2nd!

Registration is now open for this year's National Night Out at  Your neighborhood is invited to participate with many other neighborhoods across the country in celebration of National Night Out on Tuesday evening, August 2, 2016. Deadline for registration is July 21, 2016.

National Night Out is a crime and drug prevention event that is sponsored nationally by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the San Jose Police Department. National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

From 5 PM to 9 PM on August 2, 2016, residents in neighborhoods throughout San Jose and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend an evening outside with neighbors and police. Neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of events ranging from small potlucks and BBQs to large block parties. For more information, visit

PRNS Summer Registration Now Open

The City of San José Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) is committed to building healthy communities through people, parks and programs and to being a national leader in cultivating healthy communities through quality programs and dynamic public spaces.

PRNS Summer Registration is now open, and the Summer 2016 Brochure is available online. For questions or more information, please visit

Electric Vehicle Owners Can Now Get a Charging Station Permit Online

Getting a building permit for the installation of a residential electric vehicle (EV) charging station in San José is now more convenient and less costly through the city’s online permit service at

The online service offers a $40 discount on permit costs and can be accessed from any computer or mobile phone. Customers can also obtain the permit in person at the Permit Center at San José City Hall. No appointment is required.

Applications for permits for installing EV charging stations are on the rise, reflecting the increasing popularity of plug-in electric vehicles. According to the California New Car Dealers Association, more than 200,000 plug-in electric vehicles are registered in California and the Bay Area has the highest concentration of these vehicles in the state. For more information, visit

Community Service Officer Recruitment

The San Jose Police Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Community Service Officer. This program is very important in our effort to provide quality customer service to the citizens of San Jose.  Under close supervision by a sworn officer or supervisor, this position will assist the Bureau of Field Operations in non-hazardous police functions, including but not limited to, assisting at one of the information centers or community policing centers, conducting investigations and performing non-enforcement related work. 

Interested members of the community can apply online until June 17th.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Summer Camp

Go wild this summer at Happy Hollow Zoo Camp!  Spots are still available for the 2016 Summer Camp Session.  Happy Hollow Members receive a discount on camp with their membership number and coupon code SUMMER.

  • Non-Members: $255 half day/$355 full day
  • Members: $229.50 half day/$329.50 full day
  • Boxed Lunches: $40 per week (full day campers only)
  • Additional T-Shirts: $15 per shirt (one shirt is included with camp registration)

Scholarships are available for eligible families.  For more information, please call 408-794-6420 or visit

Cambrian Kiwanis Summer Movie Series: Opening Night July 15th

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, and enjoy family films after dark.  The Cambrian Kiwanis and Camden Community Center are proud to kick off the Summer Movie Series on July 15th!  Families and children can enjoy a jumpy slide, crafts, and food from the Waffle Amore food truck.

The movie schedule for the series is as follows (may be subject to change): 

  • July 15 - Kung Fu Panda 3
  • July 22 - Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip
  • July 29 - Epic
  • August 5 - The Book of Life
  • August 12 - Planes: Fire & Rescue
  • August 19 - The Peanuts Movie

The Camden Community Center is located at 3369 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124.

Summer Boards & Commissions Recruitment

The City of San Jose is continuing recruitment for several Board and Commission positions. Applications are now being accepted to fill a number of vacancies, and the deadline to apply is Thursday, July 14, 2016.

Boards and Commissions are critical to San Jose's government processes.  Their activities help shape and influence public policy, and lend a more diverse viewpoint for the City Council to consider. Learn more and apply online at

Register for San Jose Family Camp

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

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

Residents living in single-family homes can receive one free large-item pickup.  One pick-up is good for up to three large items.  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.

Apply for Working Partnerships USA Trades Orientation Program

The Trades Orientation Program (TOP) is recruiting now for its free Summer 2016 class. TOP is Silicon Valley’s premier preparation course for those interested in getting into the construction trades on the ground floor. TOP helps give a "foot in the door" to local youth, veterans, jobseekers, and anyone looking for a high-paying, hands-on career -- especially for people who may not have thought there was a place for them in the construction industry.

Sign-ups for the application process are open through Friday, June 3. 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 an "earn and learn" construction apprenticeship leading to a rewarding career are encouraged to apply.  For more information, visit

Upcoming Events
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space July Docent-Led Activities

Every month, Midpen offers a wide variety of free docent-led activities throughout the preserves:

Download a full list of outdoor summer activities.

Big Bang Concert Starring Bryan Adams

Monday, July 4, 2016, 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Center for Performing Arts Plaza, 221 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95113

KBAY and Mix 106.5 are bringing rocker Bryan Adams to San Jose’s premiere fireworks viewing party this Fourth of July.
Multi-platinum, recording artist Bryan Adams is coming to San Jose in support of his studio album ‘Get Up.'  Adams made a name for himself with hits including Cuts Like A Knife, Summer of ’69 and more.

The show will include a great view of the Rotary Fireworks, food trucks, kids' activities, pre-order BBQ, beer, wine and more. Those who don't want to wait in food truck lines can order pre-paid BBQ. Pick up your food when you arrive at your table.  Purchase tickets online.

GRPC Still Life Painting Class

Wednesday, July 20 & 27, 2016, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Visitor & Education Center, 438 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110

Inspired by Guadalupe River Park Historic Orchard, Art Specialist Heather Engle will teach participants how to paint by controlling water and pigment levels to explore variations in color and light. Other topics covered include primary colors, secondary colors, and watercolor mixing techniques.

  • Week 1: Introduction (learn the basics & how to translate a photo into your own art)
  • Week 2: Local  and in season fruit still life

Participants please bring watercolor paper, a painting surface (easel, clipboard, or sturdy piece of cardboard), water container, and masking tape. For more information, visit or call 408-298-7657.

Senior Safari Walkabout 2016

Select Thursdays 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: May 26, June 23, July 28, August 25, September 22, and October 22
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, 1300 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95112

Happy Hollow is not just a place for kids! Join the early morning Senior Safari Walkabout. Get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Seniors are invited to get a little (or a lot) of exercise, and gain unique knowledge into the wonders of the natural world in an atmosphere sure to make you feel like a kid again! Animal Meet & Greets, highlighted routes for the 10,000 Step Program, and see the Zoo wake-up. Healthy breakfasts will be available for purchase. For more information, please call (408) 794-6400 or visit 


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
Jacklyn Joanino Policy Aide
Andrea Hyde Policy Aide


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