Issues

Housing

The housing crisis has put the future of our city – indeed our state -- in jeopardy. Statewide, California is short some 3.5 million housing units to accommodate our present population. That shortage has increased the cost of housing. San Jose can’t be a successful community if teachers, nurses, young families, and seniors can’t afford to live here. We must build more housing of all types but we also must recognize that building market-rate housing alone won’t be enough. That’s why in my on the Council, I voted to pass the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, requiring 15% of all new housing units for rent or sale in our city be priced below market-rate and to allocate 45% of our city’s investments in permanent affordable housing to be targeted towards extremely low-income residents. It’s also why I’ve pushed with my colleagues to require 25% of homes built near the future Diridon Station Area be for the Google to be priced below market. In North San Jose, 20% of new residential development must be affordable, and I intend to uphold that standard moving as we grow.

At the same time, we need to understand that San Jose is the most expensive place to construct housing in the nation – even market-rate developments get stalled because of the high costs here. We can’t control the costs of land or materials but we can look at what local government can do to reduce the burden on construction of desperately needed housing.

I believe we have to make it easier to get shovels in the ground; streamline our permitting process, reduce fees, and cut red tape so we can begin to increase out housing supply and reduce costs for everyone.

Public Safety

The number one priority of every public official is public safety. While we are a reasonably safe city relative to our size, there is no doubt that we are short police officers. This can slow police response times for non-violent crimes and add to the perception that our city is unsafe. The good news is that voters passed Measure F in 2016 and during my time on the Council we’ve seen a return to full police academies. We’ve grown our police force to over 1,100 officers and are continuing that momentum. We are even hiring officers in anticipation of current officers retiring, so we don’t reduce our police ranks when they do. This is the challenge of the moment facing our police force: trying to grow our ranks as we face waves of officers ready to retire. But I, along with my council colleagues are supporting our police force with the resources they need.

Faced with the constraints we have, our San Jose Police Department is innovating and targeting crimes that impact our residents. Home burglaries in San Jose dropped sharply in 2019. Police have also been effective in curbing street racing. We continue to work closely with community members to respond to data reported by community members.  

The Council and I have also given unwavering support to our San Jose Fire Department. We have kept Fire Fighter pay competitive and with the passage of Measure T by voters, we now have the resources to build and relocate some fire stations across the city. This will help improve response times keep residents safer in case of fire or other emergencies.  

Our district will be getting a new Fire Station 23.

Education

The important work of providing the educational foundation for our kids to be prepared to face tomorrow’s challenges belong to all of us. Ensuring a steady stream of highly qualified workforce is essential to keeping San Jose the capital of the Silicon Valley and global center of innovation. While school curriculum and teaching methods are set by school districts – school board members and district superintendents – the City Council has a vested interest in helping our students thrive.  

During my time on the City Council I’ve been proud that we’ve partnered with the East Side Union High School District to bring free Wi-Fi for students in some of our poorest neighborhoods. I also voted to secure deals with telecoms companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint to fund a Digital Inclusion Fund to help close the digital divide by connecting 50,000 low-income households to broadband and provide the training needed for them to use the internet to improve their lives.  

We’ve also worked with private partners like Alaska Airlines to expand summer learning programs for underserved families with TK-3rd grade students, to ensure that learning that happens during the school year isn’t lost over break.  

I’ve met with PTAs throughout the district and upon hearing their requests for support, I’ve granted each school in District 4 a $1,000 grant to help teachers in the classroom.

Economic Development

San Jose needs more jobs – it’s that simple. We’re the 10th largest city in America but our population shrinks during the daytime. Our residents expect top quality service, and they deserve them. But our economic base means we’re constantly stretched to provide those services. More jobs here within city boundaries will allow us to do so much more for our residents.

I’ve pushed to expand economic opportunity in San Jose. We’ve extended BART to Berryessa and have secured a plan to bring it downtown via an underground, single-bore tunnel to not disturb businesses at the street level. We’ve raised building height limits downtown to attract new business and residential development. I’m a proud supporter of the Google Village, which will be a model of thoughtful urban planning, combining good jobs, transit access and housing (including 25% affordable housing). We need to create vibrant urban spaces that still preserve what we all love about our city.

We know that employers want to locate in cities that are attractive to their workers. SO many of our residents drive for hours to get to jobs in other cities. We want those jobs to come here instead. And so we need to work with business leaders to bring the services and amenities that will attract jobs and make our city more livable for our residents.

The Bay Area is growing. We must shape that growth so that it benefits our residents by bringing their jobs closer to their homes, shortens their commutes, providing new and improved services and ensures our community benefits.

Transportation

There is a sea change happening in how we think about transportation in California. For so long, our planners focused on how we could move our cars faster; today we know we have to focus on how we can move people faster. It’s not just about roads and streets – although I’m proud to have supported Measure T, which is allowing us to make significant repairs to our local neighborhood streets for the first time since 2011. We also need to focus on how we can improve transit, shorten commute times by bringing more jobs to San Jose and making our neighborhoods safer for pedestrians and cyclists.  

We’re making real progress – repairing hundreds of miles of city streets this summer alone. And we will keep at this pace for the next eight years. I’ve worked to make a big investment in bike paths and bike and pedestrian safety through our Complete Streets program. BART has come to Berryessa and we’re working to get it downtown as well. We’re collaborating with the county to improve light rail service and speeds. And of course, when we have more good jobs in San Jose, our residents will be able to avoid traffic-jammed commutes to other cities, reducing cars on the road and carbon emissions.

Environment

Climate change is real. We are experiencing the effects of it right now. While combating climate change and keeping our planet clean must be a global effort, we in San Jose are showing local leadership and I’m very proud to be a part of that. During my time on the City Council, we’ve created San Jose Clean Energy and moved every business and resident over to 80% carbon-free energy. We adopted the San Jose Climate Smart plan to map out a plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.  

I’ve heard from residents how unhappy they are with illegal dumping, so I’ve increased Dumpster Days from a few times a year to monthly in District 4, allowing residents to get rid of unwanted junk for free so they don’t end up on our streets and public spaces.