With some of the best weather in the US, San Jose has many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces that all residents should be able to enjoy. However, the quality of our public parks and neighborhood blocks has diminished in recent years. So I’m proposing a funding mechanism aimed at dedicating resources to 3 key city services and environmental benefits: maintaining our parks, keeping up our sidewalks, and planting more trees.
Tree Canopy: The number of trees in San Jose has dropped in recent years, meanwhile, temperatures are going up. Building on efforts by Councilmember Cohen & Foley, we need to plant more trees in San Jose. Trees make our neighborhood quality of life and the environment better. They cool our neighborhood temperatures.
- This effort would be equity-based so more new trees are planted in the districts/neighborhoods with the fewest trees currently.
- The city should outline which trees provide the best coverage/canopy & require developers to choose between the trees with the best coverage. The community can play a role.
- As outlined by the City Auditor, we need to ensure developers plant replacement trees at city-required.
- Speed up the planting of trees – in places where they are desperately needed like Cahill Park – through a specific fund for the Park. Funding mechanisms like this already exist through entities like the San Jose Parks Foundation.
Park Maintenance: Right now, only 6% of our city parks are fully maintained. My proposal will help to sustain our city parks,trails, and bike paths. My additional ideas for park improvement include:
- Every park in District 6 has a “Park Improvement Day” focused on long-term improvements with a community engagement component surveying what neighbors want from the park.
- Provide dispensers for sunscreen in city parks modeled after the wide availability of hand sanitizer during the pandemic.
- As outlined in my public safety platform, a zero-tolerance policy toward cars on trails like the Guadalupe River Trail in D6.
Open Spaces: We also need to protect our existing open spaces, including our hillsides, hinterlands, and trails. We should:
- Partner with the Open Space Authority to purchase land and put an easement on the land to reserve it for urban agriculture.
- Create a “Green Zone” of 20 feet around our creeks where only recreation and maintenance are allowed.
- Oppose development of the Coyote Valley