We live in a special place, and San Jose deserves to be celebrated. District 6 has so many iconic, thriving places we want to maintain like Lincoln Ave, the Rose Garden, & the SAP Center on game nights. I’ll pursue ideas that build up our civic pride, create a sense of place, and draw people to them.
Vibrant Neighborhood Spaces
On the Google Project, Fastrack Construction and Demand Promises Be Kept
Building an Entertainment District around the Sharks
More “Districts” in San Jose
Silicon Valley African American Cultural Center
Revitalizing Existing Places
I plan to continue celebrating these places, as I have a record of:
- I launched the effort to bring a farmers market back to Midtown San Jose, which opened in the Rose Garden at Lincoln High School in 2018
- As a Shasta / Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association Board member, I made the motion to dedicate $400 to paint rainbow crosswalks on The Alameda.
- I initiated the successful effort to rename a street in San Jose after America’s first black president, Barack Obama Blvd.
- I shepherded the process to create and make available apparel with designs that celebrate iconic places in San Jose, including the Rose Garden, Alum Rock Park, Mt. Hamilton, & Japantown
Vibrant Neighborhood Spaces: Enlivening neighborhoods with activities for people of all ages and interests is fundamentally good for San Jose. Some of my ideas for encouraging vibrant, fun community spaces include:
- Reduced fees for buildings that activate their rooftops for services such as parks or other usable places. We should change San Jose’s ordinance code to allow or encourage rooftop gardens.
- Create incentive programs to develop more community gardens. We should dedicate Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to pay for them.
- Working with the nonprofit Village Harvest to create a city urban harvesting program
- Replicate in other D6 neighborhoods the Back Alley Block Party at Business Circle in Burbank which I worked on
- Continue the tradition of sponsoring outdoor movie nights in neighborhood parks, rooftops, and parking lots
- Design pedestrian spaces by closing targeted streets off to cars, like what is currently being done with San Pedro St
On the Google Project, Fastrack Construction and Demand Promises Be Kept: My organization Catalyze SV and I enthusiastically supported Google’s mixed-use development next to Diridon Station and pushed hard to ensure affordable housing as a major project component. Google’s community engagement efforts were excellent. Its $150 million community benefits package was pioneering and one we should encourage in future San Jose projects. Google has assured me and others the project is moving forward, but not as fast as first expected or I’d like. I anticipate it won't be fully completed for 15-20 years. As your Councilmember, I will:
- Stay in regular contact with Google, collaborating to provide my constituents and our broader community with up-to-date information on the progress of the project.
- Push Google to maintain its promises to the community.
- Urge Google to begin distributing the $150-200 million dedicated to community benefits sooner.
- Be a hands-on participant in the design of the project as it firms up to ensure it shapes iconic new places in San Jose.
- And if, for some reason, Google decides to reduce or pull out of this project, I will join with City staff and the Mayor’s Office and expend a great deal of time finding others willing to develop this prime piece of land that is worth its weight in gold to be the San Jose gem it can and should be.
Building an Entertainment District around the Sharks: Located in District 6, blocks from where I live, the San José Sharks is a beloved team, cultural benchmark, and anchor business in our community. We need to find additional ways to support the Sharks, as well as the area around it. That’s why I propose we create a “Sports Entertainment District” in this area. I propose incentives to businesses connected to this theme that relocate here. I also support efforts to reinforce the branding of this area as connected to the Sharks. I have suggested to the team’s leaders that we create branding, such as additional street signs around the Shank Tank, alluding to the Sharks. My two ideas for such a name:
- Like the cultural mecca Beale Street in Memphis, we call the area “Teal Street”, or
- Connected to the concept of an entertainment district, we call it “The Teal Light District”
More “Districts” in San Jose: I’ll propose designating multiple distinct “Districts” to make these areas more inviting for residents, visitors, and new investors. This could mean we
- Create a place to celebrate Cannery Workers of the past by renaming the area around Del Monte “The Cannery District.”
- Revisit a business improvement district on The Alameda, a model we have in other parts of San Jose. This would include implementing parking meters along The Alameda for visitors from out of San Jose. The revenue can then be dedicated to business improvements along The Alameda.
Silicon Valley African American Cultural Center: I strongly support bringing the Silicon Valley African American Cultural Center to its proposed site on The Alameda in my District. This mixed-use development will include housing, health services, and a cultural center community center focused on serving the African American community. I will work with the neighbors to ensure this project is a win-win and pursue funding opportunities to ensure it gets built.
African American homeownership has plummed in SCC from 40% to 26% in last 21 years while San Jose has lost 17% of its black population in the last 30 years. We must build this project as part of sending a stronger, more welcoming message: black folks have been a key part of our community for generations and must remain for many more.
Revitalizing Existing Places: I am currently part of leading a collection of community members and organizations alongside the Preservation Action Council of San Jose in supporting the revitalization and restoration of the Burbank Theater. For places that could use revitalizing, I’ll bring together property owners and community members to envision solutions and build support for them.
Historic Recognition: Rich, great cities recognize their history. San Jose has a long and storied history, which we must preserve and celebrate. Let’s hire a city historian to identify places worthy of plaques recognizing historic sites or events. We have several historic sites in District 6 that are beloved by constituents. We should preserve these signs by incorporating them into the designs when new buildings are being proposed at the existing site.