I believe government can make our lives better when it is run right.
Priority 6: Transparent, Accountable, Inclusive, & Innovative Government
A District 6 Office that is Accessible, Communicative, Curious, & Collaborative
My Promise to District 6 on New Developments
A District 6 Office that is Accessible, Communicative, Curious, & Collaborative: I am dedicated to maintaining clear communication from the city government to our residents, workers, visitors, and businesses. With my experience in community engagement and constituent services, I’ll ensure your voices are heard and your needs met. I plan to ensure this in the following ways:
- My office will respond to all constituent inquiries within 2 business days, and residents will be able to track the progress of their inquiries.
- My staff and I will not delete emails for at least 2 years.
- I will use my city email address for all city business.
- At least one of my staff will be fluent in at least Spanish and another language like Vietnamese or Mandarin.
- My District 6 webpage will regularly include content in Vietnamese, Spanish & Mandarin.
- I will propose a pilot with Open Source San Jose a notification system for D6 residents to receive texts when City Council agenda items that interest someone start.
Internally, my office will be designed to run efficiently and effectively for both my constituents and my staff.
- I’ll focus on issues that you tell me are most important and where we can make the most difference.
- No one on my staff will make less than $70k. I believe in paying people well to incentivize hard work.
- Staff members will be assigned to be liaisons to small businesses and certain neighborhood associations as well as specific communities – including unhoused, veterans, LGBTQ, disabled, seniors, youth, & transitional-age youth.
- Monthly staff meetings to discuss new policy ideas and solutions. Staff will be encouraged to study, visit & build relationships with folks in other cities to see what we can learn from them. I will dedicate office resources / funding to their exploration of new ideas.
- Following then-Councilmember Matt Mahan’s lead, I will create working groups on issues of importance on which 5 constituents are willing to meet monthly for 6 months to brainstorm solutions.
- I will have monthly meetings in my district in which any constituent can meet with me to discuss issues.
Making Decisions: The core job of a council member is to make decisions and vote on policies. As a City Council Member, I will have a responsibility to make decisions that best represent the needs of my constituency. District 6 residents deserve to know how I will make those choices. I will:
- Try my best to do the most good for the most number of people, and be sure not to cause harm to anyone, especially those suffering the most. I will think of what will elevate human dignity.
- Consider which people need the most help, and generally side with the folks with less privilege because they may need the most support from government and political leaders.
- Weigh the unintended consequences that a decision might have on the community, especially underserved communities
- Always come into the discussion with an open mind. Trained as a facilitator, I’m comfortable listening to people of different perspectives while ensuring everyone’s humanity is recognized and respected.
- Value the voices of the community, experts, and stakeholders.
- Balance the data and research provided to me with the views of the people I serve.
- Once I make a decision, I then think about how others with whom I disagree will react and how to interact with them in a way that is respectful and seeks some level of common understanding and consensus.
My Promise to District 6 on New Developments: I promise 10 things to my constituents on every new development project in District 6 that comes across my desk:
- I will stay open-minded on every vote I take, listening to every constituent on every issue.
- I will inform my constituents about city government policies and processes so they can better engage with our government
- I will ensure an inclusive community engagement process for projects in my District and fight for the same citywide
- I will share with my constituents the knowledge I have gained from the years I have worked on development so you can be more effective advocates, even if I disagree with some or all of what you advocate for
- I will explain to you my values and why I vote a certain way
- I will stand up and speak strongly in favor of quality development, especially the housing we desperately need in this community
Developers should build in a way that does the most good for the most people. I will ask every developer proposing a project in my district these four questions:
- How many homes are you building?
- How many of them will be affordable and how affordable will they be?
- What is your community engagement process to hear community input and build community support for the project?
- What community benefits will this project provide to benefit the broader neighborhood
New Ideas: As a Council Member, I will bring new ideas to the table. As FDR said: “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” I plan to try the following new methods within District 6:
- Pursue a pilot project for participatory budgeting in District 6, enabling constituents to make funding decisions on a portion of the budget. This can eventually be rolled out to every district.
- Take at least one of your ideas that I heard while listening to countless voters during my campaign and champion it in my first two years in office.
- I will seek to change the City charter so I can start a foundation to raise funds that are dedicated to district priorities. All money I will raise in the first two years will go to this fund.
Create a citizens advisory committee of District 6 residents and businesses to advise on how District 6 discretionary funds will be deployed:
- To advise me on the money apportioned to nonprofits through SAP Center agreement deal, similar to how Otto Lee’s URGJENT grant program is run.
- I will exceed the City’s modest requirements by widely publicizing community meetings on every single development in District 6.
- I will propose a District 6 pilot of time-limited, project-specific Community Advisory Councils on individual developments to advise developers on community benefits on their projects. These Councils will have discretion over 5% of the project’s expenditures on community benefits.