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Candidate Questionnaire: 2018 Midterm Election

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

2018 Midterm Election Candidate Questionnaire

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group conducts candidate questionnaires before most elections. For the June 5th election ballot, our questionnaire focuses on the San Jose City Council, San Jose Mayor, and Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors elections.

The Leadership Group proactively releases candidate questionnaires to be open and transparent about the issues that are important to our member companies, their employees and the broader community – and where local candidates stand on those issues. We are proud of the questions we ask of candidates, and believe candidates should be equally proud of their responses.

This questionnaire reflects the Leadership Group’s interest on key issues facing families and employers in the region at the local and regional level. The key issues in 2018 include: Transportation, Housing and Education. The questionnaire is brief, yet covers a wide array of topics that influence where we live and work; topics such as the proposed Google development, Caltrain Electrification the Evergreen Initiative, public charter schools, et cetera.

Please see the complete candidate questionnaires below and get to know the candidates who are running to improve the region we live in.

All registered candidates for the races mentioned above were given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire.

For media inquiries, please contact Nancy Sanchez at nsanchez@svlg.org or 408-501-7879.

District 1

Charles 'Chappie' Jones
Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?

A: Housing, Public Safety, Transportation

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?

A: Housing, City Service Delivery, Public Safety

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Caltrain is currently maxed out in its capacity to transport commuters down the peninsula. It is imperative to increase capacity in order to move more commuters on a very popular system and provide a stable source of funding.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The measure will provide much needed funding for traffic relief in the South Bay. The projects that will be funded will benefit all of the cities in Santa Clara County by removing cars that are driving from housing centers to job centers.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: When the Redevelopment Agency went away, so did millions of dollars for affordable housing. Senator Beall’s bill will backfill some of those much needed funds.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: The Evergreen Initiative runs counter to San Jose’s general plan. This includes the general plan’s jobs first and high density/anti-sprawl strategies.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We are in a housing crisis. SB 828 and other recently signed housing bills are instrumental in aiding cities in overcoming local opposition to the creation of more housing.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I voted to support Mayor Liccardo’s negotiated agreement that stopped the initiative from going to the ballot.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: There is a significant amount of scholarship money that targets under-represented groups to go to 4 year colleges. Political leaders should use their influence to encourage scholarship granters to expand their criteria to include community college students.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I would support the creation of a charter school that meets an unmet need or provides an educational opportunity for students that is not available in a traditional school.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I have been a supporter of the Google project. It will be a game changer for economic growth in San Jose. Google has not required any public subsidies or incentives. I am confident that Google can address community concerns and find a fair resolution to issues that have been raised.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: There were segments of the business community who were opposed to a $15 minimum wage in San Jose by 2019. I supported increasing the minimum wage regionally throughout Santa Clara County. I was involved with making sure there was a process that involved the business community. It was an analytical process that resulted in several of the county’s cities adopting a higher minimum wage. It was also one of the least contentious processes for a major policy issue.

 

District 3

Raul Peralez
Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Housing & Homelessness, Public Transportation, Public Safety

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Housing & Homelessness, Public Transportation, Public Safety

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Caltrain is beyond capacity and it is also about time we allowed voters the choice to ensure a stable source of funding to both support and improve Caltrain service. Without a stable source, funding for Caltrain remains minimal and in jeopardy year after year.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I mentioned public transportation in my top priorities and in the top priorities for San Jose, but it is also a top issue for our region. It is imperative that we generate enough financial resources to help address all our regional transportation issues and RM3 will allow us a feasible opportunity to do just that.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I also mentioned housing as a priority for my and our City, but it is no secret that affordable housing is also a regional and statewide issue. SB3 is an excellent opportunity and even still it will only be step in the right direction. We will need continued support from both the State and the Federal Governments if we really want to address our affordable housing crisis.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I am strongly opposed to the Evergreen Initiative because aside from it being misleading it is essentially land use planning by the ballot box, undoing the role of city government and the role of our General Plan. Land use planning is the single most important role city government has and residents deserve transparent and participatory processes in deciding how to plan the growth of the City.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I am very supportive of retaining local control but when it comes to development of affordable housing, many municipalities in our region are not holding up their end of the deal.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support and have supported the concept of local hire for years. I think it is important to at least put forth “good faith” efforts to try and retain local workers. The proposed initiative would require just that, a good faith effort, and not a mandate in meeting specific requirements. Our Mayor has recently proposed a compromise to further narrow the language in the initiative and I am supportive of his compromise as well.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I am proud of the leadership our Mayor and Council have taken with San Jose Promise and I feel this is a great start. In order to create sustainable support we will need to identify or prioritize new resources and I would be very happy to support such efforts.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I have a few charter schools in my district that opened up in areas that were not recommended by our City, mostly due to their location not being suitable for a school with safe pedestrian access. This geographic factor would be the biggest influence in whether or not I would approve the location of a charter school facility.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support bringing Google to San Jose and recognize the significance of such a development. We have been preparing and planning the Diridon Station Area for decades and the Google project represents the best opportunity we have had ever since the potential baseball stadium faded away.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Last year I faced a situation were labor unions were against the approval of a high rise development in downtown. A private development was being considered under our high rise incentive program, offering millions of dollars in tax breaks. Labor unions demanded that we should require prevailing wages and a local hire requirement on the project. Although I do support that concept, I recognized that we were dealing with private development on private property and the incentive we had put in place had not made a demand for such requirements. It was not fair to impose those requirements on this project, even though I agreed in concept that they could be beneficial. I felt it was best to take up the topic of prevailing wages and local hire in a formal setting with the full council and community input. That topic had in fact already been prioritized to by the council and I encouraged the process to move along faster. This particular story was covered by the Mercury News and can be found here: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/28/why-sj-councilman-raul-peralez-told-friends-no/

 

District 5

Magdalena Carrasco

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Addressing blight, Youth programming, Public Safety

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Affordable housing, Transportation, Economic Development

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The necessity for a more robust public transportation is more evident than ever. Expanding Caltrain to accommodate a higher ridership will help alleviate the heavy traffic in all three counties specifically the 101. Getting residents to transition from their cars to public transportation is essential as more and more growth continues to occur in the Bay Area.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We need to improve our transportation infrastructure throughout the Bay Area. However, these large projects are very expensive and so it is important to support measures or initiatives that can provide necessary funding for these projects to come to fruition. All these projects listed are not just important to their respective area, but also improve the quality of public transportation as a whole in the Bay Area as well as connecting us regionally

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: This housing crisis is real and it can be felt all over the state. This is not a quick fix and will require of slew of solutions to address this issue. Elected officials of all levels need to some together and address this issue before it continues to surmount. Housing should be a basic right and people of all income levels should have opportunities to secure housing. The Veteran aspect is also a very important part as these individuals have dedicated their lives to serve our country and deserve appreciation. We need to take care of those who fought for us.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose this deceitful measure, and I have signed on to an opposing ballot measure against the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiatives.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Another piece of the puzzle to solving a huge crisis. RHNA reform is necessary to make sure that cities and counties are making serious strides to develop affordable housing. RHNA goals are put in place so that cities and counties know the amount of units they should be developing, if they are not meeting their goals, a more comprehensive plan needs to be put in place to meet these goals.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: On Tuesday April 3rd, I voted to support the negotiations which led to an agreement with the South Bay Labor Council. I applaud the mayor’s efforts to keep such critical policy issues out of the ballot box, and to keep it in the hands of Council as it should be. Although not perfect, this policy ensures livable wages, incentivizing local hire while protecting private development.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: We already have a great model in place with SJ Promise and many students are getting an opportunity to obtain an education while getting their costs covered. Another program that can help is Dual enrollment where a student can take community college courses while attending High School so they enter college with a couple years under their belt. Dual enrollment should be in place at all High School districts in San Jose so all students have this opportunity.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: There is a finite amount of district property, if a public charter school could operate at a facility outside of district properties because that would mean that students would have an opportunity to attend a quality educational institution.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: This council is a high supporter of good quality jobs and making sure our residents live, work and play in house rather than venturing out and becoming a bedroom community. Google offers the opportunity to employ our residents as well as house them, and to be real partners in a city that is rapidly growing and creating opportunities for our next generations.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: The Apartment Rent Ordinance was and continues to be a challenging issue. I made sure to meet with stakeholders on all sides of the issue, at the end of the day I voted based on the needs of families who were struggling to keep a roof over their children’s heads in the most expensive real estate market in the country. My supporters have been the realtors and the California Apartment Association who were not pleased with my decision, I stand by my decision to protect a basic human right.

 

District 7

Thomas Duong

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: 1. Public Safety – we need more SJPD staffing and better communication with the Southern Division Capta7 historically has been burdened with crime and we need the community to feel the police are trustin. Dworthy and responsive
2. Homelessness – D7 is a possible host to the tiny-homes proposal and, like many other parts of San Jose, has an increasing population of homeless individuals. While this is a city-wide concern, I will work hard to ensure our district has opportunities for the homeless to rehabilitate and find housing. D7 residents are concerned about the homeless but we must be compassionate in our approach – not just pushing them around.
3. Economic Revitalization – especially along Monterrey Corridor, we need to make sure there are hospitable conditions to bring more local jobs to the district.

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A:  1. Affordable Housing – we need to build more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for the vulnerable. I want to reduce barriers to addressing our housing production shortage and advocate for more affordable housing and smart-growth projects.
2. On a city-wide level, we need to continue to ensure our residents are safe. Crime cannot be allowed to go unabated and our immigrant community should not live in fear of deportation. There needs to be a stronger bond of trust with law enforcement and the community, and I intend to be a bridge to bring more trust to both parties.
3. Homelessness – We must take advantage of Measure A and SB 35 to build housing faster and utilize more transitional support agencies like Home Streets Team. I disagree with those who see homeless people as a nuisance. We must be compassionate and do our best to make sure people everyone has a roof over their head.

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Yes, I believe a modest sales-tax across the three counties to support the operation of Caltrain is a good solution. With the commuting work culture of the Bay Area, we must ensure there are viable alternatives to cars. Traveling by car, especially with only one driver, contributes to our worsening traffic, pollution, and social problems. I am committed to fighting for alternatives to travel that can be more sustainable – economically, environmentally, and socially. No one wants to be stuck in traffic for an hour to get home from work. It’s unhealthy for our planet and society. This is why I think Caltrain is one common sense transit alternative we must support.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I am all for alternatives to single-commuter cars for transit. We need to find ways to ease the traffic congestion on our freeways and this is should be a priority for our city. I will support RM3 for much needed infrastructure expansion and modernization. With the Bay Area’s commuter culture, it’s important for more BART and Caltrain service. Additionally having more Light Rail connectivity in San Jose is greater alternative for residents in my city.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Affordable housing projects, which are less lucrative to developers, are in need of funds. I am happy to have seen my personal State Senator take the lead on passing SB 3. We need more money to house those who are particularly disadvantaged by skyrocketing costs of living. The money will go a long way to prevent any more people from going homeless or falling into further poverty.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose Measure B, the Evergreen Seniors Home Initiative. While there is a definite problem in housing supply I strongly do not believe in exacerbating our environmental, traffic, and social problems with more urban sprawl. We should be developing and building for the future – not continuing problems of urban design that have led to the issues we see today.
I am also opposed to how this specific developer tried to bypass the city’s general plan to avoid environmental studies and work with the city government to develop.This is not a precedent that I would like for other future developments in our city.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I have been a big supporter of Senator Wiener’s pushes to address the lack of RHNA execution. I was supportive of SB 35 from 2017 and will continue to support thoughtful streamlining approaches like SB 828. We need regions to fulfill their housing obligations and SB828 will help us meet those.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I believe all San Jose workers deserve to be able to make a living off of their full-time jobs. However, with the skyrocketing costs of living there is also the rising cost of construction. These increases would be undue obstacles in supplying much needed affordable housing to the wider population of San Jose. While I’m all for construction workers being able to live in San Jose, I think the housing crisis that affects almost all working families needs to be addressed first. We have unprecedented need for housing that must be met. I believe “local hire” conditions can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis in San Jose to ensure the best outcomes for all parties. Local Hire also does not address the lack of skilled trade workers that are required on many construction projects.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I believe education is a key to success in the modern workplace. I will be committed to alleviating access costs for students through initiatives like San Jose Promise or CC2C, but I will also be a strong advocate for higher-education funding and ensuring there are strong pipelines between the high school system, the CC’s, and the 4-year institutions. Most of all, I will be a strong champion for the students in San Jose who should not have access costs or housing/food insecurity bring down their academic ambitions.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: No

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I grew up in San Jose’s public schools. I attended Los Arboles , Sylvandale, and Andrew Hill. These schools have not always been known to be the best, but they educated every child in their service area. Public schools are still centers of our community and are equitable sources of lifelong learning. Charter schools not only detract from public school attendance, but can vary widely in outcomes. For a time, I consider enrolling my daughter in a charter but after vetting it I knew it was not the right choice for our family. Charters can be new and alluring, but I do not support the expansion of charter schools. The factors that would influence my decision are the charter school’s impact on public school enrollment, the geographic placement of the charter in the district, and if the needs of the community are being met by the expansion.

Google Development
Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I believe the Google development is one of the best things to happen for San Jose and for our city’s development as a metropolitan city. I like the fact that Google and the city are working hand in hand to make this a transit oriented development. It is vital that the Google project is supported by the Diridon station expansion and it could bring much needed revenue to our city. Since the general plan is driven by the jobs to housing ratio, having Google bring in 20,000 new jobs to downtown San Jose will help to boost our plan to build more housing. We will now have solid numbers and revenue to help support the additional city services required when developing new homes. The Google development, along with the Diridon Station expansion, will help to transform downtown San Jose into a “big city” downtown. I envision a downtown with multiple restaurant and entertainment venues, housing built near transportation hubs, and the urban village living that we have so long desired for our city. It is very exciting to know that this is something that I will get to see in my lifetime.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: My campaign manager and I have very different ideological views. Throughout my military service, I thought I was a conservative because everyone I was around was like that. Coming into civilian life, I found myself to be a Democrat with progressive values. My campaign manager, a millennial who is much more progressive than I am, at many times advises me to take a more liberal position. For instance, he is supportive of expanded rent control and I am not. We are both renters, but I take the time to understand our different views and why. Since we are closely working on this campaign, I take his views – as any supporter – very seriously. He’s challenged my beliefs more than once, but I think I take a greater appreciation of the issue by examining all sides of it. I always treat differing views with respect, use it to inform my own view, and try to reconcile the viewpoints.

Maya Esparza
Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Homelessness, Housing, Ensuring youth have the opportunity to succeed

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Housing, Homelessness, Public Safety

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Our region needs bold and lasting solutions to solve the transportation and housing crisis. Expanding Caltrain’s service capacity is essential for workers in the South Bay and San Jose. This sales tax will enable Caltrain to invest in capital improvements and reduce its dependency on the fare-box. Bay Area citizens have demonstrated a commitment to public transit and sustainability by choosing Caltrain to commute to work. It’s time we recommit to public transit up and down the peninsula by creating a permanent revenue source for Caltrain.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support Regional Measure 3 because the Bay Area needs to get serious about funding large-scale public transit projects. RM3 will connect the South Bay with the East Bay via BART Phase II, and the East-Ridge light rail connection will benefit many constituents in District 7. Combined with the taxpayer oversight protections, I believe that RM3 is a good plan for the Bay Area. Drivers’ investment in public transportation infrastructure today will pay off for decades to come, and ensure that the Bay Area continues to lead the nation as an economic powerhouse.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: No one can deny that California is in the midst of the worst housing crisis our state has ever experienced. Life-long residents, born and raised in San Jose, are leaving their homes to move to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Colorado because they cannot afford to live in the Bay Area. And this housing crisis is hitting blue-collar workers the hardest. These hard working folks cannot provide for their families when 60, 70, or even 80 percent of their income is spent on rent. I wholeheartedly support the statewide Housing Bond because we desperately need affordable housing in order to ensure that the California Dream is accessible to all our families.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose the Evergreen Initiative because the measure is a misleading attempt to take advantage of the housing crisis in our community. It would bypass CEQA and traffic requirements and in general, I oppose development by ballot box when we have clear processes in place for housing development.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Regional problems require regional solutions. Mounting pressure from Sacramento has encouraged a great deal of interest and oversight in helping to address California’s housing crisis.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support the new compromise Local Hire initiative because I believe in the ability for local workers to earn enough to live in the Bay Area. However, for many of our construction trades, “local” often means Northern California since their unions are organized differently, and our competition for jobs often comes from workers from Texas and other states. The reality is that many working families are already community from the Central Valley and others areas to make ends meet. We should support them.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I believe that our most effective way to achieve greater access and affordability in our regional community college system is to work with the council and mayor to prioritize ongoing funding for the San Jose Promise initiative to ensure that the initial one-time money allocated for this project remains a priority for the City.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: During my time as a Franklin-McKinley School District Board member, I supported a local charter building their own facility within our school district boundaries.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I think this project could be a great opportunity to build more transit-oriented housing and keep jobs in San Jose. There should be some community amenities and community partnerships with local students, and I look forward to working together.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I supported an ACE Charter school coming into the Franklin-McKinley School District– it was one of my first votes on the Board and I spent months before I was sworn in visiting ACE, talking to local community members, teachers and the school district. The fact is that ACE focuses all of its work on the most struggling students to show them that college is possible, and they sought out our most struggling middle schoolers for the charter. It was the best decision for our kids, and I handled it by being transparent, accessible, open-minded and staying focused on the needs of the community.

Jonathan Fleming

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: 1. Solving homelessness the right way
2. Improving Public Safety
3. Government accountability and cost efficiency

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: 1. Solving homelessness the right way
2. Improving Public Safety
3. Government accountability and cost efficiency

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Our residents and businesses are already faced with ever increasing tax and fees. I oppose another tax on our residents many who are barely making ends meet. I recognize that we need an improved capacity and more cost-efficient public transportation system because sitting on the 101/280/880/85/87 parking lots negatively impacts families, communities and businesses. This complex problem needs creative solutions, let’s look at our state surpluses and reallocate funding to improve Silicon Valley for our residents and businesses.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose RM3 because I believe that Santa Clara County voters should not be voting on fee increases that affect bridges that we do not use 98% of the time.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose another bond like SB3. I disagree with the way our state is “helping” the homeless situation because its methodology does not work and is creating an entitlement class. Rather than a hand up and becoming contributing members of society, our lawmakers are giving our homeless residents a hand out and enabling the homeless lifestyle. Instead, I support San José Mayor Liccardo’s initiative to reallocate $1 Billion from the $6.1 Billion CA surplus to help the homeless.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose Measure B. It changes the City Municipal code which will be further exploited by similar future projects. The entire CIty Council opposes this measure. Political groups who normally are on different sides of political issues also oppose this measure.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: We are in a housing crisis and we solve it by building more housing. I agree that jobs rich cities need to do their fair share and fulfill their housing obligations. However, I oppose SB 828 because this takes power away from locally elected officials and transfers power to non-elected boards. Should SB 828 pass, I will work with its passage because as an elected official, I know that the the community has decided this is the solution to this problem.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose “Local Hire” ballots because they encourage non-competition which adversely impacts job growth and housing development by making everything more expensive. As an elected Councilmember on April 3, 2018, I would have voted against the strong-armed labor “compromise” that increased the cost of government and placed more obstacles in front of businesses and developers from hiring within our City. This short-sighted view also fails to recognize that many former San Jose residents had to move away from San Jose in order to provide for their families and so they commute many miles to provide for the families they had to relocate to lower-housing costs areas, i.e., Central Valley. Many of these residents were born here and went to school in San Jose and now they cannot work in San Jose which seems a bit unfair.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I believe the problem that we have in our community college system is that students are graduating with degrees in fields that are are not marketable in Silicon Valley along with incurring a very heavy college loan debt. After graduation, they become managers of fast food restaurants instead a more appropriate career at a Silicon Valley tech giant like Google or Cisco. Government leaders and other candidates easy solution is to increase taxes on local businesses. I don’t think this is a viable option. Instead, community colleges need to emphasize the importance of STEM skills and degrees to the community, both students and parents, giving our local tech firms the market-ready employees they need, allowing students to pay off their college loans, purchase a home, raise a family and live the American Dream.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A:Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: Charter schools are public schools coming into existence because the present public schools were not fulfilling their mandate. Thus their existence gave parents choices. Education is very important and I don’t believe that one size fits all when it comes to a child’s education. I believe that the best decision maker for a child’s education is their parents and I support our parents’ ability to choose when it comes to their child’s education. Charter schools increase competition and competence, improving the overall quality of our schools Citywide for all our students.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Mayor Liccardo has shown great leadership in bringing Google to San José which will bring 20,000 jobs to our downtown over a ten year period. Currently, 160,000 San José residents painfully commute to jobs in neighboring cities, spend their money near their employers, and costing our City roughly $200,000,000.00 in lost City revenues, not to mention spending valuable hours each day stuck in traffic away from their families. We need to close the 0.8 jobs-to-housing ratio to increase consumer spending in our City, help the environment by commuting less and reduce their carbon footprint, and restore essential services for our homes. San José’s Google project will help us attain these goals and will attract other companies to come to San José and create even more jobs and generate hundreds of millions in City revenue through personal and business expenditures.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: My personal philosophy is to be as knowledgeable about everyone’s positions as possible. My positions on issues as well as positions that are contrary to those I hold. If there’s a position contrary to one I currently hold, I research that position as much as possible, because with every nugget of information, comes expansion of one’s ideas and positions. I have been successful at just about everything I have done because I listen, research, learn, and evaluate. I am not the know-it-all candidate, but I am blessed by being a people person which opens up opportunities to engage in discussions with others. I also like to experience issues first hand to gain a full appreciation of their complexity and scope. An example is my work on homelessness in the Neighborhoods Commission where I disagreed with Staff’s positions on how they were “helping” the homeless situation. I listened and worked with our City and county staff, participated in workgroups with the Winter Faith Collaborative, went into the creeks myself to see the situation, went on ride alongs with SJPD, researched studies and reports, spoke with top Ph.D.’s on the subject, engaged homeless persons in numerous discussions, and led discussions with our residents and businesses to get a grasp of the situation. We developed a workable and cost effective solution that fell within my safety parameters for the homeless population and our surrounding residential, school, and business partners while meeting the goals of the City. Unfortunately, the Housing Department did not execute the Emergency Bridge Housing (EBH) program as agreed. They increased costs and the scope of each EBH Community which failed our City and our residents, especially our homeless Community.

Tam Nguyen

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Homelessness Abatement, CLean-Up, Housing

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Housing, Public Transit, Improved services

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Good public transit system is needed now and good foundation for future growth

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Same as above: I strongly believe in good public transit system as key infrastructure for urban planning

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Housing shortage is a crisis. We must face it NOW. This is good start

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Misleading; Overburdening CEQA; Traffic jam; Sidesteps city government

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Same as #6: Need solution NOW

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Undue burden on development; not realistic

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: Public – Private partnership

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: Need a balanced decision as case by case

Google Development – Did not answer

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Rent Control in D7: I actively engage them in dialogue and listen to their points. Then I made a tough choice of being fair and reasonable to both sides.

 

District 9

Pam Foley

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Housing, Traffic/ transportation/ infrastructure, Public safety / pedestrian safety

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Housing, Traffic/ transportation/ infrastructure, Public safety

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I would support putting this on the ballot as I believe that the voters should have a right to vote on any additional taxes.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: With our strong economy and low unemployment, traffic problems continue to increase. A solution is to create more efficient and effective mass transits. The above projects are a step in the right direction of moving our workforce and helping them to get out of their cars.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We are in desperate need of affordable and workforce housing. We are losing teachers, bus drivers, school secretaries because they can no longer afford to live here. We need to build more housing and this fund is a beginning.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: This is a bad initiative. The public should not be asked to vote on development projects. It is the job of city council to review land use proposals and accept the amendment to the general plan or deny it. While I understand the frustration of the developer, should this initiative pass this opens the door for other frustrated developers to seek similar approval from the general public. This would great chaos in land use and development as the public could approve a proposal that “looks good,” but disregards the zoning regulations, traffic and environmental impact.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: At this point I am neutral on SB 828 as I am not familiar with all of the details of SB 828, but the current system of the RHNA is not working. Cities must be accountable for building the number of housing units required in their jurisdiction.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose a “local hire” initiative, although many of the details stated above have recently negotiated and adopted by city council on public projects.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: San Jose Unified was involved in the launch of San Jose Promise and continues to support it. I participated in these discussions. San Jose Promise was established with a public-private funding model. Working with corporations, foundations, philanthropists and the Federal Government for funding will allow this program to expand.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: No

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: This question appears to be for candidates running for school board and not those running for city council, which is the office I am seeking. Although City council does not have jurisdiction over charter schools, when a charter school meets the facilities requirement under Prop 39 I have approved renting space to them. For example, when Downtown College Prep was in need of facilities, we exchanged real estate that we owned for the “Southern Lumber” property on Monterey Rd and Alma. This became the current site of Downtown College Prep. DCP constructed the building and now rents the land from us. This is an example of a successful partnership. Where a school district does not have adequate facilities, I do not know the obligation of the district to provide them. While I have been a board member, SJUSD has always had space available.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I highly support the Google project. San Jose needs more jobs and this location is perfect due to its proximity to transit.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: As a school board member, I was asked to support a parcel tax. I have been supported by the Realtors for years, and am a past president of their organization. They are typically opposed to parcel taxes. I supported this parcel tax because it was badly needed to help stop losing teachers, bus drivers, etc to neighboring school districts and outside private organizations that can afford to pay more. Although the realtors did not like my decision to place this on the ballot, I argued that it was the right thing to do, that the parcel tax was limited in scope and number of years and that senior citizens were exempt. While it will not eliminate the pay differential in other districts, it will be help to all who receive the additional funds.

Shay Franco-Clausen

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Public Safety, Affordable Housing, Open Space

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Public Safety, Cambrian Plaza Development, Vibrant Open spaces

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I would support this but I also want to make sure that any funds that have been allocated for transportation are properly managed in order for me to support a measure to go onto the ballot. Our community is already struggling to survive in this current housing crisis and so any tax push should be evaluated through the lens of our tax payers. I absolutely support accessible transportation efforts but believe in stronger accountability for any funds collected from our community.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I think that San Jose has been behind the ball on creating infrastructure early. This project would help alleviate the stress on our roads but will also help towards our goal of becoming a green city. I think that the expansion of these light rails and BART will help many of our constituents to have options on transportation. A big part of bill that I support is the taxpayer oversight and would encourage that we have insightful individuals that ll these positions.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The housing crisis here is San Jose especially will tax a lot of funds to x and will need multiple areas to draw funds for the construction and the maintenance of these new housing structures. We need to house the over seven thousand homeless folk in our city.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Sprawling the City of San José is not the answer. The Evergreen project was not created with the thought of the current needs of San José and does not protect some of the very important spaces of the city. I would not support this project and have had a history of standing against it. As someone who stands up to protect Coyote Valley, allowing this project to build into Northern Coyote Valley would be a gateway to future industrial or housing development and I will not approve and would stand against it.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I think the some of the bill has good intentions but it’s confusing and I don’t have enough information.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: In order to keep the Local workforce here in Silicon Valley, these are the families that build our communities. We need to stimulate our local economy, I believe providing our community to work and spend local is a great idea.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I believe the best way to absorb costs that local students face would be to create a City Fund. I would push small scholarship programs from our businesses to put into this fund. I also think that out of state students should have to pay into a city fund that could help with this expense.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: No

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I believe that Public Education is struggling and needs support, alternatives are not creating education equity, but division. We should not privatize education, but create better options by investing and helping current infrastructure to expand and meet our youth where they are.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I would support, but not without Google coming and creating what San José needs, not the other way. We have a great opportunity to generate revenue, but not at the cost of our community’s quality of life. Working with SAAG and including the voices of the community, creates a partnership that was not done in cities in which Google has been before. My day begins and ends with Google, but having them in my backyard, I want to see them interweave with our needs of workforce development, all local build, green sustainable rooftops, affordable housing that income levels reflect salary demographics, have all San Jose Googlers use public transportation, Google pay fees for impact and more. Would love to expand!

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I am very flexible, not to many disagreements, more about collaborations of ideas for the best solution is how I handle opposition!

Kalen Gallagher

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Solving the plague of property crime affecting our district, Connecting our homeless neighbors with the services they need, Development of neighborhood associations

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Housing infrastructure, Transportation infrastructure, Education

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A:Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Caltrain’s success is crucial to the future of the valley.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: RM3 is a good first step towards aggressively building more public transportation infrastructure to serve San Jose and the wider Bay Area.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Our state and localities have failed to build adequate housing infrastructure to match needs. This housing bond will provide some much needed support.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Developing and zoning via the ballot is a dangerous idea. Flipping industrial land to solely residential land hurts San Jose’s ability to deliver services to its residents.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Any cover the state can provide that incentivizes localities to build a reasonable amount of housing is a good thing. We need to tackle this issue regionally and ensure all localities are doing their fair share.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Going straight to the ballot eliminates the ability for compromise. You’ve name some positives as well as some real dangers in this question. The city needs to find a way to help people across income levels live in our community, while avoiding the dangers of balkanizing our economy, which will end up hurting the people it’s meant to protect.

CC2C
The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: San Jose does not do nearly enough in the education space, from early-childhood education to institutions of higher learning. As a council member, I will do all I can to change that. When we look at higher education and community colleges, as stated in the question, there are many people who have an interest in ensuring that we are connecting talent with industry in a more effective way. The city can play an important role in connecting and coordinating these efforts at scale to help bridge the large barriers, including cost.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: Chartered public schools are a healthy part of the overall public education options in California and can help to end the injustice of educational inequity that has plagued neighborhoods for generations. For example: KIPP Heartwood Academy (chartered by Alum Rock) is one of the top middle schools in the nation and can help leaders in traditional public schools align resources differently to work for their student populations. They also are far more supportive of teachers than most traditional districts, from higher pay to more freedom and professional supports. Our public school students, regardless of their school’s authorizer, should have access to the land and facilities to build their futures.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Google’s desire to bring high-paying jobs to San Jose has the potential to be a great win for our city, if it’s done correctly. More jobs in Downtown San Jose means less commute times for our residents currently going up to the Peninsula every day, the potential of more innovative startups housed in San Jose instead of the areas north of us, and more money for the city coffers so we can deliver top-notch services to our current residents. The city government needs to make sure San Jose is aggressively investing in the public transportation, traffic, and housing infrastructure that will be needed to make sure things go smoothly, instead of laying 100% of the burden at Google’s feet.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: There have been a few times that taking the right vote for kids as a School Board Member has meant going against the position of someone who supported my campaign. Examples include: updating graduation requirements to ensure all our graduates are college-eligible, investing in doubling the amount of our students taking Advanced Placement classes, choosing to put the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program at our highest needs school instead of the school in our richest neighborhood, paying to triple the amount of counselors at each of our sites, and much more. Each time we’ve made big moves for kids, there are those who would have preferred the money to be spent elsewhere – often on salaries. When there’s disagreement, I believe it’s always important to have in-person discussions and truly understand the other person is coming from. Above all else it’s important to protect the relationship, because while you may not agree one this item, you may be strong allies on the next one.

Scott Nelson

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Public Safety, Resources for Youth / Education, Infrastructure / Traffic / Environment

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Public Safety, Homelessness / Houselessness, Infrastructure / Traffic / Environment

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Yes

Q: Why or why not?
A: I believe San Jose should be setting the standard in all areas. We have the best and brightest minds attracted to our area, and we should be pursuing a transportation system that reflects our cutting edge abilities. Traffic congestion is a great problem, and of great concern to residents in San Jose and up the Peninsula. Our Public Transportation System is currently not adequate. The proposed bill authorizing the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, to levy a tax pursuant to the Transactions and Use Tax Law at a rate not to exceed 0.125%, with net revenues from the tax to be used by the board for operating and capital purposes of the Caltrain rail service, should be a consideration presented to the voters. While I firmly believe we should consider other sources for funding infrastructure as well, the voters should be allowed to have a say. Taxation is not the only source of funding infrastructure.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Improvement of our Public Transportation System is necessary for many reasons. A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) cost-benefit analysis, this measure is very favorable to Santa Clara County. As presented, RM 3 provides for consideration to carpools and commuters, and is language I also greatly support.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: When Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters and Service Workers can’t afford to live in the communities they serve, we must take action and address the problem. We owe those who serve our Country the opportunity to return to live in the home town he or she grew up in. The state’s rising housing costs have especially affected not only lower-income but middle-income residents. We cannot lose those who have roots and commitments to communities due to being unable to afford to live near family. We cannot lose our best Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other Service Workers due to the inability to afford homes in the communities they serve.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: The language of this initiative clearly indicates that the title is misleading. The proponents have presented well-crafted, misleading language. Only a small percentage of the project will benefit the Senior Community, allowing for the Developers and promoters of this project to enjoy incredible profits, on the shoulders of San Jose Citizens. The required zoning variances and change in the San Jose General Plan will also weaken the City to future abuse of misleading profiteers, disguising themselves altruistic providers.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is how California determines how much housing each local community. The current methodology does not appear to accurately reflect population growth and how much housing will be needed, with a non-standardized allocation process, with potential for disregard of actual data. This leaves potential for giving some communities advantages when assigning state housing goals; there remains potential for wealthier and more politically connected areas are able to pressure for lower housing allocations, while lower-income areas receive higher housing allocations. This pushes a disproportionate amount of development into lower-income communities. The language of SB 828 appears to create a clearer, more data-driven, and more equitable process for how the state and regional bodies assign RHNA numbers to local communities. By requiring a more data-focused, objective process, it would create an equitable process for jurisdictions to use addressing their RHNA allocations.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The question as it is presented is conflating a general “Local Hire” initiative for all Development projects, with feedback specifically related to Home Builders. I support the Labor Force; from Teachers, to Police Officers, Nurses, Firefighters, Public Workers, and ALL forms of Labor, including the Trades. I believe in the “Local Hire” initiative, as supported by the AFL – CIO South Bay Council. It is imperative that the any economic incentives the City offers to developers maintains strict standards that will promote quality local jobs that pay family sustaining wages and health care benefits. Contrary to the claim of feedback from 8 “pro-union” home builders, the AFL-CIO South Bay Council insists that had there been proper outreach on the High Rise Policy, they would have recommended a “Local Hire” policy that includes, but is not limited to, the following for any substantial non-residential development or any residential development larger than four units where the City has granted a subsidy of any kind, such as a fee waiver or discount, or any discretionary land use change.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I am a firm believer that Education is the cornerstone of making necessary changes to address our current challenges. This is across the board, and I am not limiting this to the traditional forms of education. I also believe that the 14th Amendment provides for a free and adequate Education, and that our current High School Education is not “adequate”. We needs to address all of the needs of our community, not just the commonly encouraged STEM. We need to consider forms of Education found throughout Europe, where Students have access to the Trades, Culinary, Q: Mechanics, Farming, etc. Filling these needs, providing for Students the Education beyond what we now offer, beyond the level we currently consider “adequate”, will ultimately result in a more prosperous community overall. Social mobility is directly related to Education. Working with employers, through “Internship” type programs is one approach. We need to invest in our community up front, to relieve higher costs that result from neglect, and failing to provide access to social mobility.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: No

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I support the National Education Association’s position on Charter Schools

Google Development – Did not answer

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: This is the first time I have presented myself as a candidate for Public Office. As such, I have never experienced the situation presented above. I will address this hypothetically, as a Public Servant; as a Member of the San Jose City Council, District 9, I will be answering to my constituents, not ANY “major supporter”. I serve the best interests of my District, listening and studying the needs of the PEOPLE I serve, not one group or entity. I am very transparent, and painfully honest. I believe I have been given 2 ears, and one mouth, providing the emphasis on listening. Any “major supporter” will know, that while they support me, they are supporting what I stand for, which means that there is a strong likelihood that we will not agree on EVERY issue, and that their specific interests may not coincide with that which is best for the people of my district. All of my supporters will know who I am, what I stand for, and that I am in the position to serve ALL of the people, not just those who can provide fiscal backing. I am a firm believer in honesty and integrity.

Rosie Zepeda

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Public Safety, Homelessness, Cambrian Park Plaza Development

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Public Safety, Homelessness, Affordable Housing

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: All research shows that commuters in the Bay Area would want nothing more than to spend less time stuck in traffic and more time with their families or doing things they love. We desperately need more investment in mass transit and the passing of SB 797 would increase capacity and bring some relief to our massive traffic issues.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Passing this regional measure will address adding capacity at the regional level. We cannot drive our way out of our regional traffic issues, so funding mass transit is the answer. What I like the most about this measure is that low income commuters will benefit the most through Clipper card upgrades.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The biggest threat to our thriving economy is not resolving our statewide homeless and housing crisis. California currently accounts for 21% of the nation’s homeless population. It has had the highest rate of unsheltered people at 64% and the largest number of unaccompanied homeless children or youth at 28% the national average. Furthermore, California has the highest number of Veterans experiencing homelessness, which is 24% of the national homeless Veteran population.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: If approved, this measure sets a dangerous precedent for the entire Bay Area, because it replaces community-driven planning and environmental safeguards. It will also bring more traffic congestion, increase air pollution, and impact critical wildlife habitat. This measure and its authors are trying to rewrite local rules to facilitate sprawl development across the city.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: While California faces a housing shortage and housing crisis, I will always sway towards local and community control. To begin, this is a badly written bill, attempting to resolve a very complex issue, by taking power away from local government.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Contributing to our massive traffic congestion is the fact that working families cannot afford to live in San Jose. We have to do a better job of allocating housing for working families. However, I believe we will not see this initiative on the ballot this year, because Labor and the City will arrive at an agreement. It is always better to work collectively and arrive at a middle ground.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: As a former educator and current instructor to community and University students, this is very near and dear to my heart. When students have to choose between food and paying rent, we are endangering our future workforce. It currently takes 6 years for a community college student to complete a 2 year AA Degree. Most of this is due to the on/off again of students having to step away from their studies in order to financially support themselves and their families. The few, who finally transfer to a 4-year university and graduate, they find it hard to break into the innovation economy, because they are now discriminated against for “taking too long” to finish their studies. Tech companies need to be part of the solution by employing more of these students, who are just as tech savvy and even more resourceful than those they hire from Ivy League and private universities.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: No

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: As a former public school teacher and based on all the current research on charter schools, we are doing a disservice to our public school system and our students by approving charter schools in our communities. Charter schools pull much needed public money away from our local school districts in a claim they offer students a better education. The living research on their failure to increase student achievement is in the cities of Detroit and Chicago. Furthermore, charter schools resort to higher usage of technology to instruct students, which research shows is harmful to the development brain of students.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I do not believe Google is going to bring 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose. Bringing jobs to me means, that our own local community college/university students and young workforce would be employed by Google. This will not be the case as evidenced by the lack of local hire statistics by Google in the last 10 years. I believe Google will cause the biggest displacement of working and minority families in San Jose. If we take the displacement that Facebook has caused in its surrounding areas to working and minority families, the same is to follow in San Jose with Google. I have worked for the last 11 years to increase the number of local women and minorities in tech and the numbers have not moved much. I welcome Google, but only if it is really going to hire our local talent for permanent and white collar positions. Furthermore, I am very concerned with the lack of transparency for this project and the fact that, we the public, have little access to the discussions or negotiations taking place behind closed doors. I understand the disproportionate ratio of jobs to housing in San Jose, but I would like to see in writing that Google will be hiring locally and not the same of bringing people from outside our State or country, adding to the housing/transportation crisis, forcing working families out of San Jose.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I am a critical thinker and a problem solver. The way I arrive at a decision is by facts, doing my own research, and analyzing the non-partisan research of others. I believe we need more of this in local politics and not the same divisiveness that tribal politics creates. I am believe in common sense policy for the City of San Jose. When I exited my interview with the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, many of their Board Members stood up to shake my hand. Even though I did not receive their collective endorsement, they respected the position I took on common sense policy for rent control. I had presented the facts and the research and not my emotion on the issue. I stated clearly that we need two types of policy for rent control: one for mom and pops landlords, another one for property management companies. Common sense policy requires being level headed and thinking long term in the interest of the residents of San Jose, in the interest of generational legacy, instead of reactionary, self serving political interest. I am a common resident and want to represent that true voice.

 

Mayor

Sam Liccardo

Priorities
Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Building Affordable Housing and Reducing Homelessness, Improving Public Safety, (Tie) Transit and Transportation infrastructure and (Tie) Expanding economic opportunity and equity

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide/countywide
A: Building Affordable Housing and Reducing Homelessness, Improving Public Safety, (Tie) Transit and Transportation infrastructure and (Tie) Expanding economic opportunity and equity

Traffic Relief & Transportation Options

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Yes

Q: Why or Why not?
A: We critically need to expand capacity of CalTrain to alleviate traffic on 101 and 280, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and further improve the system’s fiscal self-sufficiency. The project will also induce more transit-oriented, “smart growth” development that will expand housing and job opportunities for thousands.

Regional Traffic Relief – RM3

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the June 5, 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include:

$500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.
$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.
$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension
$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station.
$130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock
$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station.

RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Yes

Q: Why or why not?
A: As a Metropolitan Transportation Commission board member, I strongly supported this effort to build critical transit infrastructure, including a BART project that I’ve worked to build for 18 years. When BART begins serving Downtown San Jose and the Airport (at the nearby Santa Clara Station), it is conservatively projected to transport 100,000 commuters daily. Projected cuts in FTA allocation formulas will require additional local dollars to fill the gap, and this $375 million will prove critical, along with the replacement of worn BART train sets.
The $100 million for Diridon Station will enable us to get started on what will become the Grand Central Station of the West coast, with the combination of BART, electrified CalTrain, ACE, Light Rail, Amtrak/Capital Corridor, High Speed Rail , private shuttles, and bus rapid transit all providing service in what will become the busiest multimodal station west of the Mississippi. That station will help alleviate traffic, transform Downtown, boost the City’s economic vitality, and enable us to retrofit a city built for automobiles into a city built for people.
Finally, the $130 million commitment for an Eastridge Light Rail connector to BART will enable a long-delayed commitment to the East San Jose community to move forward, connecting BART to the Valley’s second busiest transit center.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Yes

Q: Why or why not?
A: I advocated for passage of SB3 in Sacramento because of the dire need for more rent-restricted affordable housing in San Jose, one of the three most expensive housing markets in the United States.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: This developer-backed proposal misleads the public by claiming that it’s “affordable housing for seniors and veterans,” when nothing about the measure will require a single veteran to live in any of its 910 units, and it actually waters down the City’s own affordable housing mandates. In fact, the fine print of the measure calls for the creation of a gated community, and creates a troubling precedent of exempting its developers from many of the rules by which every other home builder must abide, such as for road improvements to address traffic impacts. The measure will undermine the efforts of many thousands of community members who worked through a public process to craft a General Plan and an Evergreen Specific Plan to protect our hillsides from sprawling residential development, and to mitigate the worsening peak-hour commute traffic patterns to and from 101 in East San Jose. Perhaps most troublingly, Measure B will create a mechanism open other environmentally sensitive outlying areas of our city—such as Coyote Valley and the Almaden Reserve— to sprawling, traffic-inducing development.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 would increase state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Yes

Q: Why or why not?
A: Yes, I support RHNA reforms, and efforts like these . Nonetheless, even with this good legislation, the RHNA process will lack any “teeth.” I’d like to see state legislation that will bolster the incentives for jurisdictions with jobs-housing imbalances to build more housing within their city limits, by withholding transportation funding and enacting fees where such cities embrace commercial, office, and industrial expansion without building the housing needed to support that growth. It will take strong fiscal incentives toprod cities to “do the right thing” to ensure equitable and balanced development.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: No

Q: Why or why not?
A: I did not support the initiative, because it would have driven up housing costs in rents and homes purchases at a time when we already face a housing crisis. Every report from the construction industry demonstrates that it remains extremely difficult for the industry to find skilled workers right now, and even the labor unions bring workers in from out of state to complete projects. Union halls are empty, and have remained so for several years. Labor costs have risen so quickly that many housing projects in San Jose cannot obtain financing, as it becomes impossible to make the development “pencil out” while paying several trades wages and benefits that exceed $90 per hour. Although we have entitled more than 6,000 units in San Jose, we will see far less than that in actual construction this year. Exacerbating this labor shortage and increasing already fast-rising labor costs would have further impeded construction of both market-rate and affordable housing because we rely upon market-rate construction to generate inclusionary fees for building rent-restricted housing.

CC2C
The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: Last year, in partnership with Chancellor Debbie Budd and the presidents of West Valley, San Jose City, and Evergreen Community Colleges, we launched the San Jose College Promise, which today enables 800 low-income San Jose public school graduates to attend their colleges without paying for books, fees, or tuition. This year, we will expand this initiative with the help of the Sobrato Foundation to incorporate the broader Valley, to expand opportunity for our promising young adults. I have been raising money personally for that effort, and will continue to do so.

Placement of public charter schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I have supported charter formation efforts on several occasions where the school has demonstrated that it has a leadership team with a track record of improving educational outcomes, particularly for students in marginalized communities, a focus on lifting opportunities for kids from our poorest families, demonstrated sincere efforts to attempt to collaborate with the local school district , and strong support from parents in the community.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Silicon Valley needs a vibrant urban center to counter decades of suburban sprawl that has choked our communities in traffic and high housing costs. I have led the effort to bring Google to Downtown because the Google’s urban village has the promise to transform San Jose’s city center, within only a few years of the time when scores of empty storefronts demonstrated how palpably ehow every small business owner in Downtown teetered on the brink of —or into—insolvency.
For years, San Jose residents have yearned for the development of a bustling Downtown, and in 2011, with the input of 5,000 residents, we created a General Plan that called for Downtown’s revitalization, with an expansion of far more workers than Google will bring, along with many thousand units of housing. In other words, Google’s arrival—along with the expansion of Adobe and many smaller but fast-growing tech companies like Zoom, Xactly, and Wrike—merely fulfills the plan our community has long envisioned.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Right after being elected as a councilmember in 2007 with the support of the then-Chamber of Commerce, I led an effort for the creation of a citywide inclusionary housing policy, which would make San Jose the largest city in the United States to require developers to build affordable housing within every market-rate development, or to pay a fee in lieu of doing so. Many of the developers and the Chamber that supported my election mounted a very strong opposition to the effort, and there was a lot of contentious rhetoric. I sought to engage the development community—with the help of partners like the Silicon Valley Leadership Group— to better understand how we could implement the policy in a means that would be least burdensome on the home building industry. We engaged in several dozen meetings 1:1 and in focus groups, with the able work of Ragan Henninger, and ultimately reached a policy that many developers did not like, but at least reflected their input to minimize unnecessary burdens. In 2009, the Council adopted the policy, and obviously our outreach didn’t suffice to ameliorate the concerns of the development community, because the industry sued. After seven years of litigation all the way to the California Supreme Court, we have finally been able to implement it. Despite the dust-up in past years, I continue to work with home builders every day— including some of the most vocal inclusionary opponents—to find ways to reduce red tape and minimize fees where those become obstacles to getting housing built in San Jose.

Quangminh Pham

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A:Housing, High Rent, Parking and Traffic

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A:Housing, High fees and Time consuming at City Hall, Old ordinances and codes

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support bills aiming at improving transportation and reducing traffic congestion

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Same reason as in question 4. It’s fair for commuters to share reasonable costs

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Housing crisis is now a statewide issue. Note that California attracts more and more immigrants than other states.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: San Jose has enough residential land for this project. My SJRO will help. I prefer preservation of industrial land which is essential part of our future economy.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or Why not?
A: This is a forced answer. My SJRO will help housing supply in San Jose. I do not know how serious housing shortage in other cities, frankly.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Keep jobs for San Jose and cities around.San Jose. My SJRO will reduce rent significantly.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: My SJRO will help housing and transportation. For Text books: Teachers must help as I did for my students in National University of Saigon before 1975.

Placement of Public Charter Schools

Q: Public charter schools operate alongside traditional public schools, offering educational choices for students and families. If a public charter school’s petition is approved to operate within your local school district, meaning their proposal meets key pupil outcomes as indicated by state law, would you approve the school’s bid to rent or build facilities beyond those already owned by the district?
A: Yes

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: I support more choices for parents. I sent my kids to the school I selected.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: *Declined to answer

Q: Why or why not?
A: This question does not require a simple answer “support or oppose”. Google knows well that moving out of the region or state is not very good for Google in term of transportation, property value, connections to and from other related companies, etc… ; it’s better for Google to stay here.and Google wants the best. However, from the point of view of the city of San Jose, city leaders must set term and conditions for any company that wants to move into the City and to relocate in the City. I believe that City leaders should make our City ready to accept or refuse an offer from a company., San Jose is not ready to promote a better business or a better business location to a company; San Jose just accepts any offer without serious consideration of how the offer affects the future of the City, how the offer correlates to future offers from other companies, how to, fairly and justly, deal with, reward or relocate long-term residents affected by the offer; etc … . It’s also a fair access to Diridon Station from and for all companies. I have no information about negotiations between San Jose city leaders and Google, it’s hard for me to give a right to this question.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I have not been in such situation. I do not want to guess how I react.

 

County Supervisor

Jason Baker

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Traffic/Transportation, Affordable Housing, Environment

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Traffic/Transportation, Affordable Housing, Environment

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: At a previous forum (BAYMEC), each of the candidates were asked what the county could do to help with traffic/transportation. I was the last candidate to answer, and the only candidate to mention finding a permanent, reliable source to shore up Caltrain’s budget, and the only candidate to mention RM3. Having a supervisor who understands transportation, and gets how important Caltrain and (efficient and economically and environmentally sustainable) rail around the bay is to our region is critical.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I participated in the early discussions of RM3 as a Board member at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and as a member of the Bay Area Toll Authority. One of the first considerations I posed to Steve Heminger at the MTC meeting was, since Santa Clara votes would likely make up a large percentage of what would be needed to pass RM3, it was critical that Santa Clara County reps be able to explain to their voters what important projects this measure would fund for the benefit of Santa Clara County. That work got done and the final bill is now realistic and regional about what projects have a nexus to bridge tolls. Finally, a BART inspector general is particularly important to Santa Clara County since, at last check, our county will get no seat on the BART board.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: There is no one fix to our affordable housing crisis, and it’s too simple of a solution to ask big companies to bail us out of a mess we got in together. SB3 is one part of a multi-faceted solution that includes investing money in direct subsidies for affordable housing, working to make it easier to build more housing at every level, particularly TOD where regional transportation measures have been expended, investing in more and better transit.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: It undermines important local controls and risks setting a dangerous precedent for ballot box planning (which is no planning at all).

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: RHNA reform is important – it needs more teeth. I think, along with a RHNA Subregion (that I’ve been championing for five years or more), that would allow some flexibility in where exactly housing goes (and allows transit and other regional dollars to go along with the housing), this makes sense.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I tend to favor the compromise that was attained at the San Jose City Council, but I would like to know far more about the data and the numbers than I do presently. I think there’s a case to be made for some local hire preferences, since Fresno is far different that San Jose, and it doesn’t make sense for GhG, traffic, and our valley’s housing crisis to import workers from Fresno or Texas. However, I do share the concern about an increase in housing costs and would like to know more about the union halls being empty.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: This initiative is important for a few reasons. It’s one of the pieces of the puzzle to reduce income inequality and make housing more affordable (don’t just directly subsidize housing, also work to create a workforce that is better able to afford to live here). I would favor a program that would pay for all of a students’ books, tuition and some or all of their housing in exchange for public service work for a year or two (which could be completed over time in smaller increments) or something else relatively dramatic to tackle this problem. We need to genuinely hit the reset button on income inequality generally, particularly for women and minorities.

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: Having a more diverse workforce and a more sustainable model for our workforce (i.e. with a bigger, stronger middle class) isn’t about charity, it’s a wise investment in a better more sustainable model for our economy that will help all of us

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: There have been a lot of taxes recently and I’ve supported many of them, especially when they have been related to transportation or libraries. You can only go to the voters so often. Just offering more taxes for the sake of it does not encourage sound fiscal planning: it doesn’t help fix any specific problem and it expends goodwill with the voters without the opportunity to build it back by showing them what important achievements were made with their money. It also robs local jurisdictions (especially ones at or close to the cap) of the ability to raise money for specific, even critical items like new libraries and police stations they may need. It also may add to, rather than alleviates, pension problems we already face.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Google is proposing this in exactly the right place. We should be overjoyed, not cranky about it. Yes, there should be mutual, respectful work on affordable housing, open space, and traffic and transportation needs, but those discussions will happen. The evidence is in Google’s substantial work in Mountain View, doing amazing things (often with their own funding and planners) reducing trip counts to Google, including by doing great work on making biking a more realistic commuting option.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Some of my earliest supporters when I first ran for city council were members of supporters of our historic preservation board and who believed in keeping Campbell’s “Small Town Feel”. I told them all along I believed in smart growth. When proposals for 4 and five story condo complexes were proposed in downtown Campbell, some as close as 75 feet from light rail, I was a strong proponent, even suggesting finding a way for additional density in exchange for additional affordable housing. These supporters were not happy, finding a 4 or 5 story building not in the character of Campbell. I had a lot of meetings with groups and one on one explaining my view that (1) it’s just not morally right to take regional transit dollars and not plan for some density near transit and (2) one of the ways to protect the small town feel of Campbell (and help with traffic and parking and GhGs) is to put density in the core, near transit, rather than allowing the growth to spread to old, historic neighborhoods and elsewhere. They were angry, they’re not totally sold to this day, but we’ve made progress.

Dominic Caserta

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Affordable Housing, Transportation, Education

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Affordable Housing, Transportation, Workforce Readiness

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets Q:

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We must have a permanent and stable source of operating funding for Caltrain.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We need funding to deliver on the transportation promises to our residents. RM3 will do that!

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Affordable housing is a must for ensuring families can stay together.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I do not support urban sprawl developments.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We need more housing and SB 828 will accomplish that goal

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support the compromise created between Mayor Liccardo and South Bay Labor.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: Making college more affordable to students as we are trying to do with the City of Santa Clara and Mission College.

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: My experience as a 20 year classroom teacher will always guide my decision-making.

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Flexibility is a key factor in successful public policy.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: This is a key to creating a transit village in Downtown San Jose.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I am pushing for a living wage in public facilities in the City of Santa Clara. Some of my supporters are against this ordinance. I have listened to both sides of the issue and tried to find a common ground. As a result, I anticipate that both sides will support the living wage ordinance. People want to be heard, my leadership style offers that on EVERY issue I champion.

Susan Ellenberg

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: 1. My district is very diverse and encompasses three cities and two unincorporated areas, each with its own priorities, challenges and cultures. One of my priorities, already begun, is continuing to engage every community in my district. Over the past ten months spent knocking on doors, I have seen three priorities emerge in my district: Addressing neighbors’ concerns about their quality of life and the impacts of traffic, limited access to open space, the high cost of housing, and concern about homeless individuals in the neighborhoods, with a particular focus on the unincorporated areas of Burbank and Cambrian.
2. Healthcare access in the wake of changes to the Affordable Health Care Act and concern about fewer dollars coming into the County and what that will mean in terms of balancing the budget.
3. Quality of public education and closing the opportunity gap.

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: 1. Addressing the root causes of homelessness and expanding the supply of affordable housing across a range of incomes.
2. Protecting access to health care in this county regardless of what happens at the federal level and expanding health care in the areas of behavioral and mental health services.
3. Expanding access to high quality early childhood care & education experiences.

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: While I have hesitations about imposing yet more taxes on a largely amenable but heavily taxed County, improving and expanding public transit is absolutely essential to the County’s sustainability. A permanent taxation structure that is not subject to the whims of changing state and federal administrations is an essential piece in moving Silicon Valley and environs toward a more transit focused region. A laser focus on transit will address environmental concerns by reducing carbon pollution caused by non-electric vehicles, housing challenges by expanding the area that becomes reasonably “commutable”, quality of life issues by reducing time spent on the road and will make Santa Clara County a more desirable destination for even greater economic and visitor investment. A tax that applies particularly to Caltrain makes sense because Caltrain is already in operation – unlike high speed rail and even BART, Caltrain currently transports commuters and visitors every day to and through our County. Directing funds here will result in immediate, tangible changes in service and efficiency.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Both RM1 and RM2 led to the improvement of significant portions of our transit infrastructure and voters appear to have faith that this type of investment continues to have value. Although Santa Clara County is not one of the largest beneficiaries of RM3 (about 15% of the projects will impact our County), the regional coordination is essential to SCC’s continued growth and sustainability. Further, the projects that do impact SCC are absolutely essential, not only to reduce traffic congestion but potentially to transform the housing market – if housing demand is lessened in SCC due to increased ease of commuting in and out of the County, housing prices may level off and families may be able to count on more stability in their neighborhoods.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: A lack of affordable housing is very likely the most significant challenge our region (and state) is facing. Local measures have not resulted in the creation of an adequate stock of affordable housing. Developers have not been sufficiently incentivized to build enough affordable housing. City Councils have shied away from approving affordable housing proposals. This lack of housing is impacting every aspect of our community, from the environmental impacts of lengthy commutes, to the ability of working and middle class residents to live self sufficiently, to underperformance in school by children who are forced to switch schools several times in the course of a year or two as a result of unstable housing. Our economic climate is becoming more unsustainable as the divide grows and community members at every level of income will ultimately suffer. Senator Beall’s significant funding package has the potential to make a measurable dent in the housing shortage in our state and perhaps put us on a path back toward balanced cities where people of a wide range of incomes can afford to live, work and play.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I am an early endorser of the opposition and published a post on December 18 2017 describing my reasons for opposing the initiative (see below) and a letter to the editor that was published on 2/14: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/14/letter-evergreen-initiative-sprawl-could-threaten-coyote-valley/ I learned about this initiative at a community meeting and believe that, if passed, it would do a dangerous end run around the City of San Jose’s General Plan and create a precedent for developers to circumvent sustainable and smart growth policies while exempting themselves from CEQA evaluations and traffic and other mitigations. This so called “senior affordable housing initiative” is a deceptive plan that preys on our community’s very real need for affordable housing, particularly for seniors and veterans. Knowing the plan would not be approved by the City of San Jose, the developer is choosing to put an initiative on the 2018 ballot touting the building of 910 homes, some of which will be “affordable” and “accessible to veterans”. In reality, the 367 page initiative, if approved, would substantially alter current public housing policy. Why is this relevant to me as a resident of SJ City Council District 6 and as a candidate for Santa Clara County Supervisor? Because the initiative is not about building just under one thousand homes in Evergreen. It’s most egregious aspect isn’t even the fact that its “affordable” units are far beyond the income of seniors and veterans in our community. It is about the precedent of ballot box policy making and of parties with financial resources using the power of the purse to exempt their pet projects from the regulations that shape sensible, sustainable & smart growth. It is about the arrogant disregard of the validity of CEQA evaluations, traffic, quality of life and balanced community considerations. We must be vigilant not only about what is happening in our own backyards, but across the cities in our County. To address our collective challenges of affordable housing, traffic congestion and public transportation we must take a unified, systemic approach that is grounded in sustainable policy and not sold to the highest bidder.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Nearly 97% of CA cities failed to meet state housing goals. While I generally favor local control over more remote mandates, it is clear that most of our cities have not decided on their own to build housing sufficient for the region’s population – made up of families and children – so I do support a more data-driven and less political Regional Housing Needs Assessment process with real teeth (ie, require communities to address past RHNA shortfalls). I’ve seen the intense pressure neighborhood groups place on City Council members to reject high density housing (and mixed use) proposals and do not see enough political courage to break through this impasse. It appears that some state influence is warranted to ensure that sufficient housing is built equitably across the region. Further, I support the rollover mechanism because, otherwise, cities could sufficiently delay permitting development beyond the statutory time limit and then just move on to the next year with a clean slate and will have effectively erased a year’s worth of housing obligations. Finally, I appreciate that the new bill calls for tracking of statistics on residential displacement, such as evictions, foreclosures, and declining school enrollment in its calculations of local housing deficits. Specifically, San Jose’s ongoing loss of low-income and minority populations, which is due largely to unavailability of affordable housing in the first place, should not be unduly burdened if the only measure of need is that of people moving into the area.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot tiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Led by Mayor Liccardo, the City of San Jose has negotiated a compromise with local unions which would require contractors on subsidized projects to pay geographically specific prevailing wages and benefits and submit to stricter oversight. Because of this, the proposed ballot initiative is now moot. This compromise is an excellent example of how city, labor, and business leaders can come together to achieve goals that are beneficial for all concerned. That being said, the local hire concept is well founded. This philosophy supports building our local economy where workers can spend their earnings where they live. It increases family stability, which is beneficial for children. It is good for the environment: less fuel will be burned when workers have shorter commutes. It is good for one of the most frequent laments in our County: traffic congestion. And, while the local real estate market boom has benefited homeowners, landlords and developers, the same cannot be said for local construction workers. The primary opposition to local hire is that “union halls are empty” and local workers can’t be found. That objection is somewhat circular – if there is a shortage of local workers, it is because the County is unaffordable to them. I would like to see a greater focus on increasing workforce housing than on limiting where workers can come from; much of the situation would undoubtedly resolve itself. My preference is that employment decisions are negotiated rather than mandated by statute. My reservations about this ordinance would have been in the details, specifically, how “local” and “best faith effort” are defined and what the time period is for this rule. Many construction workers currently commute from the Central Valley, Sacramento or beyond. With today’s one person, one car culture, those areas cannot be considered local, but as public transit is built out across the region, at some point riding high speed rail from the Central to Silicon Valley could take less time than driving from San Jose to Mountain View, thus making a strong argument that “local” might be defined not in mileage but in commute time. As a school board member and strong proponent of career talent pipelines, apprentice labor is an important piece of economic stability for many high school students who are not choosing to attend college after graduation. In order to break cycles of poverty, reduce homelessness and stabilize families, all community stakeholders should have a vested interest in helping to train the next generation of construction workers. Underinvestment in our local workforce has long term economic implications for our local economy, despite the short term frustration of developers who want to hire experienced workers.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I am already engaged in this work through the San Jose Student Success Initiative and through my work as a school board member. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to ensure that more students who enter community colleges are able to successfully graduate and start careers:
– Advocate for tuition free community college for starters.
– Expand dual enrollment opportunities so that students can take classes in high school that will earn them community college credits.
– Eliminate remedial coursework and count all college courses toward anticipated degrees (this will also ensure that students don’t spend down their financial aid money on courses that don’t count toward graduation).
– Use standardized high school examinations for college course placement rather than requiring additional placement tests.
– Strengthen on campus support systems for students who are struggling with either academic or “life” challenges – housing, food access, transportation, books, etc.
– The County currently runs a school linked services program that partners with local school districts to provide resources for students that are beyond those of the schools. I would seek to expand those partnerships to include community colleges within the County so that less of the burden of support is carried by the schools alone.
– Promote development of student prioritized (and subsidized) housing near campuses.
– Partner with VTA and other transit operators to provide passes to students (and part time faculty members).

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: Budget is always the largest factor in making these decisions, but coordinated efforts are also significant and those don’t necessarily take a great deal of funding. I have been engaged in a Student Success Initiative in partnership with San Jose State University, San Jose – Evergreen Community College, San Jose Unified School District and others to work on strategies that accomplish the goal of getting students into and successfully through community college in a reasonable amount of time and before their funding runs out. A County wide collective impact model could be truly transformative in exponentially increasing the number of CC graduates and energy around this concept would certainly influence my decision to devote time and resources to bringing the right people to the table.

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: In order for me to be supportive of this proposal I would need more information. County leaders may be concerned about the impact of the Trump administration on the funding of health and human services in our County and this tax proposal might be to create a rainy day fund to protect our safety net services. However, it is difficult to form a strong opinion on any measure without having the opportunity to look at the precise language. I would be hesitant to support such a proposal without at least a companion measure suggesting how the money would likely be spent and some time frame of how long the tax would exist. There must be a clear plan and explanation of a defined need.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support Google’s plan. I’ve expressed some concerns in the past several months regarding displacement of current residents as a result of resulting higher property values and rents in and near downtown San Jose, but further research has revealed a number of factors which alleviated some of my concerns:
– Many google employees already live in the San Jose/South Bay area, so the 20,000 number does not represent unduplicated new arrivals to the company and thus to San Jose.
– Much of the transit plan (other than high speed rail) for Diridon Station is expected to be completed by 2022, years before the campus is likely to be open for business, meaning that employees who don’t already live in the area will be able to easily commute in and out of downtown San Jose without necessarily feeling compelled to make their residences here, thus rolling back some of the concerns about current residents’ displacement.
– In addition, the potential economic impact on San Jose Unified School district (and other school districts in the City of San Jose) is enormous. The additional tax revenue brought into the city by Google’s presence could transform districts from revenue limit to basic aid, increasing by up to 50% the dollars allocated per student. The majority of students at San Jose Unified, particularly those in the downtown area, are from low income households and many are English language learners. The additional dollars that could and should be targeted towards those students will provide much needed resources to close the opportunity gap that plagues too many students.
Finally, an influx of employees in downtown San Jose during work hours will benefit local restaurants and other small businesses and maybe even provide enough of a local market for some more retail downtown.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Our board of education was presented with a number of charter petitions over the past year, both for new schools and requests for renewals of existing charters. One such petition was submitted by a group that was supported by a local not for profit organization and a number of politically well connected community members. I received several calls from my supporters including important elected officials and even long time family friends, urging me to approve the petition. These supporters sincerely believed that the school sounded exciting and would make a good contribution to the local educational landscape. I read the petition independently with great deliberation. I also read a report provided to our board by an independent (out of district) evaluator. My thinking generally aligned with the evaluator and I was further persuaded through conversation with co-trustees during a public board meeting that the model as submitted to us was flawed and did not meet state guidelines for approval. Despite receiving more than 30 calls over a two week period by many folks who I respect and whose favor I appreciate, I voted against the proposal. To my disappointment, some of the folks who wanted me to approve the charter felt that I had been unduly influenced by our staff or by the teachers’ union, but that was not the case. I made a decision based on my assessment of the presentation by the charter proponents, the recommendation of an independent, professional evaluator, my own understanding of the petition, and conversation at the dais with my co-trustees. The situation was uncomfortable and I did feel some concern about disappointing my supporters, but I could not have defended a different decision. I actively engage with my constituents so I wrote a blog post on this decision in the Spring of 2017 and it can be found here: http://area2newsviews.tumblr.com/post/161487928726/the-promise-of-charter-schools-why-i-said-no

Maria Hernandez

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Housing and Community Development, Public Safety, Small Businesses

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Government Reform, Smart Growth with Environmental Sustainability, Good Paying Jobs

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: We so desperately need to increase funds for Caltrain so that the increase in service motivates people to use public transportation instead of driving. This will take many vehicles out of our overly congested highways, thus reducing the carbon footprint. It is a win-win situation for all!

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Funds from this measure are necessary to maintain, modernize and enhance public transportation and infrastructure. Also I am all for increasing government transparency, so I find this proposal amazing!

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: California, and especially the Bay Area has a housing crisis that must be addressed as an urgent matter. The fact that some public servants that provide vital services to our community, such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers, have to travel from other towns due to not being able to afford housing in the place they serve, is shameful. Likewise, people employed full-time should be able to afford a place to live. An act of respect for our veterans is to provide affordable housing solutions for them. And our seniors along with other vulnerable groups must be supported and given access to affordable housing.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: The language on the Evergreen initiative is very tricky. It required a close examination to understand that this initiative is more harm than benefit to our community and the environment.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Some of the language of the proposal is not being addressed here, including the part in Senator Wiener talks about many of the projects that could be built under the bill would be under 10 units, which typically aren’t subject to affordable housing requirements. Again, a large part of the housing crisis is the fact that people cannot afford housing. So, building just for the benefit of building companies, does not solve the housing problems of working class people.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Outside workers should be hired only when there is not enough local labor force available. We must first secure jobs for our local residents, since they contribute back to the local economy

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
Implement fiscal responsibility and transparency by prioritizing A: needs and eliminating wasteful spending

Q: What factors would influence your decision?
A: N/A

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Until the government learns to prioritize the needs of our community, be open and transparent, and proves that they can wisely spend our tax dollars, I do not support this type of tax. We are taxed enough already and this is a regressive tax for it affects working class families, who as it is, many of them can barely afford their current expenses.

Google Development – Did not answer

Personal Relations

Q; Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I have never been in politics, so I cannot speak to this as a politician. But my personal experience dealing with a similar situation is when I was in charge of organizing a community event and the sponsor wanted to exclude certain group from participating. I asked the reasons for wanting to exclude those individuals and after learning the reasons I realized that the perceived conflict was based on previous miscommunication between the two parties, so after talking to both parties separately, I was able to bring them to work together and we had a fantastic event!

Pierluigi Oliverio

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Expedite improvements to San Tomas, Lawrence and Montague Expressway that are funded by prior transportation tax increase.
Help the severely mentally ill to reduce homelessness, encampments, which will free up time for police.
Utilize County jail inmates and sentencing alternative program to clear roads of trash, weeds and graffiti.

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: Help the severely mentally ill to reduce homelessness, encampments, which will free up time for police.
Help the severely mentally ill to reduce homelessness, encampments, which will free up time for police.
Transfer undocumented individual convicted of child molestation and human trafficking to federal law enforcement

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I was asked by the Silicon Valley Taxpayers association to sign the ballot measure against as a former elected official. I declined to actively campaign against, however I am not endorsing this tax increase. I have heard from countless people who have fatigue on tax increases. In addition I am skeptical about government entities building out projects on time and on budget. In addition, ongoing maintenance costs are higher than private sector with increased pension costs eating into operating budgets. Sales taxes are regressive for low income individuals and families.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I was asked by the Silicon Valley Taxpayers association to sign the ballot measure against as a former elected official. I declined to actively campaign against, however I am not endorsing this tax increase. I have heard from countless people who have fatigue on tax increases. In addition I am skeptical about government entities building out projects on time and on budget. In addition, ongoing maintenance costs are higher than private sector with increased pension costs eating into operating budgets. As stated by Supervisor Simitian this measure will create economic burden on those individuals of lower incomes that utilize bridges daily for work.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Government has a significant role to play in the creation of low income housing rather than unfair regulations on private property owners. However without CEQA reform it does not matter how much money is allocated since the CEQA process significantly slows down the entitlement process even without litigation.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I oppose Measure B. Bad policy to allow individual developments to skip standard process and is against the city of San Jose general plan. This is sprawl development which is economically and environmentally negative when compared to infill development. The city of San Jose has adopted the goal of building 25,000 units of housing downtown and along light rail network which is the most prudent policy. In contrast to Measure B, I strongly support Measure C which is an anti sprawl initiative supported by Mayor Liccardo.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Nobel goal, however I believe reforming CEQA would be more effective as the RHNA cycle takes too long and still may not result in actual housing construction.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: Would increase the cost of construction making housing even more expensive and unfairly restricts individuals right to work and live where they choose. This would be unacceptable for any industry.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: I personally benefited from community college at both DeAnza and West Valley prior to transferring to San Jose State University. Community college allowed me to work and attend college affordably. Influence State of California government to increase funding of community colleges to allow the waiving of fees and books. In addition private funding is ideal towards this goal.

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: An unrestricted tax increase such as this could and would be spent on non-core services of the County. Sales tax also regressive.

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Strongly support. This has been the intent of Downtown San Jose for decades and is ultimate reward for spending approximately two billion of RDA funds in the Downtown. This is the best location for transit, jobs and additional high density housing. This is the single most important accomplishment for Mayor Liccardo second term as it it will set the course for Downtown over the next twenty years.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: Major donors have requested I vote a certain way regarding land use proposals in the past. However in both cases what they wanted was the wrong decision and was opposite of my record. In both cases I explained why what they proposed was not ideal and that I could not support their project. I did so early before they spent time and money on the entitlement process. I was able to retain the relationship with one supporter but unfortunately the other has chosen to not do so.

Don Rocha

Priorities

Q: What are your top three priorities in your district?
A: Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Public Safety, Traffic Transportation and Growth

Q: What are your top three priorities citywide?
A: 1. Housing and Homelessness: The County is a key player in addressing the problem of housing affordability. In particular, the implementation of Measure A offers an incomparable opportunity to make progress on this issue. As a Supervisor I will aim to support successful implementation of Measure A and to ensure that bond funds are spent for maximum impact.
2. Maintaining Health Care Coverage: After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we have made progress in reducing the number of uninsured residents in Santa Clara County. It’s critical that we maintain and build upon these gains, even in the face of threats to the ACA at the Federal level.
3. Parks and open space: Parks and open space are among the most beloved amenities that local government provides for the public. As a supervisor I would seek to improve and expand recreational opportunities for County residents.

Traffic Relief and Campaign Budgets

Caltrain is one of the only commuter rail services in the U.S. without a permanent and stable source of operation funding. This creates incredible financial volatility and difficulty to expand Caltrain capacity and service. Our January 2018 Silicon Valley Survey revealed 76% support across the 3 Caltrain counties for a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax that would fund the operations, maintenance and capital improvements needed to dramatically expand Caltrain capacity from 62,000 to 270,000 riders per day. SB 797 (Jerry Hill) was passed in 2017 to allow a regional election of the three counties, but local agencies need to vote to place it on the ballot.

Q: Would you support or oppose a 3 county measure on the 2020 ballot to achieve this objective?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: Caltrain is a critical transit link between San Francisco, the Peninsula and the South Bay. It not only serves tens of thousands of passengers per day, but has seen spectacular ridership growth over the past decade. We should ensure that it is on stable financial footing because it has proven itself to be an effective service that many of our residents choose for their commute. We can be confident that investment in the system will allow it to continue to grow and help us meet our policy objectives of avoiding congestion and reducing carbon emissions.

Regional Traffic Relief – RMS

Regional Measure 3 (RM3) will be on the 2018 ballot in all of the 9 Bay Area counties. It will phase in a bridge toll increase of $1 by 2019, $1 by 2022, and $1 by 2025 to fund nearly $4.5 Billion in specific traffic relief projects throughout Silicon Valley & the Bay Area. Highlights of the Silicon Valley projects include: $500 Million to purchase additional BART cars.$375 Million for BART to Silicon Valley Phase II.$350 Million for the Caltrain Downtown SF Extension$130 Million for Dumbarton Rail/ACE Train/BART/Shinn Station. $130 Million to connect East-ridge light rail with BART at Alum Rock$100 Million towards the modernization and expansion of Diridon Station. RM3 will also institute long awaited taxpayer oversight protections, such as creating a BART Inspector General to investigate BART finances.

Q: Will you support or oppose RM3?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: RM3 includes projects that are important to our transportation future in the South Bay. Given our challenges with congestion I think we need to make the investment.

Statewide Housing Bond

In 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senator Jim Beall’s SB 3 authorizing a $4 billion Housing Bond to go before voters in November of 2018. $3 billion of the dollars will be used statewide for affordable and workforce housing. The remaining $1 billion will be used for Veteran home loans.

Q: Do you support or oppose the statewide Housing Bond?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: The housing crisis is the greatest challenge we face. It causes suffering for millions of residents in California every day. In 2016, Santa Clara County showed exemplary leadership in passing the Measure A housing bond. SB3 creates an opportunity for the State to follow suit and set aside a significant amount of funding for affordable housing production.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative

The Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative asks San Jose voters to rezone 200 acres of land in Evergreen from industrial to residential. The ballot measure would approve 900 new, mostly single family, $1 million-plus homes for “seniors,” defined as 55 years or older. The 376-page Initiative is presented as a way to increase housing supply. However, the ballot initiative would undo the General Plan and current zoning, which accounted for the isolated location of the site furthest east of 101 in the hillsides. The initiative threatens to further exacerbate existing traffic problems by adding more low-density and sprawled-out housing to the Evergreen hillsides that lack access to transit and job centers. The Initiative exempts the Evergreen project from traffic mitigation requirements and is contrary to transit-oriented, more compact development that is crucial to smart growth (If you would like the written criteria by which the Leadership Group supports sound housing proposals, please let us know).

Q: Do you support or oppose the Evergreen Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I was one of the first San Jose City Councilmember to come out in opposition to the initiative. I’m concerned that the initiative would insert policies into the General Plan that could potentially put land that is currently open space at risk of urban development. I strongly believe that the initiative process is not the proper venue to make land use decisions. We make our best decisions when elected officials, professional planning staff, community members, and developers all participate in a public process that allows for comprehensive review and fair consideration of a development proposal. I oppose the Evergreen measure because of my commitment to a public process. Elected officials such as myself should certainly oppose the measure, but we should also redouble our commitment to ensuring that the public process in San Jose is open and equitable.

RHNA Reform

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 828, a bill that strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process used by the state, regions, and cities and counties to plan for housing relative to anticipated growth. The RHNA process has been woefully weak on getting actual housing built in the Bay Area. SB 828 increases state oversight over local and regional housing obligations by authorizing a one-time unmet housing need assessment and adding it to the projected housing need in the next RHNA cycle. The bill also allows for rollover to the next cycle of unproduced housing units for cities and counties and requires cities and counties to zone at higher than 100% of the RHNA allocation.

Q: Do you support or oppose reform of RHNA and specifically the reforms mentioned above?
A:Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: In its current form RHNA can be a useful tool for tracking a jurisdiction’s progress over time in building housing and to some extend comparing it to other jurisdictions, but it in no way ensures that housing will be produced. SB 828 won’t change that fact, but it will enhance accountability and accuracy of housing allocations. I think that’s a worthy goal and support the effort.

Housing

The South Bay Labor Council has filed a potential ballot initiative for San Jose voters called “Local Hire.” Proponents say the potential initiative would ensure construction workers would live within a 50 mile radius of San Jose. In addition, that the prevailing wage, project labor and community workforce agreements would allow more construction workers to live in San Jose. Opponents, including feedback from 8 pro-union home builders, state that the union halls are already empty; and that the initiative would increase construction costs by 25-35%. This will make all new rental and for-sale homes more expensive for anyone seeking a home in San Jose.

Q: Do you support the proposed “Local Hire” Initiative?
A: Oppose

Q: Why or why not?
A: I support the compromise approved by the City Council last week that successfully avoided the measure appearing on the ballot.

CC2C

The vast majority of college students in Silicon Valley & in the Bay Area attend community college. 71% of these students are students of color and 53% are female. Through our “Community College to Career initiative”, or CC2C, the Leadership Group is working with member employers to put community college students on paths to sustainable, middle-class jobs. Unfortunately, many of these students still face substantial financial barriers to completing the education they need in the form of access costs – housing, textbooks, food and transportation.

Q: To diversify the innovation economy and increase economic mobility in our region, as an elected official, will you work to alleviate access costs for community college students through regional college promise initiatives (ie. San Jose Promise)?
A: Yes

Q: What do you see as the most promising method to achieve this?
A: San Jose Promise is a worthy effort that I supported as a San Jose Councilmember, it’s also true that it helps only a portion of community college students and is not sufficient in itself to meet the needs of all students. Meeting student needs would likely require a significant revenue source. I would be open to exploring whether there is a viable existing revenue source that could be devoted to this purpose or whether voters might be willing to approve new revenue to fund it.
What factors would influence your decision?
If there weren’t sufficient revenue from existing public sources to fund the effort, the willingness of voters to approve a revenue measure to fund it would be the biggest factor that would guide my approach.

Countywide Sales Tax

There are some county leaders proposing an increase in the countywide sales tax in Santa Clara County from 9.0% (9.25% in San Jose and Campbell) to 9.5% (9.75% in San Jose and Campbell). This would be accomplished in two ways; the county continuing its current 1/8 of 1 cent sales tax, set to expire on March 31, 2023 and an additional half-cent general purpose tax. As a general purpose tax, the revenue cannot be locked in for specific use.

Q: Do you support this proposal?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I would potentially be open to supporting such a measure if the County could put forward a detailed spending plan that shows how revenue would be spent to provide critical services to residents. In 2016, the City of San Jose placed a general sales tax measure on the ballot. Some on the Council opposed a general tax on principle, but Mayor Liccardo and the Council Majority put together a spending plan that showed how the additional revenue would be spent. Even though the spending plan was not binding, it created accountability and transparency for the public. The Mayor and Council placed the tax on the ballot and it was approved by a majority of voters. The revenue provided by the tax has been critical to restoring important services that our residents rely on, such as public safety. Such an approach could potentially work at the County, but it would be important to me that there be a clear accounting as to how the tax would be spent, and that elected officials be accountable for following that plan. I’ll close by noting that when it comes to operating funds, it’s very difficult to control how tax money is spent through a special tax. You might specify in a special tax measure that $10 million needs to be spent on police service, but if the total Police Department budget is $200 million then it would be possible to subtract $10 million in existing unrestricted funding, devote that $10 million to some other use, and then backfill the hole with the $10 million in restricted special tax funds, leaving the total departmental budget at the same level as it began. In such a case there isn’t that much difference between a special and general tax: successful implementation of both would require elected officials to be transparent and accountable

Google Development

Diridon Station has been described by many as the “Grand Central Station of the West” because it is interconnected to Caltrain, Light Rail, Amtrak, the Altamont Commuter Express, Buses, Express Buses, employer Shuttle buses and – expected by 2026 – the BART extension. Google is planning a large transit oriented development adjacent to Diridon Station that could bring 6 to 8 million square feet of building space right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather than moving jobs out of the region or state, Google is planning a 10-year plan to bring as many as 20,000 jobs into Downtown San Jose by 2025.

Q: Do you support or oppose Google’s plans to bring up to 20,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose over a ten-year period?
A: Support

Q: Why or why not?
A: I have supported a number of large development proposals in my time on the Council. Some of these proposals have been in my own district and have been controversial with my constituents. In those cases, I’ve invested a great deal of effort in reaching out to my residents to ensure that their concerns were heard. Working with both the community and with the developer, I’ve been able to get to a place where I could support the project. I view the Google project in that context. Any large development proposal will raise concerns, but through outreach and through working with the community it’s possible to come to an understanding that benefits both the community and the developer. Google and the City are already in the process of engaging the community on the proposed Diridon development. I believe that they can succeed in coming up with a project that will attract broad support. Google’s proposal is very attractive already—jobs and housing along major transit lines are in perfect alignment with the City’s land use goals. In anticipation of a successful outreach process, I am supportive of the Google development.

Personal Relations

Q: Tell us about a time when you were opposed to a position of one of your major supporters. What was the issue? How did you handle this situation?
A: I supported placing Measure B, San Jose’s 2012 pension reform measure, on the ballot. The measure was strongly opposed by public employee unions. It quickly became clear that Measure B was a serious mistake. I dealt with the situation by vocally advocating for revisions to Measure B and meaningful, collaborative negotiation with public employee unions. It took awhile for the rest of the Council to come to that position, but eventually we were successful in revising Measure B reforms to both save money and retain San Jose’s status as a desirable employer.

 

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