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San Jose City Council Candidate Questionnaire

Silicon Valley Leadership Group – San José City Council Candidate Questionnaire

The purpose of the candidate questionnaire is to provide an open and transparent view of where local candidates for office in Silicon Valley stand on key issues that impact our local economy and quality of life.

Many candidate questionnaires remain confidential. This is intentionally the opposite. Our questions and each candidate’s answers are intentionally made public, both through the Leadership Group CEO’s blog, social media, distribution to our 400 member companies, posting on our web site and other forms of proactive communication.

This questionnaire is also intentionally shorter than most questionnaires of this nature, reflecting our interest – at the local and regional level – in what we believe are THEE issues facing families and employers in the region:

“T” – Transportation
“H” – Housing
“E” – Education
“E” – Energy & the Environment

Yes, there are additional issues of interest to our community, employers, workers and the broader community, but this short questionnaire will focus on these four areas. Finally, this questionnaire is intentionally not focused on “political questions” about fundraising, political endorsements, et cetera.

DISTRICT 2

District 2 – Steve Brown

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Transportation efficiency and variety are critical to maintain and improve our quality of life. We must invest in a mix of options that meets the needs of families, workers, students and commercial enterprise. Economic development is dependent on the the ability for workers to get to work and back home in a reasonable time and for products to move efficiently. Transportation is the network that binds our communities, encourages commerce, and enables families to get to and from work, school, shopping and entertainment. We can’t just talk about the importance of this network, we need to invest in it.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* No, I oppose High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* Initially, I supported the concept, but as cost estimates skyrocketed, and completion estimates kept being pushed further and further away, I became skeptical – and am no longer convinced of the viability of the project. We have limit debt capacity and many demands. I have read estimates that CA needs $65 Billion to repair our existing infrastructure – about the same cost as HSR (before recent announcement that would not be enough). We need to start over, let the the engineering and the market determine routing, and ensure a more transparent management system is put into place.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Two reasons – human compassion & economic sense. Studies have estimated the cost of dealing with homeless at $40,000 per year, including costs for healthcare, public safety, and other programs. It is actually cheaper to solve the problem than to ignore it. Second, as a society, helping the most vulnerable is the measure of a society. I serve on a non-Profit board that helps feed the homeless and provide counseling every month. In addition, we must not only provide housing, but must tackle the cause of the problem – which for many is mental health or substance abuse.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We need more innovation and choice, parent participation, and results from our education system. Charter schools, like Downtown San Jose Prep, offer solutions that raise test scores, reduce truancy and crime, and improve graduation rates. We need to expand technical and vocational training in High Schools as well as community colleges – to provide students with a better future and employers with better prepared workers.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* No

Why or why not?
* While I support the goals of improved water quality, restoration and flood controls, I do not think that property-owners alone should bear the cost; nor do I think $25 million is nearly sufficient to tackle the scope of the problem.

District 2 – Sergio Jimenez

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We need these changes but it’s important to know the details. District 2 needs to addresses many of these transit concerns given major transit corridors pass through District 2. As the ‘gig’ economy grows, we need to find solutions that go beyond tax measures at the ballot box and everyone participates in change.

Large companies have a seat at the table, but few of them are those most reliant on public transit. Strong community engagement to develop broad solutions that work for everyone is essential and should be fostered. For the sake of the environment, reliance on automobiles must change.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* High Speed Rail will likely run through District 2, hopefully without harmful ramifications. We need HSR, but we need our communities concerns heard. I am supportive of HSR and do not want it prolonged or dismissed like the fatal mistake from years ago delaying BART’s arrival to our neighborhoods.

San Jose is the third largest city in California and will be a major hub for HSR, so our voice should be strong throughout this process. Many residents are disenchanted with the process but with transparent and thoughtful engagement I know we will make HSR a positive addition to San Jose.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* It’s been too long in helping our fellow residents that struggle to have housing, especially those with mental health issues. We have the ability to tackle this issue head on, and not continue to push people into the shadows. Housing is only one part of the solution but with good outreach and comprehensive services we will make a difference.

San José must not be alone in this fight. Including regional partners, corporations, and communities will help us solve this issue. Combined with other solutions underway, this bond will help us better care for others and find sustainable and permanent solutions.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

Why or why not?
* On occasion Charter schools offer creativity but they are not the solution. We are not seeing success as enrollment changes put harmful pressure on our public schools, test scores are decreasing and public oversight is lacking. We need quality education that focuses on our public schools first.

Our school boards are our leaders for education reform and we must entrust them to make long-term solutions that work for every child. The success of our schools is very important to me, and I will be a strong advocate for doing all we can for our children, now and in the future.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy
For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We must all be a part of the solution to address our roles in climate change, and I hope that beyond this parcel tax we find more partnerships from the business community. The San Francisco Bay is a treasure that we must protect and preserve. The diverse support growing for Measure AA is empowering. However as the Bay’s largest city San Jose residents must be strong in the oversight and management of these actions.

I have been a leader for the environment on the Parks Commission and will be at City Hall. Our children deserve a sustainable and safe future.

District 2 – Joe Lopez

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
*Yes

Why or why not?
* I would support such a measure providing that San Jose is able to obtain its fair share of necessary funding for street repairs, and vehicle congestion.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
*Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* I would support it conditional on the system eventually becoming self supporting independent of taxpayer funding.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I believe we need to address the bigger part of this issue. Mental Health and Substance abuse issue cost the taxpayers more when left ignored Housing the Homeless in appropriate housing locations and collaborated treatment is money better spent and will reduce crime in the process.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
*Yes

Why or why not?
* Charter schools show higher achievement levels for students and should be encouraged, particularly where Pupil performance is below the established standards.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
*Yes

Why or why not?
* Sea level rise is a reality and investing now to protect existing public and private parcels subject to flooding should be a priority. The South bay and its cities have witnessed historical episodes of flooding due to the lack of Water Projects designed to protect our rivers and streams. That same threat will now come from the bay as Sea Levels Rise. Investing now in Habitat Restoration is cost effective and least destructive to the environment.

District 2 – Eli Portales

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We need to upgrade our public transportation system but understand that until BART arrives and Caltrain is electrified we need to do the following:

-2 For D2- Get residents to take public transportation at least twice a week. (My wife like many of my neighbors works for Cisco Systems in North San Jose and it will take her an hour to get there, in the least we need to provide a reliable wifi signal and a supporting app similar to NextBus in Alameda)
– Addition of a BART extension similar to eBART that not only connects Diridon to Santa Clara but also extends the line to Alviso in the north and Edenvale in the south.
-Commuter carpool, i.e. Cisco System and Samsung employees from the same neighborhood commuting.
-Flex shuttles in neighborhoods such as D2 where a large number of our neighbors work in North San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and Cupertino.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* It is critical that we have a clear picture of how much we will be spending on this project and exactly what the impacts will be on existing neighborhoods. For example if the HSR takes away a lane on Monterey Road it will add significant traffic to streets such as Santa Teresa and we need our neighbors in D2 at the table so they can provide real input into this process. The dream of having a truly high speed rail system comparable to the systems in Europe and Japan is currently in danger of falling far short of our original expectations.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Permanent housing is the key to addressing the homeless issue, as demonstrated by the pioneering work of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. I believe social impact bonds have a place not only at the state level but also at the city level.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

Why or why not?
* I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact of schools like Downtown College Prep. I served as a mock trial coach for years at the original campus at the old Hester Elementary. I believe we need to focus on strengthening public private partnerships between our public schools and our corporate citizens in San Jose. As the future council member I will work closely with our traditional schools and corporate citizens, to bring mentors and resources into our classrooms.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* While I believe we need to always tread lightly when asking our citizens to further tax themselves, however I believe the health of the Bay is critical to our region and we should support this initiative.

DISTRICT 4

District 4 – Lan Diep

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Although sales taxes are the most regressive form of tax, they are also the most reliable way to secure much-needed public funding for critical infrastructure improvements. Everyone benefits from excellent public transportation. Even those who don’t use rail or bus service benefit from having less congestion on the roads and cleaner air. In the future, I hope better and more substantive funding can be identified (at the state or federal level) to further improve public transit in the valley, but for now, this sales tax proposal is our best bet to take the next step toward an excellent transit system.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* High Speed rail is the singular best economic development tool that San Jose has. Not only will it open travel up and down the central valley corridor, including connections to universities such as UC Merced and residential centers like Gilroy and Fresno, but it will inevitably lead to great and meaningful investments in the land around SAP center and Diridon. Although there are some environmental drawbacks, and a few communities may perceive they will be negatively affected by high-speed rail, these arguments are grossly outweighed by the benefits to a majority of the population throughout California.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.
Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Homelessness is undeniably a problem in the valley and it is unacceptable that it is such a prevalent one in a place of such wealth. There are various reasons for homelessness but at the end of the day, I believe in preserving the pathways and opportunities for people to lift themselves out of homelessness and poverty. While I do not generally believe that people are entitled to anything, people should be given the opportunities to succeed. As a society we cannot ignore the problem of homelessness as it is a problem that affects everyone through environmental and economic impacts.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* ___ Yes ___ No

Why or why not?
* I support Charter Schools and have witnessed firsthand their excellence. But Charter Schools are supposed to force public schools to become more innovative. They shouldn’t be seen as preferable to public schools. I am not opposed to more Charter Schools. But I am reluctant to say that they are the solution to better education. Setting an arbitrary goal for the number of anything is a poor way to set benchmarks for our children. Smaller class sizes, bilingual immersion programs; technical/vocational programs and other ideas are all worthy of exploration to improve quality of education, in addition to expanding Charter Schools.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Our environment is important, and efforts at protecting it has the added benefit of helping us to better understand (and possibly contain) global warming as well as public health and air quality. Though it’s disappointing that the state and federal government has done a poor job of providing long-term funds to support these types of efforts, if a parcel tax is the only way to identify a source of funds, then it’s better than nothing.

District 4 – Manh Nguyen

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* It is critical that we support San Jose’s struggling transportation infrastructure. By investing in our infrastructure now, we can ensure that San Jose is prepared for the future. An upgrade to our transportation networks will allow San Jose to continue to grow. With this growth more jobs, and the economic boost that comes with them, can be brought to our city. As with any measure such as this, it will be important that regular audits occur to make sure that the revenue gained from the measure is being used appropriately.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* Bringing the California high speed rail to San Jose is an investment that cannot be disregarded. Due to its size, California has been separated into isolated economic regions. Building the high speed rail will strengthen the economic link between the different regions of our state. We cannot allow San Jose to be separated from this network that the high speed rail will create. There is still plenty of work to be done to make sure that this train is a success. The construction as well as the planning must be responsibly managed to ensure that the funds invested are being used properly.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* San Jose’s homelessness problem will not fix itself. It is important that we act now to fix this problem before it continues to get worse. We must focus funding on treating mental illnesses as well as building a system in which the homeless are give a path to success. This bond is the right first step to assist people who need help the most to get back on their feet. The revenue generated from this bond will allow us to attack homelessness head on and help prevent the current situation from worsening.

4. “E” – Education
Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* ___ Yes ___ No

Why or why not?
* Charter schools are an important tool that should only be used in situations where public schools have failed.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Creating a parcel tax to preserve our environment is an investment that must be made to protect our future. The delicate ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay must be protected. The fact that the revenue generated by this bond will have independent citizen oversight and regular audits makes this bond especially promising. This bond is further enriched by the fact that the annual revenue of 25 million dollars will be staying local.

DISTRICT 6

District 6 – Peter Allen

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Our valley’s population is expected to grow significantly over the next 15-20 years, and our transportation systems need to prepare to move those residents from work to school to a Sharks game in an efficient manner. While I support the proposed ballot measure, I believe it should include certainties that funds are equitably distributed throughout our community and directed toward areas in the most need of reliable public transportation options, particularly low-income and senior communities. Additionally, the champions of this measure should be honest with taxpayers about the real costs and challenges of creating a world-class regional transit system.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* When completed, high-speed rail will be the spine of California’s public transportation network. As the largest city in the Bay Area with an existing transit hub that will soon be adding BART to the mix, it makes dollars and sense for HSR to come through San José. That being said, the devil is in the details. As a councilmember, I would engage in extensive community outreach and collaboration at all stages of the planning process to ensure that HSR follows the best possible alignment for increasing transportation efficiency while also respecting the character and quality of our neighborhoods.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* It is both our moral and a fiscal imperative to come together as a community to address the affordability of our state, city, and region. If we embrace a spirit of working together towards innovative solutions, we can create a ladder of opportunity that gives everyone a fair shot at stability and success. In addition to supporting this bond measure, I would urge the City to build on existing partnerships and develop new relationships with the nonprofit and private sectors to continue to explore and implement innovative projects like transitional housing, hotel/motel conversions, micro apartments, and regulated urban camping.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

Why or why not?
* I do not believe that charter schools are the answer to our education challenges. I would prefer to focus attention on expanding investment in traditional public schools. Public education should be free from pre-school through undergraduate school in order to create equity across all demographics and give every person in our country an opportunity to receive a high-quality education. I also believe we must recruit, develop, and adequately support a new generation of teachers, and that we should compensate them at a level commensurate with the most respected occupations in our society, such as doctors, lawyers, and elected officials.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* A key obstacle to taking action to protect against the impact of sea level rise is revenue. That’s why I have publicly endorsed this measure (AA on the June 7th ballot) and will be including it in my pitch to voters when talking about my own campaign. But this effort cannot and will not end with a ballot measure. Elected leaders and key stakeholders must continue to work together to develop comprehensive solutions to protect our existing environment, reduce impacts from climate change, and plan for preservation so that future generations are not saddled with mistakes of the past.

District 6 – Helen K. Chapman

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I support the intent, but need the full details. With the proposed sales tax increases, San José may be reaching its state imposed local tax limit which puts us in a precarious position. The City’s fiscal sustainability cannot be diminished.

Conversations with residents have raised issues about the interconnectivity of the transit systems, especially in underserved and low-income areas. We need a VTA that is accessible and responsive to the needs of our community.

We must address all these items with a broad community engagement process. The priorities set by the Measure must be honored upon passage.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* I was a participant in the discussions on High Speed Rail as a member of the Diridon Good Neighbor Committee, which worked on planning for the Station area. While supportive, my primary concern is District 6 and San José be heard throughout the process.

HSR will connect California, but not at the expense of our community. We need genuine open dialogues that produce meaningful input from the public, including looking at an underground tunnel as an alternative choice to bring HSR into San José. Consideration must be given to the supportive infrastructure, such as increased fire, police, and pedestrian traffic.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Finding permanent and sustainable solutions for our residents in direr need is an utter necessity. I applaud SVLG & Senate President DeLeon for taking a lead with this bond. The mental health issues underlying the homeless crisis are all but certain.

Strong oversight is needed so we provide housing while also addressing supplementary services to address critical mental health issues. We need regional solutions to be included to engage comprehensive social services. We are working with people, not numbers. This bond could be a significant first step towards ending homelessness in our lifetime.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

* Why or why not?
While I am supportive of including charter schools as part of providing quality education, they must not be the primary alternative to public schools. High enrollment turnover, lower test scores, and difficulties in maintaining quality education, are becoming too frequent a complaint with some charter schools. Our education oversight should be handled first by our local school boards.

We need to have more long-term successes and diversity from charter schools, which addresses special education needs. We must properly invest in education and our public schools. I will be an advocate for finding city opportunities to support our schools.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We have an environmental, moral and community responsibility to be tenacious stewards over our natural resources, especially as we face major concerns due to climate change.

It is important than San José has strong representation in the oversight of these funds. While sea-level rise will only impact a small portion of our city, we are the largest city in the Bay Area and hold the potential for being the biggest leaders for making real, pragmatic change for our sustainability. Our residents enjoy the beauty of the San Francisco Bay and will be proactive to preserve and protect it.

District 6 – Devora “Dev” Joan Davis

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I will consider supporting the VTA sales tax if San Jose receives its fair share for street repair. San Jose needs to be able to address the backlog of street maintenance that it has accumulated from years of deferrals. Allocation of funds to each city should be based on population and miles of roads.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* I will support high-speed rail to and through San Jose only if it can be constructed in a way that protects the integrity of all neighborhoods. In addition, it is important for the project to be built within the budget as it stands today, which is already higher than the original budget that was provided to voters. Further, any ongoing subsidies for operations should be phased out over time.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* No

Why or why not?
* I agree that much of the state needs more housing, and more mental health services need to be made available to everyone, including chronically homeless people. However, I am opposed to all state bond measures, because the state should not be crippling its future finances — and our children and grandchildren — by assuming more debt obligations to pay for new programs and services. Californians must pressure their legislators to pay for new programs out of general funds by cutting existing ineffective programs.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
*As an education policy analyst who specializes charter school research, I know that the research is clear: Low-income students have larger academic gains in charter schools than their traditional district school counterparts. District schools have to be all things to all students and have to abide by district-wide policy that may not be well-suited to all student populations. Charter schools have the autonomy to provide a specialized educational experience that has proven to be more successful in helping low-income students to learn.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* The San Francisco Bay is a delicate ecosystem that makes our region’s Mediterranean climate possible. It is important to preserve, protect, and restore the Bay for future generations. In addition, given the projected rise in sea levels over the next several years, we must also ensure that we are prepared for the possibility of floods in our area.

District 6 – Erik Nicholas Fong

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes (Support)

Why or why not?
* Transportation is a major area for improvement in San José and Silicon Valley, and a top issue in District 6. Our roads are in terrible shape — not just for cars, but also for pedestrians and our aging community. Additionally, we lack the infrastructure to support alternate forms of transportation like bike lanes. While much-needed road maintenance will fix our problems today, we need to invest in other forms of transportation, and the proposed tax will allow us to invest in our infrastructure without sacrificing other services that are covered through the general fund.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* I support High-Speed Rail to and through San José’s Diridon Station as long as existing neighborhoods are respected and the transportation infrastructure is either above or below ground and doesn’t interrupt existing traffic flow. As previously mentioned, San José has major transportation shortcomings as the third largest city in California, and our city is expected to grow by 400,000 residents by the year 2040. High-Speed Rail is an important piece of the puzzle in alleviating congestion and improving quality of life for my residents in District 6.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes (Support)

Why or why not?
* The first step to ending homelessness is to create a diverse housing stock including affordable housing, and we need to prioritize our most vulnerable citizens. I have supported this bond publicly and will work with SVLG and state leadership to get California to invest its money back into San José. I helped launch Kartma, a downtown San José coffee cart that employs individuals transitioning out of homelessness. This is the type of innovation that I will bring to Council. San José needs a complete system of housing, jobs, and support to ensure residents have resources to lead healthy, stable lives.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

Why or why not?
* I am not against charter schools but would prefer to focus on improving existing public schools.
District 6 is lucky enough to have a strong public school system due to heavy parent participation and ambitious school officials. My priority is to harness the passion and desire of our parents and school officials and ensure that they have what they need to serve all of their students. I’ve supported the
parents and school officials in my district by volunteering, fundraising, and donating to several parent-led 501c3 organizations including the Willow Glen Foundation, Performing Arts Boosters, and Habla River Glen.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I served on the Measure Q Endorsement Committee and was Vice Chair of the San José Parks and Recreation Commission. My home in Willow Glen includes native plants, a laundry-to-landscape greywater system, a front and back yard full of fruits and vegetables, and five chickens. My commitment to the environment was acknowledged with an endorsement by the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters. I believe strongly in the spirit of the measure and am proud to support.

District 6 – Norm Kline

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Yes, I support a 30 year half-cent sale tax to accomplish the list as noted above.

Traffic is life-blood of commerce. If transportation doesn’t work, the economy doesn’t work. If the economy doesn’t work, we will all be in a big hurt.

All city roads in the county need maintenance, but San Jose has some serious catching up to do. This measure will help kick-start rebuilding from a massive maintenance deficit.

Finishing BART to San Jose is a must. It is a game-changer for San Jose and the Valley, connecting heavy passenger rail around the Bay and finishing a dream that should have been done decades earlier and billions cheaper. Caltrain is a major part of that solution. As a former Chair of the VTA/CalTrain Capital Improvement Committee, I know electrification is just half the battle. We also need grade separation and safety improvements to be able to increase the frequency of trains.

The Valley Expressways are the main arteries of our transit system, each carrying almost as many cars as a full freeway system. Improving their throughput has a multiplier effect throughout all other systems. There is almost now better use of dollars when it comes to traditional auto transit improvements.

In our rush to make life better for those working and playing in abundance, we need to always carve out a portion for those left out. Pushing the nickel back across the table, even if that nickel doesn’t return a profit, is something I’ve always believed in. If that nickel had not come to me, I would not have found a home when I was homeless, would not have gone to college when I was poor and would not have been given the breaks to succeed in business. Carving out a portion for seniors, students, and low-come and the disabled is just the right thing to do.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* YES. I support a high speed rail line to Downtown San Jose. There are many reasons to say no. I’m sure there were many reasons to say no to the national freeway system or our modern day airport network. The reason to say yes is simple. We have to. Our population will double in the next 50-100 years. We will not double the freeways or airports. Heavy Rail is the most efficient method of moving large numbers of people from point A to point B over a 100 to 500 mile range. It works extremely well in all advanced countries on Earth and there is no reason why it can’t work here as well.

No major transit system ever has been paid for all up front at one time. You do what you can, when you can and having foresight to do so now, normally saves major dollars later; look at what BART could have been if completed around the Bay in the 1960s with dimes on today’s dollars? My one and only concern is design. A bad design of the system within San Jose could be devastating to the downtown and surrounding communities. An excellent design could be something of unbelievable grander. We need to get that right and San Jose has to have ownership of the design.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* YES. My inclination is to support this as long as the bond is mostly used for capital improvements, physical items, and not primarily for operations. Bonds should be for investments. If those physical investments are matched by operational funds by state, local, and non-profits, then this could really be a great building block. The homeless issue has many different layers to it, but the mentally ill is a significant layer and we as a society have not come to terms with taking care of people who can not take care of themselves. $2 Billion will not solve the problem, but it could be a solid investment if it went into foundation building. Again, I need to learn more, but at this point I’m in favor the effort.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* YES. As a former San Jose City Planning Commissioner I have been involved in approving Charter school sites throughout the city but specifically in low-income neighborhoods. This is not an easy decision and each must be viewed on a case by case basis. To me this is about choice. Well off people have a choice. If the local school is not performing, they just send their children to a private school. Charter schools provide a potential choice to those not so wealthy. If a local school is not doing so well, a Charter school can provide the opportunity for the children to succeed without their parents being rich. The downside of course is that we really want to improve all the public schools. Hopefully the Charter school movement will provide the competitive element that might make all public schools better. That is the hope and wish.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Yes. As a former Chair of the Santa Clara Planning Commission, Mayor of Saratoga and Chair of San Jose Planning commission I have some interesting isight on this issue.

You see, all those communities, either next to or far away from the Bay, depend on critical business, tourism and public facilities right next to the Bay. If you follow all the creeks and all the sewers lines in each of of the 15 cities, you will end up on the Bay Front and mostly at the San Jose Water Pollution plant. But more than that, the vast majority of hi-tech paying jobs, the jobs that drive the community and pay or 5 to 8 other service jobs, rest within earshot of Bay waters. I am sure that this story is similar along the other 8-counties surrounding the Bay.

Is it fair for everyone big and small to pay the same $12.00? Well first, it is $12 and not $1,200. Second, even in poor communities, the damage of property values would be unbelievable if large portions of the Bay shoreline became flooded. Second, this is really just a small downpayment on what will be needed in the future. It is a commitment by all of us to help. Those that can help even more, will need to now step up to the plate and do so. A few women started a half century ago to lead a movement to prevent infilling the Bay and we have all benefited greatly from their heroic efforts. We can now help finish that job, not only to protect the natural environment but to protect our own economic interests.

District 6 – Ruben Navarro

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* We need to invest in our Transportation Infrastructure. It has been noted by the City that close 40% of our roads that are currently fine to drive will fall into “poor” condition. We need to have the funds to make sure they are regularly kept up. Also, our population is set to increase significantly in the coming decades. We need to prepare to move new residents efficiently across the valley. Finishing the Bart Extension to San Jose and Santa Clara will help move people across the valley.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* Yes, but we should look to see if it is economically feasible to move the rail underground. It has been said that some property owners will lose their land due to eminent domain in order to make room for this project. If we can move it underground, then there’s less of a chance that it will impact the local residents. Also, it is a good solution to our housing crisis. More people can live in affordable housing communities and easily come to work to San Jose by Rail.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Yes, but we need to provide shelter for all homeless people. There are people that just can’t afford to keep up with the high cost of living in certain areas. If we do a cost analysis of how much is spent helping the homeless that are in the street compared to if they are being housed, I’m pretty sure it will be cheaper to have them housed and provide them the health and mental services they need.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Yes as long as it doesn’t affect local schools and we are guaranteed that all the teachers go through the rigorous training needed to help Low-Income students excel in areas of Math and English. All Charter schools should not only meet the standards on the State’s Smarter Balanced English and math tests, but exceed them.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Yes. We need the funds in order to help with Tidal marsh restoration. This measure can improve water quality and control pollution by reducing the trash and other toxins that flow into the Bay and ocean. It would increase natural habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. We’ll be able to restore some of the damage that has occurred and also help invest in the future of our Bay.

District 6 – Myron Von Raesfeld

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* No

Why or why not?
* 30 years is too long for any temporary tax. Temporary taxes should be reviewed by the voters every 10 years or less to keep them relevant. Living in the capital of Silicon Valley it is clear to me that we will keep inventing and innovating which may lead to better alternative ways to deal with issues such as this. I could support a ballot measure with specific assurances that the funds must be added to existing budgeted items and could not be diverted in any way from the areas in which the voters were told they would be used.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* No, I oppose High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* Due to the many other serious issues (such as lack of water, crime, and the homeless) our city, county, and state face I was not and am not a supporter of the HSRL. This train is going to require the taking a hundreds of acres of private property and will greatly affect surrounding property values. I would prefer for us to use our money and resources solving the homeless problem and creating more water storage to provide the one resource we all need to live, WATER.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* No

Why or why not?
* Continuing to dig our fiscal hole deeper is not the answer to the homeless crisis.
The way we treat & turn our backs on the homeless is inhumane. Placing homeless in residential and downtown areas is not the solution.
There is a better way.

• Provide a safe area for them to camp legally
• Engage families of homeless to help their homeless family member
• Organize the various agencies & non-profits to focus their resources to legal camps.

Bringing the Homeless together in manageable communities will allow the Public and Private agencies to provide the support to all those who need it efficiently.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* If we are having better success with the Charter Schools then we need to support an educational system that creates positive results for our children and families.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* No

* Why or why not?
Parcel taxes unfairly penalize property owners by forcing them to pay while nonresidents and those who do not own property have no skin in the game for issues that will affect us all. If this is a real problem then everyone who either works, lives, or visits here should participate in paying for the solutions. The burden of saving the bay should not be born on the backs of just property owners.

District 6 – Chris Roth

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

* Why or why not?
I wholeheartedly support this measure and the significant benefits it will bring for our regional transportation infrastructure, environmental sustainability and economic well being. As a former member of the SVLG Transportation Policy Committee, I understand the importance of these improvements, and I know that this measure will improve how people move throughout the region as they take their kids to school, commute to work, and move about our region safely and efficiently. I also firmly believe the Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee is critical to maintaining the public trust and support in this effort to improve transportation infrastructure and protect our environment.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* It is time for Silicon Valley to have access to transportation infrastructure that keeps up with our innovation economy. Currently, people commute from as far away as Gilroy, Merced, and Fresno for good-paying but far-away jobs in Silicon Valley. High-Speed Rail will help alleviate our regional gridlock by creating opportunities for Silicon Valley workers to live throughout our region and commute to work in significantly less time and producing far less pollution than by car. High-Speed Rail will greatly modernize our state’s transportation infrastructure, connecting our statewide economy and creating new opportunities for San José.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I applaud the efforts of SVLG and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon to help tackle such a large challenge facing our communities; cities must address this issue head up, but we also can’t do it alone, and the support of our state government is critical to solve the homelessness crisis facing our cities and our state.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Education in the U.S. still routinely fails our children, and the results speak for themselves. Until every child in our neighborhoods, our city, and our nation have access to an excellent education, we must continue seeking better solutions and improving our public education for our kids, especially for those in low-income neighborhoods. As long as public charter schools are making progress and showing positive results for our kids, then we should continue pursuing public charter schools as a solution.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I believe that climate change – and addressing climate change, particularly rising sea levels which will continue to adversely impact our city and our region – is the challenge of our generation and we must take significant action at the local, regional, national and global level to protect our planet and the future of our families and children. I am a lifelong advocate for the environment and I support this initiative. This initiative is especially critical for the Silicon Valley companies in the flood risk zone, and it will take regional action to protect our economy from current and future threats, including wetland restoration and rebuilding our infrastructure.

DISTRICT 8

District 8 – Josh Barousse

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?

* I support this ballot measure. I believe that as the 10th largest city in the nation, and largest city in northern California, it is time that San Jose has a transportation network that connects residents to other parts of the region, and provides the necessary infrastructure upgrades to roads and freeways throughout Santa Clara County. I also believe this measure would benefit seniors, students, low-income, and disabled residents by making transportation options more affordable and accessible, encourages residents to get out of their cars, and would drive economic opportunities in our city.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* I support a High-Speed Rail Line to and through downtown San Jose’s Diridon Station, under the conditions that we accommodate retail, housing, and business to be developed along the transit corridor, allowing for a more pedestrian-friendly community to reduce our carbon footprint and generate revenues for the city. This rail line would also allow for the electrification of Caltrain, which will operate quieter, cleaner, will increase ridership and fare revenue and alleviate traffic congestion, and would create regional job opportunities.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* ___ Yes ___ No

Why or why not?
* I support this bond measure, as I applaud the City Council taking innovative measures to provide housing opportunities for our growing homeless population by converting existing structures to transitional housing, this bond would supplement these actons by funding the mental health and substance abuse services needed to help them successfully transition out of chronic homelessness and back into our communities. For instance, I believe an effective model would be to have case workers onsite at these facilities to provide services and operate as a ‘one-stop shop’ in helping individuals with their transition.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* No

Why or why not?
* As a product of San Jose public schools, I do not believe San Jose should increase the number of public charter schools within city limits. Several charter schools contain statewide advisory boards, thus lack local oversight, and are not acutely aware of the issues affecting the local communities. I rather believe that the state should continue investing in enrichment and learning opportunities for our public schools.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I support Measure AA to restore the San Francisoc Bay, as it is the first time the nine-counties in the Bay Area have worked together in a collaborative spirit to protect the San Francisco Bay for future generations against sea level rise, flooding, and pollution.

District 8 – Denise Belisle

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I strongly support a dedicated sales tax to accomplish our pavement rehabilitation and transit projects. However, my support is contingent upon a substantial percentage be used for road repair and San Jose receives its fair share based on taxes paid.

Our roads need investment. While a recent audit found that the Department of Transportation was spending their money very efficiently, it also found that the City didn’t have enough resources to properly keep up with our roads. The City cannot wait for the State or Federal government to step up and address these issues.

I am supportive of funding to complete BART and get one step closer to the “ring around the bay”

Traffic safety is one of the main issues I care about. We know we can do more to reduce fatalities, but it will take money to design and pave our roads correctly.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* The industries in our valley are extremely important to the entire world. The future is being led by the ideas invented here. Opportunities to succeed in the valley are limitless. Unfortunately, we don’t have unlimited space for these people to live. High Speed Rail would help us move people from where they live to where the jobs are in San Jose. Starting San Jose as the first major destination of High Speed Rail just makes sense. We also need to make sure it does not become a bottomless pit of money for construction or operation.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Each year San Jose makes a dent in our required affordable housing numbers, but this is a problem that is too big for cities to tackle on their own. We need to make a significant investment, statewide, so that Cities can get the resources they need to effectively address unprecedented population pressure. It is very expensive and difficult for a City to build units that are affordable enough for the chronically homeless. If a statewide funding push helped support Cities in this task, it would free up staff and resources.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Public Charter Schools add value to our community by offering alternative teaching options to the community, often in a culturally relevant manner that achieves much more parent involvement than traditional teaching practices do. It’s resulted in some good conversations about looking at our school structure to see if we can improve the future for our young people by looking at the whole family. Part of my platform includes a goal of introducing more after-school programs for youth so that we can improve their learning and keep our kids safe in these programs instead of on our streets.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* I typically will support specific taxes for specific causes, and this tax aligns with that. The Bay is one of our greatest assets as a region and we need to protect it, but we need to be smart about our efforts. Current projections say the sea level will rise to the point that it would hurt members of our community and thousands of businesses, along with the jobs at those locations. We should pass this parcel tax before the problem is upon us so we can start acting now. While reducing green house gasses should still be pursued, we should take this chance to learn from the mistake of starting too late.

District 8 – Jimmy Nguyen

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:
• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;
Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Our transportation infrastructure is in great need of improvement; e.g. crumbling roads, potholes, etc. To alleviate our frustration, prevent wasted human hours, and strengthen our local economy, we should improve our public transportation infrastructure. Doing so, we can expand the ridership by making public transportation efficient and convenient. This will reduce our reliance on cars, which will alleviate the wear and tear on our roads, save time on commutes, and reduce our carbon footprint. Rather than using our limited resources to build new roads, i.e. spending on the automobile ecosystem, we should invest in our public transportation ecosystem.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* In reference to my answer in question 1, if we improve our rail transportation infrastructure, we will cut down on commute times and alleviate San Jose’s traffic problems. This will allow commuters to arrive to their destinations sooner, while incentivizing public transportation. The key benefit to choosing this option, and overall public transportation improvement, is to reduce our carbon footprint by establishing a long term transportation that is both sustainable and environmentally friend.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Homelessness is a problem that affects all of us, whether or not we are homeless. We should focus on helping the homeless population by providing them the opportunity reenter our community as contributing members of society rather than leaving them on the fringe of existence with little to no hope. However, I would like learn how this $2 billion will be allocated and spent to ensure there is no waste. In supporting this bond, we should receive assurances that San Jose will receive a fair share to tackle our huge and nationally known homeless issue.

4. “E” – Education
Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Maybe

Why or why not?
* While I strongly support making quality education accessible to low income students, I would favor investing more money and resources into our existing public school system. On the other hand, where the existing schools do not serve the student community, I would be open to an alternative such as public charter schools. Additionally, I’d like to learn how using our financial resources to fund public charter schools would serve low-income students better than using the same resources to support the existing system.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* The alternative to restoring the bay habitats and natural flood protections is building disruptive and unsightful retaining walls to address the flood issues. This will hurt us more in loss of nature and aesthetics than a $12 per parcel tax while also disrupting the bay’s entire ecosystem. As a member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Independent Monitoring Committee for Clean Water and Flood Protection, I strongly support protecting, preserving, and restoring the bay’s natural beauty while continuing to improve flood protection.

District 8 – Pat Waite

  1. Transportation –

    For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County.  A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors.  From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

* Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;

* Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;

* Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;

* Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;

* Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;

* Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?

*Yes

* Why or Why Not?

Transportation is one of the top issues facing District 8, and second only to public safety when I ask people what the biggest issues facing our district are. We have to fund improvements to the system to facilitate the freer flow of people around the Bay Area, and convert commute time into community time.

  1. Transportation

    High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?

* No, I oppose High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose.

* Why or Why Not – and if yes, under what conditions?

I have been a long-time opponent of high speed rail in general. It is a 19th century solution that is poorly suited to the problems of today. It will be extraordinarily expensive, and the financial plan is fraught with faulty assumptions regarding ridership, fare box recovery and the cost of construction. High speed rail will end up being a burden to California tax payers for years to come. That said, if it is built, it absolutely should go to and through San Jose.

  1. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

    The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues.  By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?

* Yes

* Why or Why Not?

We must be a compassionate society that takes care of those who are mentally or physically unable to take care of themselves.

  1. “E” – Education

“Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?

*Yes

* Why or Why Not?

A quality education is the most effective way to provide people a leg up. Parents should have the option of choosing an different school if their public institution is not providing the results that all students deserve.

  1. “E” – Environment and Energy

    For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level.  Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program. 

To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?

* Yes

* Why or Why Not?

DISTRICT 10

District 10 – Johnny Khamis

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Our tax revenue from the gasoline tax is not adequate to repair our streets and build necessary infrastructure. Much of the money will go back to our city for vitally needed repairs.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes).

Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?
* No, I oppose High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* While I feel that High-Speed Rail is an innovative idea, I do not feel it can accomplish its intended goals. The costs will likely not come near what taxpayers were originally told and may not be any less expensive than flying. Funding would be better spent on increasing the capacity of Caltrain and extending service to more southern parts of the Bay Area.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* ___ Yes ___ No

Why or why not?
* It depends on how we would pay for this.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Any innovative way for at-risk youth to receive better education can only improve the community.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* It is important take every ounce of prevention possible to ensure that the bay is protected and maintained to avoid any future costs.

District 10 – J. Michael Sodergren

1. “T” – Transportation

For the past 3 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s 400 member companies have been reaching out to the broader community about our > willingness to help champion a November, 2016 transportation funding measure to provide congestion relief, transit options & street maintenance > improvements throughout the 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County. A transportation-specific measure, with accountability requirements, could be placed on the ballot by either the VTA or the County Board of Supervisors. From the perspective of the Leadership Group, a DRAFT 75-word Ballot Statement might read as follows:

“To Relieve Traffic, Repair Potholes; shall the Valley Transportation Authority enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

• Repair Streets, Fix Potholes in all 15 Cities;
• Finish the BART Extension to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
• Improve Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety, especially near Schools;
• Increase CalTrain capacity, easing highway congestion and improving safety at crossings;
• Relieve traffic on all 9 Expressways and Key Highway Interchanges;
• Enhance Transit for Seniors, Students, Low-Income, Disabled;

Mandating Annual Audits by an Independent Citizens Watchdog Committee to ensure accountability.”

Would you support or oppose this ballot measure?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* Ideally, the funding for projects of this nature should be tied as closely as possible to those who benefit most directly, in this case drivers and riders. This develops the greatest sense of connection between voting “yes” for taxes and fees. In this case, the tax should be embedded in the suite of taxes for gasoline and diesel fuel, not for the entire suite of items we buy. This is especially important as the taxable non-fuel items we buy are invariably delivered to us by vehicles that primarily use gasoline or diesel, so we could avoid a double taxation.

2. “T” – Transportation

High-Speed Rail: The High Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan calls for their next segment to come from Fresno to San Jose, which would provide 220-mile per hour service to Downtown San Jose from Fresno (60 minutes), Merced (45 minutes) and Gilroy (15 minutes). Would you support or oppose a High-Speed Rail Line to and through Downtown San Jose’s “Diridon Station,” by the SAP Arena, and under what conditions?

* Yes, I support High-Speed Rail to and through San Jose

Why or why not – and if yes, under what conditions?
* After giving a translated presentation to a Japanese audience of how our newly minted wired and wireless technologies would change the world, I experienced high speed rail between Tokyo and Kyoto for the first time. The 300+ mile gap between techies in a sprawling hotel ballroom and ancient temples was spanned in 2+ hours. That was 25+ years ago. It’s our time to take the next step. Expanding the Silicon Valley labor pool into the Central Valley, is the first of many benefits. Our challenge is to maximize domestic materials content and labor for every aspect of this project. To achieve that, we must go from students of this work to designers, builders, and ultimately the teachers of others. This multiples the investment in high speed rail, spinning off many different new innovations. To maintain and/or achieve competitive global leadership, we should contract out design, materials and labor to international suppliers only where it is absolutely necessary, and then, only to those who are committed to lifting us up. We are far past due in advancing people and materials logistic systems in California, and developing the skills and industries to take Silicon Valley leadership nationwide.

3. “H” – Housing & Homelessness

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is working with State Senate President Kevin de Leon on a bipartisan effort to pass a $2 billion statewide homelessness bond to help provide housing for chronically homeless people with mental health issues. By some estimates, those who are homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges make up as much as 90 percent of our chronically homeless population.

Would you support or oppose this statewide legislative effort for a $2 billion homeless bond to serve those with mental health issues?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* It’s easy to explain homelessness by pointing to flawed decision making and dependency issues that contribute mercilessly to the development of mental health issues, but hard to resolve without taking steps that get people into homes. Whatever happened to you, or whatever you did to arrive at the bottom of society, you are worthy of other people’s concern. Subject to a desperately futile cycle of despair and disappointment, you are unlikely to emerge without help from those who are not homeless. Providing a place to call home is not a solution by itself, but a good place to start. The development and provision of housing needs to be coupled with community involvement that hopefully ensures that those who are homeless will integrate with their community and with those with compassionate hearts, committed to showing people that need it, the path up from the bottom. Homelessness is one of the most heartbreaking issues of our day.

4. “E” – Education

Should San Jose increase the number of public “Charter Schools” to make quality education accessible to more low-income students?
* Unsure

Why or why not?
* In general, we as a society need to do everything possible to increase our investment in the education of our children. It is not clear whether the specific step of adding Charter Schools in San Jose will result in additional funding for our children’s education, a more efficient use of prevailing funding, or if this would be a redistribution of funding that favors a new/different model for our public schools. The RoI for spending on education is very positive versus the alternative.

5. “E” – Environment & Energy

For the past 7 years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been working with Save the Bay, the Bay Area Council and others to develop a funding plan to restore the Bay and to prepare our region for potential flooding that would jeopardize our Water Pollution Control Plant, public utilities, roads, and commercial, industrial and residential facilities, all below sea level. Would you support a $12 per year parcel tax in the 9-county Bay Area, with the 75-word ballot statement below:

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.

To protect San Francisco Bay for future generations by reducing trash, pollution and harmful toxins, improving water quality, restoring habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, protecting communities from floods, and increasing shoreline public access, shall the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority authorize a parcel tax of $12 per year, raising approximately $25 million annually for twenty years with independent citizen oversight, audits, and all funds staying local?
* Yes

Why or why not?
* The funds required to add protection of the San Francisco Bay and the communities on its shores is worth the estimated $12.00 per year for every property.

Media contact: Nancy Sanchez, [email protected], 408-501-7879

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