The highest priority of the San José government is to protect life and provide for the safety of its residents. As a San Jose Firefighter for the past 20 years, I have lived to protect our city.
Help Our Homeless
Homelessness is a tragic situation in District 7. Unfortunately the current Council person has failed to provide the leadership needed to solve this problem. There is no doubt, homelessness affects Safety as well our local small businesses.
I work with our homeless community and I see the impacts mental illness is having upon them. The fact is that they are not receiving the help they need to get better and to become contributing members of society once again. Drugs are found in almost every encampment. I have seen the desperation and it breaks my heart to see the pain for all experiencing this situation.
Children should not see people in despair on their way to school. Parks should be clean. Our waterways should be healthy and vibrant. No one should have to worry about their safety because someone is having a violent episode on the side of the street. We must do better.
Let’s help our homeless by focusing on rehabilitation focused therapy, emphasizing sobriety, treatment for mental illness and job placement. We must have housing solutions that make sense for the people we are trying to help. We need cost effective modular housing and facilities to care for our homeless with a safety net of services available after they reenter society so they do so with compassion and confidence to help them succeed.
Additionally, we must address the ongoing issue of mental health in our city and demand that our state and county do their job and provide the required hospitals and resources to help these neighbors before they have an unfortunate violent interaction with another one of our community members.
The highest priority of the San José government is to protect life and provide for the safety of its residents. As a San Jose Firefighter for the past 20 years, my life has been dedicated to protecting our city.
As your councilmember we will improve public safety together. I will generate a plan to create trust, confidence, and build personal community relationships with our police department. This will empower and encourage members of our diverse community to call for help when they need it. The officers can only do their job if our residents feel comfortable engaging with them and I have heard all too often that people are afraid to call for help. That changes with me.
One of the ways we will accomplish this is by retaining our experienced officers through incentive programs, competitive wages, health insurance and retirement benefits to keep the best trained officers at home in San Jose instead of leaving for other departments.
Another is that we will engage our officers with the community; especially our youth. Having gotten on the wrong track myself 35 years ago, I understand how important it is for our young people to have guidance and a positive sense of purpose and belonging. That's why I've gone out of my way to engage affirmatively with at-risk kids and show them that there's a better way. Youth Intervention Services, in conjunction with the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force, will be one of my key focuses.
District 7 needs a Councilmember who understands the challenges that our community faces and who will support our law enforcement personnel and give them the resources and support required to staff our department appropriately. We will hire more officers and I will collaborate with other City Council members to open the southern police station which will be a tremendous boost for officer response in calls for help in District 7.
We need to promote job growth in District 7 and across San Jose as a whole. Our city loses out on hundreds of millions of dollars every year in missed tax opportunities because we do not have enough businesses here. Therefore, we need to improve the jobs to housing ratio by lowering the cost and time required to get approvals for new retail and commercial purposes. This will broaden the tax base without increasing rates.
And we must address crime if we have any hopes of becoming a business-friendly city. It's not acceptable that some of our District 7 businesses are paying additional money for protections against crime. This amounts to double taxation for our businesses.
We need to promote a business friendly environment where unnecessary and tedious regulations are relaxed so business both large and small can thrive in San José. We do this by reducing the complexity of the City business permit department, lowering fees for business licenses, and supporting startup businesses while encouraging them to stay in San Jose once they mature.
Additionally we need to work with our state legislature to reduce taxes on businesses here in California. Too many of our large employers are leaving for business friendly states like Texas, Idaho, and Nevada. They need to do their part to keep our state competitive and keep our businesses golden in California.
Make Housing Affordable
Housing is outrageously expensive. I do not want to further tax our residents to create housing and I want to make housing affordable by eliminating governmental bureaucracy and red tape. The government is responsible for 23.8% of the cost of housing on average nationally, and I believe that number is higher in San Jose. We should emphasize large and dense housing projects in appropriate areas, such as near major light rail stations and urban villages, and develop beautiful communities where our residents can live, eat, work, and shop all without a car.
We need to preserve our existing neighborhoods at the same time as we streamline large projects. I am opposed to SB9 because it takes away local control and does not include any affordable housing. Adding multiple units (up to four) to existing single-family lots would place a burden on infrastructure, reduce tree canopy, and increase traffic in District 7, which is already overly dense. However, I do support San Jose's current Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program and would push to make it easier to permit existing basement and garage dwellings so they are legal and safe.
I want to improve housing opportunities for all San Joseans by removing excess fees and regulations that make housing expensive in the first place. We will work to provide financial pathways and grants for first time homebuyers. We will keep rent increases low with the existing tenant protective ordinance. We will lower the cost of housing for all.
Improve Our Infrastructure and City Government
Trust in our City government is near an all-time low and the overwhelming feeling in District 7 is that the problems we have are not being addressed. Our government treats us like the dumpster of the city and we won’t have it anymore! Infrastructure and transportation projects in our District are far behind other districts.
Most of the jobs in our City and region are to our north while most of the housing is south of the jobs. We are the third most congested traffic area in the country already and the general plan calls for narrowing our roads and reducing our abilities to take alternate routes. An example is the new Senter Road pavement and lane striping south of Tully, which is a dangerous headache for drivers. It is disorienting and is a bottleneck for traffic.
Our taxes are increased to “solve” our problems however we do not see the results and in many cases the issues are getting worse as more money is thrown at them. All the people of District 7 deserve positive results and fiscally responsible solutions.
Promote and Protect our Parks and Environment
I am committed to a healthy and beautiful environment in San Jose! We live in a dense concrete jungle and must do everything we can to repair the fragile ecosystems in our watershed that have been destroyed by years of abuse and negligence. To do this, we need to enforce existing laws that are designed to keep our parks, watershed, and open space clean and enjoyable. Specifically, in partnering with the county and state, we must help our homeless get back on their feet and receive necessary addiction and mental health treatment so they no longer live in our parklands and watershed. Not only will this beautify our environment, it will keep our city safer from criminals who prey upon our vulnerable homeless residents and use them as cover as they break the law.
Parks need to be clean and safe, especially for our children of District 7. I will not tolerate needles, feces, condoms, drugs, weapons in our parks and will demand immediate action from city staff to remedy this problem as quickly as possible. No child should ever have their health jeopardized playing on a playground.
We want clean and reliable energy to power our homes and I am committed to working with local and state officials to hold PG&E accountable for the wildfires we experience every year. We will continue to incentivize clean energy sources and use in our city which I hope will also bring significant cost savings to our residents. We must act today for a cleaner tomorrow!