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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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City Council, District 6City of San JoseJune 7, 2016California Primary Election

Local
June 7, 2016California Primary Election

City of San JoseCity Council, District 6

Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (52/52).
  • 27,337 ballots counted.

About this office

Members of the city council draft and vote on city laws and appoint certain municipal officers and employees.
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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 1 candidate of 8 total candidates.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
Please scroll down to see all candidates.
Education Researcher/Businesswoman
4,801 votes (20.54%)Winning
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  • I am running to make sure that the city of San Jose provides the five core services (Police, Fire, Roads, Libraries, and Parks) in fully functional capacities while maintaining fiscally responsible policies.
  • I will make increasing the number of Community Service Officers (CSO's) a top priority to help meet San Jose's public safety needs.
  • I will work hard to streamline the permitting and fees process to enable local businesses to grow and to provide a more welcoming environment for new businesses. I would also like to see the character of established neighborhoods maintained.
Profession:Education Researcher at CREDO, a division of the Stanford University Hoover Institution

Born and raised in North Dakota, Dev moved to California after college to work at the San Francisco based Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in 2002. After receiving an offer to be a researcher with Stanford’s Center for Education Outcomes (CREDO), Dev and her husband Chris, moved to San Jose in 2004. With formal education as an economist, Dev’s expertise is in data analysis; she is currently finishing up dual master’s degrees at Stanford in Public Policy and Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies. 

 

Dev has worked hard for her District 6 community. She has been the president and a member of the board of the North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, where she established the disaster preparedness program. Dev also chaired the City of San Jose’s Early Care and Education Commission. Furthermore, Dev served on the Sherman Oaks Playground Committee where she helped plan and build a new playground. These are just a few of Dev’s outstanding qualifications and accomplishments in the community. For a full list please visit www.DevDavis.com. 

1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Devora Joan "Dev" Davis:

I have over a decade in economic and education research and analytics with CREDO at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University that has shaped my ability to look at a situation with objective analysis. I am also recieving dual master's degrees from Stanford University. Beyond my background in economics and my education, what sets me apart the most is that I am NOT bringing any promises, rather a commitment that I will keep the interests of the voters and the sustainibility of the five core services at the forefront of everything I do. I am bringing the ability to set aside emotional responses to very complex issues and to bring cogent and practical solutions.

 

 

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

Answer from Devora Joan "Dev" Davis:

I have experienced what it means to have services cut, first-hand. When my children were pre-school aged, we experienced not being able to go to the libraries, or play in parks, because the libraries were closed and the parks were not maintained and their bathrooms were closed. Every day I drive down our District 6 roads and I fear for the integrity of my tires. Cuts to city services affect each resident on a daily basis and in very tangible ways. My priority, through out this campaign, has been to hear from voters what issues are most important to them, and repeatedly I hear "public safety" and "road maintainence" as the to most frequently cited issues. We need to have a fiscally responsible approach to restoring the five core services (police, fire, roads, libraries, and parks) and I have a plan. To read more about my plan go to www.devdavis.com.

3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

No answer provided.
4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

No answer provided.

Why Dev Is Running for San Jose City Council:

As a candidate for San Jose City Council in District 6, Devora “Dev” Davis is bringing the concerns of voters to the forefront of the race.

As a resident of San Jose for 11 years, Dev and her husband Chris, together with their two children, call Willow Glen home.  If elected, Dev will continue to work hard to make District 6 a better home for all residents. San Jose’s budget crisis and extreme service cuts motivated Dev to go back to school and, ultimately, to run for City Council. “Our kids were in preschool during that awful summer when the libraries were closed, the park bathrooms were closed, and the police stopped patrolling our neighborhood. Like many families, we relied on those services and felt the impact when they were gone.”

Dev is running for City Council to make sure that doesn’t happen again. As a councilmember, Dev will focus on finding cost-effective ways to improve public safety, fix our roads, and bring more jobs to San José while keeping our neighborhood services open and operating full time. Dev is setting the priorities where they should be – with the issues that matter to voters.

 

“I hope you will consider voting for me for City Council District 6 on June 7th. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to make San José an even better place to live. Please call me at (408) 479-4864 if you’d like to discuss local issues or have ideas about possible solutions.”

Community Volunteer
4,715 votes (20.17%)Winning
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  • Public Safety; Working together we can make San José safer for all of us.
  • Tackling our Housing Crisis. We need more affordable housing options and finding sustainable solutions for our homeless residents.
  • Promoting Small Business. Cutting red tape and increasing support for our small businesses.
Profession:Community Advocate, Retired San José Unified School District Research Specialist and former small-business owner
Research Specialist, Educational Accountability Department, San Jose Unified School District (19992014)
Member, Diridon Good Neighbor Committee — Appointed position (20092012)
Task Force member, Coyote Valley Task Force — Elected position (20022008)
San Jose Parks & Recreation Commissioner, City of San Jose — Elected position (20012007)
Member, Measure P Bond Oversite Committee — Appointed position (20012007)
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Associate of Arts (A.A.), Fashion Merchandising (1980)
Founding Member, San Jose Parks Foundation (2009current)
Board Secretary, Committee for Green Foothills (20092016)
Board Director, Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association (20062016)
Member, Burbank/Del Monte Neighborhood Action Coalition (20072016)
Board Member, Our City Forest (19962001)

 

For more than 25 years you and I have been working together in our community.  San Jose is a city of great neighborhoods.  It takes accomplished leadership to ensure our quality of life and to improve our community.  My career has been in both the public and private sector.  As a small-business owner for more than 16 years I faced the challenges of building my own success.  Recently I retired after nearly two decades working with our youth as a Research Specialist with San Jose Unified School District.  In this role I helped struggling students earn their diplomas and coordinated youth volunteer projects, building the foundation for community participation in the next generation.  Along with my husband Dan, we raised two sons that attended Lincoln High School.  My eldest, Nick, is a Marine Veteran, serving two tours in Iraq, and my youngest, Brandon, is currently attending SJSU working on his bachelor's degree.

Beyond my career I have been a committed community advocate.  I served on the San Jose Parks Commission for six years, three as Chair.  I am a former board member of the Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association, San Jose Parks Foundation, Committee For Green Foothills, Diridon Good Neighbor Committee, San Jose Park Advocates, Save Our Trails, Our City Forest and others.  Together we were able to address our need for more parks within District 6, founding Hester, Buena Vista, Del Monte and Newhall parks. You and I also worked hard to see the Bascom Library & Community Center, and revitalize the business corridor along The Alameda to become 'The Alameda - The Beautiful Way'.

I am proud of the work we have done together.  Our community's needs are many, but we've been working together for more two decades to address them.  Please visit our campaign website www.HelenChapman2016.com for more information.  I've been working with and for you for over 25 years.   I'm ready to get started at City Hall on Day 1 for you.  Thank you. 

  • Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor
  • Don Rocha, San Jose Councilmember
  • Susan Ellenberg, Trustee San Jose Unified School District
  • Mike Flaugher, Vice-Chairperson, Open Space Authority, District 2
  • Mayra Cruz, Trustee San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
  • Adrienne Grey, Trustee West Valley Mission Community College District
  • Huong Nguyen, Trustee San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
  • Rishi Kumar, Saratoga City Councilmember
  • Jim Davis, City of Sunnyvale Councilmember
  • Dave Pine, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Sequoia Hall, Board Member Open Space Authority, District 3
  • Jeffrey Lease, Trustee San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
  • Wendy Ho, Trustee San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
  • Teresa Castellanos, Board President, San Jose Unified School District
  • Kansen Chu, CA Assemblymember
  • Betty Yee, CA State Controller
  • Bob Wieckowski, CA State Senator
  • Julie Reynolds-Grabbe, Trustee Moreland School District
  • Sierra Club---Sole Endorsement
  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
  • DAWN, Democratic Activists for Women Now
  • South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
  • Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters
  • Brian Schmidt, Fmr. Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • Charlotte Powers, Fmr. San José City Councilmember
  • Trixie Johnson, Fmr. San José City Councilmember
  • Forrest Williams, Fmr. San José City Councilmember
  • Buu Thai, Fmr. Trustee, Franklin McKinley School District
  • Judy Stabile, Fmr. San José City Councilmember
  • Nancy Ianni, Former San Jose Councilmember
1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Helen K. Chapman:

 

I have been working with San José city government for more than 25 years.  Starting with getting street lights on my street so that ambulances could see the house numbers in emergency situations. From there, I worked with neighbors, San José Unified School District, developers and the City to create a public private partnership that built Hester Park behind the Rosegarden Library. As a Park Commission member for six years, with three years as Chair, I led the battle to change the Park Dedication Ordinance from fees collected from 70% of land values to 100% land values, bringing in millions of dollars to San José to build parks & trails throughout San José. Whether as a good neighbor and friend helping local businesses, like Tee Nee Thai reopen their restaurant, or sitting on community boards like the Committee for Green Foothills or the Diridon Good Neighbor Committee I have been actively involved with the city to see that our voices are heard. I’ve been working with our city government on all levels for over two decades.   My proven experience is ready to start working with and for you on Day 1 at City Hall.

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

Answer from Helen K. Chapman:

Considering the size of San José’s budget funds, over $3 billion, it’s hard to imagine that we do not have the resources needed to provide good quality services. As a city of more than one million residents, the goal must be financial and economic sustainability. The city auditor has made many suggestions that have not been implemented, that show we are not being efficient in our spending or determining revenue gaps.   

 

I support the 2016 Measure B ballot measure that will assist in bringing more revenue to support the priorities of public safety along with streets and highway repair. As a Councilmember, I will fight to make sure that revenue is spent on those priorities.  We must improve public safety. Restoring our staffing levels and units for our police and fire is essential for a safe community. In addition, working for well maintained parks, better transit and affordable housing is critical.

 

Every sector of the city needs to participate in financial sustainability. We demand the residents pay their fair share; so we must do the same across the board with big businesses.  Additionally I will work with our small-businesses to find ways to streamline the cost of doing business, work on revitalizing neighborhoods, and increasing transit access. We have found ways to help certain sections of San José thrive.  I will work to bring that same vibrance and vitality across San José.

3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

Answer from Helen K. Chapman:

Our campaign has been knocking on doors since November 2015.  I have been listening to the concerns of residents and their top issues are safety, housing and our quality of life.  Residents are sick of the games and want to end the fight over 2012’s Measure B.   We will struggle to successfully address any of our needs if we cannot provide a safe community. Similarly with housing, our city has dragged their feet for far too long to address our housing crisis.  We must work harder to find shelter for homeless families and veterans. These are critical issues that need to be addressed now.  We need to build units as a part of the Housing First model to end homelessness.


San José is a city of great neighborhoods, but we are also a city of neglected communities.  I worked hard to expand our parks. Each neighborhood should have park and recreation access within a ⅓ of a mile from their home.  I will continue to fight to expand these spaces.  We also need better transit solutions so that we are not as dependent on the automobile.  Expansion of VTA services, bicycle and pedestrian pathways will help us deliver alternatives for commuting so we no longer sit in clogged highways every day.  Lastly we need more jobs.  We must move San José away from being a bedroom community to a community where all can live, work, play and thrive.

4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

Answer from Helen K. Chapman:

A lot of the issues that impact our city impact District 6 - safety, housing, transportation, jobs and quality of life are issues felt throughout the entire city.  My approach to representing San José will be based on the input and feedback of the residents of District 6.  I have to ensure they are included first in any decision that will impact our community.  For example, Coyote Valley is within another district, but many of the residents of District 6 enjoy the beauty and recreation of the area, so the future of Coyote Valley has an impact for my neighbors.  I am committed to holding regular community outreach meetings and my door will always be open to connect with and listen to the concerns of the residents.

1.
Q5. Campaign finance

How much money do you expect to raise/spend on your race, and how will you assure voters that financial contributions will not affect your decisions/positions should you be elected?

Answer from Helen K. Chapman:

To run a successful campaign we hope to raise between $80k - $100k.  District 6 has a very engaged electorate and in order to do full outreach of my record and message through our grassroots efforts, we hope to raise the funds needed.  Voters can trust that I will put their voice first over that of my contributors because we have been working together for over two decades.  Their voice has always been my motivation and driver.  I am thankful for the contributions I have received. Many of my donors are from within the district.  I will not put the special interests ahead of the voice of the people and community.

Since my youth I was impressed with the values of giving back and community.  Upon moving to San Jose to raise my family, it was vitality important for me to ensure that my children, and all families had a safe neighborhood with options to work and play.  As a lifelong Democrat I have always seen the priority for investing in people and our community.  We do best to tend to each other when we provide good quality services and access for everyone.  As your councilmember,  I am committed to advancing policies that put you first.  We have done a lot to improve San Jose, but many sections of our community are still struggling.  Progress takes a lot of hard work.  When my son was serving in Iraq I received a call that forever changed my life when I heard his vehicle was hit by an IED.  Thankfully he was alright.  Facing the fear of losing my child in war is incredibly hard, but thanks to the support of my family and friends we overcame it.  That moment made me realize there is no challenge or issue that I cannot take on.  I'm ready to work for you.

Making San José Safer — A Working Plan of Action

Summary

Our 4 point plan for addressing our Public Safety crisis.

Making San José Safer — A Working Plan of Action

San José has a critical public safety problem.  With fewer than 850 street-ready officers, we cannot meet the safety needs of America’s 10th largest city.  We have the lowest rate per capita than any other top ten city, but in some cases, less than half the officers per capita.  This is not only unacceptable, but also dangerous.

Everyone knows that our neighborhoods have seen burglaries, car break-ins, mail thefts, home invasions, and violent crimes becoming increasingly common occurrences. Our limited number of traffic enforcement officers inhibits our ability to provide safe transit for pedestrians and bicyclists, and speeding vehicles continue to whip around our neighborhood unchecked.

 

Here is my 4 Points of Action Plan:

1  Finalizing Pension Reform

First, we have a major recruitment issue.  Due to years of conflict within the City, and some still trying to maintain the fight, San José is not attracting recruits to work here. Our current leadership is working to settle the pension reform crisis, but the clouds still hang on our community, and with our current problems, potential officers are looking to other cities to get hired.  New officers and current ones need assurance that they will receive not just competitive wages and compensation, but that City leaders want to work with them to solve our safety crisis.  It’s time to get Measure B and pension reform behind us.

 

2  Adding more Community Service Officers and Park Rangers

We have opportunities and funding to start making a difference now.  Let’s hire more parks rangers and Community Service Officers (CSO).  While we can’t replace our police, we can help provide assets to other areas of services so that police presence can be directed to major crimes rather than less pressing incidents, like noise disturbances at a park. If a property theft occurs, the first response could be from a CSO, so you and criminals know that a presence is available in our neighborhoods to monitor and respond to these crimes.  More park rangers & CSO’s will help our police provide more coverage for safety while helping to streamline incidents. There is a budget availability to hire 200 more police officers.  This can also help bring returning veterans and retired officers back to help our community.

 

3  Streamlining Services

We can address both ends of our safety / communication services, by delivering better service. Across San José and Santa Clara County are non-profits, community groups and organizations that can assist with providing safety to your neighborhoods. Too often, however, many residents don’t know about these services or how to contact them.  Rather than our 911 dispatchers having to respond to calls about vagrancy or homeless residents, we need to step up our outreach so we all know who to contact for health or housing services.  This way service can be directly provided, helping you feel safer while also helping the person in need to get the proper assistance.  Conversely, more training and resources for our 911 dispatchers is needed, so they may redirect calls to the proper agencies so life-threatening emergencies are more successfully addressed.  We need to work with the county and regionally to make this happen, but I understand that everyone is interested in seeing our safety improve.

 

4  Thinking beyond badges and stations

Safety for our children isn’t just keeping them safe from violence, but safe all day long.  Our crossing guards are a part of that.  Street lighting, covered bus stops, emergency boxes, more park and recreations areas, sidewalks and crosswalks, and other aspects of our day-to-day life help keep us safe.  We need to make a full investment to our neighborhoods and each other.  I will help to promote better unity and communication with and between neighborhood associations.  When we befriend our neighbors, we have more partners to help us keep our homes and loved ones safe.  Seeing safety across our community as far more than just lights and sirens helps us be conscious of the impact of a strong community.  It serves to improve our quality of life and safety.

This is just a start, but crime prevention takes the participation of all.  Accountability matters, and so does justice.  We have many departments working very hard to keep us safe, and they are embracing the new tools and resources to protect and serve our community.

This is just a start.  Let’s continue with a productive conversation together.  I welcome, as always, your suggestions.

 

Together, we can make San José safer.

Lincoln Avenue Road Diet

Summary

My response to the issues on the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet.

This question has been asked frequently as I walk in the Willow Glen area.  As with many issues, sometimes a simple pro or con doesn’t answer the question and really adds to community division.

I am generally supportive of San José’s Road Diet programs, but Lincoln Avenue has become far too divisive of an issue within our community. The changes were made with the intent to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety and slow down traffic on a very busy street. However, the review and implementation were not properly handled, with negative impacts on businesses resulting. Further, additional traffic is now redirected on side streets, creating congestion and more safety concerns.

Problems often arise when community voices go unheard throughout the city planning review process and those concerns are not properly addressed.

Before we decide on the permanency of this change, we need a full review of the environmental and economic impact on Lincoln Avenue. We need suggestions on ways to avoid the unintended consequences. There must be a community forum created for everyone to talk about this issue, to understand the benefits, and to validate the burdens of all involved.

Listening, validating, and facilitating common goals are the benchmarks of reaching community consensus.

My experience is that when we were looking at improvement on The Alameda, the neighborhood organizations, the businesses, committed individuals, state representatives, and the Department of Transportation all worked together to find solutions that resulted in involving and assisting the greatest number of people. We engaged everyone. We tried to address every problem caused and every concern raised.

Today The Alameda has been transformed into ‘The Beautiful Way’ where economic opportunities and a friendly ambiance are growing into something everyone is able to enjoy.

My plan is to take my proven experience and leadership to facilitate divergent viewpoints and bring everyone together to elicit solutions that meet as many of the goals as possible. The common focus for all concerned is to make Lincoln Avenue safer as well as small-business friendly. It will take hard work, but I know we’ll get it done.

Participatory Budgeting

Summary

Bringing the community voice to City Hall 

Participatory Budgeting:  By and For the Community

Last fall, Mayor Liccardo and Councilmember Peralez launched San José’s first pilot program for participatory budgeting. Based on similar successful programs around the country, this process allows District 3 residents to decide how the City will spend $100,000 of public funds in their district.  While I support this step towards a more inclusive process, I believe residents deserve a greater voice in decision-making for our City.

There are a number of investment choices for each district, but $100,000 only goes so far.  Residents deserve to have input on more than just this small portion of budget spending.  We need ongoing public meetings throughout the year and active dialogue between the community and City Hall.  Each councilmember has access to ‘discretionary’ budget-funds to be spent however they choose.  Too often these funds are used on political debts or favors rather than invested back into our community.  I will not invest your tax-dollars in such ways; my discretionary spending will be included in the participatory budget process.  Residents should prioritize how their money is used.

I applaud our Mayor and Councilmember Peralez for breaking ground on a more inclusive approach to fiscal responsibility for San José.  I will strengthen this approach and ensure residents have a voice in the investments made in our neighborhoods.

Helen visits Coyote Valley — May 2, 2016 I Love Coyote Valley

I love Coyote Valley.  Check out my brief video discussing the importance of our open spaces and park areas.

Photo of  Norm Kline
No photo provided.

Norm Kline

Small Business Owner
3,852 votes (16.48%)
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  • Police and fire services must be the best we can afford. We can pull together and make San Jose the safest city in the nation again, honoring and paying a competitive compensation for those that serve, while keeping our financial house in order.
  • We must maintain our roads, parks and buildings. If we do not stay on top of maintenance, the deferred costs will increase exponentially, draining revenue from future services.
  • We must encourage business friendly policies that will attract our fair share of the region's jobs and business tax revenue. The city also plays an important role in providing a foundation for learning, culture and the arts.
Profession:CEO
CEO, LibraryWorld, Inc. (1990current)
Commissioner and Chair, City of San Jose Planning Commission — Appointed position (20112015)
Council Member and Mayor, City of Saratoga — Elected position (20022006)
Commissioner, Chair, City of Santa Clara Planning Commission — Appointed position (19961999)
Worldwide Product Marketing Manager, Apple Computer, Inc. (19861990)
Advanced Technology Product Manager, Lockheed Missiles and Space - Dialog Information Services (19801986)
Santa Clara University B.A., History (1979)
Manager/Parent/Coach
2,314 votes (9.9%)
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  • Empowering Neighborhoods and Small Business Owners
  • Affordable Housing
  • Public Safety
Profession:Territory Account Manager; Currently managing a $8 Million Book of Busines shave managed up wards of $40 -$60 Million/yr
Territory Account Manager, Ruckus Wireless (2013current)
Santa Clara University Bachelor of Science, Combined Sciences with a Pre-Med Emphasis (1999)
— May 9, 2016 Neighbors For Ruben Navarro For District 6

Why I'm running for San Jose City Council District 6

Email rubennavarro2016@outlook.com
Nonprofit Executive
2,241 votes (9.59%)
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  • Making San José more affordable for working families
  • Encouraging sensible and sustainable growth consistent with long-term planning
  • Protecting our streets and neighborhoods
Profession:Nonprofit Executive/Small Business Owner
Owner/Principal, Peter Allen Media (2012current)
Commissioner, City of San José Arts Commission — Appointed position (2012current)
Managing Director, Teatro Visión de San José (20132016)
Associate, Catapult Strategies, Inc. (20092012)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Cinema-Television (2000)
Advisory Board/Co-Founder, New Leaders Council - Silicon Valley (2010current)
Member/Board Member, Rotary Club of Campbell/Willow Glen/San José West (2012current)
Member/Board Member, Democratic 21st Century Club (2009current)
Member/Former Treasurer, Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (2009current)
Member/Strategic Marketing Committee, Willow Glen Business Association (2012current)

Peter Allen is a nonprofit executive, small business owner, and arts commissioner running for city council to bring creative leadership to local government. He is a third-generation San José native whose family has deep roots in our community.

Peter's great grandfather co-founded Contadina Canneries. His grandfather, Pete, owned Allen's Furniture on 2nd Street in Downtown San José for more than 50 years. His uncle, Jack, and cousin, Carolyn, operated Paolo's Restaurant from 1958 until it closed in the summer of 2015. His mother, Janice, taught 2nd grade at Willow Glen Elementary for nearly 20 years, and his father, Jack, is a CPA and past board member of the San José Library Foundation.

For the past three years, Peter has worked as Managing Director of Teatro Visión, a Latino/Chicano theater company celebrating its 31st year nurturing arts and opportunity in underserved San José communities. He also owns a small consulting practice specializing in online content management, press relations, and local political campaigns.

Peter has had a passion for public service from a very young age. He currently serves as Chair of the City of San José Arts Commission, where he helps to oversee programs that provide support to San José’s arts and cultural community. He has previously served as Communications Chair of the New Leaders Council Silicon Valley chapter, Membership Chair for the Rotary Club of Campbell/San José West/Willow Glen, and Treasurer of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association.

Peter graduated from Willow Glen Elementary, Hoover Middle School, and Bellarmine College Prep – all District 6 schools – and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Filmic Writing from the University of Southern California. He can occasionally be seen performing with a San José-based rock band as a bassist and vocalist.

Peter’s fiancée, Angelica Ramos, is a policy associate at a local nonprofit agency that provides critical services to homeless and at-risk youth in San José and Santa Clara County. Together, they are proud parents to two precocious dogs and two sleepy cats.

  • Tom McEnery, Former Mayor of San José
  • Rich Gordon, California State Assembly
  • Tam Nguyen, San José City Council
  • Manh Nguyen, San José City Council
  • Jim Griffith, Councilmember & Former Mayor of Sunnyvale
  • Jeff Cristina, Councilmember & Former Mayor of Campbell
  • Jason Baker, Mayor of Campbell
  • Kalen Gallagher, Trustee, Campbell Union High School District
  • Paymon Zarghami, Trustee, San José Unified School District
  • Sandy Engel, Trustee, San José Unified School District
  • Teresa Castellanos, President, San José Unified School District Board of Trustees
  • East Side Teachers Association
  • Silicon Valley Latino Democratic Forum
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • League of Conservation Voters of Santa Clara County
  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Peter Allen:

I have worked in and around city government for the better part of the past decade as a community organizer, consultant, and commissioner. This experience has provided me with an intimate knowledge of how our city government functions – and how it fails to function from time to time. It has helped me to build strong relationships with civic leaders at all levels throughout our region, including all of the current councilmembers as well as our mayor. And it has also given me the opportunity to develop productive relationships with key city staff, which would be critical in designing and implementing critical policy changes to improve the quality of life for our residents. Most importantly, I've learned that the best decisions for a community are made as a community. No councilmember exists on an island. True leadership requires a spirit of collaboration, humility, and vision.

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

Answer from Peter Allen:

Rather than think of city services in silos, I prefer to take a more holistic approach to budgeting. Based on my experience managing a nonprofit and working on local public policy, I know that changes to one area naturally affect others. In the event that cuts were needed to balance the city budget, I would seek to spread the burden of those cuts throughout the organization to avoid severe and sudden reductions to vital services. But regardless of circumstances, I would always advocate for the preservation of public safety and other essential services such as roads and transportation infrastructure, public utilities, libraries, and parks.

After more than a decade of cuts, the City is currently operating beyond the bandwidth it should be expected to provide. Staff and resources are stretched to their limits, and services are still nowhere near the levels our residents expect and deserve. Until long-term economic development fundamentally changes the City’s revenue picture, we must come together as a community to pay our fair share toward making San José a safe, vibrant, healthy, and equitable community. That is why I am in favor of the ¼-cent sales tax measure recently placed on the June 7th ballot with the support of 9 out of 11 councilmembers, in addition to the San José Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and the South Bay Labor Council.

Ensuring San José’s long-term fiscal sustainability will require foresight, vision, and creative leadership. An imbalance of jobs to employed residents leaves the City short of the revenue needed to provide world class services to all of its million residents. Improving the tax base means growing our jobs base. In order to do that, we need to embrace one of San José’s greatest strengths: our culture of innovation. The global tech giants that are driving our economy today were once daydreams that came alive through all-night strategy sessions. We must continue to foster that innovation in our small businesses and start-up economy. The city should also be thoughtful in recognizing the urgent need for affordable housing while preserving land slated for commercial development. This delicate balance can be achieved through well-planned, mixed-use projects that provide housing as well as job opportunities.

While a great deal of progress has been made toward restoring public safety in San José, we have a great deal of work left to do. San José still has more than 200 vacant officer positions to fill before it can meet its baseline staffing numbers in this year’s budget. Low recruitment rates, lateral transfers to other agencies, and scheduled retirements mean we’re not likely to see that gap filled anytime soon. The City should seize this opportunity to strengthen our neighborhoods by investing in community engagement and encouraging residents to work together with police to keep our streets safe. This includes expanding the existing community service officer program, continuing to leverage Silicon Valley technology to improve efficiency, and addressing the root causes of crime by enhancing and expanding youth and community programs.

 

3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

Answer from Peter Allen:

Making San José more affordable for working families — With the cost of living raging out of control and average wages stuck in limbo, San José has become a city with two faces, where many of our hardworking neighbors struggle to make ends meet in the shadows of sparkling new high rises and gleaming freeway overpasses. Meanwhile, a recent study showed that Santa Clara County spends more than half a billion dollars a year providing services to the homeless, the overwhelming majority of whom reside in our city. It is both our moral and a fiscal imperative to come together as a community to address the affordability of San José. This can be done through a multi-faceted approach that includes controlling the rapidly increasing cost of housing and helping local businesses create jobs that pay a living wage.

Encouraging sensible and sustainable growth consistent with long-term planning — The city should be thoughtful in recognizing the urgent need for more affordable housing while preserving land slated for commercial development. This delicate balance can be achieved through well-planned, mixed-use projects that provide housing as well as job opportunities. Additionally, with an eye toward efficiency and effectiveness, we need to ensure that our transit infrastructure serves our entire community with affordable transit options for those with and without cars. By embracing a multi-modal transportation system, we can reduce traffic on our roads, improve the productivity of our workforce, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Finally, we need to return to the roots of Silicon Valley by incubating business growth in our own backyard, creating a culture of commitment to San José that leads to long-term investment in our city and local workforce.

Protecting our streets and neighborhoods — We’ve all seen how the economic downturn and in-fighting at City Hall have impacted the safety and security of San José. While a great deal of progress has been made, we have a great deal of work left to do to restore baseline resources and staffing numbers. The settlement of Measure B and a renewed sense of collaboration between the city and our employees have improved morale, but it will take time for San José to become a competitive employer again. As we work toward restoring our police and fire ranks, we should continue to leverage Silicon Valley technology to improve efficiency and address root causes by investing in youth and community programs like the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force and fire prevention services.

4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

Answer from Peter Allen:

As Managing Director at Teatro Visión, San José’s Chicano/Latino theater company, and a leader in San José’s burgeoning creative community, I have extensive experience working to improve cultural literacy across racial, ethnic, gender identity, and socio-economic backgrounds. I’m excited by the opportunity to bring this philosophy to city hall, which can and should do more to proactively engage with our entire community so that our leadership and policies are reflective of our unique diversity.

As a Councilmember, I would promote a culture of inclusion, transparency, and diversity. While my first priority would be the residents of District 6, the overwhelming majority of my decisions as their elected representative would affect the entire city. It would therefore be a responsibility of my office to ensure that our constituents were well and adequately informed about the real impacts of city policies, not only on our neighborhoods, but also the region around us. I would look to involve a broad spectrum of leaders throughout the district when undertaking or considering any major policy initiative, and I would make sure that all of my residents receive timely and reliable notification of any major change in policy, public works, or other area of public interest — in a variety of languages and formats.

My office would maintain an open-door policy, with the councilmember and/or staff regularly available for questions, comments, or concerns – both at city hall and in the district. Collaboration among my colleagues at City Hall and Sacramento will be key, and I would leverage my existing relationships with local state legislators to encourage joint town halls with neighboring districts to build common ground among diverse neighborhoods in San Jose. I would look to improve on the City’s existing outreach policy by embracing social media and other web-based forms of communication to engage with the public on key issues. I would also call for regular audits of departmental outreach databases to ensure that messages are reaching a broad and diverse audience that is reflective of our entire city — in addition to anyone who expresses an interest. In my experience, government works best when it works for everyone. By coming together around the vision we all share for a healthy, equitable, and vibrant San José, we can find lasting solutions to the challenges we face.

1.
Q5. Campaign finance

How much money do you expect to raise/spend on your race, and how will you assure voters that financial contributions will not affect your decisions/positions should you be elected?

Answer from Peter Allen:

I expect to raise and spend about $80,000 over the course of the primary election. As the only candidate born and raised in District 6, I have been the beneficiary of a great outpouring of community support, both in terms of small-dollar donations as well as volunteers for voter contact. I am proud to have the most individual donations of any candidate in the race – over 430 as of the latest public reports – with an average donation of $118, far and away the lowest in the District 6 field. Meanwhile, some of my opponents are receiving average donations of more than $400 and loaning/giving themselves as much as $30,000.

I knew coming into this race that I would not be able to match or outraise candidates with ties to the deep pockets of Silicon Valley. But I also knew that I could remain competitive if I worked hard and brought a legion of supporters to the table. I’m happy to report that I’ve done just that. By taking this approach, I can assure voters and all District 6 residents that they will be my top priority as a councilmember.

As a Councilmember, I would promote a culture of inclusion, transparency, and diversity. While my first priority would be the residents of District 6, the overwhelming majority of my decisions as their elected representative would affect the entire city. It would therefore be a responsibility of my office to ensure that our constituents were well and adequately informed about the real impacts of city policies, not only on our neighborhoods, but also the region around us. I would look to involve a broad spectrum of leaders throughout the district when undertaking or considering any major policy initiative, and I would make sure that all of my residents receive timely and reliable notification of any major change in policy, public works, or other area of public interest — in a variety of languages and formats.

My office would maintain an open-door policy, with the councilmember and/or staff regularly available for questions, comments, or concerns – both at city hall and in the district. Collaboration among my colleagues at City Hall and Sacramento will be key, and I would leverage my existing relationships with local state legislators to encourage joint town halls with neighboring districts to build common ground among diverse neighborhoods in San José.

I would look to improve on the City’s existing outreach policy by embracing social media and other web-based forms of communication to engage with the public on key issues. I would also call for regular audits of departmental outreach databases to ensure that messages are reaching a broad and diverse audience that is reflective of our entire city — in addition to anyone who expresses an interest. In my experience, government works best when it works for everyone. By coming together around the vision we all share for a healthy, equitable, and vibrant San José, we can find lasting solutions to the challenges we face.

Tech Manager
2,086 votes (8.93%)
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  • Rapid response constituent services for high quality of life
  • Restoring morale and numbers in police/fire departments
  • Alleviating traffic and investing in alternate forms of transportation
Profession:Tech Manager
Manager, Fortune 100 Tech Company (2004current)
Member, Asian-American Pacific Islander Advisory Committee for Assemblymember Evan Low — Appointed position (2015current)
Member, Del Monte Park Public Art Committee — Appointed position (20142016)
Vice Chair, San José Parks and Recreation Commission — Appointed position (20132015)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Science, Music Industry (2001)
Vice President, Willow Glen Lions Club (2014current)
Board Member, Christmas in the Park (2014current)
Member, Kartma Steering Committee (20142015)
Vice President, Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (20132014)

My inspiration to serve my community began with my parents. My retired father was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, underwent radiation treatment, lost his health insurance due to pre-existing condition, and got priced out of his life insurance. When he began searching for a job again, his cancer came back with a vengeance. At the time of his death, he was $100,000 in debt. After his passing, my mother moved in with me and started to apply for jobs but struggled to find opportunities to get back on her feet. She worked a minimum wage job at a department store from 4:00am-8:00am and was never given opportunities to grow, advance, earn better hours, or obtain health benefits. 

I saw a system that didn’t work my father, who did everything that he was told to do in order to be successful. I saw a system that didn’t work for my mother, who worked hard and followed the rules and still couldn’t claw her way back up from the bottom. It was through these experiences that I was encouraged to make our city a better place for its hardworking residents and make sure everyone can succeed in our evolving economy. 

After my father’s death, I led a life that was professionally successful; but on a personal level, something was missing. I realized the opportunities for personal fulfillment lied with serving my community. 

I took this inspiration and began serving on multiple commissions including the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, the San José Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Del Monte Park Public Art Committee. I also continue to serve on the boards of the Willow Glens Lion Club, Christmas in the Park, and the AAPI Advisory Committee for Assemblymember Evan Low. I have used these opportunities to help neighbors navigate our local government including moderating panels in Willow Glen to give my neighbors unprecedented access to the services that the city can provide, and help others find opportunities to volunteer and serve their community. 

Serving San José’s 6th district is a passion of mine and comes from a personal place. I’m running to focus my efforts on: creating jobs and improving opportunities for our citizens to remain competitive in a changing and more specialized economy; creating a diverse housing stock, including affordable housing so renters can afford to become homeowners in their community to make sure our city can attract the talent they need to make San Jose thrive; and prioritizing the health and wellness of San José’s aging community.

  • Evan Low, California State Assembly (AD-28)
  • Rob Bonta, California State Assembly (AD-18)
  • Paul Fong, Former California State Assembly (AD-28)
  • Jason Baker, Mayor, City of Campbell
  • Paul Resnikoff, Councilmember, City of Campbell
  • Marico Sayoc, Vice Mayor, Town of Los Gatos
  • Darcy Paul, Councilmember, City of Cupertino
  • Gilbert Wong, Councilmember and Former Mayor, City of Cupertino
  • Dr. Michael Chang, Vice President, Santa Clara County Board of Education
  • Evolve California
  • Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters
  • For full up-to-date list of hundreds of endorsements see http://www.erikfong.com/endorsements
  • Rich Waterman, Former Mayor, City of Campbell
  • Henry Manayan, Former Mayor, City of Milpitas
  • Margaret Abe-Koga, Former Mayor, City of Mountain View
1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Erik Nicholas Fong:

My inspiration to serve my community began with my parents. My retired father was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, underwent radiation treatment, lost his health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, and got priced out of his life insurance. When he began searching for a job again, his cancer came back with a vengeance. At the time of his death, he was $100,000 in debt. After his passing, my mother moved in with me and started to apply for jobs but struggled to find opportunities to get back on her feet. She worked a minimum wage job at a department store from 4:00am-8:00am and was never given opportunities to grow, advance, earn better hours, or obtain health benefits. 

I saw a system that didn’t work my father, who did everything that he was told to do in order to be successful. I saw a system that didn’t work for my mother, who worked hard and followed the rules and still couldn’t claw her way back up from the bottom. It was through these experiences that I was encouraged to make our city a better place for its hardworking residents and make sure everyone can succeed in our evolving economy. 

After my father’s death, I led a life that was professionally successful; but on a personal level, something was missing. I realized the opportunities for personal fulfillment lied with serving my community. 

I took this inspiration and began serving on multiple commissions including the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, the San José Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Del Monte Park Public Art Committee. I also continue to serve on the boards of the Willow Glens Lion Club, Christmas in the Park, and the AAPI Advisory Committee for Assemblymember Evan Low. I have used these opportunities to help neighbors navigate our local government including moderating panels in Willow Glen to give my neighbors unprecedented access to the services that the city can provide, and help others find opportunities to volunteer and serve their community. 

Serving San José’s 6th district is a passion of mine and comes from a personal place. I’m running to focus my efforts on: creating jobs and improving opportunities for our citizens to remain competitive in a changing and more specialized economy; creating a diverse housing stock, including affordable housing so renters can afford to become homeowners in their community to make sure our city can attract the talent they need to make San Jose thrive; and prioritizing the health and wellness of San José’s aging community. 

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

Answer from Erik Nicholas Fong:

We've felt the impact of shortfalls and loss in city services over the last several years, and we don't ever want to find ourselves in that situation again. I support the pension reform settlement between City Hall and our city employees and first responders, and am proud that we were able to come to the table and find a fiscally responsible compromise that will allow us to rebuild our public safety units while also saving close to $3 billion over 30 years. I also support the upcoming ballot measure to restore city services (Measure B on your June 2016 ballot) and will ensure that the funds are focused on public safety, transportation, and quality of life issues in San José.

3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

Answer from Erik Nicholas Fong:

Our biggest social issue is homelessness, and the issue is further exacerbated by a jobs-first, anti-housing General Plan. We need to look at jobs and housing equally and create a diverse housing stock with more affordable housing options while also creating workforce opportunities that give employees a chance to afford to live in Silicon Valley. Last year, I helped create a business called Kartma, which is a coffee cart in downtown San José that employs men and women transitioning out of homelessness and pays them a living wage.

Morale among our first responders is at an all-time low, and City Hall needs to do its part as an employer to ensure that we are rebuilding our police and fire departments and that we are offering competitive wages and benefits to retain our best employees. I live in Willow Glen, which is one of the safest neighborhoods in San José, but we still suffer from daytime home burglaries and package thefts that would be worse if not for our tightly knit and alert community. Additionally, many neighborhoods in my district suffer from speeding vehicles, disrupting quality of life and creating a feeling of a lack of safety. For my district, I will work first and foremost to prioritize the returns of the burglary unit and traffic enforcement.

Crumbling roads, urban sprawl, and lack of a regional public transportation solution have resulted in severe traffic congestion and loss of time for many of my residents. We need to repair our roads and invest in alternate forms of transportation, including bike paths, trails, safer and more enhanced pedestrian experiences, and a real public transportation option that is environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and can outperform the automobile.

4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

Answer from Erik Nicholas Fong:

No one will get their way 100% of the time; as Councilmember, I will not get my way 100% of the time either. But my job, first and foremost, is to listen to my constituents and bring their perspective to City Hall. I have always been accessible and am committed to an open door policy as I have been my entire professional career, and will meet with any and all stakeholders to come to the best decisions for both the district and the city.

1.
Q5. Campaign finance

How much money do you expect to raise/spend on your race, and how will you assure voters that financial contributions will not affect your decisions/positions should you be elected?

Answer from Erik Nicholas Fong:

I am the top fundraiser in the race and have hundreds of endorsements from a broad coalition of supporters including elected officials, organizations, community leaders, small business owners, and residents. In order to run a competitive campaign, I need to raise at least $100,000.

In both the private sector and the community, I have a reputation for focusing on the task at hand and doing what is best for the organization. My supporters know this, as I have a long personal history with almost all of my contributors; the contributions that I have received for my campaign have come because my supporters want me to be me, not because they seek political influence. 

As in my professional and community work, I am committed to being a listener and a bridge-builder between residents and stakeholders and bringing innovative solutions to best serve District 6 and San José. 

On the Council, I will:

  • Use my management experience in the tech sector to ensure that San José builds an innovative and nimble workforce in which everyone has an opportunity to advance
  • Help small businesses cut through red tape so they can grow, thrive, and compete
  • Provide top-notch constituent services so quality of life issues are heard and acted upon quickly and efficiently
  • Ensure that our neighborhoods are protected as our city continues to grow

 

I Love Coyote Valley — May 12, 2016 I Love Coyote Valley

Coyote Valley is special -- here's why it's special to me.

Father
1,855 votes (7.94%)
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  • Public safety
  • Infrastructure
  • Libraries
Profession:Full-time candidate
Chair, San Jose Library and Early Education Commission — Elected position (2015current)
Member, San Jose Library Commission — Appointed position (2012current)
Senior Paralegal, Government Affairs, Silicon Valley Bank (20112015)
University of San Diego Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy (2002)
President, Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (2014current)
Volunteer Creek Wader, South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (2013current)
Member, Our Avenue Committee, Willow Glen Business Association (2014current)
Member, Transportation Policy Committee, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (20132015)
Board member, Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (20122014)
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
  • California Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma
  • San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen (Former)
  • Santa Clara League of Conservation Voters
  • Samantha LaCurto
  • Jess Gutierrez
  • Kevin Swanson
  • Shailesh Dubale
  • Dave Hook
  • Tim Mulcahy
  • Pat McMahon
  • Terry Reilly
1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Chris Roth:

Growing up, my parents, a nurse for more than 38 years and a police captain who dedicated his career to making his community safer, stressed the importance of family and community. To this day, I hold those values close to my heart, and I'm working to teach the same lessons to my five-year-old daughter, Ashley.

I've been working hard and taking action for our community for years, and I know that listening to our neighbors is the best way to improve our community. As a member and now Chair of the San José Library and Early Education Commission, I strongly advocated for the passage of the Library Parcel Tax Renewal and for increasing library hours citywide from four to six days a week (including at all three libraries in District 6), and I helped raise thousands of dollars for the San José Public Library Foundation to fund programs like the Summer Reading Challenge that serves thousands of our City’s youth.

As President of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association I worked with the City of San José to implement the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet, which has already shown increased safety for pedestrians, bikers and vehicles in Downtown Willow Glen. The traffic calming measures that I've fought for have also resulted in increased pedestrian and bike traffic, resulting in local economic activity and enhanced quality of life for residents, business owners, employees, and our kids.

By working hard and putting our community first, we can create a safer, stronger San José. I'm teaching my daughter that lesson, and with your help, I’ll bring that to City Hall as well.

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

No answer provided.
3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

No answer provided.
4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

No answer provided.
Business Owner/Realtor
1,507 votes (6.45%)
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  • We must get our city management to focus on improving our Police and Fire Departments response times and manpower.
  • We must focus as a top priority the development of a friendly and supportive city for businesses and business owners. We must increase our jobs to employable resident ratio from the .83/1 to a minimum of 1:1
  • With over 4,063 Homeless roaming our streets and parks, we must provide a better solution than allowing the Homeless to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of our residential and commercial areas. There is a Better way.
Profession:Business Owner, Real Estate Broker, and Retired Fire Fighter
CEO Windermere Real Estate Silicon Valley, Windermere Silicon Valley (2015current)
CEO, ClickHome Inc (19982015)
  • California Apartment Association
  • Don Von Raesfeld, Santa Clara City Manager (Retired)
  • Santa Clara County Association of Realtors
1.
Q1. What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?

Answer from Myron Von Raesfeld:

As a small business owner and Realtor for over 30 years I understand the responsibilities and commitment it takes to provide needed services to our clients. As your councilman I will bring this same dedication and experience that has benefited my company and family to the halls of San Jose. 

 

As a person who has made a living of bring often two opposite sides together I will use my experience and talents to work with my fellow councilmembers to bring real long-term solutions to our city. 

2.
Q2. San Jose budget issues

San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?

Answer from Myron Von Raesfeld:

As a small business owner and Realtor for over 30 years I understand the responsibilities and commitment it takes to provide needed services to our clients. As your councilman I will bring this same dedication and experience that has benefited my company and family to the halls of San Jose. 

As a person who has made a living of bring often two opposite sides together I will use my experience and talents to work with my fellow councilmembers to bring real long-term solutions to our city. 

The recent recession has been devastating to oour city services and staff. As a result of past short term think decision our city has made the problem was made worse. We must look at long term solutions and work closely with our employees to provide a good and stable work place. 

Unfortunately, when the next recession comes and that looks likely for 2018 - 2021, we are going to have to tighten our belts once again. There are city services that we will have to cut and it would be my position that we must look at all non-essential services before we cut our CORE services. 

 

There are many opportunities for additional revenue if we just want to think outside the box. The advertising industry is one that our city could take advantage of. We have a significant amount of property along our freeways that is prime for advertising media. Some of those media advertising signs bring in over a million dollars in revenue per year with no out of pocket costs. 

3.
Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

Answer from Myron Von Raesfeld:

Public Safety, Police and Fire services

Balance and Reduce our City Budget

Jobs and the economy

Roads and Infrastructure

The homeless Population

The only way to address all of these issues is to make them a priority for our city. In the recent past our city representatives have tried to address some of these issues only to get sidetracked on issues like rent control. In addition, it does not seem as though our representatives have much experience at solving long term problems with new and innovative ideas.

 

Our employees and staff can help tremendously with solving city waste. If we were to implement a program that would pay any employee that has a solution that will save our city money we would find many ways to reduce our spending. A simple bonus structure of between 3%-5% for total dollars saved after the first year paid to an employee for identifying the savings area will generate significant savings for our city. 

4.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

Answer from Myron Von Raesfeld:

The needs of District 6 and the city are very much aligned. Our city needs to attract more businesses to our city to provide the needed jobs for our residents.

We also need to greatly improve the police and fire response times to provide our residents the services they deserve and expect.

 

Lastly, we need to get our homeless population under control. There is no reason that the Homeless should not be expected to abide by all the same laws we expect all of our residents to abide by. We must work together with our social services and non-profits to come together with a better solution on getting our homeless away from our residential areas and parks where they are creating a significant conflict between each other. 

1.
Q5. Campaign finance

How much money do you expect to raise/spend on your race, and how will you assure voters that financial contributions will not affect your decisions/positions should you be elected?

Answer from Myron Von Raesfeld:

With the exception of my self-funding of $20,000, all of my donors are relatively small contributions from family and friends. I am a person that will always work to find the most practical and cost effective solutions to our problems. I will always be open to hearing from the voters in my district and will always work to provide the best decision and guidance for the district and city. 

 

District 6 is a very large district with over 100,000 residents. I believe that I will need to fund my campaign with a total amount between $80,000 - $100,000 in order to run a viable campaign and reach the voters in district 6.

Let's solve the Homeless Crisis

Summary

 

San Jose currently has over 4,063 homeless roaming our streets and parks. Allowing our homeless to take over our parks and sleep in dangerous and filthy areas is inhumane. In addition we do not have the funds available to provide each of the homeless with a traditional home. Placing them in old hotels and commercial buildings is too costly and inefficient. There just isn't enough space to house that many people.

 

The solution is to create legal campsites away from residential and business areas. For the over $6,000,000 we are currently spending to house 230 homeless in hotels we can provide camp sites for all of them and get them off the streets once and for all.  

MYRON’S PLAN FOR OUR HOMELESS

THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

San Jose’s homeless is an ever increasing problem for our city and our residents. Many elected officials believe that society has an obligation to provide permanent housing “Housing First” for those that have none. While this sounds like a noble and generously compassionate solution let’s look at the practicality of this position. 

In order to solve the homeless situation in our city, we must first understand the gravity of the problem. According to the San Jose 2015 Point in Time Census; San Jose has an estimated 4,063 homeless roaming our streets. County wide there are 6,556 homeless. The number of Homeless in our area is staggering. In addition to the overwhelming number of homeless we also must consider who the homeless are.

There are several categories of Homeless according to the City and approximately 65% of them report one or more health conditions which include substance abuse, mental health conditions, and PTSD. In addition, 30% have spent at least 1 night in jail in the last 12 months. If we take the city’s data from their most recent census of the homeless, 2,650 of them are in need of serious medical help and drug intervention.

Our homeless population ranges from individuals who are experiencing a run of bad luck to those who have severe mental health issues and everything in-between. The homeless are currently surviving along our freeways, under overpasses, along our streams/rivers, and just about anywhere else they can hide out and set up a camp. Many of the homeless do not receive the federal and state public assistance that is available such as food stamps and welfare payments.  

The areas where they camp are often filthy with human waste, discarded drug needles, and mounds of other trash collected and assembled by them. If you or your family have such a campsite boarding your home or neighborhood you know the problems that are often associated with homeless encampments near you.   

Placing the homeless among residential neighborhoods without proper screening is a recipe for disaster. We have many great organizations working very hard every day to reach out and help our homeless population; however, given the gravity of this situation and the fact that our homeless are spread out all over the city, it is very difficult for the individuals and agencies to help our homeless when it is almost impossible to locate them.

The Cost of “Housing First”

We are spending in excess of $6,000,000 a year currently on the “Housing First” program to house fewer than 250 homeless individuals in three separate hotels in downtown and on The Alameda. This is equal to $26,000 per homeless individual annually for housing. The cost for the “Housing First” option is staggering and likely to go even higher when you have to build facilities from the ground up.  In addition, the current “Housing First” plan will place hundreds of homeless individuals in neighborhoods throughout San Jose. There will virtually not be an area that will not be impacted by this current plan if we continue on this path.

Let’s look at The Evans Lane proposed project that will only house a projected 170 currently homeless individuals. Simple projections would estimate the cost of construction for this homeless facility at $25,000,000 - $30,000,000 which does not include ongoing charges for maintenance and repairs. In addition to the cost of construction is the value of the land. A fully entitled 6 acre parcel ready for a developer to construct housing would have a minimum value of $15,000,000 - $20,000,000 just for the lot.

The “Housing First” approach is the most costly and slowest approach to address our homeless challenges. It will take us over 17 years and hundreds of millions of dollars to provide the city paid for housing at a current rate we are going.

There Is A Better Way

When Hurricane Katrina and Sandy devastated areas of our country we found a way to provide temporary housing using tents and other vehicles set up in locations where services could be provided to those in need. We can create similar facilities in an approved location for our homeless where they can receive the special services that so many agencies and nonprofits work hard to provide. Legal Camping Areas can be cleaned, monitored, and kept safe for the homeless to live.

Legal Camp Sites can be located on public land away from residential and commercial areas. We can provide basic camp sites and general services. In the beginning we can use temporary bathroom facilities which can be empties and cleaned regularly. We can provide the level of oversite needed to keep the camp sites safe and clean.

When we create a legal and safe area for the homeless to camp, we will also be able to identify and help those that need help. Social Services as well as the non-profits will now know where to find the individuals that need their assistance. In addition with an address for the homeless they can apply for and receive federal assistance and or welfare currently available at no cost to our city.

Reconnecting Services: We should immediately implement a program of contacting the families of the homeless and reconnect those that are willing and able to go back to a loved one’s care. If just 25% of our homeless were taken in by a loved one who will help care for them, we would reduce our homeless population by more than 1,000 people at little to no cost to the city, while at the same time getting those that need help back to family members who can and will care for them

When we decide as a society to tackle and address this homeless problem in our city with a bigger picture approach, we can provide a safe place for the homeless at significantly less cost to the tax payers than the “Housing First” model. Legal Camp Sites will make our neighborhoods, parks, streets, and downtown areas safe for all of us to walk freely without the worries many of us currently have.

As your councilman it will be apriority of mine to find real workable solutions to the city’s big problems. By working together we can solve these challenges and maintain a fiscally strong city that can provide the core services it is required to do. 

If you would like your council representative to take approaches as outlined above,

then a VOTE FOR MYRON WILL ACHIEVE THIS.

Myron Von Raesfeld

Candidate for San Jose City Council District 6

 

myronvonraesfeld@sbcglobal.net

Public Safety

Summary

Our Police and Fire Services have declined over the past 10 years and we must provide our citizens with the quality of service the deserve and expect. the lenghtly response times our citizens have to wait for services is unacceptable and there are things we can impliment immediately with little or no cost that will help to greatly improve our first responders service to the city. 

Myron’s Plan

For a Safer City

 

While others talk in generalities about Public Safety, Myron has put pencil to paper and actually identified key areas that will make San Jose a safer city for all of us. When you go to the polls and elect your next Council representative, you may want to consider the person with new ideas and an ability to implement out of the box solutions. Myron has learned this visionary thinking and problem solving from his father Don Von Raesfeld. Don was the most successful City Manager our county has ever seen. It is time for us to have the safe city we once had. It is time for our community to come together. It is time for Myron Von Raesfeld to be your Councilman in District 6.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

As a Firefighter, I experienced firsthand the importance of having first responders arrive to a call for service quickly. I recall the first time I performed CPR on an individual that was lifeless. My training kicked in and I performed the lifesaving techniques that were needed at that moment in time. I must say; it is an amazing feeling when one moment a person is lifeless and the next you feel a pulse and the person breaths on their own. It is moments like this that we could care less about labor disputes, retirement benefits, and unfunded liabilities. In a moment like this every second counts, and at moment like this nothing else matters.

Whether you are in need of the services of a police officer or a fire fighter, all you want and need is their help quickly. Our Fire Department responds to over 80,000 calls for help every year. Approximately 68,000 of these calls are for medical emergencies. In those moments all that matters is time, shorter public safety response times will save lives.  

FIRE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE

As your City Council representative I will push for our Firefighters and City Management to come up with real solutions to try to fix the system that is falling short and reduce response times. Some creative ideas I feel that are worth trying are:

1.       Have 911 dispatcher calls monitored in every fire house. The firefighters will be alerted immediately and by hearing the address directly from the reporting party, the firefighters will get to the fire engine out of the firehouse often before the dispatcher actually rings down the firehouse; thereby shaving minutes off of response times.  Minutes that will matter in those moments of need.

2.       Open up 15 new firehouses: These would not be large centralized stations, but converted homes in neighborhoods.  The City can accomplish this with existing fire engines and firefighters; we will not need to expand our force. Currently many of our Fire Stations house multiple engines and trucks with up to 12 firefighters in one station. Spreading out our fire engines and firefighters will reduce response times to those moments that matter to you and your loved ones most.  It will also provide you with neighborhood fire stations placing the eyes and ears of our first responders much closer to you.  

3.       Technology: The Fire Chief should complete a detailed review to ensure that we are using the latest technology and resources, including an Automated Vehicle Location System.  Automated Vehicle Location systems allow dispatchers to send the closest available unit directly to your emergency for those moments that count.

4.       Effective Utilization of Resources: The use of two-person rescue squad units should be analyzed by the Fire Chief.  These units could handle about 20% of the call volume responding to minor medical calls, freeing up the four-person Engines for more critical calls.  This alone could significantly increase capacity of our current response capabilities.  Allowing shorter response times when those moments count the most.

All of our firefighters are trained in first responder medical treatment. Moving trucks, engines and squads to neighborhood fire houses will reduce the response times for what our department responds to over 80% of the time, medical emergencies, those moments that count for you and your family.

POLICE SERVICES

As we all know our Police Department faces increasing challenges as well. In the last fiscal year our police officers responded to over 1,060,000 calls for service. This represents approximately 1,250 calls per officer on average. This does not include the thousands of calls where our officers back up or assist each other on calls when assistance is needed. San Jose has averaged 37 homicides per year since 2011, far above the 20 we had in 2010, and we are on track to exceed 37 in 2016.  We use to live in the SAFEST Big City America. Unfortunately, we or our friends are increasingly finding ourselves victims of crime. There is relief when a police officer arrives to help you. Unfortunately, we also know the stress and anxiety you experience when you are waiting for what seems like hours for help to arrive or are told the police no longer respond to your type of crime.

Our Police department was once staffed with 1,400 sworn officers and today we have just over 800 reporting for duty.   Despite being the third largest city in California we have the lowest officer to resident ratio of large cities in California.  As a result, you often are stuck waiting for help to arrive. Police response times to even the most pressing emergencies have been steadily increasing, precious moments that count for your safety. Our city can do better than this and we must find immediate solutions to preserve those moments that count for you and your family.

As your City Council representative I will push for our Police Officers and City Management to come up with real solutions to try to fix the system that is falling short and reduce response times. Some creative ideas I feel that are worth trying and can be implemented immediately are:

1.       Rehire our currently retired Police Officers on a limited basis. Many of our recently retired Officers are currently working special events at Levi Stadium, Avaya Stadium, HP Pavilion and other events. Bringing back retirees relieves the City of having to pay for additional retirement, medical and their benefits. This is a stopgap plan that can be immediately implemented until the City can hire and train new officers to replace them.

2.       Technology:  Similar to the Fire Chief, the Police Chief must complete a detailed review to ensure that we are using the latest technology and resources, and that they are working.  We must utilize available technology such as Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) so dispatchers can always dispatch the closest available unit to your emergency when every moment counts.  Predictive policing technology must be explored and implemented. 

3.       Hire 100 Community Service Officers to take non-emergency calls, process minor crime scenes, investigate minor accidents and burglaries where the criminals are long gone.  This will also allow us to provide a pathway for those that wish to become a police officer.    

Our retired officers have professionalism and experience that gave us the designation of America’s Safest Big City. You have the right and should expect to live in America’s Safest Big City.  A part time retiree hire back program could bring up to 100 fully trained and ready officers back to our streets within a few months. This will help reduce response times, reduce crime and protect you and your families at a level you deserve. As your Councilmember I will lead the effort to get our police officers, firefighters and city managers working together for you.     

CONCLUSION

Every moment matters, delayed response times can cause catastrophic consequences to the victims of crime, accidents or medical emergencies. We must work to constantly find new ways to provide the necessary services we are all paying for. Our police department cannot be effective at protecting all of us if their morale and staffing remains low. Forcing officers to work overtime will only make things worse.

Failing to act and or blaming everyone else for our challenges we have is failure of Leadership. Good public policy can only come from good leadership. Our city desperately needs leadership that will think outside the box and find the real long term solutions to our challenges and opportunities. We can and must do better at providing the essential core services that are required from our city to the public. As your City Councilman this will be a priority for me. With your support and us working together, we must make this happen because Every moment counts!

 

VOTE JUNE 7, 2016 FOR MYRON VON RAESFELD 

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