Police reform, tax will increase, meals help are on the agenda of the San Jose Metropolis Council

By Carly Wipf

In its first full session since the July legislature break, San Jose City Council will speak on Tuesday on food insecurity, police reform and tax increases.

As COVID-19 continues to devastate the economy and discussions of race and police brutality dominate the national conversation, city leaders are pushing for action for the 2020 vote to expand the authority of the city’s police inspector, increase taxes on card rooms, and reshuffle the planning committee structure.

The Council is also expected to discuss extending the duration of public food programs to help residents who face food insecurity during the pandemic.

Police reform

An electoral move to increase the powers of the city’s independent police inspector will be under discussion and, if passed, will allow the inspector to review unedited reports of police officers’ shooting, investigate allegations of violence and other investigations against police officers.

The IPA is currently empowered to examine complaints sent to the police department and determine whether the investigation is complete and fair. The office can recommend guidelines based on its assessment of the department and is responsible for community engagement and reach.

Over the past month, the city partnered with several organizations to provide food to vulnerable communities, including World Central Kitchen, Team San Jose, Hunger at Home, the Health Trust, and Deloitte Consulting. The partnerships were short-term relief efforts aimed at solving the immediate hunger problem in San Jose, compounded by unemployment and lack of access to business during the placement.

Many of these programs ended or are due to end this month. The Council will decide whether to approve additional funding for the extension of some of these services until September or October.

As of July 31, more than 52 million meals have been delivered to seniors, children and low-income families, people with homelessness and others economically affected by the pandemic.

New card room tax

The council is to determine the fate of an electoral measure to raise taxes on the monthly income of the card rooms from 15% to 16.5%. The proposed move would also allow San Jose casinos to add an additional 15 tables per facility.

The move would affect the city’s two casinos, Bay 101 and Casino Matrix, and add $ 15 million to the city’s general fund annually. The programs the tax would support include, according to city guides: fire safety, disaster risk reduction, 911 emergency response, road repair and youth programs.

A more diverse planning commission

If a plan to restructure the San Jose Planning Commission were passed Tuesday, it would reach voters in 2020. The proposed measure would change the size of the planning committee from seven to eleven members, including one member from each of the ten wards and one member. great member.

Legislators approved the plan in June after criticizing the planning committee’s lack of ethnic and geographic diversity.

Every 10 years, following the US census, the city council appoints a redistribution committee to redraw the county lines and improve the representation of residents. City officials will also discuss changing the schedule for redistributing recommendations on Tuesday due to possible delays in census results.

The meeting begins on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Visit the city’s YouTube channel to watch or listen.

Contact Carly Wipf at [email protected] or follow @CarlyChristineW on Twitter.

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