San Jose’s $ 4.three billion finances is targeted on fairness, alternative and the shortage of center housing
As the elected San Jose leaders prepare to finalize the city’s fiscal 2020-21 budget of $ 4.3 billion, equity concerns have been central.
Earlier this spring, five Latin American lawmakers on the city council – Maya Esparza, Raul Peralez, Sergio Jimenez, Magdalena Carrasco, and Sylvia Arenas – had the idea of allocating the city’s resources as needed, rather than giving the same amount of money to the poor and wealthy neighborhoods alike.
Mayor Sam Liccardo responded with a memo that the city could do this by creating a “stocks screen” that relied on data rather than complaints to find out which parts of the city really had the greatest need for services.
In his June spending plan, the mayor suggested allocating $ 430,000 to a “stock fund” and spending more money on programs that provide tutoring, career counseling, and gang prevention in low-income communities.
“Assigning services to districts with higher demand requires greater granularity than traditional district or even zip code analyzes,” wrote Liccardo.
As the eleven-member council prepares to meet for a final vote on the budget on Tuesday, the five officials who have raised equity as a priority in this budget cycle say the mayor’s idea is too limited and they couldn’t . “With a clear conscience“, support it. If San Jose is genuinely looking to fight inequality, it should pull together and investigate rather than see it as resolved by funding only a select few post-school or work study programs for low-income youth.
“If we really want to tackle the issue of justice in our city, everything we do should be done through a lens of justice,” wrote Peralez, Jimenez, Carrasco, Arenas and Esparza in a joint memo released on Friday. “We are not going to achieve systemic change without first really understanding how inequality infiltrates the systems, processes, and mechanisms that govern San Jose. One of the biggest challenges in this effort is that there are people who have not yet realized or understood that there is a problem. Evaluation and analysis are not wasted if they provide a clear understanding of the problems and serve to provide a framework for results and solutions. “
They concluded: “Justice cannot simply be a catchphrase or a checkbox, it must be anchored in our budgetary and civic way of life. This is not possible without the data. By providing our employees with an equity fund to begin analysis, we can begin to be more productive than reactive in addressing quality of life issues and proving to our residents that San Jose is a city for everyone
The five city councils proposed an additional study session to examine the city’s continued involvement in the Governmental Alliance for Race and Justice and the Index of Social Progress, and to assess the effectiveness of the programs in creating racial and economic justice in the city.
They also recommended investing even larger resource programs, which the mayor mentioned in his June budget report. San Jose Works, a nonprofit youth education and employment organization; SJ Bridge, which provides public services to the homeless; and programs to help low-income residents start their own businesses.
“These programs are badly affected, have waiting lists, and are insufficient to make systematic improvements,” wrote Peralez, Arenas, Carrasco, Esparza and Jimenez. “We need equity for basic urban services for entire communities – such as housing, pavement, neighborhood services – rather than limited opportunities for a small percentage of individuals within our mayor’s selected programs.”
In addition to the mayor’s spending plan, the council proposed a total of 100 new ideas for the coming year. These include funding for a “quiet zone” for Union Pacific trains traveling through the Warm Springs corridor, renovations to Alviso Park, and discounts on surveillance camera registration with the San Jose Police Department.
Despite the question of how exactly justice should be achieved, Liccardo and his colleagues were optimistic that they would work together to achieve the goal of a more just city.
“We still have a lot to do,” Liccardo wrote in his most recent budget memo, “but we should take a moment to recognize what we can do together to create the opportunities and aspirations for thousands of San Jose residents improve.”
Click here to read the mayor’s full budget message, including other ideas he’d like to fund. The list of proposals from the rest of the council is available here
- College vote. The Council will consider whether or not to formally approve AB 59, introduced by MP Ash Kalra (D-San Jose). This would require local elections to designate at least one location on the main campus of each California State University campus as a polling station. The bill would also encourage the University of California, private universities, and community colleges to abide by the standard.
- The missing center. Officials will provide an update on the middle-income city’s housing strategy. The report includes a proposal to use a $ 10 million fund to build 15,000 marketable and 10,000 below market units by 2022. Middle-income households are loosely defined by the city as households with incomes between 60 percent and 150 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Households that fall in this range have an annual income between $ 60,000 and $ 150,000, according to the US Census. Councilor Pam Foley wants the city to help the so-called “missing center” by funding a down payment aid program.
- The general plan. The council will decide how to prioritize its next review of the San Jose General Plan 2040 – the city’s blueprint for future growth. Liccardo has teamed up with Jimenez, Arenas, and Peralez to investigate the idea of replacing some single-family homes with denser developers such as duplex or four-unit complexes.
WHAT: City council meets
WHEN: Tuesday, 1.30 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
THE INFORMATION: Town clerk, 408.535.1260