I’m a product of West San José schools and neighborhoods. Growing up here allowed me to succeed and shaped who I am today.
District 1 is among the most diverse council districts in the city, and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m a big believer that the best policymaking comes from engaging a wide variety of perspectives. As your next Councilmember I’m looking forward to working together with every neighborhood to meet our challenges together.
West San José is a great place to live. I’ll engage with our neighborhoods and work to make them safer.
Previous District 1 Councilmembers have been heavily engaged with neighborhood associations and community groups. I want to build on that legacy while also building relationships with neighborhoods that don’t have strong associations, and continue to work with Project Hope, so that I can represent everyone in the district.
Parks anchor neighborhoods—and District 1 has fewer parks than any other council district. As your next Councilmember I’ll work to build more parks and incorporate green space into new developments.
It’s also important to me to beautify our parks and our neighborhoods by
- Adding trees where needed to provide shade and energy efficiency for homes
- Working with city services and our Police Department to take a more proactive approach to illegal dumping
A big part of neighborhood safety is having the right infrastructure on neighborhood streets. I’ll
- Add additional crosswalks where needed, especially near schools
- Implement speed mitigation measures like speed bumps and radar speed signs for streets that need them
- See out the completion of the city’s LED Conversion Program to brighten streetlights
The San José Police Department has the smallest officer to resident ratio of any major city police department in America.
Recruiting police officers and firefighters will always be a challenge; San José is often in competition with other cities in the area. We need to ensure that the police and firefighters we do have are given the proper training and resources to do their jobs.
The best thing we can do now to decrease response times is to take a tiered approach to handling calls. SJPD is already running a pilot program with the County’s Department of Behavioral Health to incorporate mental health professionals when handling mental health crisis calls. I’m hopeful for this program’s success so we can transition to permanent approaches that allow most or all calls that don’t involve criminal conduct to be handled without sworn officers, which will free them to focus on their main job: responding to crime.
We owe it to everyone in our community—unhoused and housed—to solve our homelessness crisis.
Homelessness is a complicated problem that needs both long term solutions to address the underlying issues, and short term solutions to keep people alive in the meantime. And the city can’t solve the problem alone—progress can only be made by collaborating with the County, VTA, Caltrans, and the State to address homelessness quickly and equitably.
Santa Clara County doesn’t have enough shelter capacity to meet demand, so I support other short term solutions as well like sanctioned encampments and safe parking sites. These approaches prevent encampments from sprawling along roads and near parks, freeways, waterways, and neighborhoods. They also promote safety by providing on-site security, and provide unhoused people with food, sanitation, and other support services.
In the longer term, the number one solution to homelessness is housing. It’s not just the most logical solution and the most compassionate solution—it’s also the most cost-effective. Leaving people on the street is expensive, considering the cumulative costs of constantly sweeping encampments, police response, incarceration, ambulance rides, and ER admissions, to name a few. All of those costs dwarf the cost of just housing someone.
Investing in building bridge housing and supportive housing will help unhoused people transition back into society by giving them a roof over their heads, mental health and addiction treatment if needed, and job training. And getting new homeless housing online doesn’t just mean traditional construction; San José has experimented with tiny homes, prefabricated construction, and converting old motels.
District 1’s commercial hubs are full of small businesses. Small businesses drive economic activity and are an important part of our local history and identity. The City of San José often goes out of its way to accomodate big business; as your next Councilmember I’ll bring a greater focus to small business.
Current District 1 Councilmember and Vice Mayor Chappie Jones has been a strong advocate for small businesses, and as his successor I’ll continue his Small Business Advisory Task Force. In addition, I’ll establish a Legacy Small Business program, which would recognize longstanding local businesses that have great community or cultural significance, and help protect them if they’re threatened by displacement.
Urban Village developments, which build housing and commercial space along transit corridors, are an opportunity for the city to collaborate with small businesses. It’s crucial that new retail spaces be filled quickly after they’re built to drive foot traffic, and in addition to helping install long-term tenants I’ll promote programs to help pop-ups operate in these spaces too.
As your Councilmember I’ll support our local schools, students, parents, and teachers.
For years West San José schools have struggled with teacher recruitment and declining enrollment, problems only exacerbated by the pandemic. Fundamentally, both these problems boil down to the housing affordability issue—many teachers and young families simply can’t afford to live here. On top of that, many students struggle to be successful because they lack access to the internet and to adequate nutrition.
School districts can’t solve these problems alone—and frankly, neither can the city. These are multifaceted problems that require collaboration across agencies—and they’re why it’s crucial to have leadership at all levels of government, including City Council, that’s focused on collaboration and coalition building.
A key example is the issue of teacher housing. Many school districts own excess land that they aren’t using for schools, and are considering using it to develop affordable housing for their teachers. It’s up to districts to find funding for these projects, but even with land and funding in-hand, it’s still up to City Council to actually approve projects. As your Councilmember I’ll be eager to partner with any school district that wants to step up and address this issue.
Roads and Transportation
Every street in District 1 should be safe for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists.
As your next Councilmember I’ll ensure the completion of the city’s Pavement Maintenance Program to fully repave thoroughfares and neighborhood streets in District 1. I’ll also invest in quick-build safety infrastructure at high-risk intersections and build out bicycle lanes along all major streets.
Transportation is an area where many agencies have jurisdiction, especially when it comes to freeways and expressways, and I’ll partner with the Valley Transit Authority, the County, and Caltrans to come up with comprehensive solutions around mobility, safety, and congestion management.
I see public transit as an important pillar of our transportation strategy. San José’s Urban Village concept—which concentrates new housing and commercial development along transit corridors—only works if we actually provide good transit service. And increasing transit ridership benefits not just transit riders but also drivers, who benefit from fewer cars on the road.
Increasing transit ridership requires opening up access—I support continuing VTA’s discounted fares for youth and seniors and student pass partnerships with local community colleges and San José State—and making transit time-competitive with driving. I support signal prioritization, which prioritizes buses for green lights while allowing intersections to operate normally all other times, and VTA’s Highway 85 dedicated transit lane project, which would streamline West Valley bus commutes with a dedicated bus lane inside the median.
We have a housing crisis in San José—and it’s largely because we don’t build enough housing.
I support policies that incorporate more affordable units into new housing developments. In addition, District 1 has more units of older, naturally affordable apartments than any other council district, and I support requiring affordable replacement units when those older apartments are redeveloped.
I believe that the affordable housing conversation doesn’t focus enough on affordable home ownership. When I served on the San José Housing and Community Development Commission I advocated for expanding down payment assistance programs, and as a Councilmember I’ll advocate for incorporating affordability into new for-sale housing development.
I support San José’s Urban Village concept, which concentrates new housing and commercial development around transit corridors to allow workers to live near where they work. This creates walkable spaces with a neighborhood feel and allows for small businesses and retailers access to high foot traffic.