Jimmy is running for San Jose City Council because he wants to ensure that our children have the same opportunities that our community gave him. Jimmy believes great schools and strong neighborhoods are the cornerstone of a a vibrant community, and he is ready to take his dedication to City Hall.
For too long now, our neighborhoods have been neglected.
Burglaries continue as a normal occurrence. Property crime is up. We have experienced too many criminal acts throughout our community and San Jose. This has caused our residents to feel unsafe in our neighborhoods. Too many people are testing the limits of the law. We need more police officers to put an end to this. We also need to restore the Police Department’s burglary unit and begin tackling this issue head on.
As your Councilmember, I will make restoring public safety a top priority. I will support utilizing savings and surplus funds to hire more police officers so we empower SJPD and ourselves against criminal offenders.
Before we can restore police and fire services, we need to find the funds to pay for them and follow through with the settlement agreement the City and public unions agreed to. That's why I support Measure F on the November 2016 ballot, and strongly encourage you to do the same.
Moreover, by incentivizing businesses to relocate to San Jose, we can increase our city’s revenue and use the money to place more police officers in our neighborhoods.
A healthy economy is key to a prosperous San Jose. While drawing business to San Jose creates jobs for our residents, it also brings revenue that is crucial for restoring critical services. For these reasons, we need to entice businesses to start-up in San Jose or relocate in San Jose. Investing in our economy is the key to increasing our city’s tax base without increasing taxes.
Businesses have several options when considering where to locate in the Bay Area. This is why we need to encourage them to establish their operations here. Currently, there are many factors deterring businesses from choosing to locate here in San Jose.
The first is our city’s dated permitting process. It is full of red tape and in major need of reform. By streamlining the permitting process, we can create a welcoming environment for businesses to come to San Jose. I often hear small business owners share their grievances with the bureaucratic nightmare that is San Jose’s permitting process. Small businesses make up a significant portion of sales tax revenue in the city. That is why it is important for us to draw new businesses to San Jose while also supporting our existing businesses. It is imperative that we make San Jose welcoming to business.
In the 21st century economy in San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley, businesses are forced to work at the speed of government -- San Jose needs to move at the speed of business. By supporting our local businesses, incentivizing businesses to set up shop in San Jose, and streamlining the bureaucratic process -- San Jose can become the 21st century city we all know it can be.
Protecting Kids and Families
Our city has seen too many traffic-related fatalities. Keeping our children and families safe is a high priority to me as I think about my young god-daughter every time I witness a car roaring down the street. Reckless driving is a serious problem in our community and we need to address it immediately.
San Jose highlighted this issue through Vision Zero San Jose, which states "The street system should be safe for all users, for all modes of transportation, in all communities and for people of all ages and abilities." Although human error is largely unpredictable, we can prevent these senseless deaths. Vision Zero provides a groundwork for putting an end to traffic fatalities. While it is a step in the right direction, San Jose will have to work with county and law enforcement officials to curb this growing problem.
While Vision Zero sets goals for the city, I will advocate to restore the traffic enforcement unit so we can prevent reckless drivers and speeders in our neighborhoods. The consequences of reckless driving are shown by the number of roadside memorials that pay tribute to their victims. As we continue to restore our police force, it is important for us to allocate resources to traffic enforcement. There is nothing more important than keeping our families safe.
Additionally, in order to protect our neighborhoods, we need to increase funding for our San Jose Fire Department. Despite being the 10th largest city in the United States, the SJFD has the lowest per capita staffing of any fire department in the 40 largest cities in the country. We have 744 firefighters to serve our city of over one million residents. Having a fully-staffed and operational fire department is essential to ensure our families' safety and reasonably respond to emergency calls.
We have a homeless problem in San Jose. The high cost of housing, mental illness, or financial stress/job loss are the straws that break the camel’s back. Homelessness is an issue that affects all of us. It is a delicate issue we need to handle with care and compassion. We must work with the county and local nonprofits to find a long-term sustainable solution to this issue that is both practical and feasible.
I support the Housing First method. This approach requires stabilizing homeless people as quickly as possible and then providing them with social services to address their needs and help them become contributing members of society again.
It is important to remember anyone can suffer from the setbacks life throws at us. By showing compassion and empathy for the homeless today, we can prevent larger problems tomorrow.
I have personally seen the challenges facing the homeless. My former client, Mr. Dinh Phan, survived on the streets of San Jose for six years after losing his job and driver license. When I first met him at a free legal clinic, Mr. Phan asked me for one thing -- help him regain his driving privilege so he could legally drive himself to work. We had to overcome several obstacles, but we eventually won his driver's license back.
My client's health declined due to his plight on the streets. He suffered from malnutrition requiring several digestive surgeries. Unfortunately, Mr. Phan's poor health led to his passing. Despite hardships, he never complained and had a positive temperament. He inspired me and taught me a lot about courage and dignity. There are many homeless people out there with similar stories who need a helping hand, that's why I support Measure A, the housing bond, on the November 2016 ballot.
Supporting Higher Education
San Jose City Council District 8 is the home of Evergreen Valley Community College. The college has approximately 30 acres of open land. The college trustees agreed to lease out the land for commercial development; but many residents strongly advocate keeping the land for educational use to expand Evergreen Valley college's educational offerings to match adjacent colleges that offer students more. The residents argue that thousands of students choose to drive to the neighboring community colleges because they are significantly better than Evergreen Valley College.
I agree with the residents and I support the college using that land for educational expansion because Evergreen Valley College is uncompetitive with neighboring community college districts. While commercial and housing are important priorities, we should use these rare opportunities to expand higher education and thereby support our students in their journey to reach their potential.
I support California’s new minimum wage recently signed into the law by Governor Brown in April 2016. This law will increase wages for millions of hardworking Californians while also accounting for the impact to businesses by incrementally increasing the wage over five years. When we reach the $15/hr mark, the wage will automatically increase according to inflation. This law also allows California to pause the increases during recessions or other economic downturns.
This is a win for all Californians and was achieved through great collaboration between many stakeholders and this collaborative process is one in which I believe in and will pursue as a councilmember.
We are restoring our city’s police force, and passing Measure F will allow us to continue to rebuild the department to a reasonable level. That being said, we can take other steps towards increasing public safety. We must practice smart policing by increasing our Community Service Officer program. This would allow our police officers to focus on higher priority crimes.
Community Service Officers (CSOs) serve an extremely important purpose by carrying a large portion of the public safety burden. They are able to respond in non-emergency situations to help gather evidence, file reports, and do much of the other work to maintain neighborhood safety. As your councilmember, I would advocate for expanding our Community Service Officer program so that we can maximize our police department’s ability to maintain safety throughout our city.
Measure F - Pension Settlement
I’m proud to support Measure F because San Jose needs to collaborate and serve the resident’s public safety needs. This fight between city officials and public unions has severely exposed us to criminals. Settling this contentious issue will restore critical city services and a sense of safety in our communities.
Measure F will allow San Jose to bring more officers back to the police department by granting us the ability to offer a competitive benefits package to our officers while saving approximate $30 million in taxpayer expenses every year. Most importantly, Measure F signals to potential police and fire recruits that we in San Jose are now working collaboratively to serve our city’s residents and employees.
Transportation: Measure B - VTA ¼ Cent Sale Tax
I strongly support Measure B on the November 2016 ballot. As a 30 year resident of San Jose, District 8 specifically, I’ve personally witnessed the decline in quality of our road conditions and I understand that our public transportation system is not sufficient enough to meet the needs of our growing city. Measure B kills two birds with one stone. It will increase the sales tax by ¼ cent and will prioritize the spending of this revenue to focus on rebuilding our crumbling road infrastructure, while also making necessary updates to our public transit system.
As our valley continues to grow, and our economy continues to thrive, it is important for us to ensure that our transit infrastructure keeps up. Measure B allows this to happen by bringing BART to Downtown San Jose, and by emphasizing road maintenance and upkeep.