Though much work remains to be done, I am optimistic about San Jose’s future. Signs of improving economic conditions make me hopeful for 2012. As I reflect on the past four years and the promises I made when I ran for office in 2008, and in spite of governing through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, I am proud to report that we have accomplished a great deal, including:
JOBS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & BUDGET
- As Chair of the Community and Economic Development Committee I am constantly seeking new ways to bring jobs to San Jose and Evergreen, and I have promoted policies that resulted in 2,200 new jobs locating in San Jose.
- I helped personally recruit and support new retail businesses in Evergreen.
- I led an effort to prevent the sale of Municipal Water, protecting this critical resource for San Jose and avoiding water rate hikes for Evergreen residents.
- I supported tough budget positions to protect services and jobs, as called out in the San Jose Mercury News editorial - “San Jose Needs to adopt a budget that adds up“.
- As Vice-Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee and as a VTA Board Member, I helped to secure funding for the Highway 101/Tully interchange improvement project currently under construction and scheduled for completion by early summer. I also helped secure the funds needed for the design of the 101/Capitol-Yerba Buena interchange improvements.
- As a VTA Board Member, and Chair of the Downtown East Valley Policy Advisory Board, I led an effort to secure funding for Phase 1 of the VTA Light Rail extension to Eastridge Mall and improvements to Capitol Expressway. The improvements will be completed in 2012 and include a new 10-foot-wide pedestrian-bicycle pathway, and landscaping improvement that will greatly improve safety along Capitol Expressway.
- In partnership with residents and the “Save our Skatepark” community group, I am working to protect Lake Cunningham Park and keep the skate park open and staffed for residents and youth to enjoy. The Mercury News Editorial Board called this effort a great “Civic Gift of 2011“.
- I supported a public-private partnership to keep Meadowfair Community Center open and accessible to local neighborhood organizations while providing needed childcare services to the community. The new center will open in early 2012.
- I supported partnerships to keep summer swimming open at District 8 high school pools when they would have otherwise been closed.
Even before running for office, I was guided by the principles that my neighborhood and my community came before politics. As I return to the campaign trail four years later, I have the proven experience of tackling tough problems and making tough decisions like supporting sustainable but fair retirement benefits for City employees to preserve City services and jobs.