Dear Neighbor, 

Every year, City Council hosts a series of study sessions in May to discuss the budget of each city department, review our capital investments, and identify spending priorities for the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1st.  

This year, Council will have to close a nearly $38 million shortfall due to COVID-19's impact on sales tax, transient occupancy tax, and other revenue sources. On the other hand, the City will also have access to one-time federal stimulus funding that can fill certain gaps and fund qualifying one-off projects. The City Manager has released a preliminary budget and the Council adopted Mayor Sam Liccardo's March budget message, which gives high-level guidance for next year's budget

In addition to our regularly scheduled meetings, I had the pleasure of chatting about the City budget with Jim Shannon, San José's Budget Director, during last month's episode of Inside City Hall. You can view the recording of our discussion here. Our discussion illuminated both the need for City leadership to have measurable goals to strive for and for the community to play a major role in how the budget is shaped.  

If you want to try your hand at making the tradeoffs Council and City staff are currently weighing to balance San José's budget, check out Balancing Act! Balancing Act is an interactive budget tool that allows you to play around with San José's General Fund’s budget.  

Whether or not you get a chance to use the Balancing Act tool, I welcome your input to ensure that the City Council represents your interests in the budget process as we dive deeper into the details and make difficult tradeoffs. I'm looking forward to hearing your priorities and any specific ideas you may have. Please fill out this survey by Friday, April 30th. 

Finally, for your context, here is an overview of the key dates and steps remaining in our budget planning process: 

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments about our neighborhoods. Our office’s mission is to improve the quality of life in each of our District 10 neighborhoods and we always want to hear how we can better serve you.  


Matt Mahan 

For Earth Day this week, Liz and I dove into how COVID-19 has impacted residential recycling rates and contamination, some bad recycling habits we're working to improve on, and what San José is doing to curb future rate increases.

If you enjoy explainer content like this, please let us know what topics you’d like us to tackle next! 
We recently launched a YouTube channel for video content that our office creates, including the weekly chat we have recapping City Council meetings. Check out this week’s episode and subscribe for future episodes at

Residential Recycling & Garbage Services – Council held a study session on Senate Bill 1383, a state mandate requiring cities to divert organic waste from landfills (without additional state funding), and projected garbage rate increases (up to 17% next year), which are being driven by increased residential use, recycling contamination, and labor costs. I focused on recycling contamination, which accounts for 30% of next year’s projected rate increase and appears to be the best option for reducing costs.     

Police Department Duty Manual Updates – Council adopted updates to the Police Department’s Duty Manual to improve outreach to and support for survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The updates include requirements related to investigation and reporting, information sharing, and inquiries about firearm ownership.   

Continued Hearing with Valley Water (VW) – Council and VW continued a joint hearing on water supply, wholesale costs, and a proposed water purification plant. VW reported an intention to increase wholesale rates significantly (8.5-9.6% annual increases over the next decade) to cover capital investments in water supply resources. Both parties agreed to continue negotiating a proposed water purification plant that would be located at the City’s wastewater treatment facility. 

Questions for the Prospective Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (PBCE) Department Director - Council voted on a set of questions to ask candidates for the position. A number of those questions focused on streamlining processes to cut down on wait times and improve customer service.  

Campaign Finance Regulations - Council instructed City staff to research a range of possible campaign finance reforms, including increased transparency about campaign expenditures, tighter regulation of contributions made directly to candidates, and public financing of elections.   

Actions Relating to the 2020 Internet Crimes Against Children Award - Council voted to accept a grant that would reimburse SJPD's personnel, operating, and equipment costs for responding to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children. 

Advancing Transportation and Equity in San Jose - We want to understand where San José's current transportation systems work for you and where they don't. We also want to learn whether new transportation options might meet your needs. This survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please contact Sahar Shirazi (  

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for one of 2 $125 gift cards from Target.

En español: 

Bằng tiếng việt: 

Sa tagalog: 

به زبان فارس: 

National Public Engagement Study During Covid-19 - We’re proud to participate in a national study to learn how art, culture, and creativity fit into our lives during the pandemic. Please help us with this study by taking the survey in the link by Sunday, April 25. Participants will be entered to win one of twenty-five $100 VISA gift cards.  

Note: Your responses are anonymous, the survey is available in multiple languages and is being conducted by independent researchers. 

To take the survey, visit: 

For more information about this survey, visit: 

Viva Parks 2021 Schedule - Viva Parks is a series of free events focused on health and wellness resources, physical activity, and community. We connect people to people, build community pride, transform parks with positive programming, increase park usage, and bring resources to the neighborhood. Mark your calendar for the Viva Parks event in your neighborhood! 

San José Public Library Reopening Update - The San José Public Library (SJPL) is resuming services at some of its branch libraries to provide in-person access to computers and limited free printing by appointment for library cardholders. Last week, SJPL opened this service at the Alum Rock and Tully Community Branch libraries, and this week Edenvale, Evergreen, and Seven Trees branches are offering the services as well. This service is available to the public Monday through Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. More information can be found on the library’s website. In addition, as part of the SJ Access initiative, HP Chromebooks are now available for checkout at all library locations, as well as iPads at select locations. 

Saturday, April 24 
Chat with Matt 
10 am, 

Spend your Monday night making dinner with us! Councilmember Matt Mahan will be learning to cook Tandoori Chicken and Aloo Sabzi via Zoom with AVCA’s own Vandana Kadam

Sunday, April 25 
#StopAsianHate Community Rally and March 
1-3 pm, Plaza de César Chavez 
RSVP here 

Crimes against the Asian-American community have risen dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, created to track, and respond to incidents of hate against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities of the United States, reported nearly 3,800 instances of discrimination since its inception less than one year ago. Enough is enough. 

Rally organizers request that attendees wear black to promote solidarity to survivors and victims of these acts of hate. Please also wear a mask. 

Thursday, April 29 
Rebuilding Your Business Webinar 
3:30 – 5 pm, Zoom registration link 

The City of San José is holding a free online workshop featuring local experts on promoting your business, accessing funding, and finding affordable healthcare and retirement options for you and your employees. Join representatives from ZingPop Social Media, SV Small Business Development Center, Small Business Majority, and Minority Business Development Agency San José Business Center. 

Monday, May 3rd 
Charter Review Commission 
6 pm, Zoom link

The Charter Review Commission was established to examine the City’s governance structure and solicit community input on strong mayor and other potential charter reforms to improve and update the City’s governance structure including but not limited to evaluating if the mayoral seat should be transitioned to the presidential cycle; evaluate transition of the election cycle for Council Districts; and consider additional measures and potential charter amendments, as needed, that will improve accountability, representation, and inclusion at San José City Hall. 

Saturday, May 1 
Coyote Creek Cleanup 
8:45 am – noon, Tully Community Branch Library Parking Lot

Valley Water, in partnership with the City of San José and County of Santa Clara is hosting a cleanup at Coyote Creek. Services and meals will be provided on-site for the unhoused. 

Is there an event you'd like to add to our calendar? Email us at

As of April 7, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan to fully reopen California's economy on June 15 if current COVID-19 trends hold. About 42% of California's over-16 population has received one dose; 23% are fully vaccinated. 

On March 24, we entered the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. What does this mean for our neighbors and local businesses?   

  • Restaurants can open indoors with a max of 50% capacity or 200 people and live entertainment is allowed  

  • Wineries, breweries and distilleries can open indoors with modifications: a max 25% capacity indoors, or 100 people, whichever is fewer.  

  • Bars can open outdoors with modifications.  

  • All retail can open indoors with modifications, at 50% capacity  

  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open indoors with a max of 50% capacity.  

  • Places of worship can open indoors with a max of 50% capacity.  

  • Movie theaters can only open indoors with modifications: a max of 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.  

  • Hotels can open with modifications. Hotels may also open dining and fitness facilities at 25% capacity.  

  • Gyms can open indoor operations with modifications: max of 25% capacity.  

  • Stadiums are allowed to open with modifications: permanent venues with live audiences must be outdoors only, capacity must be limited to 20%, and additional restrictions.  

  • Theme parks are to stay closed; however, starting April 1, 2021, they can reopen by adhering to limits including capacity and worker testing.  

  • Offices may reopen for in-person work schedules of up to 25% capacity and maintaining 25% capacity in conference and meeting rooms, though the County continues to encourage telecommuting where possible. Employers with fewer than 20 employees do not need a capacity limit but must reduce capacity necessary to maintain 6 feet of distancing between workers 

  • Outdoor organized and supervised arts, music, and theater performances and festivals may open for up to 50 people maintaining social distancing between audience members from different households, while food and concessions may be allowed for groups of up to 6 people that are at least 6 feet apart from others.  

  • Indoor gatherings are still strongly discouraged, but allowed with a max of three households. 

Advancement to the Orange Tier reflects the patience and persistence of the whole community in Santa Clara County. To continue to prevent cases and resultant hospitalizations and deaths, we must continue to wear masks, social distance, stay outdoors as much as possible, and get vaccinated when it’s our turn,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “We are close to a significant increase in vaccine supplies, but until those doses are in arms, we must protect each other against another surge.” 

If you need a COVID-19 test, don’t wait! A high rate of testing helps identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 cases, and is one of the factors that is helping our county reopen under State regulations. For a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in Santa Clara County, go to or call 2-1-1.  

The County offers support options for people who test positive or have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. If you need help with food, bills, or a place to stay while you isolate or quarantine, please call 408-808-7770 to learn about support services from the County of Santa Clara.  

Good news! Thanks to an increase in supply directly from the federal government, vaccinations are now available to everyone over the age of 16 in Santa Clara County. You may have to refresh a few times due to the high demand, but my team and I can confirm that people are currently able to book appointments. 

Individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated are encouraged to contact their healthcare system to make an appointment. See below for scheduling options by provider. Check back regularly, new appointments are being added daily: 

Visit for updates. Insurance and immigration status do not impact your eligibility for the vaccine. 

To track vaccinations across the county, check out the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard

Almaden Playgarden

The City of San José has been awarded a matching grant from the County of Santa Clara to build an All-Inclusive Playground at Almaden Lake Park. Through the grant funding, the total budget to replace and upgrade the existing equipment is $1.3M. We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand the playground beyond grant funding constraints and invest in a Playgarden & Nature Area – creating a space where children and adults of all abilities can gather locally. 
The Playgarden Task Force has set a goal to raise an additional $3.7M to reach a $5M fundraising goal. All contributions will be collected through the Playgarden Fund, housed within the Almaden Valley Rotary Club Endowment, a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible and 100% of proceeds will go directly to the expansion. 
As additional funding is secured, amenities and features such as resilient safety surfacing, a nature play area, a hillside slide zone, additional musical elements, and new restroom facilities will be weaved into the landscape design. 
Based on conceptual designs, our goal is to collect donations and pledges by September 30, 2021. With collaboration and support from individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout Almaden Valley and the surrounding areas, the Playgarden and Nature Area will become a reality. Learn more about how you can help at 

Cornerstone of the Arts 

Do you know a leader or organization that has impacted San José's cultural life? The San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Commission are now accepting nominations for celebrating exemplary leaders of 2021. 

Only three weeks left to submit your nomination for the Cornerstone of the Arts! Deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, May 7th!
Visit to submit a nomination today! 
For more information or questions, please contact Tina Iv at

Emergency Rent Relief Now Available  

The State has launched its CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, which helps low-income Californians through the payment of unpaid rent to landlords. Participating landlords can get reimbursed for 80% of each eligible tenant’s unpaid rent that accumulated between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if the landlord agrees to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent from that time period. Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate may still apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent that accumulated between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. For details about eligibility, rules, and deadlines, and to submit applications for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, landlords and tenants can visit the State’s Housing is Key website

SV Strong – A Community Response to COVID-19 

Have you signed up to volunteer? As vaccines become more widely available, volunteers are still needed. Sign up to help nonprofits with vaccine site facilitation and food distribution.  

Sign up to volunteer at SV Strong: 

D10 Help Portal
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.