D10 News: Mid-March 2016

*Don't miss all the updates in District 10 Mid-March Newsletter! Be sure to check the sidebar for important upcoming events and other announcements

Dear Neighbors, 

Recent developments in the way we regulate medical marijuana in the City of San Jose could bring Medical Marijuana dispensaries within 50 feet of your homes. Therefore, I encourage you to attend an important presentation at 6:30 PM on April 6th at the Almaden Winery Community Center about the City’s medical marijuana policy and a ballot initiative that would overturn many of the City’s existing regulations. The City Manager’s Office will make the presentation and the Almaden Winery Community Center is located at 5730 Chambertin Drive, San Jose, CA  95118.

Over the past few months you may have noticed petition signature-gatherers outside your local grocery store or going door-to-door to collect signatures in your neighborhood. One of these petitions was put forward by a local interest group named Sensible San Jose. They are promoting a City-wide ballot initiative of the same name that, if approved by a simple majority of voters, will have a tremendous impact on the City’s medical marijuana regulatory structure. Sensible San Jose submitted enough valid signatures to the County registrar to meet the March 11th filing deadline. The initiative will go before voters at the June election and, if it passes, it could unravel years’ worth of City-initiated studies, Council debates, and planning that went into the current medical marijuana ordinances. It also means that the Council-approved protections for residential neighborhoods, houses of worship, and neighborhood business districts would be swept aside.

In June of 2014, the City Council approved a medical marijuana regulatory program that specified where medical marijuana establishments could operate in the City, as well as who could operate such establishments, and in which manner they could operate. In December of last year, the zoning ordinance was amended to include the definition of “transport” of medical marijuana and tied up some loose ends in the original ordinance to provide for better implementation of the rules and reaffirm San Jose’s authority to locally regulate and tax medical marijuana businesses. The Sensible San Jose Initiative would undo these restrictions and recreate the pre-2014 environment, when San Jose had over 100 collectives located near residential, religious, educational, and small business establishments. I encourage all residents to reflect on the following comparison between current City Policy and Sensible San Jose’s policy:

Current City Regulation:
  • Dispensaries permitted only in industrial zoning.
  • 1000 ft. mandated buffer between dispensaries and schools, daycare centers, community/recreation centers, parks, and libraries.
  • 500 ft. mandated buffer between dispensaries and substance abuse rehabilitation centers and emergency residential shelters.
  • 150 ft. mandated buffer between dispensaries and religious assemblies, adult day care centers, and residential uses.
  • 50 ft. mandated buffer between each parcel of land upon which a dispensary sits and neighboring structures.
  • Strict vertical integration enforcement and tracking of product from “seed to sale”.
  • Business hours permitted only between 9 AM – 9 PM.
  • Mandatory 24/7 presence of security guard on premises of dispensary.
Sensible San Jose Proposal:
  • Dispensaries permitted in agricultural, commercial pedestrian, commercial neighborhood, industrial, and certain planned development zoning districts.
  • No mandated buffer between dispensaries and other establishments, aside from State regulations with respect to schools.
  • No restrictions or mandates on operation such as those added by the City Council in 2014.
  • No requirements around product traceability.
If these potential changes are significant to you, I again encourage you to attend the Medical Marijuana policy presentation on April 6th.

The full, detailed zoning ordinance can be accessed at, and the detailed regulatory ordinance, as amended on December 15th can be accessed at

Sales Tax Recap 

Tax article Councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio and Manh Nguyen joined me in proposing that the voters be allowed to consider a temporary (nine-year), special 1/4-cent tax that would be used specifically for police & pavement  and to place it on the June 7th ballot. It was estimated that such a tax would generate up to $40 million per year to fund the police staffing restoration plan and ensure a strong base-level of support for pavement maintenance. It would have required approval by 2/3rds of the voters in the June election in order to pass. Our measure would have ensured that all new revenues from the tax were spent only on police and pavement maintenance needs and that the funds could not be diverted to pay for golf courses or other well-intended programs that are not core functions of City government. Unfortunately, our proposal did not gather the eight votes needed from the City Council for it to go before the voters.

Mayor Liccardo proposed  placing a fifteen-year 1/4-cent general sales tax before the voters on June 7th that gained the approval of nine members of the City Council. A general sales tax requires approval by 50% + 1 of the voters in the June election. A general tax can be used for anything that the Council chooses during the budget process, or at any Council meeting on which a spending decision may be placed on the Agenda and properly noticed.

You will get your say on June 7th 
when you will have the opportunity to vote on whether to approve the general sales tax. Please be sure to do your due diligence and review the arguments for and against the tax when making your decision. To check your voter registration status, visit the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website . If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until May 23rd to do so. The Registrar will post voter information on their website when it is available.

Register for the Great American Litter Pick-Up! 

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Pioneer High School, Vista Park, Almaden Lake Park, Comanche Park

Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering at the District 10 Great American Litter Pick-Up!  Join neighbors and the D10 team to clean up litter and beautify our parks and neighborhoods.  All volunteers are invited to a celebration lunch after the event.  Students can earn community service hours by volunteering. This event will be held rain or shine. 


1.  Sign up to volunteer at ALMADEN LAKE AREA
2. Sign up to volunteer at COMANCHE PARK AREA  
3. Sign up to volunteer at PIONEER HIGH SCHOOL AREA 
4. Sign up to volunteer at VISTA PARK AREA 

3rd Annual District 10 July 4th Family Fun Festival! 

As many of you know and remember from last year, this patriotic, exciting, and fun-filled celebration is held at beautiful Almaden Lake Park. Bob Vonderwerth, a District 10 resident of the Blossom Valley area of San Jose will produce a fantastic fireworks display in honor of America’s Independence Day. Given the ongoing drought conditions and the City’s safety-related ban on the use of personal fireworks, this event offers families and people of all ages and backgrounds a safe, legal way to celebrate the birth of our nation.  
We will have many opportunities for volunteers to help out with this wonderful event.  In order to volunteer, please send your contact information to my staff on or before June 20, 2016 (the sooner the better!) and let us know how you would like to help. My staff will provide information, training, and expectations with regard to the different options listed below so that you are prepared ahead of time. The day of the event, after volunteer check-in, you will be teamed with a member of the District 10 staff. You can be a part of making this another successful, family-friendly community event - I hope you sign up!
If you know of a person (could that be you?!) or company that would like to sponsor this event, please let us know. Putting together an event like this takes funds to do successfully and we have been fortunate to have support from companies, individuals, neighborhood groups, and non-profits over the past two years. Every amount helps, so please contact my office to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
Non-Profit Booth:
This event is a perfect opportunity for Non-Profits to share information with the community. We have a few Non-Profits signed up but would love to have more! If you, or someone you know, is part of a Non-Profit that would like to participate, please contact us!
Set Up:
We need people to help set up on July 3rd and 4th. We will have tents, tables, stages, etc. to assemble. We will also need assistance for tear-down after the fireworks show. Let us know what you can do, and we will put you to work!
We need people dedicated to working shifts throughout the day of the 4th to control access to the venue and direct drivers where to park. Last year, we were able to eliminate many parking problems by having volunteers direct parking ensuring cars did not block driveways or park in restricted areas.  
Please share the District 10 July 4th Family Fun Festival in your newsletters—community, school, and others. The July 4th Family Fun Festival starts at 2 PM and the fireworks launch right after sunset. Let your friends, students, co-workers, and fellow volunteers know of the volunteer opportunities available and invite people to the Festival! We support families walking and biking together, food vendors, activities for children, and the fantastic Fireworks Display!
Food Vendor:
We would like to promote our District 10 businesses! If you own a food business or want your favorite D10 business to be a featured vendor, please contact my staff before April 30, 2016.
Check In:
There are a variety of entrances to the park.  Pets are not allowed at the event, nor, of course, is alcohol (You will have to wait for the Almaden Art and Wine Festival for that)!  Volunteers at the Check-In points will help ensure compliance with event and park rules.
Park Clean-Up
We need people to help keep Almaden Lake Park looking clean and inviting both the day of the event, and on the 5th. This is a perfect opportunity for youth groups, community associations, and corporate teams to help! 
We hope to hear from you!  Please contact my office today to sign up to volunteer today!

Please email Denelle Fedor at or call 408-535-4910.

Committee, Commissions, and Board Assignments  

My job as Councilmember extends beyond our regular Tuesday City Council meetings. I have numerous appointments to committees, boards, and commissions, both within the City and beyond. 

City Council Committees:
Rules and Open Government Committee
Public Safety, Finance, and Strategic Support Committee
Community and Economic Development Committee - Chairperson

Other Boards and Committees:
Police and Fire Department Retirement Plan Board of Trustees (non-voting member)
Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo)
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board
            VTA - Governance and Audit Committee
            VTA - Transit Planning and Operations Committee - Chairperson
Strategic Planning Advisory Board

City Commissions (liaison): 
Civil Service Commission
Deferred Compensation Advisory Committee
Parks & Recreation Commission
Senior Citizens Commission

Drought Watch

While we are encouraged by the rain we've received in March, the fact is that one wet year is not enough to make up for four years of severe drought conditions. Furthermore, next year could be yet another dry one. 
Back in November, the water district board of directors extended the water reduction target of 30 percent through June of 2016. The reduction is based on an analysis of current water supply conditions, including our groundwater levels. The reductions are in comparison to 2013 water use levels. Our county is off to a good start, cutting water use by 17 percent during January 2016. In January 2015, our county actually used 2 percent more water than in January 2013. 
While the recent storms have brought reservoir levels to normal levels, we do not yet know how much imported water our region will be allocated in 2016. We estimate that even if 2016 is an average rain year, groundwater storage will still be well below normal at the end of 2016. That's why the prudent action is to continue our good water saving habits.
Take the time to fix any leaks around the house, continue using your shower bucket to collect water as you shower warms up, scale back your irrigation schedule, and get more tips on how to fight the drought at

Low-income Seniors Exempt from Safe, Clean Water Tax 

The water district is offering qualifying low-income seniors, age 65 and older, an exemption from the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection parcel tax, a savings of up to $60.
The Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program is a 15-year program approved by voters in November 2012 to provide a safe, reliable water supply; care for and restore wildlife habitat, creeks and open space; and protect our water supply and local dams from earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Funding for the program comes from a parcel tax on Santa Clara County properties each year. Seniors whose total income for 2015 was less than $46,450, who were born before June 31, 1952, and who live in and own the home the tax is assessed on are eligible for the exemption.
The enrollment period begins April 15 and ends June 30. Applications are available only during the enrollment period. Get yours in by June 30 to be exempted for the upcoming property tax year!
If you have any questions about the tax exemption, email or call our hotline at (408) 630-2810. 

Family Camp Registration Opened January 31st

San Jose’s Family Camp is located in the heart of the Sierras near Yosemite National Park, just east of Groveland, California. Family Camp is situated on 47 acres of leased land from the U.S. Forest Service. The Stanislaus National Forest and the middle fork of the Tuolumne River serve as the scenic backdrop to this mountain playground. 

Family Camp at Yosemite provides an all-inclusive camping experience where guests of all ages can fish, hike, swim, participate in organized programs, or just sit back, relax and take it easy. Reserve your tent today for the 2016 camping season (June 10 - August 7). For questions, please contact staff at (408) 794-6208 or

Spring 2016 Boards & Commissions Recruitment   

Applications are now being accepted until April 21, 2016.
Boards and Commissions are critical to San Jose's government processes.  Their activities help shape and influence public policy, and lend a more diverse viewpoint for the City Council to consider.

View the full list of Board & Commission vacancies:

Apply online:

The Health Trust

With so much focus on growth and change in San Jose, we know that many folks in our City are still struggling to take care of their basic needs. A report just released by The Health Trust called Food for Everyone focuses on two of the most vulnerable groups in San Jose: homeless individuals and families and low-income seniors. It shows that in our communities, many low-income seniors and homeless individuals and families are unable to access healthy food. Check out the findings in Food for Everyone to see what healthy food access resources for homeless individuals and families and low-income seniors look like in your community. You can take action by letting me know how your community is affected and what changes you’d like to see in your neighborhood.

For questions, comments or concerns you may reach my office at (408)535-4010 or



*Don't miss all the updates in District 10 Mid-March Newsletter! Be sure to check the sidebar for important upcoming events and other announcements

Upcoming Events 
















Click on the links below to learn more...
Support Pioneer High School's 23rd Annual Mustang Stampede Golf Tournament: Register HERE!
2016 Teen Tech Week: Create it at Your Library 
KP South Bay 2016 Sponsorship Cycle 2 Now Open!  
Celebrate Earth Day with Our City Forest!
Open Space Authority Santa Clara Valley: Investing in Nature in Your Neighborhood Meeting March 23rd 

Latest Happenings 
Green attire was all the rage at this year's Almaden Senior Association St. Patrick's Day Luncheon.

At this week's City Council Meeting, I was proud to recognize our Public Records Coordinators and our Records Administrators as we recognized "Sunshine Week" in San Jose. Our Sunshine ordinance makes San Jose one of the most transparent cities in California. 

Great turnout, not to mention perfect weather, for this year's Lam Research Heart & Soles 5K Run/Walk. Thank you to all the participants who are helping our schools provide health meal choices!

It was an honor to represent the City of San Jose on a panel with County Supervisor Dave Cortese, Mayor Wen-Je Ko of Taipei, Taiwan, and numerous other dignitaries from across Silicon Valley for the March 10th Silicon Valley Chinese Technology & Business Association's Taiwan/Silicon Valley Investment Forum. 

Thank you to Stefani Rasussen, teacher and District 10 resident, for inviting me to share my book "Costi and the Raindrop Adventure" with your kindergarten students!

On March 6th, I had a great time supporting Williams Elementary School at their annual fundraiser. 

Mayor Liccardo delivered an uplifting address at this year's State of the City Presentation. 

This month, I met with leaders of the Korean community who are working hard to form a new Sister City relationship between Suwon, Korea and San Jose. 

Office of Councilmember Johnny Khamis
200 E Santa Clara Street - 18th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113

408-535-4910 - -