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Dear Neighbor, 

Spring has arrived and with it so has the 2021 road paving season!  

As we all know, for years we’ve invested too little in our basic infrastructure, especially local roads. In addition to being inconvenient and unsafe, poor roads shift costs to individual residents in the form of vehicle wear-and-tear and lower fuel efficiency. In fact, a study conducted by TRIP in 2016 found that poor road conditions cost California drivers an additional $18.3 billion per year in vehicle operating costs and $28 billion in congestion-related expenses (equivalent to over $1000/year per household).  

Thanks to voters’ support for local measures T (San Jose) and B (countywide), and recent increases in the state gas tax, we are finally beginning to catch up on our decade-plus deferred maintenance backlog. This year, the County will repave Almaden Expressway from Blossom Hill Rd. to Harry Rd., which is one of the top priorities we’ve heard from residents. Meridian Ave., south of Blossom Hill Rd., is another top priority that will be paved this year, along with McAbee Rd., Camden Ave., and a number of local neighborhood roads.  

You can see the full list of local roads that the San Jose Department of Transportation will pave this year and in the following two years by visiting: 
https://gis.sanjoseca.gov/maps/paveprojects/

Three-year paving plan for District 10.

I also wanted to share an update on homeless encampment management: on Tuesday, City Council voted to move forward a set of recommendations that included directing staff to propose a test of the encampment “setbacks” ordinance that I put forth during our priority setting process. While setbacks are not a silver bullet, I believe they are a better approach than abatements that simply shuffle people back and forth between the same neighborhoods at great expense. Council expressed willingness to test a setback enforcement strategy initially focused on schools for purposes of learning. In parallel, we’ve directed staff to evaluate increasing spending on encampment clean-ups, hygienic services, and social services outreach.  

Finally, I’m sure you’ve heard the good news that vaccination eligibility will be greatly expanded next month: Californians over 50 years of age will be eligible for vaccines starting on April 1 and everyone over the age of 16 will be eligible starting April 15. We expect that providers will continue to experience delays in scheduling appointments. Your best starting place for vaccination information is www.sccfreevax.com, which will direct you to your provider’s scheduling website. We recommend checking the website frequently. It may take multiple weeks to secure an appointment given the high demand.  

Stay safe and enjoy the sunshine and smoother roads!  

Sincerely, 


Matt 

TOMORROW: Please join us for Chat with Matt! My team and I are looking forward to seeing you this Saturday at 10 am to talk about the local matters that matter most to you. Don't forget to RSVP if you haven't already: bit.ly/D10Mar272021

We recently launched a YouTube channel for video content that our office creates, including the weekly chat Liz and I have recapping City Council meetings. Check out this week’s episode and subscribe for future episodes at bit.ly/MattOnVideo 

Priority Setting - My encampment management strategy was combined with a similar memo from Councilmember Foley. It received the most votes and was added to the citywide roadmap.  

Meanwhile, my proposal for a KPI Dashboard received three votes and was highlighted by both the City Manager and in the Mayor's Budget Message. I’ll continue working to build support for this idea.  

Mayor's March Budget Message - Council reviewed the Mayor’s Budget Message detailing his priorities for the coming fiscal year, including a jobs program for unemployed young people using one-time federal stimulus dollars, expanded encampment clean-ups, continuation of the outdoor “Al Fresco” program for local eateries, and maintenance of budget reserves. Council will have an opportunity to amend these priorities. After adoption, Council will hold budget study sessions in May with final adoption of the 2021-2022 budget in June.  

Audit of Police Staffing, Expenditures, and Workload - Council heard an audit of SJPD’s staffing, budget and workload, including significant overtime expenditures. I continue to advocate for investments in community policing, data analytics to improve policing practices, differentiated 911 response for mental health and homeless concerns, and prioritization of additional staffing in place of excessive overtime hours.     

Police Misconduct Work Plan - Following last summer’s protests, City Council called on the City Manager to assess increasing the independence of investigations of police misconduct. The City Manager’s Office presented to Council a proposed workplan, which includes retaining a consultant that will help develop recommendations for how to implement independent investigations based on learnings from other jurisdictions.  

Hearing on Water Rates - Council held a hearing on San Jose Water Company’s (SJWC) proposed rate increase. My questions focused on expenditure transparency, SJWC’s relationship with its holding company, and how it will protect struggling ratepayers. I also asked the Public Advocate to require the company to smooth out rate increases over time, rather than the front-loaded (9%+) increase proposed for next year. The rate case will go to the CPUC later this year for a final decision and the City is evaluating options for challenging it. 

SR 87/Capitol Expressway Interchange Improvement Project - Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate an agreement with VTA to upgrade the 87/Capitol Expressway interchange, which is poorly designed and causes severe congestion on Narvaez Ave and surrounding streets. I asked City staff to host a series of community meetings during the entire design and construction process, expected to run through 2027.   

Homelessness Annual Report - Council’s discussion of this annual report focused on encampment management prioritized expanded trash removal, hygienic services and outreach, to be assessed for our ‘21-’22 budget planning. My mandatory setbacks proposal was included in our recommendations. Finally, we agreed, in limited circumstances, to explore sanctioned encampments as a potential strategy.   

San José City Hall, City Offices to Close March 31 - The City’s EOC will continue operating while most noncritical City services will be closed in observance of the César Chávez Holiday. Public safety and utility services will operate during the holiday. 

Resources to Help Manage Your Electric Bill - We know many of our residents are still struggling to keep up with bills during the lasting effects of COVID-19. To help, San José Clean Energy has outlined a list of monthly and one-time bill assistance programs, including a new debt forgiveness program, that customers may be eligible for. The California Public Utilities Commission recently extended customer protections – including the moratorium on service disconnections for nonpayment – from April 16, 2021 to June 30, 2021. Visit the San José Clean Energy website for a list assistance programs. The information is also available in Spanish and Vietnamese. 

Register for COVID-Modified Sports and Leisure Activities - Spring registration is now open for a variety of sports and leisure programs for all ages through the City of San José’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Department. The spring season starts Monday, March 22, 2021. Participants can view and register for activities online. All programs are modified to meet county and state COVID-19 guidance, including daily health screenings and wearing face masks. Each participant may only register and attend one in-person activity at a time and timelines for activities may not overlap. Each in-person registration must have a minimum of three weeks between each enrollment. Scholarships are available for those who qualify; awarded as funding is available. For scholarship registration, contact your local community center to verify scholarship registration hours. For questions regarding programs, scholarships, or safety guidelines, please contact sjregistration@sanjoseca.gov

Guidelines for Picnic Table Use - The City of San José Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department reminds residents that group picnic areas are currently closed and to use small picnic areas in parks safely. Those who choose to use picnic areas must follow all posted signage as well as County public health orders. This includes limiting up to three households (25 people or fewer), wearing a face covering when not eating (ages 2 and up), staying six feet from anyone outside your household, washing or sanitizing hands frequently, and limiting use to two hours or less. Due to the temporary closure of Leininger Community Center, reservations are not currently offered, and picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. View a current list of park amenity reopenings

Opinion Survey for Cannabis Dispensary Locations - The City is asking your opinion on cannabis retail businesses and their locations. Complete the survey here. This survey should only take 4-6 minutes to complete. All answers will be kept strictly confidential. 

Clean Creeks 
The Creeks working group seeks to identify ways to keep our creeks free of trash.  The group is working on both direct action, through creek cleanups, and policy changes around setbacks and encampment trash.  The group includes residents as well as representatives from environmental groups and homeless advocates.  Their charter statement says they are working toward “consensus on shared values and a path forward that supports priorities of our unhoused residents, housed residents, and our waterways and open spaces.” The next meeting will be schedule for early April. 

I put forth a memo that was discussed at Tuesday’s Council meeting during agenda item 8.2 Homelessness Annual Report.  Memo items 1, 2, and 3 were accepted, which includes looking into setbacks and encampment trash removal.  To hear the presentation from PRNS, which includes the issue of setbacks, check out the videos of the Council meeting: 

Afternoon session – Staff presentation starts at 3:44:06 and ends at 4:23:30  

Evening session – Council discussion starts at 2:19:20 and ends at 4:23:08 

Laura’s Law 
The Laura’s Law working group has been busy! The County’s Health and Hospital Committee had a meeting yesterday dedicated solely to discussing Laura’s Law. We co-signed and submitted a letter in preparation for that meeting, and even got a shoutout from Supervisor Simitian. Our members spoke during public comment, and we were thrilled to see that Supervisors Simitian and Lee sent a recommendation to the full Board to opt-in to Laura’s Law. You can see my comments below:

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, April 10th at 9:00 am. We will be planning how to most effectively advocate to the Board of Supervisors before the final vote on May 25th. If you have any questions about Laura’s Law or about the group, please email adrian.rafizadeh@sanjoseca.gov

Leaf Blowers 
The leaf blower working group was featured in San José Spotlight this week!  

The working group’s next meeting is this Saturday, March 27, at 11:30 am. (Zoom link) They’ll be researching similar ordinances in other cities and next steps for beginning the process of working on a memo.

Opportunity Housing 
The Opportunity Housing (oppose position) group was excited to be joined by over 40 residents at the 1st Quarter District 10 Leadership Coalition meeting. The members have been working closely with my Chief of Staff Matthew Quevedo as they've worked to connect with residents throughout District 10. If you're interested in joining the Opportunity Housing (oppose position) working group, please send an email to matthew.quevedo@sanjoseca.gov

Street Racing 
The Street Racing/Sideshow working group will be meeting with SJPD Southern Division Captain Elle Washburn this Saturday at 9 am. During this meeting, we will discuss what SJPD has been doing to combat street racing, sideshows, and other traffic crimes in San Jose. Following this meeting, the group will be focused on identifying street racing hotspots in our neighborhoods and collaborating on policy recommendations to bring to Councilmember Mahan. If you're interested in joining, please send an email to matthew.quevedo@sanjoseca.gov

Trash/Litter Pickup 
The Trash and Litter working group recently met to finalize our group charter, decide on a logo, and brainstorm next steps. We are planning a community education campaign on littering, neighborhood-specific trash pick-up volunteer groups, and advocacy to the City to enforce legislation preventing litter.

We meet on the third Saturday of the month at 9 am. Our next meeting is on April 17th. If you have questions about this group, please email adrian.rafizadeh@sanjoseca.gov.

Water Rates 
Council adopted Mayor Liccardo's memo that I helped to craft and scope to pursue further actions to provide the City with avenues to advocate for changes to the San Jose Water Company's (SJWC) General Rate Case (GRC). Special shoutout to the District 10 Leadership Coalition's Water Rates Working Group which helped to advise me on the right questions to ask to challenge many of the reasons for the projected rate increases. 


Interested in joining a working group or forming one of your own? Sign up here.

San José has a new Police Chief! City Council unanimously approved City Manager Dave Sykes’ selection of Anthony Mata as the next chief. Mata grew up in Chicago, the oldest of seven children. He is raising his family here in San José and has served in a range of important roles in SJPD over the last 25 years, from patrol and investigations to developing the Community Service Officer program and investing in crime data reporting and analysis.    

I value incoming Chief Mata’s emphasis on transparency, accountability, and community engagement. We have a lot of work to do to keep our neighborhoods safe and increase public trust, and I’m confident Chief Mata has the vision and experience to move us forward. Congratulations Chief! And finally, thank you to Acting Chief David Tindall for his steady leadership in this time of transition. 

For Chief Mata's first press conference, click here.

Saturday, March 27 
Chat with Matt 
10:00 am, Zoom registration link  

Join me and the District 10 team every second Thursday and fourth Saturday of the month. Bring your questions, comments, and concerns about our neighborhoods and your City government. 


Saturday, March 27 
D10 Leadership Coalition: Leaf Blower Working Group Meeting 
11:30 am, Zoom link  

This Saturday, the working group will be working on researching leaf blower ordinances in other cities and deciding on next steps. There’s still time to join if you’re interested! 


Friday-Sunday, March 26-28 
Run for Hope 
Register here

Join Menlo Church to spend the day running, walking, or strolling to complete a mile or two towards our goal of providing $150,000 towards rent relief in the Bay Area. This is a virtual run, and Menlo Church is sponsoring every mile!  

For every mile that participants run or walk, Menlo Church will donate $25 to provide rent relief in the Bay Area, up to a total of $150,000. Money raised will be distributed to Healing Grove Health Center, Live in Peace, and Samaritan House. All three of these organizations have done incredible work in addressing the housing insecurity that many Bay Area residents are facing due to COVID.  

Learn more here.


Wednesday, March 31
VEP Neighborhood Association Meeting 
7:30 pm, Zoom Link 

Join neighbors from the VEP community association for their monthly meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 31st at 7:30 pm. Special guests from the Almaden Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will join to advise neighbors on how to be prepared in case of a disaster and how to form a CERT group for the northern part of District 10. For questions, please email Matthew Quevedo: matthew.quevedo@sanjoseca.gov


Monday, April 5
Charter Review Commission Meeting 
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. 


Is there an event you'd like to add to our calendar? Email us at district10@sanjoseca.gov.

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 the 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 www.sccfreetest.org 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.  

The following groups of people are be eligible to receive vaccines in Santa Clara County:  

Residents age 65+ 

Individuals age 16-64 with high-risk conditions including: cancer, chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or above), chronic pulmonary disease (oxygen dependent), Down syndrome, solid organ transplant (with weakened immune system), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension), severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), and type 2 diabetes mellitus with A1c > 7.5%. Note: This list is subject to change in the coming weeks.   

Workers in food and agriculture: Workers in groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail that sells food and/or beverages; restaurant workers, caterers, and food delivery drivers; and farmers, farm and ranch workers, and agribusiness support services.   

Workers in education and childcare: Workers of public and private childcare establishments (including daycares), pre-K establishments, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.   

Emergency services workers (who cannot practically work from home): Workers in a variety of public safety, disaster response, security, protective services, and animal control functions listed in the state’s Emergency Services Sector Index.

Public transit workers: Workers in public transit including airport and commercial airline workers. 

Workers and residents in high-risk group residential setting: Individuals who live or work in a group residential setting such as an incarceration or detention facility, homeless shelter, or behavioral health facility. 


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


For those of us who are not yet able to be vaccinated, you can register for the State of California’s My Turn to be notified when you are eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Vaccine information is constantly changing, so visit sccfreevax.com for the latest vaccine updates from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. 

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

Almaden CERT Fundraiser

Are you prepared for a natural disaster? You can find emergency preparedness checklists and more at bit.ly/AlmadenCERT2021

Every click earns Almaden Valley CERT $20 in credit they can spend on disaster preparedness supplies. 

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 playgardenalp.org 

Adult Daycare Services

Caring for an aging loved one can be costly in terms of time, money, and emotion. Santa Clara County is testing a new program that would provide free daytime care for residents living with cognitive impairments like dementia, particularly those struggling with the financial burden. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is currently virtual, with some meal delivery services included. Residents interested in trying out the program—which includes games, movement exercises, crafts and entertainment—can call 408-550-0701. After the COVID operating restrictions are lifted, the free service will be available to attend any of the three licensed Adult Day Care facilities that have been approved by the county. The Free service also provides for an allowance for transportation. 

Information is also available in SpanishChineseVietnamese, and Russian.

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley (RTSV) is a non-profit agency devoted to providing critical home repairs and accessibility modifications for low-income homeowners and community centers, at no cost to the recipient. 

Work provided focuses on improvements such as grab bars and railings, half steps, wheelchair ramps or lifts, raised toilets, minor plumbing or electrical, carpentry, and painting. 

Repairs are made possible, at no cost to the recipient, by utilizing volunteer labor, generous donations, government grants, and donated or discounted materials. This program is funded in part by the City of San Jose, City of Cupertino, City of Milpitas, City of Gilroy, and the County of Santa Clara through the Housing and Community Development Act, CDBG program. 

To apply for assistance, contact: 

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley 
1701 South 7th St. #10 San Jose, CA 95112 
www.rtsv.org | 408-578-9519 | info@rtsv.org 

San Jose Postcard Club

The San Jose Postcard Club, headquartered right here in District 10, is looking for new members! Fittingly, you reach out to them by email (shavlavigne@yahoo.com) or regular mail for more information: 

Shav La Vigne 
San Jose Postcard Club 
P.O. Box 23115 
San Jose, CA 95153 

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