Well, just when you thought it was over. Measure B—BART, has surged into the lead, with over 600,000 votes cast, at the astonishing percent of 66.67: Amazing does not come close to defining it. And remember, there are still 9,800 votes to count. In my grandfather’s day, a report from the Calvary Cemetery precinct would seal the win—ah, for the good old days.
This victory, if such it is, is as remarkable as any in the history of the valley. It sealed in my mind the undying resolution of our citizens to always vote for the future, to reach for the dream of a better city and valley, even in the face of frightening times.
Now, many can quibble on the route, the ridership figures, the campaign secrecy (vastly overplayed in my opinion)—but one thing is clear: Without Carl Guardino and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, this measure was DOA, a non-starter. They live up to their name—they led.
Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilman Sam Liccardo must get a large share of the credit—and I am sure they will, but probably in the next life; they were doggedly pushing until the end.
Is this the end?
We will know when the final votes are counted, chads and all. It is quite an election.
And on an unrelated note, the ACLU has once again entered the downtown fray with a naive and confusing opinion.
I remember in the early eighties when Downtown was plagued by prostitutes and johns, making the south Downtown neighborhoods unlivable. The students at Notre Dame High School were solicited on their way to class, Lowell School was under siege at night, and the residents could not get into their driveways as the condoms piled up on their lawns.
The ACLU, an organization I admire and which has fought so many worthwhile battles, took the position that these hookers and johns had a right to congregate and do whatever they wanted. Easy to voice such opinions from the manicured lawns of Palo Alto and the tree-lined enclaves of the Grand Duchy of Monte Sereno. They regarded this as some Jane Fonda or Shirley McClain movie set—just innocent sex.
As the violence and murders escalated, the citizens made their point and the DA and the courts and the San Jose PD responded. The city was rendered livable again, thanks to the citizens of those neighborhoods.
It will get quite interesting as a leader of the Downtown Association has also suggested a version of a citizen review board. This DTA and the Chief are now in a big-time battle. It will be a lively week.