Another year. They all seem to blend together at a certain point. Part of the problem of getting older, I guess, is the sameness. But it’s also an opportunity. You can see the similarities with a bit of perspective, and enjoy the way things seems so calm and, even, I venture, understandable. When you look at San Jose, you can’t help but getting a warm and positive feeling. Even in the face of the greatest economic downturn in our lifetimes, people remain positive and even hopeful for the new year.
I like that element of our people. I don’t know whether they carry it in their DNA or acquire and augment it through the excitement of this environment, but those who came in 1898 from Europe are so similar to those who came in 1988 across the South China Sea or India or Latin America. Not just a coincidence, I believe. They just keep coming.
And our efforts to rebuild the Downtown and the tax base, are fed by the same enthusiasm. Our efforts to make the city safer are having good effect. Neighborhoods are strained but retain more than an bit of the Beaver Cleaver look. It’s like the dog that played the piano—it’s not that he plays well that’s amazing, it’s that he’s able to play at all that astounds.
There have been some tough years for our valley; they may be more to come. We have come a long way, and with BART and the Bullet Train stop, there are significant things on the horizon.
And as we look to 2009, I would not exchange any 10 billion dollars of public works for the resilience of ten of our citizens, those same ones who have traveled across the globe to make a better life for their family. I’d bet on them.