Editor’s Note: The following was written by City Councilmember Nancy Pyle and included in her March newsletter. Pyle represents San Jose’s 10th District.
On Wednesday, February 16th I traveled to Sacramento with Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Donald Rocha and Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Harry Mavrogenes. Our mission was to discuss the governor’s plan to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies statewide.
While there we met with Assembly Members Bob Wieckowski, Rich Gordon, Paul Fong, Nora Campos, Jim Beall, Bill Monning and Luis Alejo as well as Senators Ellen Corbett, Joe Simitian, Elaine Alquist and Sam Blakeslee. We were encouraged by their understanding of the need for Redevelopment.
In the past ten years the City of San Jose has had a cumulative budget deficit of $565 million and an employee reduction of 1,614. There is no capacity for more cuts. I am an advocate for redevelopment because redevelopment is essential to the economic health of San Jose, the Bay Area and California. Redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones, which offer tax incentives for businesses to locate here, provide some of the most powerful economic development tools cities have.
For example, San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency has been vital in transforming North San Jose into a vibrant economic area which is now home to more than 1,400 companies with 66,000 employees. In the Edenvale Technology Park, San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency has attracted more than 300 companies employing more than 13,000 people since 1980.
San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency is the best in the state regarding low cost housing and is second to Los Angeles in productivity. I am concerned that San Jose may lose one of the very few tools it has to attract and keep business.
The State of California offers no incentive packages for corporate community while Texas, Arizona and several other states do. Consequently Mayor Reed and the other top 10 Mayors of our state have presented to Governor Brown a very sound proposal which alters Redevelopment operations. A decision should be forthcoming within the next week or so. I will keep you posted.
District 10 Councilmember