Earlier today, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s office sent out an email blast posing the question: How did we do?
We’ve decided to take that question to readers, with a slight modification. The mayor is just one person in a much larger operation, but he’s the face of the franchise, so to speak.
So, how do you think he did?
Below is a poll and the mayor’s message in the email blast.
Happy holidays! Amid all of the celebrating, we are near the completion of our first year in office. It's time to assess our progress, and to take stock of opportunities to improve in the year ahead.
My first "State of the City" address in March focused on two key themes: improving public safety, and broadening economic opportunity. I am proud to say we've made significant progress along both of those broad ambitions:
- We've stemmed the bleeding of police officers and other key employees from our ranks by settling disputes over pension reform with 10 of our employee unions. These agreements will generate $3 billion in savings over the next 30 years by reducing retiree healthcare and pension costs.
- We've approved funding to aggressively recruit, hire and train new officers, nearly doubled the number of Community Service Officers (CSOs) to handle lower-priority calls, and added 14 firefighters to improve our emergency response.
- We've invested in technology to make our officers more effective, such as upgrading computer systems in patrol cars, outfitting officers with body-worn cameras, creating a voluntary video camera registry, launching "Smart Pole" technology with new LED streetlights, and using data analytics software to better anticipate "hot spots" of crime.
- We've expanded educational opportunities for kids from high-poverty neighborhoods, by opening all of our branch libraries 6 days per week, launching innovative after-school learning programs in 16 schools, andexpanding free tutoring through "1000 Hearts for 1000 Minds."
- We've added more jobs than any large metro area in the U.S., with more than two dozen tech employers relocating or expanding in San Jose. We'll broaden access to those jobs for less educated residents with the successfullaunch of a manufacturing initiative and a related TechHire initiative. The announcement of four new international flights at our airport will expand hiring at restaurants, hotels, and other services in the year ahead.
- We're making strides against homelessness by buying two deteriorating motels that we'll restore for homeless housing, incentivizing landlords to accept homeless veterans with housing vouchers, and investing tens of millions of dollars in in new affordable housing construction.
- We launched "San Jose Works" providing summer jobs to over 700 teensliving in gang-impacted neighborhoods, ensuring that the kids received job training and financial literacy along with their first paycheck. We also boosted anti-truancy and gang-prevention efforts at local schools.
Beyond any of these accomplishments, I'm also grateful to my Council colleagues and members of the City workforce for elevating the public discourse above the acrimony of years past.
Of course, we have much more to do. I look forward to working with you in 2016 to make San Jose the city that engages our collective imagination, and inspires our civic work. Together, we are San Jose!