Op-Ed: Difficult Times Require Us to Rally around Common Bonds

In the affordable housing complex that confined the existence of my youth and early adulthood, I was not expected to achieve my dreams or overcome the adversity that many families in San Jose face. But today—through determination, hard work and the belief and support of neighbors—I hope to become the next elected representative of the District 2 City Council seat.

Growing up in the East Side, our only “neighborhood association” was comprised of moms dragging their children away by the pull of an ear. Our entrepreneurs were the families who sold frozen treats or homemade snacks so they could afford new clothes for their growing children. Engagement with the broader world was limited and we remained mostly unseen. Achieving any dream came with the reality of many barriers.

Like the history of many families in Silicon Valley, my mother relocated here for a chance at a better life. As an immigrant and a single mother, she worked hard at her low-wage job. Ensuring we were fed and clothed left little time for civic engagement. Many of San Jose’s opportunities and challenges felt distant compared to our own.

Back then we were some of the unheard voices of San Jose. East San Jose was better than the life my mother left behind and, thankfully, her perseverance provided us opportunities to dream and achieve. I want to make certain that all families have the same opportunity she worked so hard to give me.

As a child, sharing the living room floor as our bed, I would think of the world outside our own. I knew my mom was working hard for us. I knew that even if I did not fulfill my dreams, my hard work would leave my children better off than where I started. My passion for public service is rooted in my family's struggle.

I face my past with humility and embrace the ups and downs. We are not simply defined by the good or the bad that befalls us. It’s how we respond that defines our character. During this campaign I have shared my story. Through it, I hope you see my love for our city. I love this work because I know local government can positively impact lives.

Long before I considered seeking elected office, I rolled up my sleeves and founded an official neighborhood association that has since grown to more than 900 members. Also since 2010, I have served our community as a parks commissioner. No other candidate in District 2 is more prepared to work for our neighborhoods on Jan. 1. That is why voters selected me first in June’s primary. In the time since, support for our campaign has only grown.

We have heavy lifting to do and big issues to tackle. To do that, we need someone with experience who knows our neighborhoods, rather than someone who is still uncertain of what the job responsibilities of elected office entail. I will stand against outside influences and dangerous ideologies. We need to see each other in our struggles and unite as a community. Our differences make us great and embracing our diversity strengthens us. Let us work together so everyone has a better chance to succeed.

I will be the community's voice so that the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) provides better routes and service to our neighborhoods. I will work with our police and fire departments to recruit from within San Jose, so that those who serve us will already know us. I will work with community leaders to see a regional response to our jobs and housing needs. I want to protect Coyote Valley from unfettered, shortsighted growth. I will continue the conversations we started during the campaign.

The more we work together the stronger we make San Jose. In working together we will see our children achieve their dreams and truly broaden their view of what's possible. That work starts with your vote on Nov. 8. Thank you.

Sergio Jimenez is a San Jose City Council candidate in District 2. The opinions in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.

28 Comments

  1. > I will stand against outside influences and dangerous ideologies.

    “Dangerous ideologies”?

    Like what, for example?

  2. Sergio is an asset to our community. He goes out of his way to help improve the community – and has been doing so for many years. He is a visionary willing to roll up his sleeves and get things done. He has my vote.

    • TAM S.,

      Sergio Jimenez just gave (an illegal) campaign solicitation to our class (his opponent was not present, and as you might guess, Sergio is somewhat to the Left of Ché Guevara).

      Mr. Jimenez also brought along a San Jose cop (Omar) as a cheerleader. The cop’s accent was so thick I could hardly understand it. I’d bet real folding money that Omar is an illegal.

      Everything Sergio Jimenez said he wants amounted to the same thing: taking more (much more) money from the taxpaying public.

      Haven’t these ‘representatives’ already spent too much on their stupid, self-serving ideas? Our lives aren’t any better now than before they confiscated all that money from us. Does anyone believe that more/higher taxes will suddenly improve things? Hah! As if…

      After meeting and speaking with Sergio Jimenez, there is no way I would ever vote for him; he’s evil.

      And before Jimenez gives any more campaign speeches on a campus, he needs to look into the illegality of taking over our class time to campaign. Neither Sergio nor his cop pal seem to know what they’re doing is ILLEGAL. (But Mrs. Smokey knows; she was a middle school Principal for more than twenty years.)

      Stop your lawbreaking, Mr. Jimenez. Stop it now.

      • MR. SMOKEY:

        DId Jimenez mention any “dangerous ideologies”? If so, what was the nature of the “dangerous ideologies”?

        Would any of the “dangerous ideologies” have anything to do with “white skin privilege”, bitterness, clinging to guns or religion, unwillingness to pay one’s fair share of taxes, or just being generally deplorable?

      • Smokey – You are obviously a Republican – one needs only to hear your arguments to make such a conclusion. Sergio Jimenez is not to the left of Che Guevara and you know that. Are you implying that Mr. Jimenez is a Communist? Be a serious person and stop defaming those whose only interest is to serve our city. If you are a Republican and don’t believe in what he believes that is find – explain yourself and let people agree or disagree with you sir. But to make fun of a police officer of Spanish descent and even worst implying that the man, who had to show his right to be in the USA before he is admitted to the police academy, is an illegal, that is just plainly wrong sir. Such a statement shows your lack of intelligence and worst, bigotry. You lie when you say that after meeting and speaking with Mr. Jimenez you are not voting for him. The truth is that you never intended to vote for he who will represent the working man in the city. You sir – are certainly to the right of David Duke.

        • Mr Garcia-Felciano, I have gone through Mr Jimenez’s website and Linkedin page, it is clear to me that he and the organizations that have backed him are dangerous to the future of San Jose, especially the working families that live here. Small business is the driver for the economy, particularly those in the working class. Supporting $15 minimum wage, more labor regulations, small business taxes, and rent control all make it harder to get a job and make living expenses higher for the exact people who live in the Mayfair and other communities in District 2.

          Making it harder to start and keep a business, hire employees, and potentially become a rental property owner (you would be shocked on how many ARO owners are immigrants) is going backwards, not forward. People that Mr Jimenez claims to support have come and continue to come to San Jose for opportunity, which only comes when the job, housing, and the ability to start a business is easier and more flexible.

          The issues Mr Jimenez, and others like him, support only help the unions, corporations, existing rental property owners at the expense of small independent business people, low skill workers, and immigrants. Their initiatives are based on the false premise, or ideology, that government can legislate opportunity through social justice, which is internally inconsistent. This make Mr Jimenez’s ideology dangerous, whatever you choose to call it, communitarianism, communism, or capitalism.

          If the residence of San Jose want more the same bad city management we have experienced for the past 50 years they will get that with Mr Jimenez.

        • Charley wrote:

          “Smokey – You are obviously a Republican – one needs only to hear your arguments to make such a conclusion.”

          Chuckles, as I’ve stated here and in many other blogs for over the years: “IANAR”. That acronym means: ‘I Am Not A Republican’. Never have been, either.

          Therefore, based on your absolute belief that you only need to hear my arguments to ‘conclude’ which political party I belong to, I’ll just disregard your claimed ability to think straight and analyze others.

          And you made it worse, when you doubled down:

          “You lie when you say that after meeting and speaking with Mr. Jimenez you are not voting for him.”

          Since I haven’t voted yet, you don’t know that. Do you? In fact, I would vote for Jimenez if the only other choice was someone even farther to the Left, because I always vote. But Sergio is about as far Left as anyone, so I’m not too concerned about that happening. Not yet, anyway.

          You probably also don’t know that I was elected President of my union’s Local. Four times, and every election was strongly contested. And l was elected twice after that as a statewide union officer representing all the California workers in our rather large International union. So I do know something about “the working man”.

          Rather, my concern is over the candidates and organizations that already have their fingers deep in our wallets. Mr. Gonzalez represents them — not taxpayers like me.

          Finally, the guy tagging along with Gonzalez claimed to be a ‘police officer’. Was he, really? I wonder. But maybe you know for a fact that the guy is a cop. If so… how would you know that for certain?

          Do I get an answer to that question? Because ‘Omar’ sure didn’t sound like a typical cop… Most cops are Trump voters.

        • > You are obviously a Republican –

          Carlos:

          Republicans are very rare in California. I think there’s a specimen in Yorba Linda or somewhere that has been stuffed and mounted.

          If you see an actual living Republican in the wild in California, report it to the Audubon Society.

          Thanks to the “top two primary” system, you may never again get a chance to see an actual living Republican in California..

  3. This is listed as an Op-Ed. It is a campaign piece, not an Op-Ed.

  4. VTA bureaucrats and their elected bosses thought it would be a swell idea if a gang of city and county incompetents ran a multi-county transportation system. How is their scheme working out?

    Here’s how:

    Instead of saving money, the VTA budget has doubled and squared. New automobiles were given to individuals, ostensibly to provide public transportation. But did they ever think of simply subsidizing taxpaying, hard-bitten taxi services to help the elderly and the infirm get around?

    Answer: Nah. Nope. Uh uh. Nyet. Because helping those folks was never the real reason for VTA. The unspoken agenda was to balloon the bureaucracy, and thus expand the government’s power by extending it into the transportation business.

    It didn’t work out as planned, did it? No; it never does. As predicted, costs have skyrocketed. So now (experienced) bus companies can no longer bid to provide transportation at the lowest cost to taxpayers.

    Instead, bureaucrats are in charge of public transportation now. And of course, they pay themselves enormously — except when things don’t go as planned. Then they give themselves raises because, you know, they have to locate, isolate, and fix the problems that they created.

    The best thing for taxpayers (the people who have to fund this unnecessary bureaucracy) would be to disband, sunder, dissolute, deactivate, prorogue, break up, disassemble, and nuke VTA… STAT.

    If Sergio really wants to do the right thing, he should take a stand: ELIMINATE VTA!

    VTA was always a bad idea. Now we have plenty of empirical evidence proving that it’s been a monumental money sink. The mountain of dollars wasted on VTA every year could go a long way toward fixing real problems.

    So this is a test question for Sergio and the other candidates: Is government capable of eliminating programs that are not cost effective — and never will be? Or is it the same old story? Once a new bureaucracy like VTA is set up, it practically takes a World War and unconditional surrender to eliminate it, no matter how much money is wasted, and no matter how much those mismanaging VTA are paid. Because the VTA bureaucracy is ensconced.

    OK, Sergio, it’s time to put up or shut up: Do you care about the folks footing the bills? At all? Or, do you just want to be another drone feeding at the taxpayer trough?

    Here’s another Yes/No question for Sergio: Does he believe that appointed bureaucrats can run a transportation business better than companies that compete with each other for that business?

    If Sergio still supports keeping VTA in existence — or even if he mistakenly believes that VTA can ever be competitive with private sector companies that bid against other private companies to provide the lowest cost public transportation — then taxpayers have an easy decision: Vote for Steve Brown. At least Brown isn’t an overt cheerleader for the fiasco known as VTA.

    But if Sergio believes that VTA is being run more efficiently, and is more cost effective than private, for-profit companies competing with each other to get public transportation contracts… then Sergio lacks the common sense necessary to represent anyone else.

    The government is already way too big, and VTA is an unecessary albatross around the necks of taxpayers. It’s time for the VTA bureaucrats to go out and find real jobs that they have to compete for, instead of being eternal, appointed parasites on the taxpaying public.

    It’s time for candidates like Sergio Jimenez to start representing the folks who pay the freight, over the wishes of the ensconced, self-serving VTA bureaucrats. If Sergio truly wants to be “the community’s voice”, he needs to listen to the whole community, not just his cronies who are mismanaging VTA.

    Eliminate VTA. Is that so hard to understand?

    • Who runs the subway system in New York? it’s ran well and efficient and is government ran. Of course, like TSA officers, they can’t strike for more pay. So how about leaving the system in place and creating policies like they have there about not being able to strike (TSA can’t ) and ensuring transparency by electing a board like schools do (maximum stipend $400 month according to Ed Code) for K-8

      That way the people who run it will be those that care.

    • Smokey, you ok amigo?
      *Note Long rants railing against public services that includes several text formatting changes are usually the most credible and least unhinged

      • Yeah what’s the matter with you Smokey? Haven’t you learned from our progressive friends that when you’re being swindled out of your hard earned savings year after year it’s your civic duty to shut up about it and just keep paying your taxes?
        And shame on you for those formatting changes.

        • John Galt,

          ‘SAL’ cannot refute the facts posted, so his recourse is to attack vague “formatting changes”, and the length of a well thought out comment by the messenger, who merely pointed out some inconvenient facts.

          SAL wrote:

          Long rants railing against public services that includes several text formatting changes are usually the most credible and least unhinged.

          For once I agree with SAL: I think I’m credible (and I’m a taxpayer!), and I’m one of the least “unhinged” commenters, when we put Sal in the mix. (As for “several text formatting changes”, please explain that, Sal. Comments and formatting can’t be changed retroactively by readers.)

          I posted plenty of specific observations, which SAL couldn’t refute. But if SAL answers just one point, I’ll give him a pass on all the others:

          Does SAL really believe that appointed VTA bureaucrats, who had no experience running a multi-County transit system, are better at managing that system than the private companies that are in business to provide transportation service at the lowest cost to the taxpayers?

          Those companies used to bid competitively for the bus contracts; the lowest bid got the job, saving taxpayers plenty of money — money that now falls into the pockets of these overpaid VTA bureaucrats.

          In a private business, head(s) will roll if an employee wastes far more money than what’s been budgeted. But how many managers have been fired from VTA for spending too much?

          For a bureaucrat to be fired these days, he would have to be caught il flagrante with a neighbor’s 6-year old daughter… strike that, because even that might not even be enough. Instead, make it: “with the neighbor’s 6-year old son”…

          OK, Sal, give it your best shot: Why is it better to hand over public transportation management to appointed government bureaucrats?

          Try to make it a credible, well thought out comment, SAL, instead of your typically vague and unhinged ad hominem attacks on the messenger.

          • So I pretty much skipped reading all that, but thanks to your formatting tweaks I can get right to the important part…

            Why? Because your questions answers itself – ‘public transportation’ should be managed by public officials or public employees… cus ‘public’.

            And dude, you are unhinged (or your humor is really off). Any 4 yr old can scroll through your blessings (comments) and see the stability of your ways. ….I wait for your fun response, but not with bated breath, sorry dude.

          • Sal, let me correct your misconceptions:

            • ‘Public transportation’ refers to transporting the public — not the entity doing the transporting.

            • You’re commenting on what was written — but you admitted that you didn’t even read it! Credibility isn’t your strong point, Sal.

            If you want credibility, reply to the points raised, instead of opining about something you don’t know. At the very least, don’t admit you’re commenting about something you didn’t read. Ignorance isn’t a persuasive argument.

            • You wrote: “Long rants railing against public services that includes several text formatting changes are usually the most credible and least unhinged”.

            Sal me boi, it wasn’t a “rant”, and I didn’t “rail”. But at least you admitted that longer comments than yours are the “most credible”.

            Can you please explain how longer comments than your own drive-by posts are “the most credible and least unhinged”? (And you still haven’t explained what you mean by “formatting changes”. That just seems to be deflection, since you don’t ever give any examples of what you mean by that.)

            And finally, let me point out that you don’t seem capable of defending why you believe it’s better to hand over our public transportation management to appointed government bureaucrats. This is the third time I’ve asked, but your juvenile insults are what passes for a reasonable reply. Try to do better, Sal.

            You can start by trying to answer my question above (in bold), instead of dodging it, Sal. These VTA bureaucrats have made a total mess of managing public transportation. Private companies can do the same job for much less money than VTA, which is simply a scam to give the electeds’ cronies jobs with fat paychecks.

            And when the appointed VTA management screws it up — which they have, repeatedly — the public has to pay more! But VTA bureaucrats are never called to account.

            That might be A-OK with you, Sal. But why do you want to reward failure?? It would be fine if it was your own money, then we could all have a good laugh about how badly you’re wasting it.

            But it’s the public’s money that’s being wasted — and you don’t speak for the hard-bitten taxpayers. Do you?

          • Smokey, Just remember. Sal’s never really thought about VTA. It simply doesn’t matter to him whether or not it’s a gigantic waste of resources. He has no opinion on it. But the thing is, he doesn’t think you should have an opinion on it either and it bothers him that you do. What really concerns Sal and his ilk (“ilk” is one of the dude’s favorite words) is what other people think. It’s very important that everyone be trained to think right. The thought police are always on the lookout for expressions of “dangerous ideologies” and it’s vitally important to them that they be promptly discredited. To accomplish this noble goal, Sal has opted for the strategy of labelling you “unhinged”. But don’t worry about Sal. He’s an obedient soldier just doing his job.

  5. Vote for Sergio Jimenez for District 2 Council because he is the better choice for our local schools and neighborhoods.

    • > Vote for Sergio Jimenez for District 2 Council because he is the better choice for our local schools and neighborhoods.

      Whoa! I’m not there yet.

      I want to know what “dangerous ideologies” Jimenez is standing against.

      • Given that Mr. Jimenez is a Democrat pandering to other Democrats I’ll go way out on a limb and suggest that by “dangerous ideologies” he means self reliance, conservatism, and Republicanism.
        We sure wouldn’t want anybody thinking they can get by without more government programs.

        • No Johnny – I speak for myself not for Mr. Jimenez but to me the “ideologies” that I would like to keep off the SJ City Council is: Candidates that will vote for business first and for the working man second. I am a Capitalist – and although a moderate I believe there is a need to balance business and working people to reach an optimal position in the council. It is obvious that many in this page, including yourself, are Republicans – but I know Mr. Jimenez is one that will balance these interest for the good of everyone in the city. After reading Mr. Smokey’s comments above – I would add Bigotry, Discrimination & Stupidity to these “Ideologies”.

          • Charley,
            I believe you’re wrong. Mr. Jimenez will not “balance these interests for the good of everyone in the city”. No. He will join with the prevailing liberal political machine and use his power to take yet more money from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t. He will prioritize entitlement programs at the expense of infrastructure maintenance and other legitimate City responsibilities. He will be an advocate for higher taxes even as he squanders taxpayers’ hard earned dollars.
            Uh oh. I’ve expressed my “dangerous ideology”. You and Mr. Jimenez are now free to dismiss me as yet another stupid discriminating bigot so you can justify taking my money and wasting it on futile, counterproductive social programs.

  6. A quick review of Mr Jimenez’s ssues and his endorsements makes it clear he is a Public Sector Union rubber stamp who cares nothing of property values or owner’s rights. If San Jose residents want more one sided union deals, significantly less investment in the community, and the continuation of worsening conditions for all residents, this is the guy for district 2.

    How bad does it have to get for people to learn Mr Jimenez’s ideology isn’t going to help?

    • How bad? Maybe one or two more unhinged comments on the internet from your ilk away from being saved. When will we ever learn to put profits before people.

      (Property values seem to be pretty high around here, so not sure where the problem is there. And “owner’s rights” is such a false narrative, but nice try.)

      • > And “owner’s rights” is such a false narrative, but nice try.

        No “owner’s rights”, no capitalism.

        No capitalism, no food.

        There are not enough possums, roots, and berries in the forest to feed a planet of eight billion hunter gatherers.

        Lenin and Stalin tried state owned collective farms. It didn’t work. Millions of people starved.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

        • Strike 2. And on this one I’m gonna catch ya looking.

          If one owner wants to extend their right which treads on/impedes my rights, then what about my owner’s rights?

          But please continue with your clearly coherent points that include citations of early 20th century Russia, cus thats sooooo relevant to this op-ed and our conditions in San Jose/USA (clearly). Clearly.

          • > But please continue with your clearly coherent points that include citations of early 20th century Russia, cus thats sooooo relevant to this op-ed and our conditions in San Jose/USA (clearly)

            SAL:

            It was called “socialism”. Bernie Sanders ran as a Socialist in the 21st century.

            Many Democrats think he won.

          • Sal,

            You’re confused. “Owner’s rights” is a basic human right: either we have rights, or we don’t. And if we lose the right to own property, what good are any other rights?

            Next: Explain what ‘treads on your rights’? <–(your own words). You never explain anything coherently; all you ever do is nitpick and deflect. But you could change that now, by trying to explain these points:

            • You have no workable solutions.

            • The canard "put profits before people" is meaningless Leftist drivel. Try to say what you really mean — if you can.

            • And we're still waiting for you to try and explain why political appointees would do a better job of running a transportation system than an experienced free market company that won the contract by being the low bidder.

            But since you can’t, or won’t explain yourself — you can’t even explain why you won’t read other comments that you presume you’re qualified to answer — that’s…

            …Strike three! You’re out.