June Primary 2018: Meet the Candidates Running for San Jose’s Only Open Council Seat

The field of candidates wanting to replace termed out San Jose Councilman Don Rocha in District 9 has grown recently, and whoever voters choose in the June 5 primary could tip the scales of power on a council split between business and labor interests.

In a historically quiet community that has grown more vocal and civically active over the past year, the Cambrian Park race has evolved into a more competitive affair in a district where grass-roots campaigning has been the norm and big bucks and establishment endorsements have been nearly absent compared with other districts.

The Trustee

Pam Foley

San Jose Unified School District board member Pam Foley most arguably fulfills the traditional candidate role in the District 9 fray with the trifecta of a recognizable name, plenty of political experience and the deepest pockets. Foley, who’s represented the Willow Glen area for more than a decade, worked to design a new teacher evaluation program and has served on a number of boards and committees.

This also isn’t her first council rodeo; Foley ran for the seat in 2009 against Jim Cogan but dropped out, citing concerns about balancing a council job while running a business and raising her then-teenage daughter. At the time, she promised that “this is not an ‘I will never run,’ but rather a ‘not now’ announcement.”

Foley’s experience running a small mortgage company with her husband could make her more friendly toward business interests. This seems like a fair possibility after receiving endorsements from the Silicon Valley Organization, ex-Mayor Chuck Reed, former Vice Mayors Judy Chirco and Madison Nguyen, and District 10 Councilman Johnny Khamis.

She’s also ahead financially, courtesy of contributions from the California Apartment Association and developers like the Schoennauer Co. and SummerHill Homes. However, some voters who feel like their community is being taken over by out-of-state developers with plans to build an urban village at the Cambrian Park Plaza could be turned off by Foley’s association with such companies.

The Progressive

Shay Franco-Clausen

Activist Shay Franco-Clausen has emerged over the past year as one of the most visible faces in the District 9 race and throughout San Jose. An outspoken and openly gay woman of color, Franco-Clausen serves as the current vice chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women and was the keynote speaker at last year’s Women’s March San Jose.

The San Jose native and former campaign manager to Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) works as director of development and government at nonprofit Silicon Valley FACES, and could become a favored candidate for labor groups wanting to keep a grip on a council seat that’s been a reliable vote for the past eight years.

An advocate for affordable housing and a $20 minimum wage, Franco-Clausen is endorsed by another labor favorite, District 2 Councilman Sergio Jimenez, and has reeled in a number of campaign donations from public sector employees. People, public safety, parks and pathways are listed as her top priorities as a council member on her campaign website, where Franco-Clausen also promises to “represent every individual in our community” and collaborate with neighbors for a cleaner, safer San Jose.

The Volunteer

Sabuhi Siddique

Longtime resident Sabuhi Siddique has been an active volunteer in the community for decades, serving currently as chair of the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission and also as the Assembly District 28 delegate to the California Democratic Party.

Siddique has an extensive record of volunteering at places like Second Harvest Food Bank and Sacred Heart Community Services, rolling up her sleeves to bag up food for needy families, clean classrooms and help fundraise, and is also an active member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Silicon Valley. She has also flirted with humanitarian efforts that included donating food to Bhutani refugees and, according to her website, compiling a report on abolishing the death penalty in California.

Siddique could also be a labor-friendly pick, having partaken in efforts to help unionize hotel workers, janitorial and other blue collar workers when she was a board member at the Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice of Working Partnership USA for six years. Those experiences shaped Siddique’s campaign priorities, which include rebuilding the police force and fire service, tackling homelessness and building more affordable housing while expanding rent control.

“I believe in making a difference in the lives of people, and you can see it through my 15 years of community service,” Siddique says. “It’s my passion of serving to the people and trying to make a difference. If I can do that, why not?”

The Techie

Kalen Gallagher

Kalen Gallagher—Campbell Union High School District board member, tech startup founder and former schoolteacher—is one candidate looking to disrupt the dais. The 35-year-old “politically agnostic” leadership coach for nonprofit Leadership for Educational Equity is endorsed by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and has raised $45,000 to date from an eclectic cross-section that includes attorneys, tech workers and yoga and dance instructors.

“I don’t accept money from businesses, PACs,” Gallagher says, the latter being political action committees. “I decided to not fill out loyalty pledges or endorsement pledges for any of the special interests that have historically controlled politics in San Jose.”

Gallagher’s desire to stir up things in his hometown started when he moved back after graduating from the UC Davis School of Law and took a job teaching social studies in East San Jose. Realizing that living in Silicon Valley on the salary of a public middle school teacher would be nearly impossible, Gallagher took his classroom experiences after several years and leveraged them into a career in the tech world, where he helped launch startup ClassDojo.

Even though he’s single and has no kids, Gallagher ran for school board trustee in 2012 to “try to shake things” in the education system. He intends to use that same approach at City Hall on a variety of issues like the housing crisis and get more public feedback on solving them. Gallagher also wants to use his knowledge from the startup industry to attract more business to San Jose, which he said made little effort to court ClassDojo during their company’s angel round.

“We were getting calls from Austin, Denver and San Francisco, practically rolling out the red carpets,” Gallagher tells San Jose Inside. But when dealing with San Jose, “it was hard to get someone on the phone.”

The Closer

Rosie Zepeda

Rosie Zepeda is CEO of a communications firm, Compelling Conversations, but ironically has been incommunicado by not responding to several requests for comment in the past month.

Zepeda, a homegrown local who calls herself “The Closer,” hosted a series of weekly “Compelling Community Talks” with residents in December and posts regular updates on her Facebook page and campaign site.

Running for office is “personal” ever since her home was robbed three years ago, according to her campaign website.

“I understand firsthand one of the main issues ailing our beautiful neighborhoods: public safety,” she states in her official bio. “In 2015, I came home to find that my home was being robbed. Then in 2016, as I was on my way to speak at a conference, my car was gone. Therefore, running for office is personal and public safety is front and center.”

The Longshot

Scott Nelson

Another contender joined the crowd just in time when Scott Nelson filed nomination papers recently. “From Here, For Here” is the campaign phrase that Nelson is using to reflect his homegrown roots (it’s also easily confused with County Supervisor candidate and fellow San Jose native Pierluigi Oliverio’s longtime slogan “From Here, For Us”).

The San Jose native grew up in District 9 before graduating from Santa Clara University and then living for a while in Hawaii, where he was an elected district representative for the Democratic Party and authored some of the party’s statewide adopted platform in 2010. Currently a substitute teacher with a master’s in education, Nelson is running a financially independent campaign and, although he was a union organizer and negotiator in the Aloha State, no special interest groups have backed him.

“I was told by a person of influence that works for a labor union that I'm ‘not one of the chosen ones,’” Nelson said. Even so, Nelson hopes to reach enough constituents and make a lasting impression at the polls with his ideas for housing the homeless and improving public safety.

45 Comments

  1. Well, what can we glean about the candidates by looking through the SJI filter?

    Pam Foley:
    > arguably fulfills the traditional candidate role in the District 9 fray with the trifecta of a recognizable name, plenty of political experience and the deepest pockets.

    The political establishment.

    Shay Franco-Clausen
    > An outspoken and openly gay woman of color, Franco-Clausen serves as the current vice chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women and was the keynote speaker at last year’s Women’s March San Jose.

    IDENTITY POLITICS! — IDENTITY POLITICS! — IDENTITY POLITICS! — IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

    Sabuhi Siddique
    > campaign priorities, which include rebuilding the police force and fire service, tackling homelessness and building more affordable housing while expanding rent control.

    An unguided do-gooder missile. Massive social justice collateral damage.

    Kalen Gallagher
    > to “try to shake things”; “I don’t accept money from businesses, PACs,” ; “I decided to not fill out loyalty pledges or endorsement pledges ….”

    Kalen is not going to listen to ANYONE! But he thinks he’s a great guy!

    Rosie Zepeda
    > Running for office is “personal”

    Probably, we should all respect Rosie’s personal space by not asking her to perform public service.

    Scott Nelson
    > “I was told by a person of influence that works for a labor union that I’m ‘not one of the chosen ones,’”

    Normally, the idea of a campaign is to get endorsements, not non-endorsements. Seems to be unclear on how politics works.

    • Bubble…I thought your take on at least two of the candidates spot on.

      Pam Foley=The political establishment.

      Shay Franco-Clausen=IDENTITY POLITICS! — IDENTITY POLITICS! — IDENTITY POLITICS! — IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

      I’m so tired of the political establishment ( Both Donkeys and Elephants that wallow in the swamp)

  2. It may be interesting to you readers to learn that Super PACs and Pam Foley’s campaign have already spent close to $180K this primary season on direct mail alone. None of the other campaigns have spent even $20K. This is for a job that pays less than $60K a year. Every time you receive an ad from a PAC, the cost of the ad is now in the fine print. Take a look at the fine print, and multiply the number of ads.

    • I have r
      I have already received 12 glossy direct mail ads from and on behalf of Ms. Foley.
      The job pays well over $60k/year, but your point remains valid.

  3. Kalen’s rhetoric is interesting, he has sought the endorsement of The Santa Clara Democratic Party, all of the candidate have, he just didn’t earn it. He did accept the endorsement of any club that would endorse him. Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley, Peninsula Young Democrats, Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club, Silicon Valley Young Democrats, but didn’t earn the endorsement of the Party that 65% of District Nine residents are members of.

    All of the candidates wanted the endorsement of The Sierra Club and The League of Conservation Voters, only one candidate earned them. All of the candidates would have accepted the endorsement of The San Jose Fire Fighters, only one candidate earned their endorsement: Shay Franco-Clausen.

    Because Shay is where the majority of the district is on the issues, the outside Real Estate, Chamber and Outside Developers are all trying to buy this race for Pam by outspending all other candidates, 6-1, 7-1, 10-1, 20-1. Endorsements in politics are one thing, trying to buy a city council seat for the economic gain of outside elite interests is another.

    The only reason Shay is going to win this race, is not due to her endorsements, these organizations and elected leaders are not as wealthy as the Chamber, but they are at least made up of local people who live in the district, it’s her tremendous volunteer support, the people who walk the district for her every day for months now, and the availability Shay has illustrated on the campaign trail. Her commitment to open communication is like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived in this district for forty years. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Shay yet, take some time to do so. Shay’s honest, personable, well versed on the issues, and easy to talk to. That’s something I would appreciate from my next City Council Member.

  4. Oh jeez…

    “An advocate for affordable housing and a $20 minimum wage”

    Why not $100 an hour and a free house in Willow Glen?

    • That’s only $41,600 a year. The avg wage in SJ is $81K, Median is $57K. The more money minimum wage workers earn, the more they spend locally, which creates jobs, and a virtuous economic cycle. $20/hour in a city with $1B in revenue and avg. home values of $1M is not a lot of money, because it’s all relative.

      https://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/780 | Wages

      https://www.zillow.com/san-jose-ca/home-values/ | Home Values

      • Well, since you did so much work, let me make a few points too.

        1) The History of Minimum Wage Laws

        “We don’t need to guess what politicians were thinking when they moved to implement when they moved to implement federal minimum-wage laws and Davis-Bacon statutes [which protect the wages and employment of union workers in the building trades]… During hearings, Representative William Upshaw of Georgia sympathized with Bacon, noting that ‘the real problem that you are confronted with in any community with a superabundance or large aggregation of negro labor…. Alabama Representative Miles Allgood recounted the story of a ‘contractor from Alabama who went to New York with bootleg labor. This is a fact. That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.”

        2) I don’t think that is the motivation now, but It hasn’t gotten much better since:

        http://blackyouthproject.com/black-teens-are-fired-when-the-minimum-wage-rises/

        http://blackyouthproject.com/race-politics-and-the-minimum-wage/

        Jason Riley gives some insight into the history and impact of such progressive ideas.

        The question you have to ask yourself is, what if the only skills, abilities I have do not generate enough revenue to pay my $41,600, plus the employment burden, and then profit to the employer? No one owes you a job, that job has to make money for your employer, otherwise, why would they open it up. It is very hard to have an employee, an employer is responsible for everything you do at work. It has nothing to do with how much anyone else makes, or what it costs to live there. Can the job you want generate the revenue?

        • Mr. Riley illustrated the context in which two Southern Politicians sold their decision to their constituents, none of which has anything to do with the merits of having a minimum wage, part of the standards that created the economy in which demand for more owners to benefit from, before the parties realigned their coalitions of factions prior to 1964.

          The employer needs the worker much more than the worker needs the employer, especially in a city like ours with a 2.6% unemployment rate, this is the classic Lion Trainer trick, the Lions have all the leverage, yet are conditioned to believe otherwise.

          The question seems to be, does the owner, company, or corporation need to make a profit within the context of a free market, to stay in business. Yes, but again, they are more dependent on the quality of labor than the illusion that they are “giving” anyone a job. People’s labor has marketable value. The business has a much better chance of making a profit in an economy where people can buy that which is made or partake in those services that they provide.

          No owner is owed one’s labor, it’s a co-equal agreement, and when worker’s decide to collectively bargain, than the worker’s don’t owe the owner any labor, it’s the owner that owes the workers under the terms of the agreement. Payment for work and/or differed wages for work in the form of pension.

          The conditions of the local market and economy have everything to do with this labor-worker contract.

          • > The conditions of the local market and economy have everything to do with this labor-worker contract.

            A lot, but not “everything”.
            Also, contradicts a lot of what you said.

            Workers without employers are foragers.

            In a world with 7 billion other potential foragers, having an employer is LITERALLY the difference between eating regularly and starvation.

            > this is the classic Lion Trainer trick, the Lions have all the leverage, yet are conditioned to believe otherwise.

            If the lion eats the trainer, the lion has one good meal , then starves.

          • Employers without workers are also foragers. You should give lions more credit.

          • “Yes, but again, they are more dependent on the quality of labor than the illusion that they are “giving” anyone a job.”

            This is self-evident. The owner will not employ someone unless the employee can generate a profit for the owner. Those employees that are in possession of knowledge and skills that deliver that profit have the ability to negotiate a good salary without a minimum wage.

            However, there is a large population, and that population would be larger with a $20 minimum wage, that currently does not possess that set of skills and knowledge. Santa Clara County has a 17.2% HS drop out rate, and let’s face it, school is not for everybody. The best chance for those people to have a productive life is to develop job skills. If every job pays $20/hour, the supply of candidates is quite high and a HS drop-out is at a massive disadvantage when competing for the job. Really, their only option is to work for less, which would be illegal. So they are sitting idle, not learning, not working. And idle is not a good state for 16-25-year-olds.

            This is how the jails get filled and people get stuck on welfare. Which is the point of Mr. Riley’s book. The minimum wage has a racist legacy and it is a bad idea now; really it is a clear example of institutionalized racism.

            Do I want people to make more money, sure. Just do it in such a way that you don’t commit 1/5 of the population to an unproductive life because don’t want to negotiate a better salary for yourself. Like you said, employers need qualified employees to make a profit. You also said they have a right to that profit. Articulate your value and negotiate your worth, don’t turn to the government to coerce higher pay.

          • We need to integrate the highly effective JATC Trades Training at the HS level, and more local companies need to take on apprentices as well, https://www.bmbf.de/en/the-german-vocational-training-system-2129.html

            Many students who dropout of HS, go on to get their GED and learn a trade. The reason Silicon Valley is no longer agriculture based is the combination of many excellent JCs, Universities, and high skilled tradespeople. The partnership between the Trade Unions and The Builders has been very strong for a long time in this valley, because when you are building expensive tech campuses, you want the building wired properly by Journeymen who have been classroom and field trained.

            Again, we have a 2.6% unemployment rate in San Jose. It’s the combination of access to Public UC/CSU and Private Universities, excellent JCs, and extremely strong Vocational Trades Training that allows people to have careers, and often times, earn more money over their lifetimes because they receive part of their wages in differed payment pensions. Which allows them to contribute to the economy on the demand side, and the investment side, for a long time.

            Of course, any unused human potential is an opportunity cost, and we have to continue to find ways to make sure that everybody finds that which they are good or excellent at, for the benefit of all of society, like you said, my friend, employment/vocation/career reduces crime.

            I don’t see nations where there is no minimum wage or no enforcement of labor laws doing better economically than those that have labor laws, including minimum wages.

            In the end, we might have to agree to disagree, I truly do appreciate this civil conversation on the issue, it means a lot to me, and I definitely don’t advocate for any situation close to what the Kulak’s or any other Russian person had to go through. I think successful economies are hybrids of market capitalism and societal socialism, with one supporting the other, each in balance.

            Credit Default Swaps of poorly capitalized derivatives is a pale shadow of the intent of market capitalism, where a group of people invests to build a factory where the people who work there can buy what they make.

            I hope that Silicon Valley continues to lead the world world in innovation and we make tangible assets.

            I appreciate you.

  5. Has there been any shady campaigning in D9? People stealing literature from doors, etc? I have not seen much mail from these Candidate. Can people post them here?

    • I would be looking at the digital realm for shenanigans.

      Things like bot followers on twitter/facebook accounts or sketchy digital ads.

      Most of what I’ve seen from the candidates when it comes to direct mail has matched the content on their websites, because it’s easy for the press to call out a hard copy ad, and the city even requires that the amount spent on the ad be posted if it comes from anyone other than the candidate.

      If there have been any complaints issued to the City of San Jose, which enforces practical electioneering, the physical campaign literature and volunteer practices, they would have that information. When a campaign has a lot of young volunteers, it’s never in the interest of the candidate for them to go maverick, but if and when they do, the campaign will pull the volunteer and educate them on best practices…because again, it’s not in the candidate’s interests and everyone is watching what everyone does in the physical campaign. In the digital space, there is no way to attribute bad actions, until it’s much later, or too late.

  6. Thanks for the quick 4-1-1 on the D9 candidates, Ms. Baum. I have yet to receive a voter pamphlet on local elections from Ms. Bushey and her dilatory crew at the ROV. I received the one from the State 2 weeks ago.

  7. > Employers without workers are also foragers. You should give lions more credit.

    Unions can prevent or destroy production, which turns the producers into foragers.

    What do you call a world where everyone is a forager and no one produces anything? Answer: a subsistence economy. More precisely, a STARVING subsistence economy.

    Lions are very much like progressives, Neither progressives nor lions know where their food comes from. They just know that it’s there. They both eat until the food is no longer there. Then they starve.

    Lions don’t realize it, but in a world full of hominids with big brains, helicopters, range rovers, and AK-47’s their existence is ENTIRELY beyond their control.

    • And then everyone meets the microbes.

      Unions certainly haven’t destroyed production in this Valley. This certainly isn’t a starving nor subsistence economy. The places in the US with no collective bargaining are welfare states dependent on the tax income from the wealthiest areas of the nation, which are generally speaking, more Union and more Progressive. If San Jose is a case study for the failure of progressive policy option selection, it would a very poor exhibit to bring to court.

  8. > where Franco-Clausen also promises to “represent every individual in our community”

    Uh oh. Progressives should be worried.

    SHE’S GOING TO REPRESENT TRUMP SUPPORTERS!!!

    Or, maybe she just means that she’s going to represent them BADLY.

    • Yes, all the people’s interests in the district, with open communication, hear everyone out and with an emphasis on constituent services. If there is a street light out or a city related bureaucracy, her office will make sure they deal directly with the citizen in district nine to get the problem solved as quickly as possible…as opposed to representing the interests of “corporate people”, developers interests from outside the district who are spending over $100K on direct mail.

  9. To More Bubbles,

    Thank you for your appreciation, however, I am not looking for any. Also, thank you for recognizing the history of Kulaks in Russia and Ukraine. The reason I do not accept your agreement to disagree is that I am very concerned with the worker/owner rhetoric that populates much of your posts. You see, this us vs them dichotomy was the seed to the programs implemented by Lenin and Stalin in their efforts to de-kulakize the Soviet countryside. Note, that while the Soviet Union owned up to 700,000 murdered, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn estimates it more in the neighborhood of 6 million, so I think it is important for me, an ethnic Ukrainian whos family was run out of the country at the time, to fully flesh out the unintended consequences of your candidate’s good intentions.

    Minimum Wage Around the World

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/where-are-the-world-s-highest-minimum-wages/

    Most of the countries that have a minimum wage higher than the United States are basically ethnocentric, monoculture workforces with above average education systems. We are not talking apples to apples. And it is not to say that United States does not have a national minimum wage, even though I strongly believe the opportunity for minorities would be much higher with a lower minimum wage.

    – Australia with the highest minimum wage, at the time coming in at $9.54 has a large indigenous population, 2.8%. Indigenous Australians were still nearly 13 times more likely to be unemployed (at a rate of 33.3%) than non-Indigenous Australians (2.6%). Worse yet, Indigenous Australians are the most incarcerated people in the world, US Blacks at 2207/1000000 and Indigenous Aust at 2346/100000.
    – Germany, one of the countries you site has a minimum wage equivalent of $7.19. Germany doe shave a large Turkish population. The unemployment rate among Turks in Germany is 30 percent according to TAVAK figures, compared with the overall unemployment rate of 5.90 percent.
    – The UK Living Wage kicks in at 25, presumably to address the discrepancies in educational outcomes I will go through below.

    Minimum wage does not equate to better outcomes simply because it limits opportunities.

    Real Life Outcomes of HS Dropouts

    While you paint a nice picture of dropping out of high school and acquiring a trade in trade school, the real-life consequences are not so great. Nationally, Dropouts experienced a poverty rate of 30.8 percent. Among dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, incarceration rates were a whopping 63 times higher. The unemployment rate is 3 times higher for dropouts, 2.5 percent for college grads, 7.7 percent for high school dropouts, January 2017 – BLS 2/2017

    The dropout rate for Latinos is higher in Santa Clara County than the 17% I sighted already, at over 20%. Blacks in the state drop out at 18.8%, also above average. Is it any surprise we see high levels of unemployment in populations that have a higher rate of dropping out? Children who dropouts have to take some of the responsibility here, however, as adults and people that want a better world for everyone, we can not continue to push policies that disproportionally remove opportunities from racial populations that have high drop out rates and $20 minimum wage will absolutely do that.

    High School to the Rescue

    While I would agree, having High School better attuned to prepare students for the rigors of real life would be a great thing. California, in particular, has done a poor job of preparing both Black and Latino children for American life, let alone globally competitive fields we have here in Silicon Valley. 2016 CAASPP results show that Asian, Filipino, and White students test out about 70% proficient in Math and Reading, with Filipino’s outperforming Whites 70% to 64%. Black and Latino students test out at 31% and 37% respectively, or about half as much. And keep in mind this is for non-drop outs. The dropout rate for Latinos is higher in Santa Clara County than the 17% I sighted already, at over 20%. Blacks in the state drop out at 18.8%, also above average.

    These poor outcomes are not only happening in Progressive California. Case in point, Project Baltimore found Frederick Douglass is not alone. Four other city high schools and one middle school also have zero students proficient.
    The schools are:
    Booker T. Washington Middle School
    Frederick Douglass High School
    Achievement Academy at Harbor City
    New Era Academy
    Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High
    New Hope Academy

    Not one STUDENT (0%) was found to be proficient in Math or English. Not one. While Mayor Pugh vetoed the $15/hour bill in 2017 because of the “hole in the doughnut effect”, I also believe she became aware of the real, disproportionate impact on opportunities for the child educated in these schools. The political outcome of a Mayor of Baltimore criticizing education outcomes is just too damaging, in my opinion for her to fully come clean.

    Regarding vocational training in HS, why would anyone believe the school would not fail black and Latino children at a different rate than Math and Reading? They wouldn’t, and along with greatly disparate drop out number for blacks and Latinos, you will perpetuate racial disparities by “solving” this problem in High School. For the poor, who at a young age may very well be reined in to help the family financially, need to work and learn at the same time. But a $20/hour minimum wage puts a low skill, high school dropouts at a very real disadvantage when trying to acquire these skills at work.

    What your candidate is suggesting is that we raise the already high minimum wage higher with the full knowledge that education outcomes are very unfair, the programs you state do not exist and will not exist before these new levels get implemented. Raising the minimum wage to $20 is irresponsible and perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes.

    Your Cited Facts

    1) 2.6% unemployment. Of course, logic would say at this time individual employees have the greatest leverage to maximize their income at these employment rates. The real trouble is when we are at 8-10% unemployment, then how many people will find a job at $20 legally imposed labor price. That number also masked the fact the 61% Labor Participation (lowest since 1976), CA 20.1% poverty rate. The low labor participation also has delivered high welfare participation. With 12% of the countries population, it has 33% of the welfare recipients,

    2) Median Income and Average Income is high. True, employers are doing right by their employees, and their both benefiting from the cooperation, with stronger companies and more growth. Free enterprise is not a zero-sum game, Worker vs Labor type battles turn it into a Zero Sum Game.

    3) High House Prices – another data point that suggests people are getting paid, freely, at very high rates nationally. Let employees freely move from company to company, develop skills, negotiate higher pay, and higher median incomes and house prices demonstrate that. To be fair, many other “Welfare for the Rich” programs impact the housing and rent prices, like open space, CEQA, liberal H1B visa availability, loose illegal immigration enforcement. These help the rich get richer with scarce developable land and lower skilled and manual labor.

    I would argue that the facts you state cast your candidate’s desire to raise the minimum to $20 as shortsighted and, to this point, the undisputed fact that the $20 minimum wage will lead to racially disproportional outcomes makes her seem more like heartless and dangerous to large populations in San Jose.

    Perhaps Ms. Franco-Clausen should find better advocates.

    • Progressive support for the minimum wage is simply virtue signaling.

      Progressives WANT poor people to have more money because the progressives have big hearts. Don’t bother them with the arcane mechanics of labor markets and productivity versus cost.

      As fact-based as your analysis is, I predict that no progressive will give it any credence simply because it is “heartless” and “mean-spirited”.

      The progressive capacity for rational analysis is VERY limited. They have very short attention spans.

      Accordingly, whenever a progressive makes the mistake of trying to proselytize me on the minimum wage, I respond that I am for a minimum wage of $256.75 per hour, thus proving that I have a bigger heart than those advocating a minimum wage of ONLY $20. I have ZERO fear that any progressive will try to argue that a $256.75 minimum wage is economically unworkable.

      • I don’t know which straw man you are castigating, but I will refract and not reflect of any of these, “projections.”

        https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/07/the-great-minimum-wage-debate/534336/

        Of course the minimum wage level depends on the locality, the Macro-Conditions of the Micro-Economy, for example San Jose has the highest Median wage in the nation right now, $28.70, The highest 50% and 60% median as well. 2.6% unemployment, and the highest median and average income in the nation. The minimum wage isn’t about inherent virtue, it’s about injecting more cash into an economy, because wage earners spend their paychecks. At some point it’s good when they can save some of that income and don’t have to become subsistence earners. Economies work, when the demand side is fully actualized.

        The people who pay all or a majority of their income at the capital gains rate, own the pass-through’s, the LLCs, they can only recirculate so much money into the local economy. Obviously there shouldn’t be a maximum income, but the market will determine the maximum wage, and we must not conflate wage with income, because they are two different universes of wealth that only intersect in a tacit way in the real-world daily economy.

        If you want to nit-pick cast a gaze at the Financial Sector, Credit Default Swaps of derivative securities, and the over-dependence on what should be niche portions of the economy, but are sadly now features. The bubble and bust cycle lives in this realm, not in area where people work hard earn a paycheck on necessary jobs with actualized market demand, spend it locally on food, housing, and transit. Have a portion left over to save for higher-ticket items like durable goods…Appliances, Cars, Homes, Education to go up the earned income scale, maybe take their invention to market, hopefully have a family and even a Vacation. This is the virtuous cycle of an affluent society. It’s center is strong and it’s a perpetual motion machine in this Valley, where the fundamental of Keynes and Galbraith have worked since after WWII and whose economy works as well as any economy on this planet. All the benefits of a port city, with diversity, and the highest quality higher education, All with the highest wages, minimum and otherwise. With the benefits of bill of rights republican democracy that City-States like Singapore sorely lack, (https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/singapore), It should be lauded by all as more of a model than not. (https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/productivity-inequality-key-issues-in-singapores-competitiveness) I suppose all the pass-through, money-laundering, tax-evasion, shipping loophole City-States do have all the fun in the media though.

        • > The minimum wage isn’t about inherent virtue, it’s about injecting more cash into an economy, because wage earners spend their paychecks.

          Dear Professor Keynesian Virtue Signaller:

          So, YOU DO support a minimum wage of $256.75 per hour. In my opinion, you were a bit wishy-washy and evasive in your support, but you DIDN’T object that it was “economically unworkable”. Silence equals assent.

          > where the fundamental of Keynes and Galbraith have worked since after WWII and whose economy works as well as any economy on this planet.

          Keynes and Galbraith are the poster children of the forager ethos of limitless resources: limitless whales, limitless bison, limitless elephant tusks, limitless rhino horns, limitless taxpayers to tax. Just keep hunting and gathering until there are no more buffalo herds to shoot, and then move to a new hunting territory.
          (If necessary, wage tribal warfare on the hunter-gatherers who are already there.)

          Keynesians just assume the Ponzi scheme will go on forever. It works until it doesn’t work. The con may have worked since WW II, but now there’s a TWENTY TRILLION DOLLAR national debt. And the people to whom the trillions are owed want their interest payments. How stupid do you have to be to lend someone twenty trillion dollars so they can pay you the interest on the trillions they have already borrowed and can’t pay back?

          I’m sure that when Keynesian professors meet in the faculty lounge and exchange their secret handshakes, they whisper in each other’s ears: “so far, so good”, or “they haven’t caught us yet.”

      • Well, to my credit, that was exactly what I did about 10000 words ago. But the reply was sincere, so I thought I would enlighten. Live and learn, as yes, it seems no one is home.

  10. 1. Everyone with a stake in an economy should cooperate. Your rhetoric initiated my contrary opinions about the reality of how effective economies are organized in the real world.

    2. We can compare States with a lower minimum wage in the US to those who don’t, you will never have totally congruent economies to compare, but race is not a good reason to retard wages. As the minimum wage has increased, so has the GDP of localities with higher wages, because that money gets recirculated through the local economy and not off-shored into tax shelters.

    3. The Education system has to be reformed, most successful nations don’t suck money out of public education to for-profit models, but we do have examples of what does and doesn’t work, and again race or “monoculture” doesn’t change economic modeling. (https://www.amazon.com/Affluent-Society-John-Kenneth-Galbraith/dp/0395925002)

    4. “Raising the minimum wage to $20 is irresponsible and perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes.” There is no evidence that raising the minimum wage, “perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes”, If you have evidence, cite it.

    5. Listing a ton of single-case studies, from cities in different geographic situations, like Baltimore, which is nowhere near historically or situationally comparable to San Jose, for the point of creating false dichotomies and muddying the waters, is the favorite harbor of those who can’t justify the failed economies all around the country, compared to the micro-economy in this valley and of the State. The geography of the Pacific Rim and our distance from even Nevada and Arizona is of note. But we can also see what happens to agricultural areas like the Central Valley that stayed in reactionary non-progression phases, while NorCal moved forward.

    6. “Regarding vocational training in HS, why would anyone believe the school would not fail black and Latino children at a different rate than Math and Reading? They wouldn’t, and along with greatly disparate drop out number for blacks and Latinos, you will perpetuate racial disparities by “solving” this problem in High School.” Obviously you have concurrent general education studies like every Western Economy that utilizes smarter trades programs in cooperation with local companies and organized labor. When you have a major in College you still take other classes. We need to do what Finland and Germany does, and what they do is successful, and there is no study that even claims that what they do can’t work in a diverse environment. I tried to find one. Couldn’t. I think you are trying to make the argument that education doesn’t need reform? Or that it can’t be reformed because of diversity? This is not a good argument. Diversity is part of what makes Silicon Valley the engine of the US economy. The GDP of California would make it the 9th wealthiest nation on the Earth. It’s not perfect, that’s why we should and do continue to reform the systems as we have done for decades. All of the groups you’ve listed have improved as the economy in this valley has, and I can see now why you failed to cite the link to the stats you posted, because people would see that their lot in life has improved over time, in this city.

    6. Yes we have high wages, and 55% of the people own their homes and they are worth more money than in other places. We still can do a lot to improve access to home ownership for the 45% that have to rent, but at least we have high avg. and median income to spur that.

    7. “Perhaps Ms. Franco-Clausen should find better advocates.”

    Kewel. Sick burn. Maybe you shouldn’t party too hard in the end-zone, pal. I don’t hear any crowd cheering your heroic false-dichotomies, single-case-studies and irrational exuberance for reactionary policies that would simply compound the problems we still have, and destroy the progress that has been made. I don’t know if you are an advocate for a feudal system or just a contrarian. Your posts are always devoid of alternative actionable ideas. It makes life so much easier when you don’t try to solve problems, you can just point them out and react with rhetoric.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40457989/raising-the-minimum-wage-has-benefits-way-beyond-creating-more-wealth-for-workers

    • > 4. “Raising the minimum wage to $20 is irresponsible and perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes.” There is no evidence that raising the minimum wage, “perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes”, If you have evidence, cite it.

      Well then, raise the effing minimum wage to $256.75 per hour, Mr. Smartypants. If you have evidence that this is a bad idea, cite it.

      Frankly, I’m not very impressed with your genius. You seemed to be clueless enough to be a professor of something or other at Stanford of Berkeley.

      Professor of something or other ‘by courtesy of Sociology’?

      https://law.stanford.edu/directory/michele-landis-dauber/

      I’ve read the wikipedia on “sociology”. Could I be a professor at Stanford by courtesy of sociology?

      I’ve heard that the pensions are pretty capitalistic.

      • Read the posts: “https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/07/the-great-minimum-wage-debate/534336/
        Of course the minimum wage level depends on the locality, the Macro-Conditions of the Micro-Economy, for example San Jose has the highest Median wage in the nation right now, $28.70, The highest 50% and 60% median as well. 2.6% unemployment, and the highest median and average income in the nation. The minimum wage isn’t about inherent virtue, it’s about injecting more cash into an economy, because wage earners spend their paychecks. At some point it’s good when they can save some of that income and don’t have to become subsistence earners. Economies work, when the demand side is fully actualized.”

        2. Choose your own “who I am talking to” adventure.

        • Here’s what virtue signalling sounds like:

          > ” Hopefully, pioneering cities like Seattle will act as urban laboratories, helping all of us better understand the most effective ways to ensure a family-supporting, living wage for all workers.”

          The people writing these types of articles DEFINITELY need help in better understanding things.

          While they’re understanding “the most effective ways to ensure a family-supporting, living wage for all workers”, maybe they could use their big brains at the same time to think up ways for all workers to have house-trained pet unicorns.

          • The top two real estate markets are San Jose and Seattle, (zillow.com), wages are high, unemployment is low. I don’t know what city of a million or more you think is performing better. If we are making the speed of light argument, (you can’t go the speed of light, you can’t achieve perfection), but you can get as close as possible. There is no Xanadu. This city, San Jose, is doing as well as any large city can do. Sorry?

  11. To “More Bubbles”

    Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it.

    1. Everyone with a stake in an economy should cooperate. Your rhetoric initiated my contrary opinions about the reality of how effective economies are organized in the real world.

    I do not know what that means, but I will assume it means you are advocating for a non-zero sum game cooperative economy. Let me make the counterpoint that enlisting the government to coerce higher wages from employers is not cooperation.

    2. We can compare States with a lower minimum wage in the US to those who don’t, you will never have totally congruent economies to compare, but race is not a good reason to retard wages. As the minimum wage has increased, so has the GDP of localities with higher wages, because that money gets recirculated through the local economy and not off-shored into tax shelters.

    The states with less draconian minimum wages have lower Gini Coefficients than CA and NY. This I know for a fact since NY and CA has the highest Gini Coefficient (global standard for measuring income inequality) in the country and the highest minimum wages. San Francisco, the Progressive Model City, has a Gini Coefficient roughly the same as Rwanda.

    3. The Education system has to be reformed, most successful nations don’t suck money out of public education to for-profit models, but we do have examples of what does and doesn’t work, and again race or “monoculture” doesn’t change economic modeling. (https://www.amazon.com/Affluent-Society-John-Kenneth-Galbraith/dp/0395925002)

    I do not disagree, but you’re supporting a Progressive candidate, social justice does not look at individual outcomes, it looks at group outcomes and assesses progress in those terms. If your candidate is against this worldview, then I would really like to hear it. Less that, I will hold your candidate to the Progressive Standard of comparing outcomes across race and culture. In this regard, CA gets an F in education, social, economic outcomes across races and cultures and it is the most Progressive state in the country. The $20 minimum wage will only deepen that disparity.

    4. “Raising the minimum wage to $20 is irresponsible and perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes.” There is no evidence that raising the minimum wage, “perpetuates racial differences in opportunity and outcomes”, If you have evidence, cite it.

    US Commission on Civil Rights, Thomas Sowell, and James Riley have compiled vast literature on it. I suggest your candidate go read their books and the briefings made to Congress. Perhaps it can inform her of a better course forward.

    5. Listing a ton of single-case studies, from cities in different geographic situations, like Baltimore, which is nowhere near historically or situationally comparable to San Jose, for the point of creating false dichotomies and muddying the waters, is the favorite harbor of those who can’t justify the failed economies all around the country, compared to the micro-economy in this valley and of the State. The geography of the Pacific Rim and our distance from even Nevada and Arizona is of note. But we can also see what happens to agricultural areas like the Central Valley that stayed in reactionary non-progression phases, while NorCal moved forward.

    Where are the studies that say $20/hour is not damaging? And the educational outcomes, which are very relevant, are similar to that of Baltimore, they have been wallowing longer in the Progressive Pit that San Jose. Keep convincing yourself that San Jose is so much better off than Detroit and Baltimore, and Vallejo and San Bernardino. If you think we are special just because we are on the Pacific Ocean, I think you need to check that assumption.

    6. “Regarding vocational training in HS, why would anyone believe the school would not fail black and Latino children at a different rate than Math and Reading? They wouldn’t, and along with greatly disparate drop out number for blacks and Latinos, you will perpetuate racial disparities by “solving” this problem in High School.” Obviously you have concurrent general education studies like every Western Economy that utilizes smarter trades programs in cooperation with local companies and organized labor. When you have a major in College you still take other classes. We need to do what Finland and Germany does, and what they do is successful, and there is no study that even claims that what they do can’t work in a diverse environment. I tried to find one. Couldn’t. I think you are trying to make the argument that education doesn’t need reform? Or that it can’t be reformed because of diversity? This is not a good argument. Diversity is part of what makes Silicon Valley the engine of the US economy. The GDP of California would make it the 9th wealthiest nation on the Earth. It’s not perfect, that’s why we should and do continue to reform the systems as we have done for decades. All of the groups you’ve listed have improved as the economy in this valley has, and I can see now why you failed to cite the link to the stats you posted, because people would see that their lot in life has improved over time, in this city.

    If the High Schools cannot teach 70% of their Black and Latino Graduates Math and Reading after 20% of them have dropped out, I think you need to step back and fix the basic function of High School before you add any more. High Schools, the heart of the Progressive Political Jugernaut of CA has only themselves to blame for these outcomes. They are doing something very wrong with major populations. It is not cultural bias, either. Filipinos are beating Whites quite badly in Santa Clara. When all populations are within error bars, I think we can look to High School to take on more responsibility. Unitl then, I suggest people learn job skills on the job, so they can at least eat too.

    CA is not perfect, yes. It is much worse than that. Again, with 12% of the population, CA has 1/3 of the welfare recipients, it has the second highest income inequality in the country, it has a 20.1% poverty rate (15% national average), and it has 1/4 of the nations homeless. It would rather build a train to nowhere than fix the roads, which cost drives roughly $1000 road induced damage every year. And it punishes the poor every day with regressive gas taxes, welfare for the rich Progressive programs, excessive licensure regulation.

    It is not perfect, it is an absolute mess.

    6. Yes we have high wages, and 55% of the people own their homes and they are worth more money than in other places. We still can do a lot to improve access to homeownership for the 45% that have to rent, but at least we have high avg. and median income to spur that.

    Low home ownership is not a problem that will be solved with $20 minimum wage. There are two things that will increase home ownership, more houses and/or fewer people.

    7. “Perhaps Ms. Franco-Clausen should find better advocates.”

    Given your emotional reaction to criticism, yes, I think Ms. Franco-Clausen can do better.

    8. I can think of a few winners in a $20/hour minimum wage. One, city government, as restaurants and other establishments that employ minimum wage workers will have to increase their prices resulting in higher sales tax receipts. Two, city governments again, because when Berkeley writes their studies on minimum wage they assume “the poor” will blow their whole paycheck no matter what the size, instead of investing it. Three, landlords, I know a few that are drooling at the thought of higher wages, I would gather that 80% of the benefit of the fight for $15 will go to landlords. Maybe some rich liberal parents whose kids are in a useless degree program, as they know they will make at least $20/hour at the artisan bakery as a worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, that’s how these Progressive Ideas generally work out.

    • 1. Means that you misappropriated my so-called problematic adversarial relationship between workers and people who own things. That wasn’t the intent.

      2. Can we talk about San Jose? It’s got the highest real minimum wage, it’s a pretty successful economy, I don’t think Rawanda, Biloxi, nor Mobile can compare. You should visit some time!

      3. Don’t define the “Progressive Standard”, and tape it on to people. I’m just a guy who lives in District Nine, it’s my District’s City Council Race. I’m not speaking for anyone but myself. I chose the best candidate based on a myriad of issues. (https://www.shayforsanjose.com/community-issues). I also resent that one candidate is trying to outspend every other candidate with outside PACs to the tune of 20-1, as I get $13K after $13K Super PAC Developer Direct Mail everyday, I’m glad they publish how much is spent on the mail-piece now. The job pays $90K a year. It’s obviously an investment deal for big Real Estate, and that’s not what I want from my rep.

      If the “Progressive Standard” is anything it’s the Enlightenment’s values. But even in Progressivism there is factionalism, Woodrow Wilson’s Utilitarianism wasn’t copied by TR’s clean government and conservation, nor Pete McCloskey’s last stand for Progressive Republicans. Where do you get this stuff? If California gets an F in education, who gets an A?

      4. To the Contrary: http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/2015/03/Consider-The-Source-Minimum-Wage.pdf Don’t worry I have all the studies, and I even read them all. Public policy isn’t a hobby it’s a civic duty. Also James Riley doesn’t agree with your version of his ideas, http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20130318/OPINION/303189910

      5. I simply pointed out that California is a land-mass and therefor is more isolated from other States, and being on the Pacific rim makes it a key trade post. If the min wage kept up with productivity, nationwide it would be $21.72. All this other nonsense is about increasing the wealth gap, because the wealthy want to increase their profits, yet they are thinking backwards, they would increase their profits if they increased the demand side of the economy. http://cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage1-2012-03.pdf

      6. I was pointing the micro-economic conditions of this city, which has a successful economy. If San Jose doesn’t have a successful economy, I don’t know who does. Low unemployment, high wages, upward mobility is relatively strong.

      7. I’m a human being, I don’t like to be disrespected when all I had offer was respect and an attempt to understand. Like I said, I am just a voter in District Nine who voted for the candidate that I thought best would represent my interests. Maybe I am more of a policy wonk than the average voter, but whatever. People have careers. This article is about District Nine in San Jose. Not the minimum wage, but we can talk about literally anything you want. I read for 10-hours a day for 20+ years, and write/debate construct policy for another 5-6.

      8. Again, median wage in San Jose is over $28, (https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/07/the-great-minimum-wage-debate/534336/) it’s a marginal increase, and if you wanted to get fancy, we could model income for restaurant workers who receive tips and modulate that end of the policy, but the line-cooks should be paid $20/hour. This city is not like other cities. It’s a special case. I am not making a general statement, but given the production to min wage data from CEPR, I can see that the wealth gap is definitely informed by wages not keeping up with the value of labor. I am very tired of the false dichotomy that goes, “why not make the min. wage $1,000”, I’ve said 95 times now that there is a point where the wage curve hits a maximum benefit to the economy, it’s around $20, not unlimited.

  12. I’m not a fan of sales tax or taxes on low-income earners, sales taxes are regressive, and low to middle income earners spend their paychecks. I don’t have a problem cutting these taxes/rates.

    • TO More Bubbles,

      I want to Thank You, this has been enlightening and as a result, you have convinced me to contribute to the future D9 Councilwomen, Pam Foley.

      I’m with her for a better more fair San Jose!

      Good luck.

      • She’s plopped $200K already as of today, outside developers are using her campaign along with B to create a sprawl from SJ to Morgan Hill. it would be a real miracle effort if you would actually go volunteer for any political campaign.

  13. Thank you all for you analysis, I just as soon eat a one of those lion turds as vote for these quality as vote for any on these bought and paid for George Soros commi’s

    • Did you have any evidence of any Soros related group giving to any of these candidates? If so, cite it.

      • They all march to the same toon, in lock step! He and his anti America ilk spending hard millions on local races. In short what I am referring to is the group think of this bunch to disrupt the country lead by George Soros and Antifa.

  14. > If we are making the speed of light argument, (you can’t go the speed of light, you can’t achieve perfection), but you can get as close as possible.

    Yes. That’s it. That is EXACTLY what I was doing.

    I was making the speed of light argument. Is that a problem?

    Is the speed of light trademarked or something?

    • https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/what-if/what-if-faster-than-speed-of-light.htm

      No, because just like matter could travel 99.9999% of the Speed of Light, due to the Theory of Relativity it’s not possible to actually travel at the speed of light or more.

      It’s a metaphor for the Straw Men of alternatives to the current policies in what is objectively a successful city relative to other US cities.

      Perfection in policy isn’t possible, but you can as close as possible. To hold up Xanadu as the model, with no real world alternative model, is to be a nonsense person without actionable alternative possibilities.

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