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How I Allocated District 6’s HP Grant Money

Each fiscal year, San Jose’s councilmembers are allocated $20,000 in “HP grants” that can be utilized to provide grants to cultural, educational or recreational groups. These funds are allocated solely at the discretion of the elected official. My allocations, listed in this column, represent my personal priorities and values not only as an elected official, but also as a proud citizen of San Jose.

Hey, Stupid: Please Don’t Vote

The San Jose City Lights production of “44 plays for 44 Presidents” is terrific for political hacks, history majors and local political wannabes. It is engaging, poignant and most people will learn something new of the Presidency. But—**spoiler alert**—the ending does encourage everyone to register and vote. In the spirit of democracy, I respectfully disagree.

The Benefits of a Beard

City Hall Diary

As some of you many know via Sal Pizarro of the Mercury News I have grown a beard. I stopped shaving the morning of the mayor’s State of the City speech. I joked with Sal that I was not going to shave until we fixed the structural budget deficit. Getting our city’s finances in order is the number one priority and will take hard work and more community outreach. By that time, my beard will end up competing with Moses or the members of the band ZZ Top.

At Children’s Musical Theater, Everyone Gets a Chance.

I was invited to attend the musical “Leader of the Pack” performed by the local Children’s Musical Theater (CMT) in the San Jose Civic Auditorium. Over the past year, I have attended a few of CMT’s productions. What specifically caught my eye during “Leader of the Pack” was a young girl who performed in a wheelchair. At first I thought the wheelchair might be part of the story, but I soon realized that she was a cast member who was disabled. She still participated with limited body movement and singing.

City Hall Diary: The Arts Make Downtown

When I was a child, my family and I would patronize the downtown. I fondly remember attending shows at the Center for the Performing Arts and the San Jose Symphony. Like many families, we would walk to Original Joes after the shows.

The arts act like candles for the downtown, shedding light on the wonderful museums, restaurants and other amenities that draw people out of their homes and to the city center.  Whether it’s theater or music, the arts brings people to the downtown core. Without the arts, our downtown would have ceased to exist.