Jessica Fromm

Jessica Fromm

Posts by Jessica Fromm

RDA Head: MACSA Defaulted on Grant

City Redevelopment director Harry Mavrogenes says the embattled Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) has defaulted on a $500,000 grant.

Magrovenes sent a memo to the Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Directors saying that the MACSA’s Youth Center on the East Side has been receiving redevelopment grants for a preschool program that has never been implemented.


Chamber Members Broke with ChamberPAC for Pro-Pegram Committee

Many old-guard members of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee (ChamberPAC) were disgruntled with the group’s decision to withold an endorsement from evangelical activist Larry Pegram in the race for the District 9 seat on the City Council. So a month ago, Republican Councilman Pete Constant spearheaded the creation of an independent expenditure committee, the “San Jose Taxpayers for Reform 2010: Support Pegram/Oppose Rocha.”

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Campos Clams Up

District 5 San Jose City Council candidate Xavier Campos still refuses to address any details about the two decades he spent working at the embattled Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA).

Five days after MACSA’s Youth Center on 660 Sinclair Dr. was raided by armed investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office , Campos, the organization’s former chief operating officer (COO) insists through intermediaries that there’s no reason for him to address the issue.


Carrasco Calls for Campos to ‘Come Clean’

Magdalena Carrasco is calling Xavier Campos to the carpet, publicly demanding that her District 5 city council opponent address whether he had any knowledge of financial wrongdoings at the Mexican American Community Services Agency Youth Center (MACSA), his longtime former employer.


DA Investigators Raid MACSA

Armed investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office raided the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) Youth Center at 660 Sinclair Dr. in East San Jose Thursday.

The raid began some time this morning. By 5pm, at least five officers with badges around their necks and guns on their belts were loading two unmarked police vehicles from a side door of the community center.


Xavier Campos and the MACSA Mess

In 2004, Miguel Baldoni was working as a substitute teacher in rural Appalachian Ohio when he heard about a new charter school opening on the East Side of San Jose. He uprooted himself, came to California and got a job teaching chemistry at the Academica Calmecac, which was run by the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA).

He says he was pleased that the position offered him a chance to change the lives of at-risk students who had been left behind by traditional public schools. But he freely admits that the exceptional retirement package promised to all MACSA teachers really cemented his decision to pack his bags and come to Silicon Valley with 10 bucks in his pocket.

“This was the biggest reason why I took this job,” Baldoni says.


South Bay Labor Council Accepted Gambling Money While Funding Candidates

A paper trail suggests that money from Bay 101, the San Jose card club, made its way to the campaign of City Council candidate Xavier Campos. Public records show that following the card club’s $50,000 contribution in support of a ballot measure, funds were transferred to Campos-aligned organizations that subsequently funded Campos’ bitter battle for a District 5 council seat, in apparent violation of city campaign laws.


Nora Campos Accuses Magdalena Carrasco of Selling Out to L.A.

A $250 campaign contribution from a Los Angeles lawyer to San Jose City Council candidate Magdalena Carrasco is drawing fire from District 5 Councilmember Nora Campos. Campos, whose brother Xavier Campos is running against Carrasco to represent San Jose’s East Side, suggests the money is evidence that Carrasco is somehow in cahoots with politicians from L.A.


First SJPD Chief-Search Meeting Tonight

The quest for SJPD Chief Rob Davis’s replacement kicks off tonight with the city’s first community outreach meeting.

Taking place at the Roosevelt Community Center, the event aims to have citizens weigh in on the type of person they think should be hired to lead San Jose’s Police Department. After tonight’s 6pm meeting, there will be four other opportunities for community engagement through Sept. 2.

“This is one of the most important positions in the city,” City Manager Deb Figone said when announcing the event at today’s city council meeting. “The information we gather at these meetings will help define the characteristics that we are looking for in our next police chief.”


Team San Jose Cut Off

Team San Jose, the quasi-public, hotel tax-funded labor-business coalition that that runs city-owned entertainment facilities, has lost its access to public money after overrunning its budget by more than $750,000.


The Business Candidate?

Minh Duong, the pro-business, Chamber of Commerce–endorsed City Council candidate, has made his business experience the central theme of his campaign to oust District 7 Councilmember Madison Nguyen. He believes his knowledge of budgets and finance can help the economically-strapped city better manage its money.

Duong’s own business acumen, however, may not rise to the level his talking points suggest. The 31-year-old furniture store owner has defaulted on his home mortgage, incurred multiple property tax delinquencies, neglected to pay his garbage bills and been threatened with eviction on his business and foreclosure on his house. Last month, he was kicked off the San José Small Business Development Commission.

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Council Slows Traffic Around Trace Elementary

Sam Liccardo knows first hand the impact of traffic laws. The District 3 councilmember mentioned an unfortunate run in he had with a Caddy during a discussion today on reducing speed limits around Trace Elementary School.  “As somebody who’s been hit at 15 miles an hour, I can confirm that you don’t want to be hit at that, or at 25,” Liccardo said.


Council Hears About Impact of Cuts

Now that we don’t have any money, this is how we are dealing. This seemed to be the theme of today’s San Jose City Council meeting, where council members were updated on some of the painful cutbacks that have taken place since the city budget was slashed.

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Eddie Garcia Not Seeking Re-Election

Eddie Garcia, president of the East Side Union High School District board, has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Board of Trustees this fall.

“After thoughtful consideration with my family, I have decided not to seek another term on the Board of Trustees for the 2010 election for the East Side Union High School District,” Garcia posted on his Facebook profile last friday. 

Garcia, 46, suffered a major heart attack last June, and is currently on medical leave from his job as Chief of Staff for Supervisor George Shirakawa.

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Reed Endorses Pegram

Mayor Chuck Reed officially endorsed District 9 candidate Larry Pegram today. “Larry does not shy away from standing up for the residents of the district over special interests,” Reed is quoted as saying in a campaign press release that came out this morning. “I need his help at City Hall in the difficult budget years ahead.”

In the endorsement, Reed made a point to mention that he believes Pegram’s history as Christian conservative leader and head of the Values Advocacy Council would not be a factor if he is elected to San Jose City Hall.

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Blakeslee and Laird Finally Meet

The 15th California State Senate District stretches over strategic portions of Santa Clara County, Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, San Benito County and Santa Barbara County. And for many, including the Democratic former Assemblymember running to represent the district, it’s also a perfect illustration of everything that’s wrong with California politics.

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