The business and labor factions of San Jose’s political system have never been more at odds than they have the past eight years. As a result, our city has been stuck in gridlock, while service cuts have negatively impacted downtown neighborhoods like Washington, Cadillac-Winchester, Santee and Poco Way.
We will see if the pro-Measure B block can hold its ground come election day. On Nov. 4, four new councilmembers plus a new mayor will have been tasked with transforming our city. Business could sweep all five races, but labor could do the same. Or it could be a 3-2 split going either way. (Don Rocha in District 9 is all but assured to win re-election, so I’ve excluded him from this breakdown.)
My prediction—and this is my only prediction—is that labor will capture a council majority. There are too many fluid races and labor has the resources.
Voters in downtown San Jose will have a chance Wednesday to hear candidates for District 3 discuss issues ranging from pubic safety and traffic congestion to homelessness and downtown development. Councilmember Sam Liccardo terms out of the District 3 seat at the end of this year, and there are five entrants in the race to succeed him.
If no candidate captures more than 50 percent of the vote in June, the top two will advance to a runoff in November.
In the past I believed forums and debates were a waste of time, not only for the voters but also the candidates themselves. My outlook has completely changed. Our city and its neighborhoods are at a crossroads—we can either continue toward deterioration or reclaim the “Safest City” title we once touted.
I have encountered more than a few District 3 residents who have attended one or two forums. They attend because they genuinely want to vote for a candidate who they feel is best equipped to deal with tough issues. Many have told me that their decision gets easier as they continue to hear from the candidates.
The “Highway 280 District 3 Candidate Forum” is open to the public and will begin at 7pm at the Gardner Community Center (520 W. Virginia St., San Jose 95126). Damian Trujillo, a reporter for NBC Bay Area and producer/host of “Communidad Del Valle,” will moderate the forum.
Questions for the candidates can be submitted here.
If you live in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7, look for upcoming candidates forums to take the initiative and organize your own. Our city and our neighborhoods depend on it.