Matt Mahood

The Great Minimum Wage War

The South Bay Labor Council held a kickoff party Tuesday night promoting the November ballot initiative to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10. While many expect the coming months of debate to be framed in 99 vs. 1 percent terms—labor groups and low-wage workers battling lobbying heavyweights like the California Restaurant Association (word is the lobbyist group has already kicked in millions to defeat a similar federal ballot measure)—it seems some incongruous characters in Silicon Valley are working toward a compromise.

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Chamber Chess

Matt Mahood has developed somewhat of a rock star reputation in his 11 months since coming over from Sacramento to Silicon Valley. But that didn’t stop the Mercury News from taking the 6-foot-6 Goliath to task for attack ads the ChamberPAC put out against San Jose’s District 10 City Council candidate Edesa Bitbadal.The mailers needled Bitbadal for drumming up support from former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales while making an out-of-context reference to Gonzales’ indictment charges before leaving office. No mention was made of the fact that Gonzales was exonerated. But with Bitbadal running third in the District 10 primary, and likely out of the runoff in November, the questions is: was it worth it?

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Minimum Wage Raise in San Jose?

A student-organized push to raise the minimum wage in San Jose looks like it has a chance to make its way on the ballot. Roughly 35,000 signatures were reportedly submitted Wednesday by a group led by San Jose State students. Those signatures will need to be verified by the county Registrar of Voters. For now, the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is taking a wait-and-see approach to the initiative.


2012 State of the City Address

Sounding an optimistic note that 2012 would be a year of “hope, optimism and recovery,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed delivered his State of the City address at the San Jose Civic Auditorium Thursday night. Hours after being pummeled in the media over an actuary’s claim of inflated pension projections, Reed sounded confident and statesmanlike, saying that he wanted “ to thank the leaders of our employee unions who have remained engaged and stayed at the table for many hours, days and months of difficult discussions.“


Chamber Invites Unions to the Party

While it might not signal a real truce in the endless, tedious factional conflict that is San Jose politics, the business community extended an olive branch to local unions last week. The setting was a soiree introducing Matt Mahood, the new CEO of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.