Norman Y. Mineta

Reed, Former San Jose Mayors Talk Shop

Norm Mineta, Janet Gray Hayes, Susan Hammer, Ron Gonzales and Reed all took part in Monday night’s installment of the Don Edwards Lecture Series at San Jose State University, and each of the current mayor’s predecessors voiced relief that never in their tenures were they forced to deal with the current mayor’s challenges. A full decade of budget shortfalls, a workforce depleted and demoralized, the loss of the Redevelopment Agency and no certain economic rebound in the future was a tall order in every mayor’s eyes. The never-ending pummeling a mayor experiences—from the press, constituents and colleagues—was reiterated consistently in the talk, which retiring SJSU political science professor Terry Christensen moderated.


BART Line Set to Break Ground Today

The long-awaited work to extend BART from Fremont to Berryessa begins today with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring many of Silicon Valley’s most prominent political officials. The event has been a long time coming, and shovels should enter the ground this afternoon.


Name Games

I remember when a few civic leaders pushed to have the convention center in downtown San Jose named after former mayor Tom McEnery, even though he was still alive (and still is). Then came a train station that had to have the name of another still-living public figure, Rod Diridon. What came next? The San Jose International Airport’s name wasn’t good enough, so these same civic leaders (who like their own names on other buildings in surrounding communities) pushed to have our then quaint airport named after Norman Y. Mineta. Certainly a fine and honest man, and also very much alive.