San Jose has always been on the forefront of renewable energy. However, we have not gotten it right. We still restrict how much solar can be generated, and prohibit use of low profile wind turbines. At the same time, San Jose wants to get into the power business, and obligate citizens to buy clean energy directly from city. This would increase your power bills by up to 5% a year. I think it would be wiser to let citizens have as much power as they needs, and not impose a new city department, that manages their power use.
One of the District 5’s pride is in our vibrant and welcoming natural surroundings. We should continue to improve our creeks and green spaces, to provide safe natural resources for everyone to enjoy. We should also reach out to more nonprofits to help assist with these efforts. The city should be more focused on core issues, and let the experts guide and assist us in our protection of our natural resources.
Homelessness is undeniably a high concern for San Jose residents. East Side of San Jose is the one of the most impacted by this crisis. Districts 5 and 7 have more homeless encampments than the rest of San Jose’s other eight districts combined. Our city needs to work together to address homelessness, which affects everyone; especially those who are homeless or on the verge of being so. Our city already has a multitude of services, programs, and volunteer organizations trying to alleviate the growing epidemic. With the many reasons that lead to homelessness, having a wide net of approaches is a great start. What our city needs now are leaders who can focus on coordinating more, not less, with nonprofits who keep getting turned away from the city. These are groups that are ready to help, but our policies keep them away. I will change that!
San Jose and especially in District 5, our families have been returning to multi-generational housing. With the rising cost of living and need for our families to simultaneously care for older and younger generations, our city needs to find ways to encourage these families success. Our permitting fees to increase parking space or to add an addition to the house make it impractical for our families to legally approach solutions. Illegal subletting and illegal additions cause a cascade of problems. We need to encourage opportunities for people to alleviate housing needs. While many leaders want to focus on large scale projects of housing developments, I want to bring a new approach of focusing on the existing opportunities that are right in front of us. We must also re-evaluate policies that promote safety and enhanced neighborhoods for every resident in our community.
Affordable housing plans can be complicated, but our students, educators, blue collar workers, and other residents of our city, deserve to live where they work and we need to ensure that homes they can afford are built. Encouraging more housing inventory, specifically housing that caters to new owners, is the only way to alleviate the burden of the high cost of living. The feeling of ownership in a home or property encourages pride in a neighborhood and offers the assurance and accountability that our citizens need.