Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: Wasting our breath in times of need

With tens of thousands of people on sleeping our streets every night, I’m amazed at how much energy we expend either fighting common sense solutions or pushing for or against issues that won’t really move the needle in the end. Take the new safe parking site in North San Jose for instance. The city provided...

Bramson: The legality of sleep

The term “draconian” – a word showing up more and more in popular culture these days – actually has its roots in ancient Greece. Coming from a set of punitive laws with severe punishments created by an Athenian legislator named Draco, draconian has become associated over the centuries with measures that seem cruel or harsh....

Bramson: Empty office and retail sites could be used for housing

Vacant storefronts with “For Lease” signs fading in the windows. Abandoned strip malls with a sea of empty concrete spaces. Massive corporate offices from a bygone, pre-virtual era, sitting unoccupied, desolate, forgotten. Sadly, this is the post-pandemic narrative for many California cities, suburbs and exurbs these days. Along with an unexpected financial collapse and a...

Bramson: Stepping up or getting out of the way

In a recent 2021 poll by the Bay Area Council, homelessness dominated the concerns of most residents in our region. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. The fact is we all see the tragic impacts of people forced to sleep outside and it’s truly horrifying. Human beings living and dying along our highways and creeks....

Bramson: How to build a downtown best in San Jose

On any given day, try taking a stroll down the main boulevard of Santana Row. There are people dining at expensive restaurants, sipping on decadent drinks, shopping at luxury stores and enjoying a safe, cultivated, undisturbed sunny afternoon. Some people think this carefully manicured Silicon Valley fantasy is the best San Jose has to offer....

Bramson: The write stuff to say about poverty

Have you noticed how often homelessness and poverty are crowding your news media feeds lately? It’s everywhere from Nextdoor to the nightly news to your local paper. Evictions, encampments, unemployment, affordable housing developments, community responses, failures and new reports. And without question, there is a growing fascination with finding the headline grabbers that scrutinize and...

Bramson: Do you know how to stay in San Jose?

In a 2020 tweet — that really could have been a sound byte from any platform in the last century or so — a former U.S. president claimed a victory that “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream would no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.” It...

Bramson: No easy answers for poverty in a pandemic

Amid all of the chaos of the past few weeks, I find myself dumbfounded by the raging national debate over the amount of stimulus checks. Whether it’s $600, $2,000, or any other one-time denomination, part of the discourse feels like our leaders are agreeing that we should be allowed to eat cake, but still not...

Bramson: Finding it hard to sleep tonight

With an utterly horrific and terrifying year nearly wrapped up, I have spent the past few weeks thinking about what gifts might still be under the tree despite all the carnage. And I have to admit it’s hard to get in a festive mood this holiday season. The pandemic is still raging across the country,...

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