Author: Special to San José Spotlight

Sanchez, Krey and Oberhelman: Crisis intervention training for law enforcement

Recently, several law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara County have unveiled specialized units designed to de-escalate interactions with citizens who may be in mental health crisis. San Jose PD launched a one-year pilot program in October 2020 that links specially trained officers with clinicians from the County’s Behavioral Health Services (BHS).  BHS has been active...

Waite: Abandon the Eastridge light rail extension project

This scathing commentary on Valley Transportation Authority’s light rail system comes from the report “Inquiry into Governance of the Valley Transportation Authority,” issued by the Civil Grand Jury of Santa Clara County in June 2019: “The (Eastridge extension) project makes no financial sense and survives only because powerful political forces continue to support it. VTA...

Agustin and Garcia: Essential Workers Council recommendations for San Jose budget

The pandemic has exposed the deep cracks in our society—overcrowded housing, too few good jobs and a lack of quality, affordable childcare—that left our families and neighbors so vulnerable. These cracks are the consequence of decades of policy decisions that put corporate profits before human needs. Now, with San José set to receive $223 million...

Khamis: The missing middle—JPA housing

What if I told you San Jose has the opportunity to preserve and create workforce housing using no new taxes or taxpayer dollars? No, it’s not too good to be true—it’s a relatively new concept that California established to allow for joint powers authorities (JPAs) to raise money from private investors to help finance low...

Waite: Opportunity Housing—an unproven concept

A new phrase has entered the public vernacular: Opportunity Housing. This innocuous-sounding phrase refers to allowing, by right, the construction of multi-unit residences on properties zoned as single-family residential. It would allow property owners to skip what is today a rather lengthy process, requiring public hearings and input from concerned neighbors, when desiring to raze...

Márquez: Thanks but no thanks to the ‘gift’ of light pollution

The “gift” of a 20-stories tall light pollution generator offered to San Jose by the Light Tower Corporation reeks of saviorism. Light Tower Corporation’s mission is to “provide a major enhancement,” be a “catalyst for Silicon Valley culture,” and bring “prestigious allure” to downtown San Jose. At this post-pandemic time, this mission and the selected...