Licon: East San Jose families must fight to close county airport
Activists and residents gathered at Reid-Hillview Airport to demand its closure after a plane crashed in 2022. File photo.

My family has been distressed by Reid-Hillview Airport for decades.

And it all stems from our East San Jose community being marginalized and our concerns over safety, lead and noise downplayed at every turn.

The one constant: a dismissive, kick-the-can-down-the-road attitude toward preparing for Reid-Hillview’s closure and the harm the airport has done. The marginalization and silence must stop on this issue. I’m calling on everyone to get to work now and don’t stop until the final plane comes in for landing on the East Side.

My family lives right by the airport. It’s the same house my parents bought in the 1970s, after they were redlined and not shown homes in other San Jose neighborhoods because they were Mexican Americans.

My children used to attend Meyer Elementary School, immediately adjacent to the airport, but were too frightened to go there after a plane crashed into a fence near the school a couple years ago. My children said they were too scared to play on the field and blacktop just feet from the airport runway and where the crash happened. They wouldn’t stop talking about it and the anxiety from seeing the aftermath.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meets on April 16 and will be discussing the potential future use of the airport.

Veronica Gonzalez Licon is an East San Jose parent.  

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