Politics & Government

Politics & Government

San Jose council weighs flea market development plan

After hours of deliberation, the San Jose City Council deferred a decision on a mixed-use development that could shrink the San Jose Flea Market by two-thirds of its current size and displace vendors. The council met Tuesday to consider plans for the Berryessa BART Urban Village, but continued the meeting to the next day. “I...

City committee to hear San José Spotlight’s appeal on mayor’s emails

A powerful city committee will decide Wednesday whether San Jose must turn over emails it’s shielding between the mayor and his workers about his advocacy organization. Mayor Sam Liccardo launched Solutions San Jose, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, in February. The organization advocates on a range of public policy issues, including reopening schools, water rate hikes and housing solutions, though it’s...

San Jose prepares to redraw council districts

San Jose is getting ready to redraw its 10 City Council districts—and will decide whether some populations should be grouped together based on common interests. “How do (you) articulate whether some are more important than others, and what are the criteria?” asked Angelo Ancheta, director of the Community Law Center at Santa Clara University, at...

‘Bad to horrific’: Racial discrimination and wealth inequality grew under COVID-19

Inequality in Silicon Valley has gone from “bad to horrific” over the pandemic, as indicators such as hunger, homelessness, income inequality and the wealth gap have all increased since last June, new research shows. “While our community was shocked at the incredibly high levels of racial discrimination and income and wealth inequality detailed in the...

San Jose’s hotel tax revenue won’t recover until 2025

San Jose’s hotel tax revenue for 2021 is inching up from last summer’s levels, signaling a return to life. But monthly profits are still a third of what the city saw prior to the pandemic, according to city data. “(The hotel tax) has been one of the city’s hardest hit revenues from the pandemic,” San Jose Budget...

Santa Clara County loses last COVID mandate

Santa Clara County Public Health discontinued the last of its COVID-related regulations on Monday. Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s public health officer, issued an order eliminating remaining local requirements such as teleworking and social distancing, but businesses and governments will still need to determine the vaccination status of personnel through self-attestation. On Friday, the California...

Fentanyl deaths in Santa Clara County rise during pandemic

The number of fatal fentanyl overdoses in Santa Clara County nearly tripled during the pandemic, and experts say the two are intricately linked. “(The pandemic) seems to have exacerbated a lot of latent trauma that our clients have,” said Gary Montrezza, CEO of Pathway Society, a substance abuse counseling center based in San Jose. “Those who are...

San Jose denies mayor’s emails on advocacy group. We are fighting back.

San Jose City Hall refuses to turn over emails from Mayor Sam Liccardo related to an advocacy organization he formed in February, claiming that every communication is subject to attorney-client privilege. Now, San José Spotlight is appealing the denial that’s raised eyebrows among attorneys and open government advocates. “I just can’t see how everything you’ve...