As part of a growing effort to increase technological security, the lawmakers will hear a report from city officials on the importance of a city-wide policy on data collection. Councilors will also vote on implementing a new ordinance that sets the city on track to meet its climate goals before 2020.
The six principles were approved by the Smart Cities and Service Improvements Committee in early June, and were developed by the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic, a team of technology experts who are a part of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. The six principles assert that the city of San Jose strives to “value privacy, collect only what is needed, be open and transparent, give residents control over their data, share only what is needed, and design technology systems for privacy and security.”
The city developed a “three pronged approach” in vetting its new set of privacy principles by creating a privacy working group, comprised of senior staff from various citywide departments, creating a privacy advisory taskforce, which is an oversight committee with eight members who meet quarterly, and by conducting public forums in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
San Jose Reach Code Ordinance
In an effort to comply with the city’s Climate Smart San Jose plan, city elected leaders will vote to adopt new building codes to “increase building efficiency, mandate solar readiness, and increase requirements related to electric vehicle charging stations,” according to city officials.
“The effects of climate change are devastating and increasing. To do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, the city adopted Climate Smart San Jose, which sets aggressive goals around electric vehicle adoption, solar installation, and zero net energy/carbon buildings,” said Director of Environmental Services Kerrie Romanow and Planning Director Rosalynn Hughey in a joint memo to the City Council. “The proposed reach code is designed to lower and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from new construction.”
The city’s climate plan aims to reduce greenhouse emissions drastically by 2020 by transitioning to 100 percent carbon-free base power. The proposed ordinance, called the San Jose Reach Code Ordinance, aims to increase building energy efficiency, will require building electrification and installation of “electric vehicle infrastructure” and solar energy. The new building code will apply to all “new residential and non-residential” construction in the city.
More than 45 cities and counties are considering adopting reach codes that require building and transportation electrification. If adopted, San Jose will join the other 19 cities in the Bay Area such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont, that have adopted similar ordinances.
But critics of reach codes say they could drive up the cost of producing housing, which will worsen Silicon Valley’s housing crisis.
Also on Tuesday, San Jose housing officials will call on city leaders to endorse a state bill that, if adopted, will help raise funding for affordable housing in the Bay Area.
If enacted into law, the bill authored by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu — AB 1487 — will establish a new agency called the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, which will be authorized to “raise and allocate new regional housing revenue,” according to housing officials, but would still require voter approval for such fiscal measures.
Potential funding sources include parcel and business taxes, general obligation bonds, regional commercial linkage fees, or grants. Certain taxes, such as parcel or business taxes, must be approved by two thirds of voters in that county first. In addition, the measures will need to be put on a ballot in at least four out of the nine Bay Area counties in order to be approved.
“The lack of affordable homes is at a crisis point in San Jose. Each night, approximately 6,000 people are unsheltered in the city,” said Housing Director Jacky Morales-Ferrand and Lee Wilcox, chief of staff to the city manager. “AB 1487 would create an entity that has the authority to seek voter-approval for new housing revenue, raise a regional commercial linkage fee, and administer funds.”
As one of the largest cities in the Bay Area, San Jose could receive a substantial new set of regional funds to “support and grow land acquisition, project development, preservation, and tenant protection programs.”
At least one San Jose legislator expressed concerns with allowing a non-elected body to raise taxes regionally.
“It’s basically a quasi government body that is not elected that will be able to put things on the ballot, such as taxes, that I am very concerned about,” said Councilmember Johnny Khamis, who plans to pull the item off the City Council’s consent agenda Tuesday for discussion. “It certainly takes away local control for taxation purposes. I’m not supportive of creating a new way of taxing citizens — there are enough ways of taxing already.”
The bill was recently sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office for review.
The City Council will meet 1:30 p.m. Tuesday inside the council chamber at City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara Street in San Jose.
Contact Nadia Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @n_llopez on Twitter.