Staedler: Why are we talking about slogans?
Downtown San Jose is pictured in this file photo. Photo by Ramona Giwargis.

I was dismayed by A. Jarrod Jenkins’ op-ed about how San Jose should drop its “Capital of Silicon Valley” slogan.

I don’t understand the intent of his opinion piece. especially this part: “We shouldn’t call ourselves the Capital of Silicon Valley, even if it is true. As a practical matter, greatness is something best conferred by third parties.”

The piece plays into the long-tired hero-worshipping trope of overly glorifying San Francisco while tearing down San Jose. The mid-Market tax break was a huge giveaway that has hurt San Francisco. The homeless crisis and gentrification San Francisco is experiencing would be better served if tech companies paid their fair and equitable share of taxes to fund badly-needed city services and build critical affordable housing.

The Kardashian-era thinking of focusing on how others view us is self-defeating. We need to focus on more important issues right now, such as ensuring proper representation for all areas of San Jose, building homeless housing, bringing jobs to all parts of San Jose and creating a financially sustainable city.

I never thought, “Okay, hotshot, what are we going to replace it with?” I thought, what a waste of time and energy on such a superficial issue.

Land use consultant Bob Staedler is a principal at Silicon Valley Synergy. He also writes a monthly column about business, land use and development for San José Spotlight.

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