Media Coverage on Measure A:
”Santa Clara County voters defeat half-cent sales tax hike.”
Barry Witt.  Mercury News, 7 June 2006.
Santa Clara County voters decided Tuesday they're paying enough in sales taxes, soundly rejecting a proposed half-cent increase designed to rescue the financially imperiled BART extension to Silicon Valley and restore health services for the poor.

It was a stunning result for much of the county's political, business and labor establishment, which joined forces to promote a tax increase to address a variety of transportation and social service needs.

”Proponents, opponents grapple over Measure A.”

Barry Witt.  Mercury News, 19 May 2006.
Is Santa Clara County's proposed half-cent sales tax increase a vital revenue source to protect health services and build mass transit or an underhanded way to rescue a poorly run transportation agency?

In a nutshell, those were the two positions presented at a public forum Thursday night by a leading supporter and opponent of Measure A, which would take the county's sales tax rate to 8.75 percent if approved by a majority of voters in June.

“Santa Clara County sales tax hike is on June 6 ballot.”

Business Journal staff.  Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 1 March 2006.
The voters of Santa Clara County will have the opportunity June 6 to raise the county's sales tax by half a cent to 8.75 percent, but what the money from the tax would be used for is unspecified.

Working Partnerships USA Op-Eds on Government Accountability and Reform:

“Add affordable-housing funding to bond plan to avert crisis.”

Chris Block, Jaime Alvarado and Sean Charpentier.  Mercury News, 1 March 2006.
Everybody knows there is an affordable-housing crisis in Silicon Valley. What many people don't know is how much worse the crisis will get unless we act now and support including $2 billion for affordable housing in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's massive proposed infrastructure bond.

Surprisingly, Schwarzenegger's bond plan does not include affordable housing. Fortunately for Silicon Valley, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, have been leading the charge to include up to $2 billion for affordable housing in the total bond package. The governor can show his commitment to keeping the California dream alive for thousands of families and to expanding our economic prosperity by agreeing to Perata and Núñez's proposal.

“State review distorts data on privatizing.”

Brian Darrow and Bob Brownstein.  Mercury News, 24 October 2004.
When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger initiated his mammoth California Performance Review (CPR), he spoke of the need to increase accountability in government. In that spirit, accountability should be demanded of the California Performance Review document itself. Regrettably, a careful analysis of this gargantuan report, drafted largely behind closed doors, reveals so many distortions and critical omissions that it cries out for rebuke from elected officials.

“ Bringing accountability to S.J. Redevelopment Agency.”

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Dave Cortese.  San Jose Mercury News, 25 August 2003.
Last week, a community and labor coalition announced a proposal to bring needed fiscal reform to the San Jose Redevelopment Agency's use of public dollars to subsidize private developments. This policy, the Community Benefits Initiative, would require a more inclusive and open decision-making process. Most important, it would require a specific assessment of the public's return on investment from the agency's use of taxpayer dollars.

Media Coverage on Accountable Development:

“Coyote Valley Growth Triggers.”

Rodney Foo.  Mercury News, 14 August 2005.
When Coyote Valley task force members return to work Monday, they'll pick up where they left off in June: analyzing the criteria that will kick off the building of a community of 75,000 in South San Jose, a question that has lingered for decades.

And just as in 1993, the last time the growth triggers for Coyote Valley were revised, the task force faces the same old problem: How to meter growth in a way that won't sap the city's coffers in the midst of a recession.

“San Jose needs a high-rise option”

Mercury News Editorial.  San Jose Mercury News, 16 August 2004.
It's ridiculous that in the 11th largest city in the United States, there's not a single opportunity for luxury high-rise living downtown.

San Diego has plenty. So do Los Angeles and San Francisco. But San Jose? Except for a few older buildings -- nearly all senior housing -- there are no apartments or condos more than six stories downtown and few more than four.

“San Jose's chance to get it right.'”

Barbara Marshman.  San Jose Mercury News, 6 June 2004.
Burnham's plan was one in a long line of attempts to bring order to willy-nilly growth in land-rich America -- a line that stretches to today and the ambitious plans to create a community from scratch in Silicon Valley's last frontier: San Jose's Coyote Valley.

The plan is still in its infancy -- construction couldn't begin until 2007 at the earliest. But the blueprint for what type of community it would be is rapidly taking shape. Its aim: to turn California's typical patterns of growth upside down. No suburban sprawl here. Instead, Coyote is envisioned more like an old-fashioned town with walkable streets, village squares and Main Street-style stores rather than strip malls.

“Another delay for jobs plan.”

Frank Sweeney.  San Jose Mercury News, 1 October 2003.
Despite Mayor Ron Gonzales' earlier push for immediate action, the San Jose City Council on Tuesday again changed and delayed the most controversial parts of his radical plan to make the city more business-friendly and create thousands of new jobs.

“Labor pushes policy changes: more public input sought on projects.”

Michelle Guido.  San Jose Mercury News, 19 August 2003.

Media Coverage on Transportation:

“Transit agency OKs tax study.”

Gary Richards.  Mercury News, 17 June 2005.
The Valley Transportation Authority gave the go-ahead Thursday to studying a plan for a new sales tax that would rank the BART extension to Silicon Valley as the agency's top priority but that could also result in decades-long delays for Caltrain and light-rail upgrades.

The plan by San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales will be debated by the agency this summer and go back to the board for approval this fall. It passed by a 10-2 vote and probably will lead to a quarter-cent sales tax being placed on the November 2006 ballot.

Other Media Coverage:

“Don’t borrow trouble: Silicon Valley campaign launched to prevent predatory lending practices.”
 Freddie Mac Release.  Freddie Mac, 4 November 2005.

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