San Jose ACTION! - Caring for Our Community
San Jose ACTION was established in September 2017 by a small group of local residents and business owners from Districts 2 and 10 in response to these specific housing projects proposed by the City of San Jose —
- Bridge Housing (Tiny Homes)
- ACO Furniture Charities Housing
- Overnight Warming Locations (OWL)
- High Speed Rail
As the impact of these projects stood to dramatically change the local area, they warranted attention and detailed analysis. San Jose ACTION’s founding members faced the immediate challenge of engaging other neighborhood residents to help gather information through existing neighborhood associations and online social network platforms. The members actively worked to bridge the various neighborhoods and provide timely, accurate information about these projects to the constituents. The members directly engaged the City of San Jose leadership, local district council members, and various project leaders to vet the underlying development plans and assess the impact of the projects on the specific target audience and local community members.
During the discovery process, San Jose ACTION members identified these alarming trends in the way the City develops and manages projects:
- Delayed, Inconsistent Information Flow
The project data points often differ depending on which avenues the leaders use to publicize information—city-hosted meetings, developer-hosted meetings, online portals, online social network platforms, etc. The city or project leaders do not release critical information about the projects or programs in a timely, consistent manner, often hosting public education forums during work hours when constituents cannot attend.
- Details Shifts & Discrepancies
The program details shift rapidly, generating data discrepancies. The project leads seemed to change the requirements they use to assign resources and determine project locations, in some cases to force-fit a specific project to a specific location. More importantly, the details do not seem to support the projects overall goals; they undermine the intended beneficiaries at the expense of the larger, surrounding community.
- Lack of Accountability
The City’s documented plans lack terms that hold the project leads accountable for any negative impact on the community. The City planners have faced no known repercussions to date for admittedly using inaccurate baseline planning data to justify project funding and locations.
- Lack of Concern
San Jose ACTION members have experienced a noticeable lack of concern from City officials regarding public pushback on the projects, specifically the potential negative impact on local traffic, crime rates, area blight, property values, and job creation. At times, the City representatives were so bold as to proclaim in public forums their commitment to their plans despite public outcry and appeals to consider more thoughtful suggestions and alternatives.
These troubling trends drove the San Jose ACTION members in our mission to build an informed, connected community through neighborly outreach, empower it with diligent research, and enact effective countermeasures to harmful projects.
San Jose ACTION focuses on projects important to its members—its local residents and businesses; the group does not take cues from the local government or project sponsors so as not to be swayed by politics or financial inducements. The group engages to promote projects that drive positive change and challenge those that threaten the community in these areas:
- Parks Development
- Open Space Protection
- Senior Citizen Support
- Blight Prevention
- Community Beautification
- Neighborhood Safety
- Crime Prevention
- Vagrancy & Vandalism
- Traffic Safety
San Jose ACTION members engage on behalf of our community in these specific ways:
- Monitors Community-impacting Housing, Area Development, Crime and Safety Projects
- Investigates and Collects Project Details
- Identifies Potential Project Problems and Negative Impacts
- Hosts Community Informational Forums
- Crafts Project Alternatives and/or Support Plans
- Hosts Project-specific, Neighborhood-focused Informational and Planning Sessions
- Enacts Focused Action Plans in Support of the Community
San Jose ACTION partners with other organizations with similar goals, perspectives and focus areas to help galvanize community support and drive action plans forward to success.
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