San Jose, California StateoftheCity Student Report February 9, 2012

Thursday night, I had the honor to be before the mayor of San Jose while he delivered his address to the citizenry. I was impacted at such great introduction and how the guests had the opportunity to experience a spectacular mariachi band and folkloric dancing. No wonder San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley since the 1990’s; its diversity makes it a truly remarkable city.

As the presentation developed further on, I was excited to see all the recognitions given to the many different organizations that made the city of San Jose a better place. Ranging from the Willow Glen Foundation to the Independent Police Auditor, I was impressed by all the different kinds of aid these groups provide. It is good that recognition is given to those who construct a better society.

The introduction by the mayor was not a little sensational but stunning as he related the story of this magnificent city. He then gave thanks to all the organizations which made San Jose a pleasurable place to live in.

After his introduction, the mayor Chuck Reed said that he is proud that even with the hard hits of the recession or the “Great Recession” as he called it, during his office, 25,000 jobs were created. He went on to say that job creation is one of the major goals his office has. The strategic plan the mayor proposed in approaching that goal was to have Tech companies invest in San Jose thus creating a money supply and creating jobs. He then proceeded to explain his plan of expanding the local economy by encouraging Silicon Valley companies to expand their businesses not abroad but in the city of San Jose. Furthermore he stated that he will be working with the governor and other mayors of California in designing a new economic development to solve the budget deficits.

“We face a problem of skyrocketing retirement costs” said the mayor Chuck Reed, the biggest contributor for the budget deficit and a threat to the future of San Jose. The mayor’s solution was to reorganize city programs and have a fiscal reform. There could be other solutions as he gave an example of how a 10% cut in compensation helped minimize the number of layoffs. In addition to the reorganization and reform, the mayor induced the plan of reducing pension cost and large retirement cost, eliminating “bonus” retirement pay. Although this affected some Union’s interest, they were understanding and “stayed at the table”. The mayor Chuck Reed said that it would prove to be a difficult task but with the money saved, services that were cut of after 2010 could be restored, such as libraries opening full time.

Many great accomplishments such as a 4% decrease of gang violence by youth was measured, the collective commitment of addressing the problem of the performance gap and the creation of aid programs for the homeless are all examples that there is solutions to problems if there is reform and reorganization.

This address was both motivational and powerful. Mayor Chuck Reed proved that there is solutions for social problems and for the budget deficit. A fiscal reform plan meant more money and more money meant better or improved services for the tax payers.