Increasing the high school graduation rate
Change begins with a good education. It is a well-known fact that education is the key to success, well-paying jobs, increasing opportunities, and breaking the cycle of generational poverty. In a competitive city like San José, it is substantially important that our youth have access to higher education, however, almost 50% of our students are not graduating from high school. These numbers are unacceptable. Education is the most important weapon to fight ignorance, poverty, and crime.
improving public transportation for all
In 2015, I spent almost three months talking to bus riders in an effort to understand their experiences and learn about the flaws of our public transportation system. During that time, the VTA was considering a countywide sale tax to bring BART to San José. As a result of those conversations, I was able to bring the concerns of those bus riders to the VTA board as we demanded that a portion of those funds be allocated to improve public transportation. I understand the struggles that San José residents face as they navigate our public transportation as well as the importance of making the necessary improvements and ensure that all your voices are at the table when doing so.
Housing and homelessness
San José is going through a housing crisis, and has been for quite some time. We need to work harder and come together to prevent homelessness and utilize solutions to assist those living on our streets, in parks, under bridges. The solutions that we have seen have not been enough and now corporations with plans to build and expand could negatively impact housing even further. Addressing housing in our city will take a combination of long term and short term solutions. The City of San José City must invest long-term in more housing to compete with the skyrocketing rent prices that are pushing more and more of our residents out. We also need to continue to hold landlords accountable and put a stop to unfair evictions and illegal rent increases. Housing is a human right, we should not be struggling simply to maintain a roof over our heads and no one should be living in precarious conditions.
increasing the per capita income
San José has one the fastest growing economies in the country, but the money coming in is not reflecting in the income of the majority of San José residents. Increasing the minimum wage was important, but that’s only one minor step. There are many other issues left for us to tackle: wage theft, inefficient wages, and women’s income inequality. Co-ops, unions, supporting small businesses and higher education are all solutions that could work to improve opportunities for San José residents to work, live, and put back into our economy. It has been an important pledge for me to decline corporate monetary support; I will not be influenced by their special interests and will focus on the needs of the people.