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PG&E power shutoffs, New Judge Johnny Gogo, fire prevention and fire preparedness, housing the vulnerable and homelessness
 
 
 
 
 
Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman
Mike's Monthly Message
November 2019 Edition
PG&E Power Shutoffs
Like you, I am frustrated with how PG&E has been handling power shutoffs in our County. PG&E’s decision to execute power shutoffs are very costly, both to local governments and to our residents, who understandably feel ignored, scared and angry. A utility company has a responsibility to provide safe, reliable services. They can’t simply turn off power to people who rely on such things as medical equipment like breathing machines, or for children who can’t go to school. And businesses need to be open each day to sell products and employ people. If regular sustained power outages are the “new normal,” I fear that a significant negative economic impact could ensue, resulting in employees facing layoffs from businesses that can’t absorb the losses.

While the County can’t control what PG&E does, we are making it clear to Sacramento leaders who regulate PG&E that their actions have consequences for our residents. Entire neighborhoods have gone dark for several days (including my own), which is a huge public safety concern, particularly in rural areas. County and city resources have been stretched thin in order to help keep people safe during these outages.

Santa Clara County declared an emergency during the outage to ensure that resources are available to continue critical operations and to minimize impact to the community. The emergency declaration allows the County to coordinate with a large network of public and private partner agencies when circumstances are beyond the capacity of local services and personnel. The County is also supporting other jurisdictions (cities and counties) that are severely impacted by the power shutoff.

We know that fire danger is real and we need to hear from PG&E on what they plan to do to ensure that ongoing shutoffs aren’t the new normal. As County Supervisor and Chair of the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee, I’ve requested PG&E representative appear before our next Committee meeting to answer questions. I am more than willing to detail the effects of their actions on our residents, and to help them plan better. We need real solutions and those usually happen by working together.

New Judge: Johnny Gogo
Deputy District Attorney Johnny Gogo, Radio Personality Sam Van Zandt, and County Supervisor Mike Wasserman
Photo: L-R Deputy District Attorney Johnny Gogo, Radio Personality Sam Van Zandt, and County Supervisor Mike Wasserman as they promote a voluntary gun buyback program on KBAY radio in 2016.

Congratulations to Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Johnny Gogo, who was appointed a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge by Governor Newsom last month. I know Johnny well and applaud his tireless work as Community Prosecutor for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office. The Community Prosecution Unit addresses juvenile crime, truancy and parent education. Since 1999, Johnny has worked with the community and government partners to reduce juvenile crime in traditionally under-served communities.

As an example, DDA Gogo led the Law Related Education Program, which brings 5th Graders to court for positive experiences with judges, DDAs and law enforcement. I’ve also worked with DDA Gogo on voluntary gun buyback programs. His guidance and leadership through the District Attorney’s office has resulted in successful countywide multi-agency gun buyback efforts that have removed more 6,000 guns from the streets in recent years. I am among the many people who will miss working closely with DDA Gogo, and wish him all the best on this well-deserved new endeavor!

Fires and Prevention
Supervisor Wasserman with Santa Clara County Fire Captain and Team
The devastating fires across California this Fall serve as a stark reminder of how vulnerable we are to wildfires (as well as house fires). We recently commemorated Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 6 - 12) with Santa Clara County Fire Captain Jeremy Davis and his team. I’m more than grateful to the men and women who serve the public round the clock! Fire Prevention Week reminds the public that they also must inform themselves of ways to prepare for fires. Click here to learn about how you can prevent fires in your home and how to prepare for a fire evacuation.

For anyone wanting to help current fire victims, the American Red Cross is one of the organizations providing emergency assistance and is asking for donations. More than 2,400 people stayed in 17 Red Cross and community shelters one night alone last week during the Kincade fire!

The Red Cross provides shelter, meals and snacks, relief supplies, health services such as replacing lost medications and eyeglasses, emotional support and spiritual care. Anyone is welcome at Red Cross shelters, including those with service animals. While many people want to help fire victims by sending donations of clothes, bottled water and canned food to disaster areas, emergency responders say that financial contributions are the most effective way to help. Texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 will send the agency a $10 donation, or you can visit www.RedCross.org to contribute other amounts.

Housing the Vulnerable
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Residents understandably are asking, “What is being done to address homelessness?” The answer is that we are housing people. On October 22, 2019, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two new sites for affordable housing developments. The County’s portion of the housing developments will be funded with $15.6 million from the County’s 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing bond and $17.4 million from the state-funded No Place Like Home bond for a total of $33 million.

The Gallup and Mesa Apartments – located on a .38-acre site near Blossom Hill Road and Almaden Expressway – is comprised of 45 affordable units, including 16 studios, 19 one‐bedrooms, 5 two‐bedrooms and 5 three bedrooms (plus 1 manager’s unit). Twenty‐three (23) of the units will be set aside as permanent supportive housing for homeless Transitional Age Youth. The residential amenities will include a 3,000 square foot common space in an indoor community room, which flows into an outdoor courtyard.

The second project is the 425 Auzerais Apartments, which is a 130-unit affordable family development near downtown San Jose. The development will consist of 128 affordable apartments, comprised of 82 studios, 24 one‐bedrooms and 22 two‐bedrooms (plus two manager units). Sixty‐Four of the units will be set aside as permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless households. Amenities will include community facilities and 15,000 square feet of private open space with planters for a community garden.

Our top priority is to use these voter-approved funds and other public investments to create affordable housing for seniors on fixed incomes, young adults with a mental illness and other vulnerable residents. With 21 affordable housing developments in the works (four of which are expected to be completed by the end of December), the County is now almost a third of the way toward our goal of financing 4,800 new affordable units through Measure A by 2027.

Upcoming Events
11/6/19 Morgan Hill Library: Vaping Awareness
11/7/19 Saratoga Library: Make Monster Origami
11/8/19 Morgan Hill: Photography Exhibition
11/9/19 Livermore: Local Craft Competition
11/9/19 Los Gatos: LGBTQ Community Listening Forum
11/9/19 San Jose: Raptor Fest
11/9/19 Gilroy: Historias de Mi Madre XII – Inicios
11/10/19 Morgan Hill: Veterans Day Run
11/10/19 San Jose: Intro to Outdoor Photography
11/13/19 Saratoga: Women’s Equality 2020 Leadership Council Meeting
11/14/19 San Jose: Look Ma, No Reins
11/14/19 Gilroy: Santa Clara County Complete Count Committee Meeting
11/16/19 San Jose: Park Partners Open House Martial Cottle
11/16/19 Gilroy Library: Cornucopia Table Decoration Craft at Gilroy Library
11/16/19 Gilroy: Harvest Moon Dinner and Dance
11/19/19 San Jose: County Board of Supervisors Meeting
11/21/19 Morgan Hill: LGBTQ Community Listening Forum
11/22/19 Gilroy Library: ESL Conversation Club/Club de Conversacion de ESL
11/23/19 San Jose: Know-A-Vet Veterans Resource Tent
11/24/19 San Jose: Quicksilver History Hike
12/2/19 San Jose: County of Santa Clara Business Diversity Fair
12/3/19 Saratoga Library: Wreathmaking Workshop
12/6/19 Los Gatos: Holiday Tree Lighting
12/7/19 Los Gatos: Children's Christmas/Holidays Parade
12/7/19 Gilroy: Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
12/7 - 12/30/19 Los Gatos: Fantasy of Lights walk Through
12/8/19 San Jose: Mindful Walking in Nature
12/9/19 Cupertino: LGBTQ Community Listening Forum
12/10/19 San Jose: County Board of Supervisors Meeting
12/11/19 Campbell: SCCLD Distinguished Authors Series
12/14/19 Gilroy: Breakfast with Santa
12/14/19 Los Gatos: Wreaths Across America Ceremony
12/15/19 San Jose: Victorian Holiday Living History
12/17/19 San Jose: County Board of Supervisors Meeting
12/18/19 Gilroy: Wreaths Across America Ceremony
Community Announcements
First Installment of Santa Clara County’s 2019/2020 Property Taxes Due
The County of Santa Clara Department of Tax and Collections has mailed out the 2019 – 2020 property tax bills to all property owners at the addresses shown on the tax roll. Tax payments are due starting on Friday, November 1, 2019 and unpaid property taxes will become delinquent if not paid by 5 pm on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. There are free and easy options for making property tax payments such as using the SCC DTAC mobile app on the County of Santa Clara Department of Tax and Collections website.

San Jose Art Museum Docent Recruitment
San Jose Museum of Art is recruiting for its 2020 “Let’s Look at Art” docent class. Give back to your community in a meaningful way by becoming a part of the largest arts education program in Santa Clara County. Docents are trained to take portfolio art into K-5 classrooms or digital art into 6-12 classrooms and give FREE presentations that foster communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills. No previous art experience is required. Email vol4llaa@sjmusart.org for more information or call 408-291-5393.

Santa Clara County Library District Holiday Food Drive
From Nov 4, 2019 - Jan 10, 2020 all SCCLD locations including the Services and Support Center are hosting a food drive. All food donations go to Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Please bring non-perishable canned and boxed items you can spare to any one of our libraries, including the Bookmobile, to help those less fortunate enjoy the holiday season. A list of the most needed items is available at http://bit.ly/2JmWltH/.

Santa Clara County Library District Wins Two Major Awards for Major Initiatives
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) has received a pair of major honors for the innovative efforts that its staff has embarked on over the past year. The accolades come from the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) which represents 150 North American libraries, and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). The ULC award is for SCCLD’s “Lending Mindfulness: A Mental Health App Pilot” which gained the reward in the Wellness, Safety & Sustainability category for showcasing out of the box thinking and creative applications of library resources. The CSAC reward granted to SCCLD was the Challenge Award in Administration of Justice & Public Safety because of the Rise up partnership that is a multi-pronged intervention program aimed at helping parents of youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

 
Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman is an elected official representing District 1, which includes Gilroy, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, San Martin, parts of San Jose, and surrounding unincorporated areas.

Office of Supervisor Mike Wasserman - County of Santa Clara
70 W. Hedding St.
East Wing, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
United States
408-299-5040
district1@bos.sccgov.org


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