The best word to sum up the League in September is “Action!” Thanks to the diligent, behind-the-scenes work of several of our members, the League was aware of and able to comment on three important issues in our community before public agencies made final decisions. The subjects of each of these fall within our Priorities for 2021-2022 approved by our members at our Annual Meeting last June:
Climate Change/Natural Resources: We commented on the Community Forest Management Plan produced by a consultant for the San Jose Department of Transportation (DOT) describing an “urban greening” project coming before the City Council. After our initial letter, the League was invited to meet with DOT staff. We wrote a second letter supporting the staff report that DOT sent to the City Council’s Transportation & Environment Committee.
San Jose Governance: We commented on a proposal by the San Jose Charter Review Commission on the subject of emergency powers for the Mayor.
Homelessness/Affordable Housing: We supported a proposal coming to the San Jose City Council for Emergency Interim Housing in a municipal parking lot for unhoused people.
You can read these, and previous, letters at “Letters to Public Officials”.
Pulling together these letters is no small task. League members are encouraged to monitor the agenda items of various councils, commission and committees in our area and to alert us when they notice an issue that is important to the League. We analyze the issues and ensure our recommendations are supported by the League principles and priorities reflected in our positions. The Board of Directors or our five-member Executive Committee must approve each letter. Sometimes, there is very little time between when the agenda item is spotted and when the letter should be submitted. It can be a challenge to meet deadlines, but I am so proud of the way our team works together and responds quickly when needed.
We want more people to be involved to help us monitor what is happening in our cities. Although our primary focus is on San Jose, our League is also committed to serving the people of Santa Clara, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy. We need more “boots on the ground” in these communities to let us know when something important may be coming up before their city council or other governmental body. Your Board is considering ways to effectively organize this “Observer Corps.”
Are you interested in helping us monitor our local legislative bodies to further support the interests of all residents? Let us know by contacting Vicki Alexander, our Director of Action.
Action is not limited to the local arena.
Perhaps you are interested in influencing state or federal legislators! You can sign up to receive periodic emails with Action Alerts about the League's current legislative work. They will let you know when you, as an individual, can be a grassroots advocate. Sign up for California Action or Federal Action today!
Honore de Balzac once said “It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.” The League is here to help us all do both. Join us!
Stay safe and Healthy!!!