On behalf of the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Milpitas Beat and the SJCC Milpitas Extension for co-hosting the Mayoral Candidates’ Forum with us on Saturday, Oct. 1. With all mayoral candidates and about 60 people in attendance, it was a great event and an opportunity for residents to learn more about the candidates.
However, we want to address a response to a question asked by an attendee to the candidates regarding the lack of development and attention by the City of Milpitas to the area around Dixon Road in the Sunnyhills neighborhood. One candidate mistakenly said that the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association is a new organization that is not focussed on beautifying it because “they don’t even live in Sunnyhills.”
Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association (SNA) has been in existence since 1998, and is not new. The purpose of SNA, as stated in the Articles of Incorporation, is to “educate the public in the skills of public life and community-building as well as instruction in Arts, Music, and Science.” Development and beautification of neighborhoods is in fact the responsibility of the City and property owners.
The Sunnyhills Neighborhood area, as defined by the Association, runs from the Fremont border in the North, to Jacklin road in the South, and from North Milpitas Blvd. on the West to 680 on the East. Membership, according to the bylaws, is open to any resident of Milpitas, and the majority of our Board members live within the Sunnyhills neighborhood boundaries and many have lived in the neighborhood for decades. Board members are not required to live in the area, which is why Carmen Montano (who lives in the Pines) was able to be elected to our board in 2017.
While neighborhood beautification is not the primary focus of our tiny but mighty group, we have partnered with the City performing cleanups of Parks and Creeks in our area. In addition, a member of the SNA board who was on the General Plan Advisory Committee identified the need for redevelopment along Dixon Road. Several members of our board have recently participated in the Housing Element Update process, and made comments related to the Sunnyhills area. Some of us also participated in the Trail, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Master Plan workshops where we highlighted the need for better trails and bikeways in the neighborhood.
In addition to these activities, we instituted an annual Milpitas High School scholarship award of $1,000. We host an annual free Halloween Party for neighborhood families with live music, crafts, snacks, and other activities – with assistance from the City and County. Monthly, we host a presentation and discussion on issues of importance to our neighborhood, city, and region (including this candidates forum). We are looking forward to co-sponsoring an exciting event this spring (more details to follow). Recently, we obtained a $15,000 grant from the County to support community building and integration with Sunnyhills Apartments Tenants – a group we helped found to preserve affordable housing.
With more active members, we could do even more! We welcome and encourage anyone with an interest in improving the Sunnyhills Neighborhood to join our Association, and even better, to stand for election to our board at our annual meeting on November 5. SNA will continue working as a team to prepare our neighborhood for the future while keeping true to our history as an inclusive and diverse neighborhood.
On behalf of the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association,
Allysson McDonald, Board President