At last week’s Milpitas City Council meeting, councilmembers voted unanimously for Evelyn Chua to continue in her role as Vice Mayor. Chua, who began serving on the Council in 2020, has served as Vice Mayor since December 2022. At the December 12 council meeting, Chua’s granddaughter, Annalyn Bui, swore her in to her second Vice Mayoral term.
Vice Mayor Chua spoke to The Beat over the phone after the meeting.
“I never turn down a meeting with the community. I always listen. That’s how I think I’m effective. That’s how I know all the different opinions,” said Chua. “I listen to them and apply that to my decisions at the dais.”
When asked about the things she would like to tackle during her second year as Vice Mayor, Chua brought up various priorities that were of utmost importance to her.
She spoke of the necessity of educating the community on fentanyl.
“We need to look at the statistics and see what’s happening regarding fentanyl in Milpitas. We have to educate the residents,” spoke Vice Mayor Chua. “MUSD is doing a good job at educating the students but we need to educate the rest of the community.”
To combat the fentanyl epidemic, she mentioned the possibility of providing resources on the City website. And since she feels that City commissioners are an extension of the community, she’d like to explore more ways to get them aware and involved.
Chua would also like to increase the number of businesses and contractors that do business with the City of Milpitas.
“If we have a business that’s in Milpitas, why not work with that business?” asked Vice Mayor Chua.
She also plans to find ways to reduce retail, car, business, and residential thefts.
Also high on her list of priorities is looking into VI-SPDAT, a survey program that can assess the health and social needs of unhoused individuals and match them with the most appropriate support and housing interventions available.
“I would like to explore VI-SPDAT and figure out if we can change the tool to help in the selection process by using AI and reverse engineering,” shared Chua.
The Beat asked Vice Mayor Chua about what she was proudest of accomplishing during her time on the Council so far. She named a myriad of items, like her involvement in initiating a $1.5M ARPA grant for small businesses, starting ADU Mondays, naming Delano Manongs Park, and making the catalytic converter program a reality. She also spoke of her work on an initiative to have the Senior Center open on Saturdays from 9am to noon. The Vice Mayor also led the way toward removing the $1 fee for use of the senior center gym.
When asked what she has learned during her time as Vice Mayor, Chua spoke of fiscal responsibility…
“My first year as Vice Mayor, I learned a lot about the budget. I know more now coming into 2024,” Chua told The Beat. “That’s why I don’t believe in just having the Vice Mayor position for one term. One term is spent looking and learning. The second year you’re even more effective.”