New Housing Subcommittee Starts Meeting  

On Tuesday, May 21, the Housing Subcommittee occupied by Councilmembers Bob Nuñez and Carmen Montano met for the first time.

“This was the first meeting of the Subcommittee, and it’s in the early stages of forming a plan to alleviate the high cost of rent to our working families,” shared Councilmember Montano.

The Subcommittee was formed at the May 7 council meeting, after emergency ordinances for just cause and rent control failed to pass. (The vote was 3-2, with Councilmembers Nuñez, Montano, and Anthony Phan against the ordinances, and Mayor Rich Tran and Vice Mayor Karina Dominguez for them.)

“I thought the meeting went really well,” Councilmember Nuñez told The Milpitas Beat in an interview. “We were able to spell out those things we wanted to do…for the homeless, for affordable housing, and for renters…”

Nuñez mentioned how the Subcommittee really intends to dig in and find ways to provide relief and support during the housing crisis, by addressing not only the needs of low-income tenants, but the community on the whole.

“We want to make sure what we’re doing is helping Milpitas residents overall,” said Nuñez. “There’s this thing about the working poor who don’t qualify for anything, and how no one’s looking out for their best interests. We want to be able to address that also.”

Some ideas that were mentioned at the meeting:

  • Looking for grants from corporations and government agencies.
  • Creating a funding source (with revenue from Airbnb and the Transient Occupancy Tax) that would help families under economic stress.
  • Working with the school district to support homeless families.
  • Offering summer jobs to low-income students.
  • Subsidizing garbage and water utilities through an emergency fund.

The Housing Subcommittee will be meeting at 3PM two Tuesdays a month (just before the regularly scheduled City Council meetings).

The public is welcome to attend.

 

Mayor Rich Tran Now Running for State Assembly in 2020

Early on the morning of May 22, Milpitas’ Mayor Rich Tran announced on Facebook that he would be no longer be running for District 3’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and will instead run for State Assembly. The idea to switch gears started forming in his mind when he received a phone call from Assemblymember Kansen Chu a couple weeks ago; Chu expressed to Tran that he himself had decided to run for County Supervisor.

“For 30 minutes, we talked about many reasons why he was going to run in a race that I was also in, and for 30 minutes I understood why he wanted to come home from Sacramento,” Tran wrote. “You’d have to go back a couple years to understand my relationship with the Assemblymember. When I first started out, it was hard to get a meeting with elected officials, I was a nobody. Kansen was the first elected official that met with me before all of this and treated me as a human being. Not all politicians do that.”

Mayor Tran went on to write: “So I’m no longer running for Santa Clara County Supervisor and will be supporting Kansen Chu in that race. He’s got the leadership to serve Milpitas and Santa Clara County. Instead of running for the same seat, grounding and pounding through campaign season, I have made the decision to show my respect for someone that has done very much for many.”

 

General Plan Update 

As part of the Tuesday 5/21 City Council meeting, a consultant team and staff gave a General Plan update and presented a Land Use Alternatives Report. The purpose of the General Plan is to create a vision for the ways in which the city will evolve through land use and development, which will undoubtedly impact economic growth, housing, traffic, and conservation.

A good amount of time was spent exploring 14 different areas in Milpitas where opportunities may exist over the next 20 years to improve and shape the city’s development.

 

CERT Team Recognized 

At the last Council meeting, members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were recognized. During a presentation, Emergency Services Coordinator Toni Charlop said, “These are the individuals who we recognize this evening because of the time and dedication given to the city. They’ve spent over 20 hours in the CERT program, learning how to do items such as cribbing, search and rescue, fire and suppression, utility controls, medical triage…”

 

Spring Clean-Up Participants Recognized 

Also at the last Council meeting: Participants from the Community Advisory Commission’s Annual Mobile Home Park clean-up received recognition.

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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