San Jose, Calif.—On Thursday, March 22, The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO) took official positions on three key ballot measures on the June 2018 ballot in Santa Clara County: Measure B, Regional Measure 3, and Measure G.
“As a member-based organization, our goal is always to advocate for a business-friendly regulatory climate that encourages businesses to locate and expand in Silicon Valley,” said Matt Mahood, The SVO’s President & CEO. “Measures that offer much needed revenue to bolster the transportation systems that move our workforce; parcel taxes that invest in our local youth; and policies that clear the way for more housing translate into a better quality of life for us all.”
The SVO is taking a neutral position on Measure B – the Evergreen Senior Homes initiative. While The SVO strongly supports the initiative’s stated goals of creating new housing stock to address the current housing crisis facing the entire Silicon Valley, the initiative’s proposed “senior housing” overlay will override the city’s General Plan, exempt itself from specific transportation requirements typically required of similar developments, and create a precedent that may encourage more “ballot box” land use decisions.
While there are currently plans to add 2,500 residential units in the Berryessa area, near the new BART station and another 1,000 residential units proposed for the downtown SOFA district, the city of San Jose must do more to encourage the development of new market rate and workforce housing residential units - even in those areas that have traditionally been viewed as “employment lands” only. This would require changes to the existing General Plan and the city’s current land use policies.
Along with this position and consistent with our past stances on regional transportation improvements, The SVO is supporting Regional Measure 3 - The Bay Area Bridge Toll Tax. This tax, a nine-country regional measure will fund $4.45 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements - including $605 million in improvements specifically to San Jose’s BART Phase II extension, Eastridge to BART Regional Connector and San Jose Diridon Station.
The SVO Board also voted to support Measure G – the East Side Union High School District’s $49 parcel tax to maintain 21st century science, technology, engineering, math, reading and writing instruction; college preparation’ career/technical education in computers, arts heads-on science, business; and to attract/retain high quality teachers, counselors and staff.