Rally for Housing Fairness at Mountain View City Hall

Rally at Mountain View City Council – Tuesday, July 1, 6:30 pm
For Housing Fairness

Opponents to Rally Against San Antonio Center Phase 2 Development

Contact: Lenny Siegel, 650-961-8918 lsiegel@cpeo.org
Website: http://balancedmv.org/

Supporters of the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View will rally outside Mountain View City Hall (500 Castro Street, Mountain View) on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm to oppose the pending approval of the San Antonio Center Phase 2 Development proposal.

Following the rally, they will offer testimony at a public hearing, asking that consideration be delayed until the completion of the San Antonio Precise Plan, currently scheduled for late this year. They will also call upon the Council to replace the proposed office buildings with medium-to-high density housing above retail.

The San Antonio Center is located along San Antonio Road between California Street and El Camino Real. Merlone Geier Partners (MGP) is proposing to construct two office buildings projected to employ 2,500 people, a 167-room hotel, movie theaters, and no housing. MGP has also come under fire for its “elbowing aside” of the popular, locally owned adjacent Milk Pail market.

On June 18 Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend that Phase 2 be delayed and that housing be included in the plan. If the Council approves the development proposal Tuesday night and confirms that vote the following week, the Campaign will immediately begin collecting signatures for a ballot referendum. It needs 3,254 valid signatures of Mountain View voters within 30 days to prevent project implementation and place a measure on a special election ballot early next year.

The Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View was formed earlier this year to address the city’s worsening jobs-housing imbalance. Mountain View’s explosive employment growth-including expansion by tech giant Google-is aggravating a housing shortage that is driving up rents and home prices, forcing long-time residents to move out and making it difficult for new employees to buy homes in Mountain regional roadways.

Higher pay, sick days, business ratings: Santa Clara County mulls big labor changes

A sweeping labor policy proposal winding through Santa Clara County’s political process could raise wages for public employees, require paid sick days for workers and implement a new labor-friendliness ranking for businesses based on benefits plans.

While major metro areas like San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Seattle have seen similar reform efforts play out individually in recent years, the initial effort in Silicon Valley to combine the set of policies appears to be unprecedented. It’s also likely to run into familiar warnings about job cuts and other negative economic impacts from business advocacy groups or employers whose bottom lines stand to be impacted by labor cost increases.

“We decided to be as inclusive as we could be with the report,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who has championed the proposal now being studied by county staff along with fellow supervisor and labor-backed San Jose mayoral hopeful Dave Cortese. “The next two months are really for the county executive’s office to do the legwork and get a sense of how broad we want to be.”

The focal point of the new proposal is the county’s living wage, or the pay required for county staff and contractors (as opposed to the minimum wage required for all workers). The city of San Jose has a living wage law on the books that ties pay for city workers and contractors to area costs of living, which — in a market roughly 87 percent more expensive than the average U.S. city — pencils out to $17.81 per hour for employees with health benefits or $19.06 without.

“The idea is to create an economy where everyone is self-sufficient,” said Ben Field, executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. He added that the county’s position as a major employer could be a jumping off point for broader reforms, since it “sets the standard for employment practices.”