Final month, the San Jose Metropolis Council voted on a brand new electoral district map—carving out boundaries that may affect how our communities are represented for the following 10 years.
Whereas the district map adopted by the Metropolis Council makes an attempt to handle a legacy of racial segregation that continues to affect our area in areas like South San Jose, in some ways the brand new map will proceed to silence communities of shade in a few of San Jose’s most various neighborhoods.
We’re upset particularly in Councilmember David Cohen who voted in opposition to his personal proposal. The top end result, which pivoted towards sustaining an imbalance of political energy in our metropolis, suppresses the votes of African/African American ancestry, Asian and Latino voters and renters.
In District 6, an space outlined by redlining and racial covenants, Councilmember Cohen opposed his personal plan to create a extra equitable district retaining the varied space of Canoas Gardens. After hours of testimony from the neighborhood supporting Cohen’s unique proposal, he finally broke his phrase and sided with Councilmembers Dev Davis, Pam Foley and Matt Mahan’s plan to maneuver extremely predominately neighborhoods of shade out of District 6. His vote elevated a white voting majority in District 6 and blocked a map that would have elevated Black, Latino and renter voter illustration by about 15% every.
Fairly than crack down on the divisive and deceptive ways utilized by conservative activists meant to pit Asian and Latino communities in opposition to one another—and supported by Mayor Sam Liccardo—Councilmember Cohen selected to align himself with these similar conservative forces, because of this, failing San Jose’s communities of shade.
It’s necessary to notice, it’s not the primary time. When a large coalition of small, family-owned companies have been threatened with displacement by the redevelopment of the Berryessa Flea Market, we noticed Cohen facet with company builders, massive donors and company lobbyists.
Councilmember Cohen’s readiness to ignore the wants of San Jose’s most frequently ignored residents speaks volumes to the place his priorities lie. Whereas he touts himself as an ideal compromiser, the one factor he continues to compromise is the well-being of communities of shade, renters and dealing households.
As these similar communities proceed to be displaced by skyrocketing housing prices and stagnant wages, we can’t create extra limitations for change. We is not going to stay silent as particular curiosity teams and conservative forces work time beyond regulation to control coverage selections and whereas sure members of our council act as allies in hoarding energy for the few.
We additionally rejoice the overwhelming quantity of engagement all through a months-long redistricting course of, through which week after week, folks from all corners of our metropolis got here collectively to create progress in San Jose.
Transferring ahead, we are going to proceed to work hand in hand with our communities towards a simply San Jose through which every voice has equal standing and each neighborhood has equal sources.
Jahmal Williams is co-chair of the Black Management Kitchen Cupboard Silicon Valley. Victor Garza is chair of the La Raza Roundtable. Paul Fong is president of the chief board of the South Bay Labor Council.