It was an overflow crowd at last night’s town hall. 300 community members — from residents to low-wage tech workers to programmers — came together in East San Jose, calling for Google and City officials to sit at the table with us to define the vision for the company’s downtown mega-campus.
The overwhelming message from the crowd was both hope and concern about jobs and housing. Literally every person in the room said they or their families and friends are struggling with housing prices. Jobs in the low-wage industries serving tech, like janitors and cafeteria workers, are growing faster than the high-wage tech jobs.
Tech development has become disconnected from the daily realities of our communities. The only way this project makes things better – not worse – is with our communities at the table.
Thanks to Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco for welcoming us all, sitting down with the folks there, and calling to, in her words, “make sure that the community is fully engaged and…no one is left behind in that progress.”
This is just the beginning. The City of San Jose and Google have yet to lay out a plan for how they will engage the community, but we’re not waiting. The next town hall will be September 20 at 6pm in downtown San Jose.