December 2009 E-Newsletter
Since August, I’ve been out in the community listening to people talk about the issues and events affecting their lives. Time after time, they are telling me this recession is hitting them hard.
They are losing their jobs, their health coverage, and their homes. Their children’s dreams of attending college are vanishing.
These folks have played by the rules all their lives only to find out there was a different set of rules for us and Wall Street. To be sure, they have a right to be angry.
But the only thing I’ve heard them ask for is advice on how they can get back on their feet again. They’re not looking for a hand out. They’re looking for a hand up.
So, I am going to do my best to provide that helping hand. I’m taking action by holding a series of economic recovery meetings -- meetings aimed at helping the unemployed and getting answers to their questions about how to find a new job.
At this point, I have scheduled two sessions:
- Resource Fair and Special Presentation from the state Employment Development Department
Friday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., San Jose City College, Student Center, 2100 Moorpark Ave., San Jose.
Essential information on how to navigate the Employment Development Department, apply for unemployment benefits, and public health insurance options for the unemployed.
- Workforce Trends and Employer Panel Breakfast
Saturday, Jan. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Camden Community Center, 3369 Union Ave., San Jose.
Topics include employment trends, short- and long-term job opportunities, and discussions by employers.
Based on the response these meetings generate, I may convene more economic recovery meetings in the months to come.
And please visit the “Job Help’’ page on my Assembly website for job sites, job-hunting tips, and more.
TALK TO ME
I will be continuing my neighborhood Coffee Klatsches to hear what’s on your minds.
- On Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., I will be at the Coffee Net, 4720 Meridian Ave., San Jose, to discuss state issues with you.
- On Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., I will be at City Espresso, 630 Blossom Hill Road, #50, San Jose. It is located in the same shopping area as the Outback Steakhouse restaurant.
You can schedule a five-minute appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. prior to either of these meetings. The number of appointments is limited and they are parceled out on a first-come, first-served basis.
To request an appointment call the Assembly District 24 in San Jose, 408.282.8920. If you call during off-hours be sure to leave your name, your address, and a contact phone number.
Please be mindful, the appointments will need to be kept to a strict 5-minute schedule to accommodate everyone who wants to chat before the meeting starts. Late arrivals risk losing their appointments.
FIXING THE INTERSTATE 280/880 INTERCHANGE
I have been working hard with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to secure $32 million in state money to streamline one of the Valley’s most congested connections: the Interstate 280 and 880 interchange that brings drivers to and from Valley Fair and Santana Row.
The $32 million represents roughly 20 percent of the estimated $150 million project. The funds will help pay for the planning of the project and the early phases of construction. We expect the funds to be approved later this month or early next year. The project is scheduled to being construction in 2011pending full funding. It is projected to be completed in 2013.
The first phase of the project includes an upgrade to the I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange and a new, direct connector ramp from northbound I-280 to northbound I-880. It would separate freeway-to-freeway traffic from vehicles heading toward Stevens Creek Boulevard.
The I-880/I-280/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange Improvement Project overhauls an antiquated interchange that was never planned to accommodate the levels of traffic we see today. Improving the interchange will improve safety while eliminating tons of greenhouse gas pollutants that are now emitted from the tailpipes of idling vehicles caught in traffic.