From Four Wheels to Two!

What would you do if you couldn't drive? For some of you that's a simple question, maybe you don't own a car, or you have given it up and you are very familiar with what you would do and how you would go about day to day. For me, as a product of the Western United States and specifically the Silicon Valley, I have had my driver's license since my 16th birthday and up until last year I couldn't really remember what it was like to depend on other means of transportation to go about my day. Riding a bike for me was a leisure or sporting activity that I would do time to time, riding the Light Rail was sporadic throughout the year, and walking or taking the bus to get somewhere happened even less. Entering public office last year I really took the time to consider what it means to be a "Representative" of and for the community and one of the early ideas I had was to personally experience life without my car. So last year I challenged myself and gave up driving for an entire month, which worked itself out to fit perfect during bike month in May.
 
This year I am once again repeating my challenge and I am already a few days into life without my car. I can certainly say it looks to be a much smoother shift. After arriving sweaty and late to several meetings, having my bike stolen and riding nearly 100% of the time without a helmet last year, I have now learned from my mistakes and am much more prepared to take on the challenge again. Living a few blocks from a Light Rail station and just a mere 15-20 minute bike ride from City Hall, I can honestly say I have little excuse for not trying to "park" my car more often. Not only is it better for my own personal health, it is a benefit to our entire community and to this Earth. Don't get me wrong, it's not exactly easy, it does make long trips difficult and it takes longer to get from place to place, but I feel better knowing that I can survive without needing to drive. In fact one of the best experiences is when I am able to carpool and hitch a ride with one of my council colleagues or other individuals. It's just not something we do enough of.  Often times, we all head to the same place but feel so accustomed to driving ourselves there. I have enjoyed the random encounters and conversations and I look forward to many more this year.
 
To all my fellow bicyclists, feel free to cheer me on and tell me I still look "cool" when you see me riding around with my helmet this year. To all my fellow drivers please look out for those of us on two wheels and more importantly try to challenge yourself to join us, either for the month or for Bike to Work Day May 12th

Gratefully,

There are also many new highlights and upcoming events in our district that are noteworthy this month:  
#D3Decides Participatory Budget Winners

Congratulations to the following projects that had the highest votes within the frame of the $100,000 allotment. 
District 3 Community Budget Meeting

Join Councilmember Raul Peralez and Mayor Sam Liccardo for this year's District 3 Community Budget Meeting. This is an opportunity to share your priorities for projects and services you want to see in your community!  

Date: Monday, May 23          
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara Street
Community Meeting on Medical Marijuana

Please join Councilmember Raul Peralez and staff from the San José City Manager's Office at an important meeting on the subject of medical marijuana in San José and Measure C (the citizens' initiative on the local ballot in June). If passed, Measure C would replace the City's current medical marijuana program.
 
Date: Wednesday, May 11          
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara Street
It's Happening in the Parks
Plaza de Cesar Chavez and St. James Park will transformed into an urban getaway with food trucks, music and activities happening throughout spring and summer.  Bring your coworkers, friends, and family to eat, relax and play!

Farmers' Markets in the District

As summer is approaching, many Farmers' Markets are reopening throughout the district.  Take some time out to support local businesses and get your hands on fresh fruit, vegetables and artisan products!

Welcome Heidi Sickler!

We are happy to welcome our new policy analyst and D3 team member, Heidi Sickler. 

Heidi grew up in Southern California and has a deep understanding of the issues that matter most to Californians, including safe streets, K-12 education and affordable housing. She worked for more than a decade on Capitol Hill, serving U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN), and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), and in the City of Los Angeles, supporting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  A native Spanish speaker, Heidi taught Spanish language in classrooms across Los Angeles.  In 2010, Heidi won both the Livable Streets Government Worker of the Year Award and the American Planning Association Hard Won Victory Award, both for efforts to improve transportation in Los Angeles.  Heidi holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Carleton College.

Heidi may be contacted at heidi.sickler@sanjoseca.gov.
Coffee with my Councilmember
D3 neighbors are invited to come out for some one-on-one face time at our casual "Coffee with My Councilmember" on Saturday, 5/28 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Bestor Art Park in the Spartan Keyes Neighborhood at S. 6th & Bestor St.   
 
Can't make it that weekend?  Each month, I'll host a similar chat at rotating venues throughout the district.  Join me next month at Jon-Jon's BBQ at  1305 Oakland Road  on Saturday, 6/25 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
LOCAL BUSINESS CORNER
WHAT'S THE BIZ?
The Get Down
In the heart of Japantown, San José, The Get Down is a dance studio that offers a unique style that incorporates boogaloo, hip hop, house, locking, popping, top-rocking and waacking with salsa, bachata and other popular Latin dances. 
GOOD EATS IN D3!
Ola's Exotic Coffee specializes in premium wild African coffees and teas, from the fertile mountains and lakes of the continent where all coffee originates.  This rich environment allows their coffee beans to have superior flavor, and still contain a low acid content.  Come and try their delicious coffee, teas and assorted pastries.

OUT & ABOUT IN D3
CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS BELOW TO LEARN MORE.

Thu, May 12 -  ImagineSJ Showcase #8 Spoken Word Poetry Host and poet Michael McGee, also known as Mighty Mike McGee, and a diverse panel of speakers will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing local spoken word poets. 

Fri, May 13Doin' It In The Park!FutureArtsNow! in conjunction with San José Jazz will be bringing an open dance circle to Parque De Los Pablodores Friday May 13th 5:00p-8:30p. Some of the Bay Area best Hip Hop dancers will be competing, performing and giving free dance tutorials. Join us for music, dance, and authentic Hip Hop culture.
 
Sun, May 15 - Joy from Planet Earth to the Firmament - Join Mission Chamber Orchestra  and San José Symphonic Choir in celebrating MCO's 20th anniversary with a joint concert at the beautiful California Theater in downtown San José, featuring Jon Nakamatsu in the premiere of a new piano concerto, Beethoven's famous Ninth Symphony with the famous Ode to Joy, and more!

Sun, May 15Áo Dài FestivalThis multi-dimensional experience that celebrates Vietnamese art and culture returns to downtown San José.  Dancers and stilt walkers dressed in the traditional Áo Dài and scores of musicians and drummers ignite the festivities in a spectacular pre-show outdoor ceremony set against a tapestry of colored flags and red silk banners.

Tue, May 17 - 2016 Sacramento Bus TripThis year marks the 14th Anniversary of the Sacramento Bus Trip for concerned residents advocating for public education fundingEducation advocates, parents, students, community and neighborhood leaders throughout Santa Clara County are invited to attend.  Space is limited.

May 20-22 -   J-Town FilmFest San José - An all volunteer-run effort by a diverse team of community members, the film festival showcases independent films primarily by Asian and Pacific Island American filmmakers and offers quality programming, giving the community a chance to interact with the creative talents behind these films.

Fri, May 20 Building Our Future: The 2016 Youth Conference - Each year, in an effort to empower youth across the City of San José, The Youth Commission hosts a citywide Youth Conference. The 2016 Youth Conference, entitled "Building our Future," aims to inform, inspire and empower youth to overcome obstacles and barriers in order to become the agents of change in their community! 

Wed, May 25 - Building Permits & Home Safety Presentations and Open HouseCome to the City of San José Building Division's Open House and learn about permits and inspections for single-family remodeling, additions and new home design. 
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