August 5, 2021
How sweet it is – Summertime! What’s not to love about Summer in Los Gatos, okay maybe the cut-through beach traffic, but besides that there is not much. The Promenades have even made it more special this summer - thanks to all of you. We are hoping to bring a series of Promenades back for y’all next summer. This August newsletter has some salt in it as well though, so if interested read on and form your own opinion.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk with a young man about our Town, about the Chamber and our County, as well as our country, homelessness and affordable housing, politics and about his aspirations and mine. To say it was inspirational and hopeful would be an understatement. The conversation was so refreshing and fun. There are people who still believe in democracy, who still believe they can make a difference, who still believe we can accomplish our goals and can find solutions to the big problems we face. Were we all so idealistic when we were in our early twenties - I know I was. At what point did we give up and think our efforts were futile or in vain? At what point did our perspective change? 

The conversation did get me thinking about our small-town Chamber of Commerce and who we are, what we believe. We try to be relevant and important. Chambers are unique in this way because they are a direct reflection of a Town’s business community, its government and its residents. A Chamber embodies a town’s personality, and has the distinct advantage of staying one step out of politics. Once a week, we ask ourselves, “What should we be promoting and for what we are fighting?” We think about what our members and the community would answer, but our personal beliefs also play a part. I just hope we get it mostly right.

Personally, I am kind of frustrated that our County Health officials are mandating that we all have to wear masks again. What the heck, truth be told, half the reason I got the vaccine was to not wear a mask. The other half of my reasoning was that I felt it was the right thing to do. I cannot tell you all what to do, only you can make that decision. Unfortunately, here we are, again, facing Covid adversity and as frustrated as I am for the sake of the country and the world’s health, maybe wearing a mask for a few more months is okay.

A few other inquiries caught my attention this week. One middle-aged gentleman queried that if the Chamber supported the efforts of the Los Gatos Anti-Racism Coalition, then we must be in favor of defunding the police as that is one of their charters. For the record, yes, the Los Gatos Chamber does support the efforts of the Anti-Racism Coalition. That group has helped us navigate an interesting time in history; one that needs reflection. Through their eyes, we have been enlightened to the fact that maybe Los Gatos can be more welcoming and inclusive. We are not going to change suddenly overnight, but there is nothing wrong with listening and learning and critically thinking. However, we have a great police department and I am awed by the fact that they are open to looking inward, making changes and becoming more transparent. Defunding the police has never meant getting rid of the police department, rather it means doing some analysis. Change is okay.

Lastly, and wow, the Town’s General Plan Proposal in the 9th hour (not even the 11th), particularly the housing element, sure brought a lot of people out on NextDoor. There will be many more iterations of this Plan. Everyone has plenty of chances to weigh in before the Plan is signed and sealed. Even then, you are still going to have many chances to give input. In fact, Council decided to add up to 4 members to the Housing Element Committee. Now is your chance to apply and be part of the solution.

To the outside observer, one would think we will have 4000 new housing units built in the next few weeks and there will be at least 10,000 new people moving into Town by the end of the year. Really? Is common sense no longer a thing? The General Plan is a plan. The Housing Element is part of that plan. We are planning, wisely I might add, for the next 20 years. Many factors will weigh into the many changes that will ultimately happen in those 20 years. A plan is a thoughtful, well-designed roadmap, where our Town Council, Planning Commission, Housing Element Subcommittee and staff will focus their energy. The RHNA numbers may go up or may go down after the first 8 years of the plan. No one knows. It is highly unlikely that our Town will ever have too much housing.

Right now, our concern should be that right now we need some affordable housing. We need workforce housing; places where our teachers and our restaurant workers can live; places where our fireman and police officers can live, homes or condos that our children can afford to buy, or where our parents can live. We do not have an adequate supply right now and we sure have not held up our end of the deal these last 20 years when we said we would build some of this housing. Building affordable housing is our civic duty and responsibility, and wouldn’t you rather be in the Director’s Chair on this one, deciding how and where we are going build it, instead of allowing the State to do it for us? In addition, just because we plan for it, doesn’t necessarily mean it will get built – it is a plan and an opportunity. A developer still needs to be interested, apply for permits, get public input and build. If we hold up this Plan, we are potentially giving the farm away. Let’s own it and be a part of making this Plan a good one. Look around, the towns that are vibrant and thriving have diversity in all forms, in culture, in age, in interests. I think we should all rally around getting that General Plan passed. Growth is healthy and okay.

If I was still in my twenties, I wonder if Covid, the misunderstanding of the critical race theory, defunding the Police and affordable housing would seem like small obstacles standing in the way of peace and equality in the world? Like that young man I met yesterday, I am hoping I would have thought they were just minor bumps in the road. We need those young idealists and dreamers around so that we don’t give up. Anything is possible, but we do have to stay calm, listen to each other, compromise and vow to work together. 

Form your opinion and give me a call if you think you think I need to change mine.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you out at the Promenade.
Cheers to the sweet summer of 2021. 
Catherine 
Thursday Promenades
Thursdays through August 12


Join us to celebrate summer!

Every Thursday evening through August 12, N. Santa Cruz Avenue will be closed from Main to Bachman from 3-8pm.

Stroll the Promenade, enjoy live music and take advantage of Los Gatos’ wonderful boutiques and restaurants.

Experience the best of Los Gatos with friends and family.
Live Music
North Stage (Bachman & Santa Cruz) 4:30 pm
South Stage (Main & Santa Cruz) 5:30 pm
Volunteering at the Promenades...
We'd love your help with our Thursday Promenades. We need Ambassadors to be out and about at several locations to answer questions (When do the bands start? Which bands are playing? Where are the restrooms? etc) and help to help ensure that the event goes smoothly.
Photos from the Promenades...
End of Summer Celebration
Saturday, September 4, 1-8pm
We are so excited to host an End of Summer Celebration on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 4 from 1-8pm.  The event will be at Town Plaza and Montebello Way (the street will be closed). Three bands will perform:
House Rockers
We are planning to offer family fun, street performances, a wine and beer tent and much more. 

Thanks to our sponsors! We couldn't do it without you.
Presenting Sponsor:
Stage Sponsor:
Kids Zone Sponsor
Booth Sponsors
More sponsorships available. Contact Randi for information
Los Gatos Wine Walk
Saturday, October 2, 1-4pm
Save the Date for the Wine Walk! Saturday, October 2, 1-4pm.
Tickets on sale in mid-August.

Thank you to our Glass Sponsor:
Welcome New Chamber Members
Los Gatos Music & Arts & Linda L. Lester
present
The Gala
Sunday, September 26 at La Estancia Estate, Los Gatos
featuring vocalist Dr. Kim Nalley
Dr. Kim Nalley has been awarded "Most Influential African American in the Bay Area" in 2005 and "Best Jazz Group" in 2013. She is already being called "legendary" and a "San Francisco institution". You will be awed by her aura of a diva from a by-gone era with vocal projection that can whisper a balladm, yet is capable of filling a room with no microphone. She has been compared to all the greats, but in the end, it's Kim Nalley and no one else - an unforced instrument with clarity and jazzy musicality, effortlessly delivered, and a sense of humor to boot.

Cocktails, Wine, Small Plates, Dessert and Auction

To learn more about The Gala, click the video below...
Blood Drive
Los Gatos Youth Commission
August 12
As a special thank you, each donor will receive one $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Come Save a Life!

Date: 08/12/2021
Time: 10:00 AM – 02:00 PM
Location: Los Gatos Adult Rec Center
208 E. Main St, Los Gatos

Any questions, please contact givebloodSBC@stanford.edu or call 888-723-7831.
Stars & Strides Run
Sunday, August 22, 8-11:30am
Downtown San Jose
The inaugural Bloom Energy Stars and Strides 5k/10k and Kids Fun Run honors and supports Santa Clara County’s frontline medical workers and the communities they serve.

All proceeds will benefit the VMC Foundation, a community-driven, nonprofit organization that raises funds in support of Silicon Valley's most vital public healthcare institution – Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals & Clinics.
COVID Vaccines
El Camino Health offers COVID vaccines at several mobile, walk-in clinics, as well as at their facilities.
For more information, Click Here
Vaccinations are open to all at the following:
  • El Camino Hospital Mountain View Outpatient Pharmacy: Accepting walk-ins 10am-4pm. Appointments can be made 9:30am-4:30pm, M-Fri.
  • El Camino Health First Street: Appointments currently available on Fridays between 8am-4:30pm
Visit Los Gatos
A new Visit Los Gatos (visitlosgatosca.com) website is coming to Town. We will launch sometime this summer. We have relaunched our @ExperienceLosGatos Instagram and Facebook accounts under a new name... @VisitLosGatos. Follow us to stay up to date.
Look up and see the brightly-colored street pole banners with the words LISTEN LEARN CHANGE GROW.
 
The Chamber has embarked on a DEI campaign. Our purpose is to help create a more welcoming town for all to enjoy. If we are open to listening and learning, we will change a little and grow a lot. We invite you to join us on this journey.

To learn more, scan the QR code or go to: losgatoschamber.com
Member Events
Kiwanis Club
Fiesta de Artes- LG Art & Wine Festival
September 18-19
The Fiesta de Artes is Los Gatos' Art & Wine Festival, offering hundreds of artists, world-class wine, live music and more...and entrance is free. It is the Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos' biggest fundraiser of the year and every cent made goes right back into the community. We are a non-profit, community service organization, focused on helping make the world around us a better, happier place.
Campo di Bocce
Campo di Bocce is holding a fundraiser for Miracle Makers Home Modification Fund. Your business can make a donation to the silent auction or sponsor a team to play bocce!
The Friends of Los Gatos Library Bookstore is now open five days a week. We have a direct line where customers can reach a volunteer with questions.

  • Hours-Wednesday to Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. 
  • Phone-(408) 354-2665

Our lobby store just inside the front door, is now open and well-stocked. There is a “money donation” box for your convenience. In both of our locations you’ll find amazing bargains on children’s books, and summer is a perfect time to pick up good reads for your young readers.
Irreverent Warriors - Silkies Hike
August 21, 8am -5pm
Los Gatos Civic Center, 110 E. Main St. Los Gatos
Healing Through Humor
The Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hikes are a series of therapeutic events across the nation design to prevent veteran suicide by brining veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health.

The hikes are non-athletic event that are between 4-10 miles and paced at 2-3 miles per hour. There will be frequent stops for fellowship and food/beverages.
Need information from one of our past newsletters? Click below for the last 3-4 months (before that email us).
COMMUNITY IMPACT PARTNERS
PLATNIUM
GOLD
SILVER
BRONZE