Dear Neighbor,

First and foremost, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year, myself and my staff hope that this year brings you lots of joy, peace, strength, and personal success. We are prepared and look forward to continuing our efforts of improving the East Side of San José as well as our partnerships with our neighborhood associations, parent teacher associations, small business communities, as well as the rest of our District 5 residents. 

As always I want to encourage you to reach out to my office with any concerns or ideas that can help improve the lives of our residents. Together we can create a more powerful change than any one of us can alone, especially during difficult times. I have been honored to serve these last four years as your representative among my duties, serving as your Vice Mayor these past two years. During my tenure, I am proud of the accomplishments that directly improve the lives of the residents of East San José and the entire city. We have focused policies on women and families including the passage of the Women's Bill of Rights, increased funding for services that assist survivors of domestic violence, attacked blight in our community, strengthened policies to address human trafficking, created paths for good paying jobs with city investment, developed a clean energy program, addressed infrastructure needs and have a goal of building thousands of homes for residents at all income levels while providing enhanced protections for current renters. This month I was selected to Chair the Ad-Hoc Committee for Development Services, where I will continue to tackle the housing crisis to determine infrastructure needs and that our City is on track to build 25,000 homes for residents at all income levels, all while providing enhanced protections for current renters.

In the past two years, I have successfully worked to increase women and people of color in our local political representation at all levels. There is much work left to do and with your help and your support we can continue to improve the lives of our neighbors and our loved ones as well. 
Querido Residente,

Ante todo, me gustaría desearles a todos un muy feliz año nuevo, y mi personal y yo esperamos que este año les brinde mucha alegría, paz, fortaleza, y éxito personal. Estamos preparados y esperamos continuar con nuestros esfuerzos para mejorar el Este de San José, así como nuestras alianzas con las asociaciones de nuestros vecindarios, las asociaciones de padres y maestros, las comunidades de pequeñas empresas y negocios y el resto de los residentes del Distrito 5. 

Como siempre, quiero recordarle que se comunique con mi oficina con cualquier inquietud o idea que pueda ayudar a mejorar la vida de nuestros residentes. Juntos podemos crear un cambio más poderoso que cualquiera de nosotros solo, especialmente durante los momentos difíciles. Me siento honrada de servir estos últimos cuatro años como su representante entre mis deberes, desempeñarme como su Vice Alcalde en los últimos dos años. Durante mi mandato, estoy orgullosa de los logros que mejoraron directamente las vidas de los residentes del Este de San José y de toda la ciudad. 

Hemos enfocado las políticas en las mujeres y las familias, incluida la aprobación de la Declaración de Derechos de las Mujeres, el aumento de la financiación para los servicios que ayudan a las sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica, el problema de tiradera ilegal de muebles, aparatos grandes, y basura en nuestra comunidad, el fortalecimiento de las políticas para abordar la trata de personas, la creación de un plan para empleos bien pagados con inversión de la ciudad, desarrollamos un programa de energía limpia, atendimos las necesidades de infraestructura y estámos en vías de construir miles de viviendas para residentes de todos los niveles de ingresos al mismo tiempo que brindamos protecciones mejoradas para los inquilinos actuales. 

En los últimos dos años, he trabajado con éxito para aumentar el número de mujeres y personas de color en nuestra representación política local en todos los niveles. Queda mucho por hacer y con su ayuda y su apoyo podemos continuar mejorando las vidas de nuestros vecinos y nuestros seres queridos también. Gracias.

Many thanks,
Magdalena Carrasco

2019 San Jose City Council 
We welcomed two new Councilmembers this January.  Councilmembers, Maya Esparza, representing District 7 representing Seven Trees and Pam Foley, representing District 9, Cambrian. We also appointed Chappie Jones, District 1 as Vice Mayor of San Jose.  I have been honored and privileged to serve as the Vice Mayor to this great city for the past two years.  I want to thank Mayor Liccardo for appointing me and it has been a pleasure to serve alongside him. 

We now have five women Councilmembers representing the City of San José which is reflective of the gains we are seeing statewide and nationally. I wanted to recognize this moment, it has been over 10 years since we have had an equal representation on the Council. In addition, we have five Hispanic Councilmembers sitting on the dais, and the majority of our Council are people of color. I am proud to serve our city with this esteemed council and look forward to the work we have in front of us.
 2019 New Transit Service Plan
Every few years, in order to provide and contribute to an ideal collaborative transit system, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) reviews among other things, its service to coverage ratio. Service to coverage ratio helps determine whether current conditions call for a larger focus of coverage, where and how far, or a larger focus on the quality of the service such as frequency and hours of operation. Currently VTA is facing a $20 million structural deficit for fiscal year 2018 and $26 million in 2019. As a result, there needed to be a review to address these immediate and long-term financial challenges to ensure transportation sustainability. With proposed cancellation and proposed trimming of some low-performing bus routes for the 2019 New Transit Service Plan, VTA will be conducting several community meetings to collect input on the draft 2019 New Transit Service Plan. It is important and one of the only platforms for residents to voice questions and concerns for the VTA planning process. We want to encourage residents from district 5 to come out and learn more in detail about the proposed changes as some of the changes would affect routes in the East Side of San José. Listed are two of the six meetings that will take place. These are only two of three meetings that will be happening in the city of San José.

Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Library
3090 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95127
Thursday, January 31 | 6pm

San Jose State University MLK Library (Room 255)
150 E San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95112
Tuesday, February 19 | 11am
Pancake Breakfast 
I hope you can join me for my free winter quarterly community pancake breakfast next Saturday, Jan. 26th at 8:45am. It will take place at James Lick High School located at 57 N White Road, in the new student union. We will be discussing various completed, updated, and future projects/programs that will benefit our East San José. No need to bring anything other than an appetite! Concerns, suggestions or ideas will be taken. Call Omar Torres at 408-535-4905 or email him at to RSVP or for additional details.


Acompañeme y a sus vecinos y disfrute de un desayuno de panqueques. Se hablará de los temas que más impactan a nuestra comunidad. Sabado, 26 de enero. Empieza a las 8:45am, termina 10:30am Escuela James Lick High School ubicada en la 57 N White Rd, San Jose, CA 95127. No es necesario RSVP. Se le sirve en orden de llegada. Para más información llame al 408-535-4905 o por correo electrónico al
Police Athletics League Stadium 
At my urging, the City Auditor conducted a review of the current Police Athletics League ( PAL) non-profit operations of the PAL Stadium and programs.  The Auditor identified numerous deficiencies with accounting, facility maintenance, management and programming. I alongside my colleague Councilmember Arenas  authored a memo to address these issues and chart a path forward for the operations of the facility and programs.  We have allocated funding to address immediate health and safety issues at the stadium. In addition, our staff has transitioned management at the facility to align with a Parks Recreations and Neighborhood Services model.  We are currently seeking community input on the future of PAL and we hope that you can join us at three opportunities to provide feedback.  The first will be my Pancake Breakfast, we will have staff from the City Manager's office to provide a brief presentation and I will be seeking input from our community on the path forward.  The two additional opportunities are outlined below. 

Abandoned Vehicles 
The City Auditor's Office just released a report in December about the tow companies contracted by the City of San José. The report revealed that the company hired to tow abandoned vehicles for District 5 had been refusing tows amongst other violations. The City Auditor also indicated that the City needs to reevaluate current contracts to mandate better record keeping, simplify contract language, close any loopholes, give the City more flexibility in fining, suspending, or terminating contractors, and set rates to standard CHP-approved tow rates.

 I raised concerns about the cost of recovering a towed vehicle in the last City Auditor's report. From this report, I will be focusing on how we can prevent contractors from refusing to tow abandoned vehicles and how we can work on removing junk vehicles from the street in the short-term. As you know, the parking constraints in our district are a daily struggle, and we must see some progress on the state of our streets. Please continue to report abandoned vehicles on the MySanJoseApp. You can download it on your smartphone and help out District 5. If you have any questions about the report or how to report abandoned or junk vehicles, please reach out to my office.
Business Corner
On the East side of San José, we are thankful to have a wide variety of businesses that serve not only the residents in our district, but also the rest of the city and the larger bay area as well. Recently, we have had the opportunity to work with our Alum Rock Santa Clara Street Business Association (ARSCBA) in proposing a Business/Property Improvement District that would allow for the collection of funds from the participating businesses and/or property owners. The funds would allow for supplemental services that would help improve the business district. Services can include advertisement, security, beautification projects, and other services decided by the participating property or business owners.

The improvement district could have the potential to run anywhere from 22nd and Santa Clara all the way to N. Jackson Avenue. We are currently in the phase of collecting feedback from business and property owners alike and finding out what services they would prefer and thereby determining the interest and parameters of the improvement district. We are hopeful that our business community and property owners will see not only the potential, but also the importance, thereby coming together to revitalize, keep up the changes, and maintain its standing as a competitive business district. Please don't forget to visit and support our business corridor and shop for all your needs at the same time supporting family owned small and micro businesses. And when you do, give them a shout out on social media with the hashtag #shopeastsanjose.
Cannabis in San Jose 
Councilmember Peralez and I issued a memo that was supported by Council that begins the discussion with City staff on developing an equity program to provide assistance and support for individuals that were impacted by the prior prohibition of cannabis so that they can share in the industry's growth. We will be working with the San Jose Cannabis Equity Alliance led by  William T. Armaline Director of the Human Rights Collaborative to develop a program that meets San José residents needs. We hope to move the program forward with expediancy so we can capitalize on State funding.

To view our memo and the additional actions you can go to this PAGE

The City also expanded our cannabis police to allow for manufacturing, distribution and testing facilities in the Edenvale and North San Jose industrial zones.   These changes will bring additional jobs into San Jose. 
Light Up Alum Rock
On another note, we continue our beautification project with the Alum Rock Santa Clara Business Association corridor. As part of a participatory budget process, which is intended to include the involvement of the community by engaging the city's budget process, ARSCBA proposed the Light Up Alum Rock project. In its second and final year of the participatory budget I allocated $100,000 for one-time projects that met certain requirements and were accessible to all community members. With the committee approved projects not to exceed $20,000 per project, my office has allocated the funding for the Light Up Alum Rock project to provide commercial outdoor string lights as well as the necessary equipment that is needed to run the lighting along the outside of the front of the businesses. We have distributed nearly 100 strings of lighting and are hoping to hand out more this month. This is an ongoing project meant to beautify the corridor and attract more business patrons. Please be sure to enjoy the lighting as you shop or are simply taking a drive down the Santa Clara and Alum Rock corridor. The lighting is meant to run all year in the evenings from dusk till 11:00pm at night. We hope you enjoy the lighting and don't forget to #shopeastsanjose.
Commercial Linkage Fee and Anti-Displacement
Recently along with my council colleagues, I voted to move forward with a study regarding a Commercial Linkage Fee. As the 10th largest city in the country and one of the richest economies in the world, we are excited about the growth and potential benefits that come with it. This growth includes projects such as the proposed Mega Google campus that would be built in the downtown Diridon Station area and is expected to bring in thousands of new jobs. However, we must also be cognizant that along with that growth come the need to house and provide services to the influx of workers that will move in to San José. After years of debate we took the first step in moving forward with a Commercial Linkage Fee with the approval of a feasibility study. The study would determine the appropriate fee for commercial businesses in order to share the burden for the need to build affordable units to accommodate for this growth. If we do not manage our jobs to housing balance, it will exacerbate further San Jose's existing crisis of homeless encampments, displacement and exodus of long-time residents. We recognize the urgency for affordable housing and the consequences our community will face if we do not consider all available tools, including a commercial linkage fee.

In addition, I authorized a memo supporting the prioritization of deed restricted non-formula commercial space within new development along the Little Portugal Urban Village to address the rising lease spaces and small business displacement passed along with a future discussion and community input about adding housing allocation to the corridor.

I view these actions as a collaboration with our thriving business communities, but also as a win and important components of our future Anti-displacement plan.
My office is looking for interns who would like to gain valuable work experience at my district offices this fall.

These internships provide students with an opportunity to get involved in local government. Students can gain experience in a professional work environment, and build their resumes.

Qualities sought in applicants: The ability to write well; reliability; attention to detail; initiative; and proficiency in typing.

An intern's duties include: data entry; research; helping constituents; and community outreach, such as staffing events and projects. Interns are also expected to work an occasional weekend or evening event. Internships are an unpaid position.

For more information or to email your resumes contact Chief of Staff, Frances Herbert, 

Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco | 408-535-4905 | |
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113