Dear Neighbor,
Spring is upon us, flowers will soon begin to bloom, the warmth of the sun will shine brighter on all of us, and the birds will begin to chirp in the trees. While the snow in the mountains made for a delightful scene, people tend to be more comfortable in the warm weather and who doesn't want more daylight and sunshine which has been proven to boost our moods. Budget season is upon us, the Mayor has released his Budget Message and soon the community and City Council will have the opportunity to engage in the process. Please check below to learn more about the online budget balancing tool. This month, Council also voted to raise the height of buildings in the downtown corridor which will allow for increased economic growth. Council also approved moving forward with our Commercial Linkage Fee nexus and feasibility study this month, this would ensure 
$150K to conduct a study and make recommendations to Council, it 
will examine feasibility and impact on commercial development on the need for affordable housing and provide evidence for a relationship, this move is intended to provide funding for much needed affordable housing in the City. There is much work left to do and we are working hard to make San José a better place for everyone. 

Querido Residente,
La primavera está sobre nosotros, las flores comenzarán a florecer, el calor del sol brillará sobre todos nosotros mas fuerte, y los pajaros comenzarán a cantar en los árboles. Mientras que la nieve en las montañas se convirtió en una escena encantadora, las personas tienden a sentirse más cómodas en el clima con mas sol. Y quienes no quieren más sol durante el día, que ha demostrado mejorar nuestro estado de ánimo. La temporada de presupuesto está sobre nosotros, el alcalde ha publicado su Mensaje de Presupuesto y pronto la comunidad y el Concejo Municipal tendrán la oportunidad de participar en el proceso. Consulte asia la informacion abajo para obtener más información sobre la herramienta de equilibrio de presupuesto atravez de la internet. Este mes, el Consejo también votó para elevar la altura de los edificios en el corredor del centro de la ciudad, lo que permitirá un mayor crecimiento económico. El Consejo también aprobó avanzar con nuestro nexo con la Tarifa de Enlace Comercial y el estudio de factibilidad también se aprobó este mes, esto aseguraría $150K para realizar el estudio y hacer recomendaciones al Consejo. El estudio examinará la factibilidad y el impacto en el desarrollo comercial sobre la necesidad de viviendas asequibles y proporcionar evidencia de una relación, este movimiento que está destinado a proporcionar fondos para viviendas asequibles muy necesarias en la ciudad. Hay mucho trabajo por hacer y estamos trabajando arduamente para hacer de San José un lugar mejor para todos.

Many thanks,
Magdalena Carrasco

City Council Priority Setting 2019
Every year our City Councilmembers submit policy items for development into a process called priority setting. The Councilmembers vote on the items they deem most critical or important, and those with the most votes move forward. March 5th several of the items I authored were prioritized as part of this process. 
Family Friendly City 
One of the most pressing issues for District 5 is the lack of quality childcare. The data shows that much of east San José remains a childcare desert, lacking in slots and quality to provide the much-needed support and education for children 0-5. We know those children who do not attend preschool or receive quality certified childcare have lower rates of kindergarten readiness. In San José, 28% of our children are not ready for kindergarten, and 36% are only partially ready.  We also know that those who attend qualified preschool have 6,000 more words in their vocabulary. The years between 0-5 are the building blocks for the success of our children's educational attainment. Which is why I was happy to support the Childcare and Early Educational initiative that will prioritize city facilities for childcare, promote child care in ground-floor retail space in new mixed-use buildings, review and streamline our permitting process for childcare facilities which we believe will increase 1,000 childcare slots and assist with access and affordability to these services.
In that vein, I am supporting other policies to make San José a more family-friendly city including Councilmember Arenas' proposal to expand paid family leave to our City employees for up to 6 weeks. 
Cannabis Equity
Two items that were moved forward in priority setting are interlinked which include expansion and amendments to our cannabis land use and regulatory provisions and the development of a Cannabis Equity Program. The goal of the Cannabis Equity Program is to recognize and address the long-term impact that federal and state cannabis enforcement policies have had on low-income communities in the City of San José.  

The Equity Program is designed to support equal opportunity in the cannabis industry by making legal cannabis business ownership and employment opportunities more accessible to low-income individuals and communities most impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.
In a 2017 report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified nearly 650 collateral impacts for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, including limited opportunities for certain professional licenses, education, and government assistance.  Many of the families that I served as a Social Worker were impacted by our war on drugs causing families to be torn apart. My decision to support cannabis policies has not come lightly but after careful thought and consideration and great discussions with our local Cannabis Equity Working Group I understand the impacts that these draconian measures have had on our community.  
The state has begun accepting applications for grants to fund the development of equity programs. We are on a tight timeline to apply for state grant funds to roll out an equity program in San José which without the increase of dispensaries or the sale of licenses would remain blocked from individuals who wish to access the equity program. As we look to expand or change our land use and regulatory environment policies to meet the needs at the same time as we develop an equity program. As a City, we are leading the way to enable those most impacted by the prohibition to have an opportunity to be at the table.
Wage Theft Policy Expansion
As an author of the 2015 Wage Theft Policy, at the time I was disheartened that at that time we were not able to enact stronger protections for our workers. Since then we have seen many wage theft violations including one of the most avaricious instances with Silvery Towers where individuals were held in inhumane conditions and forced to work while we provided the developer breaks on our affordable housing fees and park fees to the amount of nearly $8 million.
We must strengthen the Wage Theft policy to first remove the exemption for Public Works contracts. If we are expending public dollars to work on our streets, sewers, and buildings, we should be holding these companies to our highest standards and making sure the workers, many of our residents are paid. 
When we are public dollars to incentivize developers within our city, and they greedily begin to short workers, violate our state and federal law we should have the ability to cancel their fee reductions or any financing that we are providing them if they are unable to cure any violations. I am happy that we are expanding these protections for our construction industry.

For more information please visit the City's website
Woman's History Month  
Happy International Women's Month! This is a month to honor the women in our lives and our communities that have contributed their blood, sweat, and tears to provide hope and to make forward progress on gender equity and equality.  I have been extremely fortunate to have amazing, beautiful, and powerful women surround me. I am excited to work on the dais with 4 women who will help shape the future of San José. I am thankful for all the wome n leaders in the community who are working hard to make this world a better place. Mothers, teachers, students, activist, clergy, engineers, social workers, policy makers, first responders, volunteers, and all the other women who continue to contribute to our society in a very meaningful way. Thank you, you are appreciated. I also want to give a special recognition to the two women on my staff, Frances Jeanne Herbert and Kiara Kassandra who's daily contributions allow me to do my job and serve our residents. And a special shout out to our new interns Brisa Rojas and Sheridan Amarillas who's presence are a welcome addition. 

And on this special month I also want to honor my mother and the amazing, caring, smart, and wonderful soul that she embodied. I would not be the woman I am without her love and support. Te amo Mamá!

Aztec New Year 2019 
Happy Mexica (sounds like Me-shi-ka) New Year to all! The Aztec calendar marks the New Year on March 12 at sunrise. This year we enter the Year Chicome Acatl (Seven Reed). We would like to take this moment to acknowledge the cultural diversity on the East Side, a large part of which is embedded in our indigenous roots.  Our indigenous ancestors viewed  the workings of the universe as a very delicate equilibrium, where o pposing divine forces are constantly competing for power. Groups like Calpulli Tonalehqueh continue to live by the same views, especially in helping maintain that equilibrium at a time when old and new traditions are constantly competing. At a time when people feel the pressures resulting from xenophobia and racism to Americanize, we are proud to have groups like Calpulli Tonalehqueh who embrace what it means to be indigenous, Mexican, and proud. They have been instrumental in hosting the Mexica New Year at Emma Prusch Park for the past 21 years starting with a sunrise ceremony on the first day.

The event has become a integral part of not only San José, but the rest of the nation as well. The event brings in people from all regions of the United States and earns the title of the biggest Mexica New Year celebration other than Mexico City, all the while prohibiting the use of drugs and alcohol.  At my request the City of San José proclaimed Mexica New Year on March 12th. We were grateful to have members of Calpulli Tonalehqueh recieve the proclamation on behalf of all the organizers for the Mexica New Year event.

Leadership Reception: I ❤ 
We had a joyous evening at Emma Prusch Park to celebrate people in this district who are integral to the mission and success of my office. As long as I have been a councilmember for District 5, the people who work on the ground, whether in our schools, in our storefronts, or in our neighborhoods, are key players in keeping my office informed and in a position to act quickly as issues arise. You all have been extensions of my small but mighty team and I have been proud of the collaborative spirit that has pushed forth many of the ideas and projects that my office spearheads year after year.

The I   ESSJ event brought together under one roof, the movers and shakers that we are so proud of, so that we could spend a night together celebrating and re-energizing ourselves to continue the great work that we do together. We enjoyed an amazing performance by Colibri, the world's first LGBTQ+ folklorico dance group which has inspired other groups to have the courage to do the same. It is an honor to have such a pioneering group of dancers perform for us, one of which is our very own youth commissioner, Sofí Jaquez. The remainder of the night was spent sharing stories and accomplishments of our community leaders and having the opportunity to spark new connections. The power of collaboration in community spirit can foster creative thinking and new ways of solving problems. I am looking forward to working with all of these remarkable people and to keep on building bridges in our beautiful East San José. 

2020 Census Job Opportunities 
Please inform friends and family about this unique opportunity as a resumé builder and to earn money helping with the 2020 Census. Just as important, the Census takes into account current population and demographics which allows for quality data about people living in the United States regardless of legal status. More importantly the census helps determine appropriate political representation and allocation of resources and services. 

For more information you may also contact Vilcia Rodriguez, 2020 Census Project Manager from the Office of the City Manager by calling 408.535.5602 or at 

Great American Litter Pickup (GALP)
Please save the date for another year of the Great American Litter Pickup. A national event in its 25th year unites communities to come together and collectively bring change in attitude and culture to our communities by inspiring an attitude of pride in keeping our communities clean and beautiful.

For more information contact Kiara Arreola at or register to be a volunteer

Community Gatherings 
This year I would like to meet with our neighbors in your living room or backyard. I want to bring City Hall and policies I will be working on to your block or neighborhood. It is always important to meet and listen from our East San José constituents; you deserve an accessible Councilmember. Whether it is a city issue or concern, we will not turn you away instead we will guide you in the right direction. Many times, we have residents who are just eager to meet me, since we have neighbors who have never met their Councilmember.  Bring your family and friends to meet members in your community with myself, my team, and city staff such as our Police Department and other City Departments. 
Community coffees, pizza and policy, as well as pancake breakfast are coming to a neighborhood near you. To stay updated or if you are willing to host my team and me for a community gathering, please let my Community Relations Director Omar Torres know via email or by calling him at 408-535-4905. I want to discuss questions, concerns, or suggestions with you over a cup of coffee, pancakes, or some pizza. 
Business Spotlight: Jade 
My office has been having our weekly staff meetings exploring the lovely mom & pop restaurants that make up our East San José. This month we met Bounsou Tesipasuth (most people know him by Chang), owner of the Jade Garden Chinese & Thai Food Restaurant at the corner of Toyon and McKee Road. And let me tell you, it was yummy! They are open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Chang, an immigrant from the country of Laos, started working at this restaurant 32 years ago while it was still owned by his sister-in-law. A family owned restaurant, ten years ago Chang took over as the owner and today he and his wife manage the restaurant. Chang is proud of the fact that some of his current regular customers who bring their children came as children themselves with their parents, proving that that the quality of service and dishes remains a favorite to residents of San José. Come on down and treat yourself and don't forget to check int with the hashtag #supportsmallbizz and  #shopeastside. Enjoy!

2019 Pavement Maintenance Program Update 
From the Office of the City Manager:
In December of 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released an information memorandum to the City Council regarding the 2019 Pavement Maintenance Program and provided a list of streets on the 944-mile Major Street Network expected to be maintained in the 2019 construction season. A map highlighting these streets can be viewed on the City's website at This list did not include streets on the 1490-mile Local and Neighborhood Streets Network. The legal challenge to the VTA 2016 Measure B funding was resolved in January 2019, paving the way for the City to access $42.8 million in accumulated Measure B funds and initiate maintenance on local and neighborhood streets in the 2019 construction season.

Due to the delay in Measure B funding mentioned above, maintenance on the Local and Neighborhood Street Network was not possible in the 2018 construction season. However, $23.8 million in funds were collected in FY 2017-2018 and are now available to use. Combining these funds with the FY 2018-2019 allocation of $19 million, DOT plans to deliver two-years of planned street maintenance on the local and neighborhood streets, totaling approximately 196 miles, in the 2019 construction season. This work will be performed in addition to the major street maintenance plan highlighted in the December 2018 memorandum.
2018-2019 San José Budget Proposal   
Budget Season is here! The City of San José will start its budget process for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal year.  A city the size of ours has a large and complex budget, that's why we will be encouraging people to attend budget hearings that will be taking place throughout the community. With Council approval the initial framework provides the City Manager with direction to prepare proposals for the Council's budget deliberations in May. My office will be doing outreach as soon as we have dates and locations. As of now you can visit and participate in an interactive online budget balancing exercise and provide your input on the upcoming budget. Please submit your input no later than April 26.  Please submit your input NOW!

The online tool is also available in  Spanish  and   Vietnamese .  
You can also view the  Mayor's Budget Message for the upcoming fiscal year.
Star Party Event 
On the night of March 14th, the Capitol Park Neighborhood Association joined forces with the San Jose Astronomical Association to do a Star Party with the Aptitud Academy students! We love when our neighborhood associations have creative events that bring together our community and showcase our collective strengths. They spent the night learning about constellations, looking up at the moon and planets, and understanding more about our solar system. Thank you for leading this and we hope the next one is soon so that we can spread more awareness about this awesome event! After all, the James Lick Observatory is just in our backyard, and with NASA around the corner, the stars may be a lot closer than we think. Our children deserve to know how a career in astronomy is definitely within their reach.

Urban Confluence Silicon Valley 
We just reached an important milestone. 11-0!  The San Jose City Council voted unanimously on March 5th to approve Arena Green at Guadalupe River Park as the site for our iconic landmark.  Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Council Member Raul Peralez, and  Council Member Pam Foley  all eloquently expressed their support of our vision.  Preparations are underway for the launch of our international Ideas Competition in April. The competition will be an "open ideas competition" that allows individuals and teams from around the world to submit creative designs for a spectacular project at Arena Green. We are proud to announce the competition will be called "URBAN CONFLUENCE SILICON VALLEY". 

In addition to approving our site Tuesday, the council also approved raising the maximum heights of structures throughout downtown San Jose. The maximum height at Arena Green was increased by approximately 100 feet. This will allow for much taller structures to be built on our site. We are thrilled to bring a magnificent and iconic landmark to San Jose.
Make Music San Jose 2019
Make Music San José is open to anyone who wants to take part. People get together in t and create musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion. Venues can be anywhere and performers can be anyone. Register at Make Music San José. To learn more visit Make Music Day

Internship Opportunities 
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