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ARVAC Monthly Minutes 

February Minutes.


In attendance: From An Ton Mediation Center - Diane Dao, Mary T. Nguyen and Nancy Quach; Candidates for Santa Clara County Supervisor, District Two – Jennifer Celaya, Madison Nguyen and Nelson McElmurry; Adán (no last name provided), Lt. Bret Hatzenbuhler (SJPD), Candace Douglas, Dan Medeiros, Frank Andre, Gloria McCafferty, Jay Davis (Office of Councilmember Peter Ortiz), Joan Rivas-Cosby (Office of Supervisor Cindy Chavez), Leilani Gomez (Office of Mayor Matt Mahan), Mary Valderrama, Mauricio (no last name provided), Mike Medina (Office of Supervisor Cindy Chavez) and Shannon Sapien

Security Updates

  • Lt. Bret Hatzenbuhler for Captain Sanchez

    • Lt. Hatzenbuhler asked to come first on the agenda as he is on scene of an incident and is short on time.

    • Captain Sanchez is out of town on police business but remains aware of issues in the neighborhood such as homelessness. He is putting resources to this, including overtime and high-visibility patrols.

    • Stats include break-ins, two burglaries and minor thefts of merchandise.

    • Feds are still working on the case of the restaurant everyone knows about.

  • Lt. Jeremy Jones was out of town and unable to attend.

Candidates for Santa Clara County Supervisor, District Two – Jennifer Celaya, Madison Nguyen, and Nelson McElmurry were in attendance. Each candidate was given three minutes to share why they are running and why they are the best candidate for the position.

  • Madison Nguyen

    • She is running because homelessness, crime and lack of affordable housing is not okay.

    • The County lacks a sense of urgency and accountability.

    • She believes in accountability, transparency, and common sense.

    • She is familiar with the needs of residents.

    • Mary asked how she is differentiating herself from the other candidates. Answer: experience matters.

    • Dan asked if she has ideas for housing, especially for the elderly and homeless. Answer: supports quick build housing and on-site services.

    • Mauricio asked what she will do differently. Answer: she has been in office previously.

  • Nelson McElmurry

    • Born and raised in San Jose for 47 years. Lives near 1st and Gish, went to Archbishop Mitty and Santa Clara University Law School. Has a wife and four kids, ages 9 – 18 years.

    • Has been a practicing attorney for 19 years.

    • Has worked with County systems. The County is falling apart with homelessness and crime. Has had personal experience with violence by incidents with two of his children.

    • He is not a politician but has political experience.

    • He is a neighbor who thinks ten steps ahead. Fresh ideas are needed.

    • Mauricio asked his position on crime – if he favors punishment or more programs. Answer: dual approach, to provide education and support as well as punitive measures. Need programs, resources, and alternatives.

    • Mary asked how to address people who resist services, whether due to mental health or homelessness. Answer: sometimes this is a choice some people have make. He thinks it was a mistake to clear out the Jungle.

    • Candace asked how young he would work with youth. Answer: intervention to prevent issues could start as young as 1st and 2nd grades. 

  • Jennifer Celeya

    • Native born and raised in San Jose for 42 years.

    • Decided to run for office in 2020 and 2024 because as a citizen of San Jose, she is tired of false promises.

    • She is a mother of six and has one grandson.

    • She did not benefit from County programs as a 15-year-old mother. She lost custody of her son and began paralegal schooling.

    • She wants to be a voice for those who don’t have one.

    • People born and raised here are leaving.

    • Mauricio asked if she is serving the community now. Answer: she runs the non-profit organization New Beginnings Family Services.

    • Mauricio asked if she is willing to serve as Supervisor for free. Answer: she would put her salary to organizations of need.


Board Elections: Mary Valderrama reviewed board positions.

  • Mary Valderrama is Chair.

  • Jesse Haro is Co-Chair position.

  • Frank Andre is Treasurer.

  • Shannon Sapien is Communications person.

  • Gloria stepped down as Co-Chair but remains the grant person for ARVAC.



  • Abierto Grant: Gloria McCafferty

    • The sculpture will be ready to be delivered the first week of April. It will be in the library until permanent placement is decided.

  • PEACE Partnership: Gloria McCafferty

    • A $2K grant has been allocated for Dumpster Days in the James Lick High School parking lot. Gloria is coordinating with the principal at JLHS and the D5 office for the date.

      • Shannon asked if these are funds for the City as she would like money for County areas, including art on utility boxes. Gloria explained that the grant application must be specific on what the funds are for, so Dumpster Days are what the money must be spent on.

      • Mike was curious about murals on County/unincorporated land. Mary asked if the County has any grants for art. Mike will check.

  • Beautify SJ Cycle 6: Mary Valderrama

    • Mary completed the application for $5K to fund National Night Out, a community festival and for administrative items such as Zoom and website fees. She used the template from the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Association application which included the community festival. They invited cultural groups, and it seems a great event for ARVAC to present.

Goals: Mary Valderrama

  • Form-Based Zoning

    • Mary asked what came of the meeting held a few months ago. Jay said there is a working group meeting scheduled for February 20th.

  • Mt. Hamilton Lot

    • Mary asked Frank and Mike if getting the land is possible, or should this goal be removed from the list. Mike said County staff told him the land is not for sale. The “for sale” signs have been removed. 

    • Mary asked if Cindy had the Real Estate Department reach out to the owners last year. Mike will circle back.

    • Mary asked if Frank and Mike ever found out who owns the property. Frank said he has a name, but ARVAC should reach out.

    • Mary explained the location of the lot for those not familiar with the issue.

  • Parks

    • Mary asked why isn’t Alum Rock Park open yet? She told Leilani, Jay, and Mike that last year there was a big storm that caused enough damage that cars were not allowed in the park. People are sad they can’t use the park. How can we fix this? Vasona Park wouldn’t have gone out of service this long.

    • Jay said that due to redistricting, Alum Rock Park is no longer in D5, but in D4 with Councilmember David Cohen. Jay said he will reach out to that office and get back to ARVAC.

    • Candace said she drove up there and was told by a person at the gate that the park may not be open for another 4 -5 years. Mary asked rhetorically if there are parks across town which would be closed for that long.

  • Housing: Lack of Master Plan

    • Mary asked Mike if he could set up a meeting with Pacific West. When he asked when she would like it to happen, she said she wants a meeting with both Catholic Charities and Pacific West.

    • Mike will work with his team. Mary wants a City planning person there also. Jay will coordinate with Mike.

  • Safety – Speed & Crime

    • This item was deferred.

The Village

  • DOT – Lighting on the sidewalk

    • People are complaining about the lack of lights on the sidewalk and want to know if DOT can install lighting.

    • Jay was asked if this stretch is City or County. One side of the street is County, the other is City which complicates things. Also, installing lighting is capital intensive.

    • Mike said the County will be considering the upcoming budget. He can check with the Roads and Airports Department to see if they can allocate money. He asked if there is a map of the area. Mary said it is from White Road to Manning Avenue.

PG&E Wall

  • The group was joking about what to call this wall. Suggestions were “Beluga” or “White elephant”.

  • Gloria said she spoke with Angel; there are no updates. She will follow up.

  • PG&E will allow the mural but is not willing to put any money into the project. Mary said someone needs to find funding.

  • It’s interesting that PG&E won’t fund the mural, but they are willing to come out every month to paint over the graffiti. 


Government Support:

  • Mayor Mahan: Leilani Gomez

    • The team is in the process of planning a City-wide Zoom on homelessness as a priority. Will be March 11th at 7 pm. Will have a structured Q & A session.

    • March budget message will be coming out. This will determine how the Mayor allocates funding.

  • Councilman Ortiz: Jay Davis

    • Jay provided D5 updates and highlights from their newsletter.

    • A policy for new affordable housing for preferential placement for designated residents and those at risk of displacement will be going to the Community and Economic Development Committee on February 26th.

    • Cameras are coming – working with SJPD.

    • Welcome sign for the Village – still working with the City Manager’s Office.

    • Upcoming events:

      • Youth Action Conference February 17

      • Mt. Pleasant Park Community Day February 24

      • Mexica New Year and CaliNative Night March 15 – 17

    • Mary asked about the smoke shop by James Lick High School. How was that allowed? Jay said the shop owners misrepresented their business on the application. It was clarified that the shop is next to the former TeaZers, now a boba shop. Shannon said there is also an herbal botanical store.

    • Shannon asked about the RV restrictions, when does it roll out? A feasibility study is being done – the policy will be rolled out gradually. Gloria and Shannon asked for the timeline on this. Jay will come back with the answer.

    • Mike wanted to touch base on a previously brought up topic about VTA bus stops. Any blighted stop can be shared with Mike to be referred to VTA. They will immediately deal with any stop reported by the D2 (County) office.

  • D5 Business Manager

    • Jessica Muñoz was not in attendance.

  • Supervisor Chavez: Mike Medina for Betty Duong

    • Mike shared that Supervisor Chavez is hosting the Women’s Leadership and Policy Summit on Saturday, March 23rd.   The theme this year is Unity in Diversity: Women Leading Change. It will be held at San Jose State University.

  • Senator Cortese: Estefany Meza

    • Estefany was not in attendance.

Treasury Report:  Balance is $4,493.55

  • Frank will pay for the first year of the website. Mary told him if the BeautifySJ grant is received, she will reimburse him for that, and herself for Zoom fees.



  • Shannon said she is catching up from being away in Mexico and being sick.

  • Mary Nguyen wished everyone a happy new year.

  • Gloria said she saw photos of ARVAC tote bags, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. How are they being distributed? Will be by monetary donation. Not on the website yet, it’s harder to set up a shop as opposed to posting photos.

  • Dan and Gloria will meet with Anthony from the City of San Jose on anti-litter efforts. Trash cans were overflowing in the Village. Dan will propose beautification efforts.

  • Jay wished everyone a happy Valentine’s Day.

  • Joan suggested the League of Women Voters could serve as moderator for future candidate forums.

  • Candace wished everyone a happy Valentine’s Day.

  • Mary urged everyone to be careful in traffic.

  • The meeting was adjourned by Mary.



Next ARVAC meeting 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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