Last night, the San Jose City Council voted to start negotiations with Google for the tech giant’s Diridon Station mega-campus. With hours of testimony from diverse members of our community, we made clear we expect to be a part of developing an agreement that delivers real benefits for all San Joseans.
The Council committed to a transparent community engagement process including affordable housing advocates, tenants’ rights groups, labor, and community and faith based organizations. But key questions remain about whether the City and Google will protect working families from the patterns of displacement that have come to be the norm for Bay Area tech development.
Dozens of workers, community members, labor leaders, and nonprofit representatives spoke at the meeting, saying that while we welcome Google to San Jose, this project must not displace families and create poverty jobs for service and retail workers.
While many members of the Council said they agreed, we have much work ahead to win enforceable commitments that benefit all of San Jose, like investments in affordable housing and standards on wages and working conditions for the thousands of subcontracted service jobs this project will likely create.
Over the coming months, we’ll need you to come out to community meetings, public forums, votes on planning and zoning changes, and other pivotal moments in this process.
Together, we can create a tech headquarters in downtown San Jose that’s an engine not of riches for the few but of shared prosperity for the many. That brings good jobs not just for programmers but also for cafeteria workers, janitors, security officers, and “Google Bus” drivers. That creates housing for the diverse communities that define our region.