Japantown News - Late April 2003 (information, legislators list, letter writing tips)
 The significance of a financial meltdown!

We are in a good position, generally speaking. We've survived 100 years and expect to survive at least that many more! However---

As you all are aware, the State of California and all our cities are in a time of severe budget cuts. Our Redevelopment Agency of San Jose has helped all the Business Districts in which they are involved with $20,000 of funding as has been stated in previous newsletters. However, this funding is in jeopardy! Although we've received, as Japantown, funding through SB307 and Prop 40, this is only for specified projects. We will get signage so that people know where we are and we will have some sort of streetscape project to look at also. BUT what we won't have is the ability to do the types of things that SJRDA has helped fund thus far. These are projects specifically that benefit the businesses such as helping fund the publishing of  new brochures, and perhaps replace banners, help with the facade improvement program and small business loans.

A number of Japantown organizations attended Cindy Chavez's recent District Three Community Budget Workshop on April 26th, 2003.  JBA Exec Dir, Kathy Sakamoto participated with other small business owners and business districts to identify and prioritize  5 top budget priorities.  All participants heard comments from SJRDA Executive Director, Susan Shick, Assemblyman Manny Diaz who is spearheading the fight to keep RDA funds alive in the state, San Jose City Manager Del Borgsdorf and Councilmember Chavez. No punches were pulled but all participants realized the necessity of working together in collaborative and cooperative style to bring the issues to their best resolution. While Japantown representatives spread themselves through the four Working groups which were Small Business, Non-Profit, Arts and Neighborhoods. The Councilmember's staff gave each of the groups a list that they had compiled through their correspondence and contact that they thought might begin to address budget needs. All groups were asked to revise, discuss and re- prioritize these budget needs as the group thought best.

Each individual was given a list of Elected Leadership Contact information and City Council important budget meetings. Sign-ups were taken for volunteers from each group to address the City Council at one of more of these meetings. Each person addressing the Council in Council proceedings is given 2 minutes. As you can see, information and points made must be concise and subject matter must be both courteous and informative for the Council to be able to absorb the pertinent information quickly and clearly.

It is realized that not everyone has the time, skill or sometimes inclination to speak before the Council. But your voice is both important and should be heard. Therefore, a list appears below for your convenience. Please write to your Governor and your legislators, other City Council members and friends to let them know that drastic cuts in any measure may not be needed. If we share the burden, all of us may survive! Below is a list of your legislators names and addresses. Email is also acceptable, but the handwritten letter still receives the most attention.

For Japantown Community Congress information, please click here for the last Congress or call Kathy Sakamoto at (408) 298-4303 or email: jtsj@ix.netcom.com for updated info on the new organization which combines many Japantown organizations the "Japantown Community Congress of San Jose" or JCCsj.

see info on next page...
District Three Community Budget Workshop
 April 26, 2003
Elected Leadership Contact Information

Governor Gray Davis

State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senator Wesley Chesbro
CA State Senate Budget Committee Chr
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA 95814
Assemblymember Jenny Oropeza
CA State Assembly Budget Comm Chr
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249

Mayor Ron Gonzales

801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95100

Vice Mayor Pat Dando

District 10
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110

Councilmember Linda LeZotte
District 1
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95100

Councilmember Forrest Williams
District 2
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95100


Councilmember Cindy Chavez

District 3
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110

Councilmember Chuck Reed
District 4
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110
Councilmember Nora Campos
District 5
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110
Councilmember Ken Yeager
District 6
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110

Councilmember Terry Gregory
District 7
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110
Councilmember David Cortese
District 8
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110
Councilmember Judy Chirco
District 9
801 N. First Street, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110


District Three Community Budget Workshop
 April 26, 2003

Advocacy Strategy Guidelines

Letter Writing Outline
(Letters should be one page, hand written, and personal)




Paragraph 1)  Introduce yourself and describe your involvement with the community.

Paragraph 2)  Explain your budget priorities and why the priorities are important (be specific, use personal experiences
                        to expand on the importance.

Paragraph 3)  Describe what you would like to e done to protect your priorities (be specific if possible).


Address and Email


Council Hearing and Council Office Tips

  • As a group, decide what your unified message will be (if a group) and what specific points each individual will address. (groups save council time and the city's money!)
  • It is important not to repeat information, but a common message is key
  • Introduce yourself and your involvement with the community
  • Practice your rap ahead of time so that you are familiar with it and can keep it under 2 minutes
  • List top 2 or 3 priorities/concerns rather than all of them.