Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Posts by Peter Allen

San Jose: Tale of Two Cities

We San Joseans are a schizophrenic bunch. We’re all for economic development, but we consistently complain about noise generated by the airplanes, traffic, and sporting events that come with it. We’re pro-environment, but we’ll drive our Hummers to shop in Campbell or Milpitas, so we can have plastic bags to pick up our dog droppings. We’re pro-innovation, but we do very little to attract the startups and R&D projects that form the backbone of our region, and we add insult to injury by embracing the misnomer “Capital of Silicon Valley.”

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An Open Letter to Larry Baer

Dear Larry: We need to talk. It started a few years back, when Lew Wolff got it in his head that Oakland wasn’t the best home for the ballclub he’d recently purchased. The A’s play in a rundown stadium in a decrepit area of town in front of a dwindling—albeit loud and loyal—fanbase. The organization’s limited revenue stream prevents it from building a consistent winner and essentially makes them a ward of the league. Enter San Jose.

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Drawing Lines in the Sand

With the filing deadline for the June primary coming up on Friday, I thought we’d take a closer look at the 2011 redistricting process that created the current San José City Council districts. It was the second consecutive redistricting process that saw very few changes to the geography of San Jose’s political map. But you can’t blame them for not taking bolder steps. The City Charter left the commissioners only a few months to finish their work. Meanwhile, they were under siege from residents who’d prefer that nothing ever change. Ever.

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Democratic Primary Wars

Earlier this month, I attended my fourth California Democratic Party Convention as an elected delegate to the State Central Committee (or DSCC). If I tried to explain how CDP functions, I’d blow my word limit, and you’d still be confused. At its core, the DSCC exists to set a platform for California Democrats and endorse candidates for state and federal offices. Primary endorsement contests generally amount to two formerly cordial Democrats nitpicking their respective records to death.

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Commission Consolidation a Big Mistake

As someone who embraces public service as an integral part of the American social contract, it dismays me when government moves to minimize the voice of the people it represents. Case in point: The recent flirtation with folding 20 volunteer City Commissions into five. Yes, that’s five.