Ash Kalra

Kalra: My Time at the DNC

San Jose Councilmember Ash Kalra has been in Charlotte, N.C., all week as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention. The following is a recap of his first three days at the Convention. President Obama will deliver his DNC speech tonight, and Kalra has agreed to write an additional column for San Jose Inside on Friday.—Editor

My journey to Charlotte began at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Sunday morning. During my tenure on the City Council I have found it difficult to leave the city for extended periods of time. In fact, this week in Charlotte will be my longest time away from San Jose during my entire time in office. Thankfully, there was no council meeting this week due to the short week following Labor Day. And since residents are rightfully concerned about how taxpayer dollars are spent, you should know that I’m personally paying for this trip—I am not using any city funds or special interest contributions.

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Kalra Attends DNC in Charlotte

UPDATE: It turns out San Jose Councilmember Pete Constant did attend the Republican National Convention. Check back for more details.

San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra is in Charlotte, North Carolina this week to attend the Democratic National Convention. He is one of almost 6,000 party-nominated delegates. While he is attending the week-long rally, Kalra will be keeping touch with San Jose Inside. At the end of the week, the councilmember will give us a recap of the events, who he interacted with and his impressions of where the party is headed into the November election.

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Council Meeting Focuses on Ballot Initiatives

The first City Council meeting of the 2012-13 fiscal year Tuesday will feature votes on approving language for three major ballot initiatives for November: a sales and use tax increase, a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage, and an increase in the number of card tables at the city’s two casinos.

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Library Initiative Mistake Highlights First Rules Committee Agenda

And we’re back! The Rules Committee gets to business Wednesday after a six-week layoff, and among the items on the docket are the city clerk’s library initiative gaffe, a push for less transparency regarding election swag, a review of public officials’ calendars and a City Hall gadfly offering his services to lead a department.

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Nguyen Secretly Declares Mayoral Run

Madison Nguyen’s plan to run for mayor of San Jose appears to be the worst kept secret at City Hall these days—mainly because she keeps telling everyone before adding that it’s “a secret.” Three of Nguyen’s colleagues confirmed that the District 7 councilmember started spreading word of her plan to run before the June 5 primaries.


How the Minority Wins Elections

Lost in the exaggerated numbers of Tuesday’s primary election vote totals is this very frightening reality: Less than 8 percent of the electorate is all it takes to amass political power in our county. And if there is money to push an issue, it’s becoming almost impossible to stop millionaires and multinational corporations from getting what they want.


Committee Delays on Gay Marriage Memo

A well attended Rules and Open Government Committee meeting Wednesday dealt with an uncommon topic at City Hall these days: love. Or, to be more precise, love between a couple that doesn’t consist of a man and a woman. After more than an hour of public comments where many people framed marriage as a civil rights issue and others called it a sacred religious institution, Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio unanimously agreed to delay any action on a memo from Councilmember Ash Kalra that wanted the City Council to form a resolution in support of gay marriage.

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Mayor’s Gay Marriage Stance Challenged

Three San Jose councilmembers want Mayor Chuck Reed to sign his name on the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry online petition. More than 200 mayors have done so, but Reed, who supports Prop 8, has thus far refused. This prompted councilmembers Ash Kalra, Don Rocha and Kansen Chu to bring the matter before the Rules Committee today with a “you’re not in Kansas anymore” resolution.


Minimum Wage Goes to Council

Update: The San Jose City Council voted unanimously to send a minimum wage proposal to voters after it failed to be adopted by San Jose City Council Tuesday night. The motion to immediately adopt a higher minimum wage than surrounding cities failed on an 8-3 vote. The proposal will raise the minimum hourly wage in San Jose from $8 to $10, if passed by voters.