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Candidates for Santa Clara County’s D1 have very similar priorities, but starkly various strategies

SANTA CLARA COUNTY — In one particular of the most consequential Santa Clara County races in latest memory, a San Jose councilmember is searching for to disrupt District 1’s many years-extensive conservative profitable streak, likely tipping the balance towards the Board of Supervisors’ progressive camp for several years to arrive.

Sylvia Arenas, who represents parts of East San Jose, squares off towards Johnny Khamis, a previous San Jose Town Council member. Khamis is seeking to capture the reasonable and conservative voters in the typically rural district, which stretches into southern Santa Clara County.

Whoever is elected will aid make a decision how to expend a gargantuan funds north of $11 billion — around equal to the overall gross domestic products of The Bahamas — and oversee a district that involves the metropolitan areas of Morgan Hill and Gilroy and is in the midst of main demographic shifts.

Although both of those Arenas and Khamis have equivalent priorities – equally are promising to deal with homelessness, community safety and the write-up-pandemic economic restoration – their strategies to resolving problems are starkly distinctive.

“I believe that in investments and modifying programs,” mentioned Arenas, whose phrase on the San Jose Town Council finishes in 2024. “And I really don’t know that I am just viewing that from my opponent.”

In the meantime, Khamis says he is wary of unchecked county expending. “Before we get into a thing, I want to examine the pros and downsides,” he explained, “if we’re obtaining a superior value or if we’re finding robbed.”

SAN JOSE – MARCH 17: San Jose City councilmember Sylvia Arenas speaks during a push convention outdoors of the San Jose Law enforcement division in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, March, 17, 2021. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group) 

Q&A on the difficulties

What do you assume about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Care Court docket, a new method that will have California counties mandating mental wellness care in particular instances?

Arenas: “It is not the remedy to all of our complications. What is lacking is extremely extended-time period treatment. That’s what really is going to set people up for accomplishment. Just forgetting about these folks is not the option.”

Khamis: “Very a great deal in assistance. I want to make sure that (the funding) receives put in correctly.”

A new Santa Clara County jail proposal several years in the building was a short while ago pushed apart. Would you vote for the facility to get built or not?

Arenas: “I’m not positive particularly exactly where I would land. I want to make absolutely sure there is an atmosphere that is dignified for these who are functioning there and incarcerated. And I want to make guaranteed that there are mental wellbeing facilities that are not in existence now.”

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Khamis: “I assume we can not enable best be the enemy of the superior. Going out to bid for yrs is not the proper way to get (issues) completed.”

The county is at the moment embroiled in a lawsuit towards a San Jose church the place they’re trying to retrieve hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-similar fines. It has also long gone soon after small firms for identical violations. What do you consider about this and the county’s general technique to the pandemic?

Arenas: “I imagine it was extra important to retain people risk-free. I unquestionably go to my church to fulfill my spiritual desires. But I really don’t question them for my clinical suggestions.”

Khamis: “I considered the complete county’s method was draconian from working day one. I want to forgive these fines for everyone. Why need to we continue to keep heading down this road? Cease chasing funds that I really don’t feel we’re ever going to get.”

A sand and gravel mine is being proposed in D1 near Gilroy. Do you assistance or oppose it?

Arenas: “I know that there are the indigenous tribal teams hoping to secure that land. At times, (mining resources have) been prioritized around honoring the land of the persons right before us. We need to have to make sure that we continue to help that.”

Khamis: “I have to just take a glance at the numbers. How bad for the natural environment is this? Are we pushing off our air pollution to yet another nation? I really do not know exactly where I stand … but I would lean on searching at the specifics, pros and cons, as I do in just about every conclusion.”

What is a person nice detail you can say about your opponent?

Arenas: “I like Johnny. We get along. What I respect about him is his concentration on his household. He is evidence of how people today can conquer and be productive in this region.”

Khamis: “I consider that (Sylvia) is really personable. She has really great social skills. I consider that she is quite socially adept. I believe she connects with individuals perfectly.”

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Councilmember Johnny Khamis is photographed during a city council meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Area News Group)
Councilmember Johnny Khamis is photographed in the course of a metropolis council meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Place Information Team) 

Who will come out on leading?

While Arenas was equipped to outpoll Khamis in the June principal by 1,462 votes, political analysts of the race say that there’s no very clear frontrunner at the instant.

“It is so tricky to forecast races like these,” said San Jose Condition College political science professor Larry Gerston. “The turnout and the electorate is somewhat smaller. And when you are chatting about anything that compact, a variation of four to 5 thousand votes could entirely rewrite what anyone is thinking.”

Nonetheless, a handful of developments since the principal could supply clues as to who will be the following supervisor.

Khamis has secured the endorsements of latest D1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman — who is terming out this calendar year just after serving considering that 2010 — and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, which could be critical in attracting average and conservative voters in the space.

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