San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo waited until the second to last day possible to deliver his city-required, annual State of the City address. The speech happened virtually and was originally supposed to occur in the spring but was put on hold because of the pandemic.
The tone of Liccardo’s address started off grim, with the mayor acknowledging the well known fact that San Jose has been battered by the pandemic and many other challenges.
“Amid a year of pandemic, wildfires, civil unrest, and painful recession, our Charter’s mandate to address the current state of City affairs seems something of an absurd legal formality,” Liccardo said.
Liccardo’s very next words got even darker when he remembered San Jose resident Patricia Dowd who became the first person in the U.S. to die from Covid-19.
He then touched on the many ways San Jose residents continue to get hit by pandemic-related obstacles, that for some, have been impossible to overcome.
“Tens of thousands more of our neighbors have endured sleepless nights over lost jobs, an inability to pay rent, or mounting bills. Parents have wrestled with the wrenching choice between going back to work to support their children and staying home to care for those same homebound children. Hundreds of small business owners have shuttered their doors, watching their dreams evaporate with their life savings. What is the “State of our City?” Our city is suffering, as it has never suffered before,” said Liccardo.
Liccardo spent a great deal of time thanking the people of San Jose for their “fortitude and humanity” amid the pandemic.
This included community leaders, first responders, medical workers, essential workers like clerks and restaurant employees, students, and even the San Jose State Football team which was picked to finished last in their conference but showed extreme resilience and ended up going undefeated.
Liccardo also looked toward the future and what is next for the city of San Jose. He reminded people of the extreme issues the city was already facing before the pandemic even started but assured residents there is hope on the horizon.
“Well after this pandemic has passed, we will continue grappling with chronic crises of affordable housing, homelessness, climate change, and a widening economic divide. Our ability to innovate and adapt today, however, gives us hope not merely for a return to a new normal, but for a better normal. How can we achieve this better normal? With the same resilience the same generous, innovative spirit as our community has shown throughout this pandemic,” said Liccardo.
Mayor Liccardo promised to reveal more about San Jose’s post-pandemic plans after this current holiday surge settles down.
He says he will share how the city plans to help small businesses that are barely hanging on and says the city will be pushing ahead with major infrastructure plans.
Liccardo also says the city’s push to end racial injustice and reform its police department is still alive and well.
“This is our moment to write a new chapter for our city, to define our generation’s special place in history, and to lead a badly ailing nation on a path of healing,” Liccardo said in closing while wishing residents a happy new year.