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Joanna Rauh

Running for: 

Council District 3

Campaign Website: 

1) PAC*SJ recently released its first annual “Endangered Eight” list of the most threatened historic places in San José. As a resident of the City, which of these eight places most resonates with you personally? Which of these would you use the power of your elected office to address, and how? 

The First Church of Christ, Scientist resonates most with me. It is right down the street from our home, and we would love to see a safe, clean, and fun St. James Park and surrounding area! I would bring my 15 years of negotiation experience in the private sector to bring people and organizations together to bring real change to City Hall to drive toward real solutions.

2) Is there a historic place or preservation issue not on our “Endangered Eight” list that you would nominate to be added? If so, what solutions would you offer as an elected official to address the issue/threat? 

Although not a particular place, I would love to see any redevelopment plans to take into account the historic neon signs, and in particular the neon signs on San Carlos.

3) Do you believe that SB9, which allows by-right redevelopment of up to four new units on most single-family-zoned parcels statewide, is compatible with the preservation of older and historic homes and neighborhoods? Why or why not?  

I do not support SB9 because it is a one size fits all approach that fails to take local considerations into account, and neighborhoods should not be changed without hearing the community's voice.

4) In the past two years alone, at least five vacant historic buildings in San José have been lost to fire, and many more have suffered from chronic neglect and vandalism. How would you propose more effective code enforcement to prevent the continued loss of our historic resources to neglect? What additional measures would you propose to address these systemic problems? 

Public safety is a top priority of our campaign and will be a top priority of my service on the City Council. I'm proud to have the endorsement of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, and will work with law enforcement to revisit policies related to code enforcement, to make sure our Police are sufficiently staffed, equipped, and trained, and to address the homelessness crisis to our Police are freed up to spend more time on community policing to keep our neighborhoods safe.

5) Do you believe the city should collect compensatory mitigation fees from development projects that result in the demolition of historic resources? Why or why not? If such a policy was instituted, how would you like to see those funds directed?

I would need to know more about any such compensatory mitigation fees and how they would be assessed, but do believe that we need to work with developers to preserve our historic buildings and spaces and to maintain our City's rich cultural heritage.

6) The City has long acknowledged that our Historic Resources Inventory-- a citywide survey of historic sites intended to proactively guide development decisions-- is incomplete and out-of-date. Do you support increased City funding and staffing levels to ensure that the HRI is an up-to-date and effective planning tool? 

We should work to make sure our historic sites are protected, and that starts with an accurate and up-to-date HRI. This may be a great opportunity for CommuniverCity resources!

7) What role do you believe that historic preservation should play in creating and sustaining a vibrant and culturally diverse future for San José? Is there a particular project or effort you have undertaken--either professionally or personally-- that best embodies your vision for historic preservation in San José? 

I believe historic preservation should play a central role in the future of our City. One of the things that makes San Jose such a special city is it both celebrates our heritage and deep cultural roots, while at the same time has always welcomed new neighbors and ushered in the future. We can do both, and we can do better. Our own home, for instance, was designed by Frank Delos Wolfe, and we cherish the architecture.

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