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City Manager's Weekly Report: January 31, 2020

Post Date:01/31/2020 1:23 PM

Read below for a roundup of City of San José news and happenings this week.   

Neil Rufino Appointed Assistant Director for Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services: Neil Rufino has been appointed Assistant Director for the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Department. Rufino began his public service career while a student at San José State University. He led after school programs at Seven Trees Elementary and then established the Filipino Youth Coalition, a nonprofit organization. In 1996, Rufino joined the City of San José as a Community Coordinator. He developed the Safe Schools Campus Initiative, keeping students safe from violence at school, and progressively took on more challenging roles such as managing the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force and San José BEST grants, establishing public/private partnerships, and serving as the Administrative Officer at the Library. Most recently, he was Deputy Director of the Recreation and Neighborhood Service Division for PRNS. For more information, contact Jon Cicirelli, Director, at 408-793-5553.

Luz Cofresi-Howe Appointed Assistant Director of Finance: Julia Cooper, Finance Director, has appointed Luz Cofresi-Howe as Assistant Director. Cofresi-Howe has over 25 years of experience directing day-to-day financial operations in large, complex public and non-profit agencies, most recently with the North County Transit District in San Diego County. Luz’s work experience stretches from coast to coast with senior leadership positions at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Washington DC; County of Loudoun, Leesburg, Virginia; San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and, San Francisco Municipal Railway. For more information, contact Julia Cooper, Director, at 408-535-7011.

2020 Census Streetlight Pole Banners Raise Awareness of Census Day: Census Day, April 1, is fast-approaching. This week, Transportation Department staff began installing census streetlight pole banners throughout the city to raise awareness. English, Spanish, and Vietnamese language banners will be installed at 400 targeted locations to help reach communities who may be at risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census. Banner installation has started on Story Road, Alum Rock Avenue, Stevens Creek Blvd. and West San Carlos Street. The full list of locations includes, East Santa Clara Street, Winchester Blvd., North 4th Street, Tully Road, Senter Road, Santa Teresa Blvd., San Felipe Road, Hillsdale Avenue, East and West Blossom Hill Roads, Camden Avenue, Berryessa Road, Monterey Road. For questions or more information, contact Vilcia Rodriguez, Project Manager, at 408-535-5602, or visit Census 2020 | San Jose Counts.

Over 44 Organizations Attend Census Training: The City of San José, in partnership with Facebook and United Way Bay Area, sponsored a half-day training at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on Jan. 29. Staff from Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach provided training on Facebook best practices and tools to engage the community in census outreach efforts. Over 60 representatives from 44 organizations including non-profits, City of San José, and other government agencies attended the event. For more information, contact Vilcia Rodriguez, Project Manager, at 408-535-5602. 

San José Clean Energy Aims to Reach Spanish-language Speakers with New Video: San José Clean Energy (SJCE) staff created a culturally relevant video to build awareness of the new city-run electricity utility among San José’s Spanish-speaking communities. Staff wrote and directed the video and worked with local filmmaker Giovani Hidalgo to bring it to life. The actors include a local business owner and families. The video’s tagline, “Por Ti. Por Mi. Por Nuestro Futuro.” (“For you. For me. For our future.”), was developed with Milagro Marketing, a local marketing agency specializing in Hispanic marketing. The video is currently running on Telemundo. Watch the video on YouTube. For more information, contact Zach Struyk, Deputy Director, at 408-535-4999.

Knight Foundation Announces $3 Million Initiative to Redevelop Guadalupe River Park and Gardens: The Knight Foundation is committed to the redevelopment of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. The three-year $3 million initiative begins with a $600,000 award to the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), who will work with PRNS and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy to begin the community outreach and planning that will help transform the 254-acre public space into a dynamic urban riverfront. For more information, contact Nicolle Burnham, Deputy Director, at 408-793-5514.

Renovation of the Tea House at Japanese Friendship Garden Underway: PRNS began renovations to the Japanese Friendship Garden Tea House in January to repair the damage caused by the 2017 Coyote Creek flood. Plans to move the Koi pond’s pump house to prevent impacts from future flooding and upgrades to the filter system to improve overall water quality for the Koi fish are currently underway. The Japanese Friendship Garden was patterned after the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan, one of San José’s sister cities. For more information, contact Nicolle Burnham, Deputy Director, at 408-793-5514.

Funding Available to Provide Public Life Events at Saint James Park and Citywide: PRNS is seeking to establish a pool of qualified agencies experienced in providing activities that align with its guiding principle of Public Life. The goal is to work with community-based organizations and private entities to promote community spaces for a safe, fun, and healthy San José. Applicants are invited to an application workshop on Feb. 4 at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall, Wing Room 119. Applications are due Feb. 25 via WebGrants. For more information, contact Avi Yotam, Division Manager, at 408-535-3573.

To stay up-to-date on events, visit the City’s online calendar.

DS sig

David Sykes
City Manager

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