Sunday, July 2, 2023

Fighting drug use in Downtown San Jose

We absolutely cannot let Downtown San Jose turning into the hellhole that Downtown San Francisco has become when it comes to crime and drug use. I was very please to see Mayor Matt Mahan's proactive approach to this problem and I think this letter below is spot on.  Downtown must be safe for businesses, residents, and visitors. Drug use or sales in front of businesses like 7eleven is completely unacceptable. 

Some businesses are already trusting that things will improve and are coming back to life--such as the bakery Holy Cannoli on Santa Clara Street. Actions speak louder than words, so hopefully we can all work together to make San Jose a better place.

Dear Neighbor, 

Last week, Police Chief Mata, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and I made something very clear: San Jose has a zero-tolerance policy for drug dealing.

This collaboration and commitment to safety is how we will continue to make sure our families are safe, and those struggling with addiction get the care they need to curb their addiction. 

After this announcement, we heard some good news. Holy Cannoli, a bakery on Santa Clara St., said that they will be reopening because our message gave them hope that downtown will be safer and more customer-friendly in the days ahead. Our back-to-basics focus on safety is giving some of our downtown business owners the confidence they need to continue operating. 

But what does a zero-tolerance policy really mean? 

It means we will respond, respond appropriately and respond at once to prevent any congregation of drug use or sales. It means that those who are dealing drugs in our city will be arrested and prosecuted. It means that those who are addicted to drugs will be held accountable for getting treatment, especially when their addiction is associated with other crimes. We need to work together to make this happen. 

The Chief, Sheriff and I can’t solve this problem alone. 

We need you. We need every member of the community to be vigilant, and report illegal behavior to our police department by calling 911. Our officers can’t be everywhere at once, but our neighbors already are. 

We need the District Attorney to prosecute dealers, and those who are repeatedly committing crime because of their addiction – and DA Rosen has told me that this is a priority for him. 

We need Santa Clara County to create a secure in-patient treatment facility for those whose addiction is leading them to repeated criminal behavior so that judges can hold them accountable for detoxing and getting treatment. We also need more voluntary treatment options to reduce demand for drugs more broadly and give people the support they need to improve their lives.

We need our state representatives to support common sense reforms like SB43. This legislation will expand conservatorship laws by changing the definition of gravely disabled to include those who are unable to care for themselves due to mental illness or severe addiction. This is an incredibly important tool that will allow us to mandate treatment for those who are beyond the point at which they can make rational decisions for themselves. 

By collaborating to tackle both the supply and demand side of drug dealing, we will put ourselves on the path to being the safest big city in the country again. 


Mayor, City of San José

No comments:

Post a Comment