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BART to San Jose: A Success Carried On the Backs of Hundreds

Hundreds of people packed the San Jose City Hall Rotunda recently to celebrate the $900 million grant agreement from the federal government for the BART extension to Silicon Valley.

Several notable elected leaders – congress members Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, Mayor Chuck Reed and VTA Board Chair Ken Yeager – spoke eloquently about this important success, and I applaud each of them for their roles in making the BART extension happen.

Yet as I looked out into the audience, I could not help but note that such a big success is carried on the shoulders of hundreds of quiet warriors whose part in championing BART should also be celebrated and commemorated:

* Former Mayor Ron Gonzales – for launching the effort and helping to lead the 2000 “measure a” campaign.

* Governor Gray Davis – for authorizing $640 million in state funds.

* City councilman Sam Liccardo – for volunteering on both the 2000 and 2008 campaigns.

* Silicon Valley Leadership Group staff – like Bena Chang, for 80 hour work weeks on the 2008 effort.

* Labor leader Cindy Chavez – for raising money both before, and after, the campaign was completed.

When BART rolls in to San Jose in 2016, enjoy the ride – but also remember that hundreds of hard-working community members came together to make it happen.

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  1. Am glad to see that BART has made its way to my old home town, San Jose, after all of these years. So much has changed. Gone are the orchards or empty lots in the old Strawberry Park/Saratoga Ave neighborhood area of our childhood 🙂
    I would be very interested to hear your views on the High Speed Rail project.
    I am all for well thought out transportation plans, but do not feel that the State can afford to burden taxpayers with this poorly planned 98-118 billion dollar project in these fiscally troubled times– not to mention the interest on the bonds, should they be released. We can’t even fund education..how can we take on more debt for this project?

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