San Jose’s economy has quietly had a great year and is poised for even more growth. That was the message from Mayor Sam Liccardo as he met with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s Board of Trustees at San Jose City Hall on Wednesday (Aug. 19). Liccardo touted his city’s position as the manufacturing hub of Silicon Valley, with the city recently announcing numerous business expansions in high-tech manufacturing. In addition to industrial jobs, the mayor hopes the ongoing revitalization of the downtown core with new, high-density housing will bring more retail and commercial jobs to the area.

Mayor Liccardo also commented on the planned expansion of BART to downtown San Jose and the economic benefits it will bring, though he cautioned that a $2 billion funding gap will require the city and Santa Clara County to explore all financing options. Nanci Klein and Kim Walesh from the city’s Office of Economic Development followed the mayor with an enlightening presentation on the history of land use in San Jose and how the state’s tax system puts a financial burden on cities for creating housing.

The Board of Trustees meeting continued with discussions on the region’s housing crisis and congested transportation systems. The Board posed solutions ranging from governance reform to new financing mechanisms that could help spur investment. Strategies like these will be the focus of the Economic Institute’s forthcoming Regional Economic Strategy Roadmap, which captures policy recommendations from the business community, to be released in November. To learn about the Economic Institute’s research capabilities, contact Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg.

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