8 episodes

Welcome to the Only in San José podcast, aimed at demystifying and democratizing the process of civic participation in local government--ground zero of systemic change. Join me Ellina Yin, on this civic walkabout as we speak with with local San José residents, and experts, as we break down the policies, budgets, and nuances that are shaping the future of our city.

To learn more about us please visit us at www.onlyinsj.org

Only in San Jos‪é‬ Only in San José

    • Government

Welcome to the Only in San José podcast, aimed at demystifying and democratizing the process of civic participation in local government--ground zero of systemic change. Join me Ellina Yin, on this civic walkabout as we speak with with local San José residents, and experts, as we break down the policies, budgets, and nuances that are shaping the future of our city.

To learn more about us please visit us at www.onlyinsj.org

    City Constitutional Commission

    City Constitutional Commission

    Welcome to one of our favorite commissions, the Charter Review Commission aka City Charter Constitutional Commission for funsies. On this episode we will cover one of the foundational legal documents that governs our city just after California and the U.S. Constitution. This episode includes audio clips from the Charter Review Commission public meetings under Public Domain.

    Resource Links:

    (1) Sign Up for the Only in San José Newsletter 

    (2) SJ Charter Review Commission 

    (3) SJ Charter Review Commission Past Meetings 

    (4) Detroit Charter Commission 

    (5) Shelby v Holden 

    (6) Letter v Spirit of Law 

    (7) At-Will Employment

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Redistricting Commission

    Redistricting Commission

    In this episode we will be covering the San José Redistricting Commission which happens every 10 years following the US Census. Our guest for this episode is Deputy City Attorney for City of San José and SJSU alum Mark Vanni. Join us as we break down the work of the Redistricting Commission for 2021. Disclaimer: Our interview with Mark was recorded back in November 2020.


     Redistricting Commission (next meeting is June 17th, every 3rd Thursday)
     All Redistricting Commission Meetings
     California State Redistricting Commission
     Application for 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission

    • 30 min
    What is a City Manager?

    What is a City Manager?

    The City of San José's 2021 Charter Review Commission (CRC) is studying the City Charter to understand whether our City’s governance structure is appropriately suited to meet the complex needs of a contemporary community. Such as, examining the relationship between the mayor, council, and the city manager's office. Our guest on this episode to help shed light on the details of this position and the Office of the City Manager as a whole is former Deputy City Manager for the City of San José, Kim Walesh.


    2020-2021/2021-2022 City Budget Calendar
    Auditor’s Service Effort & Accomplishments Report
    City of San José Budget Documents
    2021/2022 Five Year Forecast
    All Recorded City Budget Meetings

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Ethics Commission

    Ethics Commission

    Join Only in San Jose as we attempt to Un-Confusing Campaign Finance & Political Practices with SJ resident Adrian Gonzales, a professional consultant in local government processes and current Chair of the Board of Fair Campaign and Political Practices (formerly Ethics Commission). Together we will breakdown the upcoming Nov 2020 Ballot Measure, nuances in campaigning for office, the mechanisms the public have to participate, and the political practices that are shaping our city’s future.

    Resources Links:


    Board of Fair Campaign & Political Practices (Apply!): cutt.ly/sj-bfcpp

    Campaign Reports: cutt.ly/sj-form700

    California Fair Political Practices Commission (CFPPC): fppc.ca.gov/

    City Charter (refer to Section 607 Code): cutt.ly/sj-citycharter

    Municipal Code (refer to Title 12): cutt.ly/muni-code


    Special City Council Meeting: cutt.ly/july28-special

    Register to Vote: registertovote.ca.gov/

    Keeping up with Only in San Jose:

    Website: onlyinsj.org

    Newsletter: cutt.ly/osj-subscribe

    Become a Member: cutt.ly/osj-patreon

    Volunteer: cutt.ly/osj-volunteer

    • 43 min
    Planning Commission Part II

    Planning Commission Part II

    In this episode, “The Planning Commission Part II” we will be joined by the newly reappointed and current Chair of the Planning Commission Mariel Caballero and picking up where we left off in episode 2. Join us as we take a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts of this particular commission. If you are interested in learning more please check out the following links:


    San Jose Planning Commission Contacts: cutt.ly/pc-contacts
    Planning Commission Meetings: cutt.ly/pc-meetings
    General 2040 Plan: cutt.ly/sj-general-plan
    Volunteer with us: cutt.ly/osj-volunteer
    Subscribe to our newsletter: cutt.ly/osj-subscribe
    Become a member: cutt.ly/osj-patreon


    P.S. - I’m still working on some background noise for phone call interviews, please bare with me! Thank you!!

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Planning Commission Part I

    Planning Commission Part I

    The Planning Commission Part 1: What they do, their impacts and influences, some historical context, and where they are at now. If you are interested in learning more we invite you to check out the following links that served as sources for this episode:


    San Jose Planning Commission: cutt.ly/planning-commission
    Alum Rock Urban Village Advocates: aruva.org
    SJSU CommUniverCity: cutt.ly/sjsu-aruva
    SJ Spotlight Article: cutt.ly/sjspotlight
    Seneca Village: cutt.ly/seneca
    Capital City by Samuel Stein: cutt.ly/capital-city
    Become an OSJ Member: cutt.ly/osj-patreon

    • 14 min

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