San Jose rolls out quarterly scorecards to monitor progress on major issues

The City of San Jose released new scorecards tracking progress in major issues the city is addressing. Mayor Matt Mahan promised to run the city more like a business and presented results from initial findings at this week’s city council meeting. 

On Tuesday, San Jose city officials laid out the data collected and progress made since they implemented its focus area scorecard plan in May. 

"On the housing piece, the data we saw is fairly concerning in terms of number of units produced. In terms of us chipping away at our broader housing challenge that we have locally and statewide," said one San Jose resident during the public comment session.  

Mahan says the data will give direction to city leadership as they address major issues. 

"To me, it’s all about creating a faster learning cycle, having constant feedback, coming together as a council, looking at actual performance data, and continuing to evolve our approach," Mahan said.  

The four key focus areas being monitored or scored are community safety, unsheltered homelessness, clean neighborhoods and investing in jobs and housing. The city says so far, it’s taken steps to address homelessness by opening another hotel and RV safe parking site. 

"For every household we house and that exits homelessness, two households become unhoused. I think this statistic truly highlights the importance of providing aid to lower-income families," said Peter Ortiz, San Jose City Council member for District 5.  

The city surveyed 800 residents and found that when it comes to safety in San Jose, 40% of those surveyed think homelessness is the biggest contributor to feeling unsafe and 35% say it's crime and violence. 

San Jose says it’s recently deployed 78 license plate readers and created a new bail form in Santa Clara County and there are more programs to come. 

"Whether that’s drug treatment, mental health counseling, job training, job placement. Get someone on a program and hold them accountable for turning their lives around," Mahan said.  

Mahan says about 3,000 residents will be surveyed in this first year of scorecards, and it’s his hope that San Jose will once again become the safest big city in California.