Although Valley Politics focuses on local politics and public policy, the election of President Donald Trump has us talking more and more about national politics.
In January, tech columnist Michelle Quinn joined us to discuss the engagement of tech leaders in the presidential campaign and the potential impact of Trump’s policies on the tech industry. We’ve seen plenty of headline news about how tech leaders are interacting (or not) with our new president and we’ll see much more as his policies on immigration, trade, corporate taxes, net neutrality and other issues roll out. Having overwhelmingly supported and voted for Hillary Clinton for president, our Valley and our leading industry are not in a strong position to influence these matters, but it’s been good to see tech leaders and local elected officials speaking up.
Our February show focused on what nonprofits and governments are doing to help the Valley’s unauthorized immigrant population prepare for and cope with President Trump’s prospective immigration reforms. Immigrants comprise more than 38% of our county’s population. Most are here legally, but over 180,000 are undocumented–and many families have members of mixed status. Among those most likely to be affected soon are residents who were brought here as children, grew up as Americans and gained temporary legal status (so they could take jobs and get drivers’ licenses) through President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. This could be taken away from them at the stroke of the president’s pen. To learn what’s being done locally to help unauthorized immigrants, we talked with Maricela Gutierrez of SIREN and Zulma Maciel of San Jose’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. See the show here: http://www.creatvsj.org/valley-politics/
We’ll talk more about this and the role of local law enforcement in immigration policy in the next two months when our guests will be San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and President of the County Board of Supervisors Dave Cortese.
And the next big issue for the Valley could be President Trump’s plans for infrastructure spending. The budget to build BART to downtown San Jose relies on a projected $1.5 billion in federal funds. Is this where President Trump will want to spend that kind of money?
–Terry Christensen, Professor Emeritus San Jose State University and Host and Co-producer of Valley Politics
Editor’s Note: Due to filming delays, because of the San Jose flood, the March episode of Valley Politics will not post until the second week of March. The player below contains the February episode, and all past episodes, of the show.