Shouldn’t those in need welcome new business instead of shunning it?  

Disrupting San Jose (SJ) Mayor Sam Liccardo’s State of the City Address, demonstrators complained about the plans to break ground on a new Google campus a decade from now.

“Say it loud, say it clear, Google is not welcome here,” and “Not our mayor!” they yelled, reported CBS affiliate 5KPIX.

The protesters meant to be disruptive.

“People are fearing that they won’t be able to live in SJ,” said Serve the People San Jose member Liz Gonzalez. “We have to be in their face because we’re fighting to stay in the city that we grew up with that we love where our family and friends are,” she said.

The complaints come from a lack of affordable housing. Nevertheless, “I just don’t think shouting at each other is the right way to have a dialogue,” says City Councilwoman Deb Davis. She warned that the aggressive, in-your-face methods of the demonstrators could have an adverse affect. Davis added that she understood their concerns. “We have a public process set up. It will be public,” she says. “There will be plenty of time for everyone’s voices to be heard.”

For all of California’s financial woes–and they’re plentiful– U.S.News lists SJ third, THIRD, in its annual best places to live rankings. And even as the state struggles to get out of its economic doldrums, the “Capital of the Silicon Valley” has a thriving job market that Google will only add to.

Mayor Liccardo says the city’s housing issues were around long before Google. He’s revealed a plan to build 25,000 new homes, 10,000 of them affordable, in the next five years. He believes the public needs to relax on the complaining.

Affordable Housing Network President Sandy Perry disagreed and thinks businesses are obligated to provide for the needy. “Google is not responsible for San Jose’s problems? That’s ridiculous,” she says. “They’re a part of this community. They have to be responsible for the social problems in this community,” she blustered.

 

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