San Jose organizations to help city attract and retain talent, expand opportunity with $620,000 boost from Knight Foundation

Press Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 27, 2015 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced more than $620,000 in new funding to 13 projects aimed at attracting and keeping talented workers in the city, expanding economic opportunity and engaging people in shaping their community.

Related Link

"Saying yes to civic innovation in San Jose, Calif." by Daniel Harris on Knight Blog, 5/27/15

Led by a range of community development organizations, the projects align with the city of San Jose’s Envision 2040 plan, which aims to build a more walkable, mixed-use downtown core with easy access to transit and other amenities, while creating more options for residents to connect. The projects address a growing need to help urbanize a traditionally sprawling city and break down divides between people of diverse backgrounds, while creating more options for residents to contribute to problem-solving.

“San Jose has the infrastructure to be the cultural, innovation and transportation hub of the South Bay. These grants support those civic innovators working to help the city, specifically Central San Jose, reach its full potential,” said Danny Harris, Knight Foundation program director for San Jose. “We aim to make San Jose more livable, connected and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and income levels. Moreover, in supporting a range of new grantees, we also hope to create more of a ‘culture of yes’ among budding civic innovators working in support of San Jose.”

The organizations receiving support include:

•       City ID ($129,927): Developing a more vibrant and connected San Jose with a “wayfinding” needs assessment and strategy that will help people more easily maneuver throughout the city and make it more walkable.

•       Content Magazine/Silicon Valley Creates ($75,000): Helping Content Magazine, a leading resource for creative and innovative culture in San Jose, pursue ways to engage the community in city life and develop a sustainable business model.

•       CreaTV ($11,250): Expanding the “We are San Jose” storytelling campaign, a citywide video project to collect the diverse stories of city residents. 

•       Destination: Home ($75,000): Identifying pathways for housing and employment for Santa Clara County’s homeless population by supporting a feasibility study and fiscal plan that aims to tackle homelessness and engage people across the government, tech and philanthropy sectors around a unifying cause.

•       Downtown Streets Inc. ($25,000): Supporting the creation of a mobile coffee cart in St. James Park, a social enterprise working to employ the homeless and energize an important San Jose public asset.

•       Greenbelt Alliance ($75,000): Creating a thriving city of urban villages in San Jose made up of mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods with housing options across income levels.

•       Housing Trust Silicon Valley ($75,000): Helping establish more affordable and equitable housing policies through educational, community problem-solving and research activities, as well as partnership building within the region.

•       Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network/Valley Transportation Authority: ($15,000): Supporting “Hack My Ride 2.0,” a three-month online app challenge open to anyone in the world and focused on transforming mobility in Silicon Valley.

•       Metro Newspaper Silicon Valley ($10,000): Promoting SoFa, San Jose’s arts and cultural district, with a monthly full-page ad in Silicon Valley’s leading alternative press publication.   

•       Moveable Feast ($19,200): Supporting a monthly pop-up dinner series across the city’s neighborhoods that brings together diverse city leaders to discuss and act in support of the future of San Jose.

•       Wreck Studios ($10,000): Creating “The Exhibition District,” a project to convert 40,000 square feet of vacant wall space in Downtown San Jose into an outdoor art gallery.

•       San Jose Parks Foundation ($75,000): Expanding the “Summer in St. James Park” series which brings community engagement activities, such as movie nights, concerts, exercise classes and more, to the public park.

•       San Jose Public Library ($25,000): Helping to reimagine underused spaces in San Jose through the “Pop-Up Mobile Makerspaces” project, a partnership with Okada Design, which will encourage community conversations and prototyping workshops with residents at neighborhood pop-up events.

Funding for these projects forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to support the urbanization of a traditionally sprawling city with a specific focus on Central San Jose and how the city’s core can attract and retain talent, expand opportunity and build a culture of civic engagement. Since 2008, Knight Foundation has invested more than $19 million in San Jose, including a recent $1.7 million for nonprofit SPUR’s efforts to propel the city’s suburban-to-urban transformation. 

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.  For more visit, knightfoundation.org.

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Contact: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]