Mayor Sam Liccardo launched #BeautifySJ in his 2017 State of the City speech to rally residents to reclaim their public spaces and empower the community to aesthetically demonstrate their pride in our city. In addition to the many ways that residents can help the City beautify San José, City Hall will engage in a number of new policy decisions and opportunities in the coming months that will make San José more attractive:
- Helping CalTrans fill its vacancies with formerly jailed or homeless clients at Goodwill and the Downtown Streets Team.
- Restoring CalTrans contracts for graffiti abatement.
- Launching a partnership among San Jose Conservation Corps and CalTrans.
- Expanding our free residential junk pickup service.
- Boosting enforcement on illegal dumping.
- Launching a new smartphone app to make it easier for residents to report and address neighborhood blight.
- Expanding the availability of small grants to neighborhoods to spur beautification efforts: converting vacant lots to urban gardens, covering graffiti-tagged walls with beautiful murals, or planting street trees.
- Partnering with the Knight Foundation to offer “placemaking grants” to local students to activate the neglected spaces in their neighborhoods.
- Leading weekly neighborhood cleanups across the city.
BeautifySJ grants – $200,000 proposed for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. Proposed parameters (this is subject to change with additional input):
- Minimum of $1,000 project, up to a $5,000 funding request
- Two-year completion time-line – January 1st, 2018 – December 31, 2019 with a mini report due at year one. A two-year cycle will allow extra time for projects to get permission from a school, or DOT or parks, etc.
- Dollar for dollar volunteer-time match requirement
- A portion of the grant request may allow for paying for food, water, etc. for volunteers during the project.
- A portion of the grant request may allow for an additional insurance rider for the project, if needed.
- Groups will apply via the existing webgrants system (like the CAP and other grants) * Each group will register their funded project on www.beautifysj.org so people can follow their before, during and after work and pictures online. The final report for the projects will be a simple, short report that includes before, during and after pictures on the website
What Neighborhoods should do now:
- Have updated bylaws, officers, officer contact information (especially the emails and phone numbers) available to update on webgrants.
- Register with webgrants at grants.sanjoseca.gov/index.do and upload information to your account such as officer information, bylaws, etc. to save you time later
- Start thinking about their ideas now so when the grant applications come out, an idea has been brought up and discussed.
- Schools and other groups aren’t off the table for projects, but we want neighborhood groups to be the main applicant.
- Start reaching out to groups to help you think through the scoping of the project.
- If they are not a registered group or don’t have bylaws, we will have a bylaws template posted on the BeautifySJ.org site soon under the “organize” tab that will offer a by-laws template for them to use.