MediterraneanGrocery Wholesalers in San Jose, CA

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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in San Jose

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in San Jose, CA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of San Jose's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in San Jose. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in San Jose, CA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery San Jose, CA

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in San Jose,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets San Jose, CA

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store San Jose, CA

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery San Jose, CA

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in San Jose, CA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores San Jose, CA

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market San Jose, CA

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in San Jose, CA.

 Greek Grocery Store San Jose, CA

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store San Jose, CA

Latest News in San Jose, CA

San José Achieves Cleanest Power Mix of Ten Largest U.S. Cities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMedia Contact:Rachel Davis, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, [email protected] JOSÉ, CA - Today, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and San José Clean Energy (SJCE) announced a major accomplishment in San José’s efforts to combat the effects of climate change. SJCE, the c...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Rachel Davis, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, [email protected]v

SAN JOSÉ, CA - Today, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and San José Clean Energy (SJCE) announced a major accomplishment in San José’s efforts to combat the effects of climate change. SJCE, the community choice energy provider for 350,000 homes and businesses in San José, has achieved a 95% carbon-free electricity mix through their use of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, and is the cleanest electricity mix out of the ten largest cities in the country. Renewable sources like solar and wind comprise 60% of SJCE’s power mix, up from 45% offered by SJCE in 2019.

“San José continues to lead the nation through innovative solutions in our fight against climate change,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “SJCE’s clean power mix is just one of the bold actions we are taking to create a sustainable future for generations to come.”

Increasing the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy powering San José is a key component of Climate Smart San José, the city’s climate action plan. In November 2021, Council pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. SJCE will play a critical role in reaching this ambitious goal.

“San José Clean Energy is proud to play this foundational role on San José’s path to a carbon-neutral, clean energy future,”said Lori Mitchell, Director of the Community Energy Department, which operates SJCE. “Our clean electricity is electrifying transportation, homes, and businesses and will improve the health of our community and planet.”

To date, SJCE has invested more than $1 billion to add new solar, wind, and battery storage to the grid at cost-effective prices for customers. In February 2022, Mayor Liccardo, along with SJCE, announced the completion of a new 62 megawatt (MW) solar generation and energy storage facility in Kern County that is delivering clean, pollution-free electricity daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. for San José homes and businesses for the next 12 years. This builds on SJCE’s investment in a 225 MW wind farm in New Mexico produced from 117 wind turbines that deliver enough clean electricity to power 186,000 San José homes.

As the community choice provider for San Joséans, SJCE sources energy at competitive rates while PG&E delivers the energy over its system of poles and wires. GreenSource, SJCE’s standard service option, is currently sourced at 60% from renewable energy. Community Choice Aggregation (CCAs) like SJCE are a driving force in California’s clean energy future: in total, 23 CCAs have contracted for nearly 10,000 MW of new solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, and energy storage, fueling renewable energy development, green jobs, and economic growth. CCAs are also driving markets for grid reliability solutions like long-duration storage. California Community Power, a group of ten CCAs (including SJCE) that have joined to procure large-scale clean energy and reliability resources, recently announced two investments in long-duration energy storage: 69 MW in Kern County and 50 MW in Escondido.

As of Spring 2022, private automobiles and transportation-related carbon emissions account for more than 50% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In light of this, San José remains the city with the single highest number of electric vehicle chargers, at a rate three times the national average. Across San José, 97%, or 1,647 chargers, are public and 52, or 3%, are private-facing chargers. With 4% of all registered vehicles in the city being fully-electric or plug-in hybrids as of 2020, San José is the city with the third-highest adoption of electric vehicles in the nation with nearly 75,000 electric vehicles on the road, countywide.

The progress on closing the disproportionate impact of the transportation sector on San José’s emissions aligns with the city’s carbon-neutral goal. Additional climate efforts include the 2021 ban on gas-powered appliances and systems in new building construction and changes to the building code to encourage electrification, energy efficiency, and on-site electric vehicle charging. San José is the largest city in the United States to have set the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 and is making strides toward reducing its citywide greenhouse gas emissions.

About the City of San José

With more than one million residents, San José comprises the 10th largest city in the United States, and one of its most diverse cities. Dan José’s into a global innovation center in the heart of Silicon Valley has resulted in the world's greatest concentration of technology talent and development.

About San José Clean Energy

San José Clean Energy (SJCE) is the local, not-for-profit electricity generation provider for homes and businesses in the City of San José. SJCE is operated by the City’s Community Energy Department and governed by the City Council. SJCE provides 350,000 customer accounts with cleaner energy at competitive rates plus the additional benefits of customer choice, community programs, local control, transparency, and accountability. For more information, please visit www.SanJoseCleanEnergy.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SJCleanEnergy.

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NEWS RELEASE: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Receives Prestigious Accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT Caitlin O'Hara, Conservation & Communications Manager 408-838-2859; [email protected] Hollow Park & Zoo Receives Prestigious Accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow is committed to maintaining standards of excellence in animal care with nearly 30 years of accreditationSAN JOSE, Calif...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT Caitlin O'Hara, Conservation & Communications Manager 408-838-2859; [email protected]

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Receives Prestigious Accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow is committed to maintaining standards of excellence in animal care with nearly 30 years of accreditation

SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 11, 2022) – Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is excited to announce that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has granted the zoo accreditation for another five-year cycle. Since 1993, the AZA has continuously accredited Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, ensuring public trust and professional recognition for the park and zoo.

AZA has been the primary accrediting body for zoos and aquariums in the nation and worldwide for over 40 years, with accreditation standards representing the “gold standard” in animal care. AZA’s standards are rigorous, scientifically founded and performance-based, applying to a variety of situations to ensure the best possible animal care and facility operation.

“The entire team is truly dedicated to the animals in their care, the conservation of those species, and public education while ensuring that Happy Hollow maintains the high standards of AZA Accreditation,” said Kiersten McCormick, General Manager.

The accreditation process encompassed over a year of work, which included an extensive written application in 2021; a two-day site inspection in January 2022; and a hearing in front of the AZA Accreditation Commission in April 2022. Happy Hollow is thankful to have had the support of the City of San José Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, Happy Hollow Foundation, and the San José Park Ranger Program throughout the process.

Through the accreditation process, Happy Hollow finds new growth opportunities to improve critical areas such as staffing and exhibit design. This accreditation also paves the way for access to certain funding opportunities, participation in Species Survival Plans, and smooth Animal Exchanges between AZA facilities.

“We gladly take on the challenge of keeping up with ever-evolving animal care standards, and we are excited to see what Happy Hollow will accomplish before our next accreditation application in 2027,” said Heather Vrzal, Zoo Curator.

About the City of San José With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has provided outdoor play to the Bay Area since 1961. Happy Hollow is a facility of the San José Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services, and is supported by the Happy Hollow Foundation. The mission of Happy Hollow is connecting people to nature through play. Happy Hollow features a unique combination of family rides and amusements, a Puppet Castle Theater, nature themed play areas, special events for all seasons, an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo, and a zoo education and wildlife conservation program with classes and camps for all ages. Happy Hollow also offers annual memberships for families and individuals. www.happyhollow.org

About Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services The City of San José Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) oversees 10 regional parks, 199 neighborhood parks, 290 park playgrounds, 48 community centers, and 62 miles of trails. It has one of the most diverse service models of any agency of its type. ActivateSJ, PRNS’ latest strategic work plan, is committed to establishing healthy communities that inspire belonging by following the guiding principles of stewardship, nature, equity & access, identity and public life. For more information, please visit activatesj.org.

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Affordable housing to sprout near San Jose’s Roosevelt Park

After years of delay, an affordable housing development near San Jose’s Roosevelt Park is poised to finally break ground—with financial help from the city.The City Council will decide Tuesday whether to accept roughly $56.5 million in state grants and loans from multiple sources for First Community Housing to start construction on a 79-unit affordable apartment complex. The housing proposal, approved by the city in 2019, has stalled for years due to lack of funding.In an effort to move the Roosevelt Park project for...

After years of delay, an affordable housing development near San Jose’s Roosevelt Park is poised to finally break ground—with financial help from the city.

The City Council will decide Tuesday whether to accept roughly $56.5 million in state grants and loans from multiple sources for First Community Housing to start construction on a 79-unit affordable apartment complex. The housing proposal, approved by the city in 2019, has stalled for years due to lack of funding.

In an effort to move the Roosevelt Park project forward, councilmembers will consider approving $12.6 million in state funding from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, a $42.1 million forgivable loan from the California Housing Accelerator Program and an additional loan of $1.8 million from the city.

The forgivable loan has zero interest for 20 years, according to the city. The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant helps fund housing projects near transit corridors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The California Housing Accelerator Program, established by the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, aims to alleviate financial burdens for affordable housing projects.

San Jose expects the financial risks associated with these state programs to be minimal.

“Getting the funding means at least 79 people would be housed here,” Monjia Belizaire, a project manager of First Community Housing, told San José Spotlight. “We’d love to start construction in June.”

San Jose has been racing to build more housing—especially affordable homes—to combat a housing crisis that has driven thousands out of the area and pushed many others into homelessness. The city has a lofty goal of building 25,000 residences, including 10,000 affordable units, by 2023, but progress continues to fall short. City leaders have started exploring incentives to entice developers to build affordable homes. These ideas include speeding up the permitting process, cutting construction taxes and doing away with commercial space requirements.

The nine-story complex, called Roosevelt Park Apartments, would feature apartments for low-income residents—40 of which would be for unhoused individuals and families. The remaining 39 apartments would be designated for youth out of foster care, families at risk of becoming homeless and people with developmental disabilities. A number of residences would be permanent supportive housing. The building’s top floor would also serve as First Community Housing’s new office space, per a city memo.

The project is expected to finish within 24 months from the start date, according to First Community Housing. The organization is a low-income developer behind several housing projects in San Jose, including the 179-unit Curtner Studios at 701 Curtner Ave., 100-unit Fourth Street Apartments and 135-unit Second Street Studios in downtown.

The development, located at 21 N. 21st St., would be steps from resources such as the Roosevelt Community Center, San Jose High School and the South Bay Sports Training & Batting Cages. It would also be roughly a half-mile from the planned 28th Street/Little Portugal BART station.

“I’m excited that after three years of diligent work by our staff, we can finally move forward to provide more affordable housing options for our unhoused individuals and families, foster youth and those with developmental disabilities,” Councilmember Raul Peralez, who represents the area where the project is located, told San José Spotlight. “I hope to see more of this type of investment from our state partners as we look to address housing needs across our city.”

Roughly $4 million from state grants would also go toward design and construction of several transportation improvements within a one-mile radius of the project, including more bike lanes, accessible walkways, enhanced crosswalks and two electric buses for VTA that will serve route 77.

First Community Housing already received a $9 million loan from the city in 2019. But with the years-long delay, construction costs have since ballooned 23%, the organization estimates. The additional $1.8 million city loan would help close the financial gap. First Community Housing also received a $1 million loan from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Affordable Housing Program to cover the increased cost.

“This provides the Roosevelt Park Apartments with the funds necessary to create 79 new affordable apartments and improvements,” city officials said in a memo. “These improvements not only provide desperately needed affordable housing, but also provide benefits to the surrounding neighborhood.”

The San Jose City Council meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Learn how to watch and participate.

This story will be updated.

San Jose National Quality Of Life Ranking Gives Critics Pause

San Jose moved up the ranks to become one of the Bay Area's two best places to live in the United States.May 20, 2022This week, San Jose moved up the ranks to become one of the Bay Area's two best places to live in the United States. But for researchers crunching similar statistics, vaulting onto the top 10 list is a bona fide head scratcher.According to the U.S. News and World Report's Best Places to Live in the...

San Jose moved up the ranks to become one of the Bay Area's two best places to live in the United States.

May 20, 2022

This week, San Jose moved up the ranks to become one of the Bay Area's two best places to live in the United States. But for researchers crunching similar statistics, vaulting onto the top 10 list is a bona fide head scratcher.

According to the U.S. News and World Report's Best Places to Live in the U.S. list of the country's 150 most populous metro areas for 2022-2023, San Jose ranked No. 5 based on factors like affordability, desirability, quality of life and job market. San Jose received a score of 6.7 out of 10. The other Bay Area city on the list was San Francisco at No. 10.

"Year after year, San Jose is at or near the top of the lists of 'best cities in the U.S.' for living, working and growing a business," Nanci Klein, San Jose's economic development director, told San José Spotlight. "Not only is San Jose the continuing global hub of innovation, but our spirit of curiosity and inclusivity drives the exciting culture, cuisine and arts scenes associated with our diversity and history."

Russell Hancock, CEO and president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said he thinks San Jose would rank high on most metrics, with the exception of housing—which he referred to as the city's "Achilles heel."

"It's a booming downtown with more to come and then some, with fabulous neighborhoods with charm and character," he told San José Spotlight. "These (reports) tend to be beauty contests, and they're constantly shifting. But when you stack up the Bay Area, it's no surprise. There aren't many places that have such an amazing list (of features)."

But not everyone agrees, as the city has seen a decline in affordability. San Jose has been ranked as one of the top five most expensive cities to rent in the nation, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developers during the first quarter of 2022. Families continue to leave the area due to a lack of affordable housing, which has translated into a significant decline in school enrollment. Recent studies show residents are not satisfied with what the city offers.

Sandy Perry, president of the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County, said the News & World Report score does not make any sense to him.

"If it's so desirable, why are people moving out of the city?" he said. "It doesn't reflect reality."

Perry pointed to the last census data which found that San Jose's population dropped below one million residents.

"It may be desirable, but it's not affordable," he said.

A 2019 National Community Survey found 42% of those surveyed would recommend San Jose as a place to live. But last June, the 2021 Silicon Valley Pain Index, which studies racial discrimination and income inequality in the region, reported the pandemic increased severe local racial and economic inequities.

The index, conducted by the San Jose State University Human Rights Institute, found the Black population experienced more than double the overall poverty rate and saw their average per capita income decline 1% per year. People of color with some college education reportedly earned about $11 less per hour than white residents with similar credentials.

This February, a Joint Venture Silicon Valley report found "shocking wealth disparity" with the top quarter of Silicon Valley earners holding 92% of the region's wealth and the top 10% of earners holding 75%. Last year, while the average annual income was $170,000 and the median income was $138,000, service workers' average income was $31,000.

Scott Myers-Lipton, a San Jose State University professor who helps prepare the pain index, said this year's index will be released in June and refutes the News & World Report score.

"Maybe if you're in the top 30%, that could be true—but not for the bottom 50%, that's for sure," Myers-Lipton said. "Almost half of our kids in Silicon Valley, their parents don't make enough money for them to have self-sufficiency. That means they can't afford rent, food, clothing, the basics, without government or nonprofit support. That doesn't seem like it's very conducive to quality of life."

Myers-Lipton pointed to the countywide increase in homelessness, recently reported in a survey conducted this spring.

"About 11% of our college students experience homelessness through the year," he said. "How can we say it's going great? I would like to know what metrics they're looking at—they're not the metrics we're looking at."

Contact Natalie Hanson at [email protected] or @nhanson_reports on Twitter.

San José Spotlight is the city's first nonprofit news organization dedicated to independent political and business reporting. Please support our public service journalism by clicking here.

Bullet Train Route Connects Gilroy with San Jose through Morgan Hill

State High-Speed Rail officials this week adopted a track alignment for the San Jose to Merced section through southern Santa Clara County, following Pacheco Pass to a new station in Gilroy, then heading non-stop through downtown Morgan Hill.On April 28, the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors certified the Final Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement, and unanimously approved “Alternative 4” for the 90-mile section alignment.The board’s vote completes the environmen...

State High-Speed Rail officials this week adopted a track alignment for the San Jose to Merced section through southern Santa Clara County, following Pacheco Pass to a new station in Gilroy, then heading non-stop through downtown Morgan Hill.

On April 28, the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors certified the Final Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement, and unanimously approved “Alternative 4” for the 90-mile section alignment.

The board’s vote completes the environmental clearance for nearly 400 miles of the High-Speed Rail’s 500-mile “Phase 1” alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim, says a press release from the HSRA. The board’s April 28 actions also represent its first certification of a project section’s environmental studies in Northern California.

“Today’s approval represents another major milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering high-speed rail between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley,” HSRA CEO Brian Kelly said. “The authority is poised to make the vision of high-speed rail in the Bay Area a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with our federal, state and local partners to advance the project in Northern California.”

The HSRA began the EIR process for the San Jose to Merced section more than two years ago. The in-depth study considered the impacts of four section alignment alternatives, as well as a no-project alternative.

Alternative 4 will take the bullet train tracks through the downtown areas of Morgan Hill and Gilroy, along the existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

HSRA staff added that Alternative 4 will modernize and electrify the existing rail corridor between San Jose and Gilroy, allowing for both HSR and Caltrain service.

“Next to San Jose, Gilroy will be the next most significant transit hub on this stretch,” said Gilroy Mayor Marie Blankley. “Gilroy Transit Center is very much ready for this to happen.”

Morgan Hill city council members and city staff had expressed a number of concerns with Alternative 4 during the public comment period, including with the lack of HSR track grade separations at East Dunne, Tennant and Tilton. The council in June 2020 had sent feedback to the HSRA urging them to consider adding grade separations at those intersections, allowing vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic to cross under the HSR tracks without the bullet train and road traffic interfering with each other.

“(Grade) separations at these crossings are the appropriate and necessary solutions to several environmental impacts specifically, but not limited to safety response times, circulation, and noise as disclosed in the EIR/EIS for which vague and unconvincing mitigation measures have been offered,” says the city’s June 2020 letter.

The HSRA board did not implement such considerations when adopting Alternative 4 on April 28.

Morgan Hill officials had preferred an alignment that took the HSRA system within the U.S. 101 right of way on the east side of town.

Mayor Rich Constantine said that when it comes to vehicle traffic, two of Morgan Hill’s intersections that cross existing railroad tracks—Dunne and Tennant avenues—are among the five busiest along the entire Caltrain corridor from San Francisco to Gilroy. That means the potential traffic hold ups and emergency response delays from High-Speed Rail crossings could be “significant” when the system is fully built out, Constantine said.

“If the (High-Speed Rail crossing) gates are down for 30 seconds for each train, that’s a significant amount of time” to delay vehicle traffic, said Constantine, who is a retired firefighter. “If it’s an emergency—I’ve been in that situation where we respond to a call and have to stop because of a train.”

Morgan Hill Assistant City Manager Edith Ramirez added that city staff has continued to provide comments on the High-Speed Rail EIR, and continued to advocate for grade separations along the route as it crosses busy intersections in the city limits.

The San Jose to Merced section goes from Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara to Carlucci Road in Merced County. The segment will travel through or near the communities of Santa Clara, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Los Banos. The project includes high-speed rail stations at San Jose Diridon and in Gilroy, as well as a maintenance facility south or southeast of Gilroy.

The section will connect existing HSR construction in the Central Valley with Diridon Station. The HSR will take travelers from Fresno to San Jose in one hour, according to HSRA staff.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “I am grateful, as are all of us in the City of San Jose, for the extraordinary work that’s now culminated in this environmental document reflecting thousands of hours of stakeholder outreach and an enormous amount of environmental analysis. Completion of this critically important high-speed rail project helps the state expand economic opportunity and affordable housing, two critical goals for all of us.”

The board’s certification of the EIR and EIS marks a key milestone in the statewide project, moving the project section closer to “shovel ready,” says the press release. Construction of the project section is not yet fully funded.

East of Gilroy, the alignment includes more than 15 miles of tunnels through the Pacheco Pass in the Diablo Range. The Board will consider certification for the final environmental document for the San Francisco to San Jose project section this summer.

California High-Speed Rail is currently under construction along 119 miles in the Central Valley at 35 active job sites, says the press releases. To date, more than 7,500 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction.

When voters approved a $9.95 billion bond measure in 2008 to kick start the High-Speed Rail project, the total projected cost was about $30 billion and it was slated to be complete by 2030. Since then, the price tag has ballooned higher than $100 billion, and officials have yet to identify where most of the funding will come from to complete the first phase between San Francisco and Anaheim

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