Google has had a difficult path to achieve the goal of a massive tech campus that it planned in our Western state and city. This, in fact, began with activists. They chained themselves to chairs inside City Hall. This was a dispute over the city’s decision to sell public land to the tech giant. Then it ended with some of its biggest opponents signing its praises.
Google Mixed-Use Mega Campus
The San Jose City Council approved Google’s plan for a mixed-use mega campus last month. It spans 80 acres and 7.3 million square feet. This would be for office space in the heart of California’s third-largest city. Moreover, to win over critics, Google put more than half of its campus to public use. It has offered up a $200 million community benefits package. This would include displacement funds, job placement training, and power for community leaders to influence how it’s spent.
Community, Labor Movement
“Therefore in the end, it was a much different process than what we saw at the beginning with regards to the community and thus the labor movement,” said Jeffrey Buchanan. He is the director of public policy for the San Jose-based community coalition Working Partnerships USA.
Google: Partnership is Key
“What really works is a reminder. It’s about organizing. Maria Noel Fernandez commented on this. She is the nonprofit Silicon Valley Rising Director. “Moreover, she said, it really does feel like a partnership.” Moreover, these liaisons became trusted members of the community who listened to concerns and followed up, residents said.
Tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have sought to expand their real estate footprint. They have all successful partnerships. However, residents have complained of displacement. Moreover, it comes two years after Amazon most famously had abandoned plans to build a campus on the East coast. This was after several communities had come to oppose it.