Sandy Perry, an organizer with the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County, is part of a hunger strike to protest Google purchasing downtown San Jose property.

Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

This Is The Hungry Face Of The Opposition To Google's Land Deal

Activists Vow Not To Eat To Protest A San Jose Property Sale

Matt Bigler
December 04, 2018 - 10:09 am

SAN JOSE — A vote by the San Jose City Council to sell a prime downtown parcel of land to Google prompted 40 opponents to launch a hunger strike. 

The group of church leaders, community activists and homeless residents have vowed to stop eating and been camped in front of City Hall since Sunday. The vote was scheduled for Tuesday. 

“We disagree spiritually on the direction of our city," said Scott Wagers, the senior pastor at CHAM Deliverance Ministry in San Jose.

Wagers and the hunger strikers argue that the city should use a 21-iconic plot of land near the iconic Diridon Station to house homeless people rather than sell it to the tech giant for $110 million. 

Google needs the tract to construct its ambitious "Google Village" of offices, housing and public transit. 

“We don’t need to guarantee unlimited profits for these tech corporations. What we need is to take care of our people," said Sandy Perry, an organizer with the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County.

San Jose leaders say they are taking steps to ensure that the development will give a boost to all residents.

“The average San Josean is going to have more job opportunities closer to home," said Deputy City Manager Kim Wallace told KPIX-5, adding that it will generate thousands of units of housing and money for affordable homes. 

The proposed deal would require that 25 percent of new housing go to low-income residents. 

In a statement, Google said it remains committed to the creation of affordable housing in San Jose.

Written by Jessica Yi.