Stop gentrifying San Jose: the flea market must stay


Source: San Jose Flea Market

The San Jose Flea Market is in danger due to a city development plan, but this plan should be rejected to combat gentrification and protect low-income families of color.

The development plan would establish an urban village by the Berryessa BART station, add housing and expand commercial space while reducing the historic market from 15 to a measly 3.5 acres.

The San Jose Flea Market has been around for decades and many have great memories of it. Some of my fondest memories are going to the flea market with my family and friends, visiting different stalls and attending a variety of events.

Losing the market would devastate San Jose and its people — all for an expensive business plan that displaces low-income families of color.

The development project is another move to gentrify San Jose.

San Jose is rich with history, yet over time families who have lived here for decades have been pushed out and cultural landmarks have been removed in favor of private business.

The development plan will reduce one of the few landmarks we have left in favor of expensive housing and fancy stores.

The City of San Jose itself has acknowledged that it has a gentrification problem, but it still has allowed the development plan to move forward.

Their decision is made even more inhumane during coronavirus, as the plan would disproportionately impact low-income workers of color amid a pandemic-induced recession.

The flea market has been a main source of income for low-income people for decades. If they lose their business at the market, families will have to scramble to figure out how to compensate.

The San Jose City Council will be voting on this plan on June 22 and hundreds of families will be at risk if the development plan passes. If you want to protect San Jose, contact the city council or attend the meeting and speak up.