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Below is some general information about San Jose:

San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the United States, and the county seat of Santa Clara County. San JosŽ is the largest city within Silicon Valley, which is a major component of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. It is the largest city in Northern California. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as El Pueblo de San JosŽ de Guadalupe, the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California. The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital.

After more than 150 years as a small farming community, the San Jose area in the mid-20th century contained some of the last undeveloped land near San Francisco Bay. It then began to experience rapid population growth, much of it coming from veterans returning from World War II. San Jose then continued its aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center, to an urbanized metropolitan area. By the 1990s, San Jose’s location within the booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname Capital of Silicon Valley. San Jose is now considered by some to be a global city. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the population of the city to be 945,942 in 2010. San Jose, along with the Santa Clara Valley, has experienced decades of suburban sprawl, with characteristics of intense urbanization similar to the Los Angeles area of Southern California.

The city is generally divided into the following areas: Downtown San Jose, Central, West San Jose, North San Jose, East San Jose, and South San Jose. Many of these regions were originally unincorporated communities or separate municipalities that were later annexed by the city. Besides those mentioned above, some well-known communities within San Jose include Japantown, Rose Garden, Sunol-Midtown, Willow Glen, Naglee Park, Burbank, Winchester, Alviso, East Foothills, Alum Rock, Little Portugal, Blossom Valley, Cambrian, Almaden Valley, Silver Creek Valley, Evergreen Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa, Seven Trees, Coyote Valley, and Berryessa. Important landmarks in San Jose include Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, History Park at Kelley Park, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, Plaza de CŽsar Ch‡vez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Mexican Heritage Plaza, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Lick Observatory, Hayes Mansion, SAP Center at San Jose, De Anza Hotel, San Jose Improv, San Jose Municipal Stadium, Spartan Stadium, Japantown San Jose, Winchester Mystery House, Raging Waters, Circle of Palms Plaza, San Jose City Hall, San Jose Flea Market Oak Hill Memorial Park, and The Tech Museum of Innovation.

The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. As the largest city in the valley, San Jose has billed itself the capital of Silicon Valley. Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year. High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion diminished somewhat. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city in the United States with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any U.S. city with over 280,000 people.

San Jose is a charter city under California law, giving it the power to enact local ordinances that may conflict with state law, within the limits provided by the charter. The city has a council-manager government with a city manager nominated by the mayor and elected by the city council. The San Jose City Council is made up of ten council members elected by district, and a mayor elected by the entire city. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996. Each council member represents approximately 100,000 constituents. Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member acts as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not succeed to the mayor’s office upon a vacancy.

Source: San Jose on Wikipedia