Check out this great coverage of our Rise Up Rally:
San Jose Spotlight: Hundreds of Santa Clara County workers rally for health care, wages
On June 12, over 800 Santa Clara County workers, residents, and our allies stood up to demand that the Board of Supervisors pass a just and humane budget that invests in the services our community depends on.
“The vicious cycle of compassion fatigue among social workers has contributed to high turnover. It makes an already difficult job nearly impossible to do. We know how to stop the constant turnover of social workers and to protect every child here in Santa Clara County. And we have the resources to do it,” said Andrea Iaconis, a Child Welfare Social Worker. “We are here tonight to say enough is enough. We call on the County Board of Supervisors, as they finalize their budget for the next fiscal year, to listen to the frontline workers like us who know what our community needs.”
In the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the largest concentrations of wealth in the world, people are suffering. Thousands of our residents are homeless or living in cars. The skyrocketing cost of shelter leaves countless more of us teetering on the edge of housing insecurity. Hardworking families are struggling to keep groceries in the fridge and are seeing more of their paychecks disappear as rising costs make essential services like child care more unattainable.
“Before working for the County, I received subsidies from the state which helped me with the overwhelming cost of childcare. But when I became a County worker, I realized I would no longer qualify. Like most working parents, I couldn’t afford $12,000 for child care on top of my other bills, and especially here in Silicon Valley,” said Lilia Jacobo, a Health Services Representative. “My only real option was to put my son in childcare part-time and move my dad down from Stockton. I’m one of the lucky ones because not everyone has family they can lean on. Quality affordable childcare is out of reach for so many families in Santa Clara County, but it is a necessity.”
We are social workers, eligibility workers, healthcare workers, clerical and blue-collar staff, and more. We work in our County’s hospitals, jails, maintenance yards, streets, offices, in the homes of our most vulnerable residents, and beyond. We know firsthand how many among us are struggling—and we will not stand by silently while our County suffers.
“It is powerful to see the community stand behind us. Now, tonight, I am here to call on the Board of Supervisors to do the same and make sure our next County budget invests in workers like me and the services we provide. That is the only way we can continue serving our Santa Clara County residents,” said Vinay Tatapudy, a Library Page in the Los Altos Library.
You can read our initial analysis of Santa Clara County’s budgeting practices, which has been shared with the County Board of Supervisors and at the bargaining table with County management, here.