Press Release – “Our Community, Our County, Our Future” Forums in Santa Clara County

For Immediate Release
Contact: Valerie Prigent
408-571-9894 or

“Our Community, Our County, Our Future” Forums in Santa Clara County
Community members share stories and discuss how we can work together to build a #SantaClaraCountyForAll

(San Jose, CA) Community partners hosted a series of three “Our Community, Our County, Our Future” forums in Gilroy, Mountain View, and San Jose on July 20, July 27, and August 3 respectively. More than 200 community members shared stories and discussed how we can work together to build a better Santa Clara County. Calls were made to increase revenues in order to fund important housing, child care, and healthcare services provided by the county.

One-third of Bay Area residents — nearly 2 million people — currently struggle to make ends meet. Many residents face unaffordable housing, child care, and healthcare costs in this strong economy, and that number has risen dramatically in the past 10 years.

“In the past 10 years, rents have increased by 60% and home prices by 125% in Silicon Valley. This means that residents struggle with an average cost of $2,341 a month [1] while wages haven’t kept up with the staggering housing cost increases. As a dire consequence, we see more people living on our streets, and more working people with less than ideal housing situations or on the verge of becoming homeless. We are urging the County to work with us and our residents to fix this crisis and make housing more affordable. Housing is a basic human right!” said María Marroquín, Executive Director for the Day Workers’ Center of Mountain View.

“Eight out of nine children who are eligible for subsidized child care don’t receive services in Santa Clara County [2]. Time and time again, it’s been proven that early education is key for our children’s future and the well-being of our community. It’s time for the county to address the child care crisis faced by working families, especially single parents so that our kids can get a good start in life, and parents can continue to be productive citizens. Our kids and working families deserve better!” said Claudia Rossi, Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee.

Despite the overall high rates of insurance and providers in the County of Santa Clara, many residents complained that healthcare is unaffordable due to the high cost of co-pays, deductibles, medicine, and treatment. “Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the state, Santa Clara County still experiences high rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Hardest hit are the poor, the unstably housed, those who lack access to fresh, affordable food and those without comprehensive healthcare [3]. Our public health care system must be strengthened to include robust prevention, a non-profit primary care network, community-based behavioral health, and county safety-net services for our ethnically diverse communities. As a social justice issue, healthcare is a right!” said Dolores Alvarado, Community Health Partnership CEO.

The series of three community forums were sponsored by CARAS (Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy, and Services), Community Health Partnership, Day Workers’ Center of Mountain View, Health Trust, Mountain View Tenants Coalition, South Bay Labor Council, SV@HomeActionFund, Wage Theft Coalition – Santa Clara County, Working Partnerships USA, the Mt. Madonna YMCA, and SEIU Local 521.

Speakers included:

  • Rebeca Armendariz, CARAS President of the Board
  • Dolores Alvarado, Community Health Partnership CEO
  • María Marroquín, Executive Director for the Day Workers’ Center of Mountain View
  • Reymundo Espinoza, Gardner Health Services CEO
  • Paula Perez, Founder of Mountain View Tenants Coalition
  • Ruth Silver Taube, Co-Chair of the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition
  • Claudia Rossi, Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Area 4
  • Peter Ortiz, Santa Clara County Office of Education Trustee Area 6
  • Jeffrey Buchanan, Working Partnerships USA, Director of Public Policy
  • Asn Ndiaye, Working Partnerships USA, Policy Manager
  • Maria Ruiz, McDonalds Worker and Leader in the “Fight for $15” Movement
  • Patricia Moran, Family Child Care Provider, Santa Clara County
  • Ellen Rollins, In-Home Supportive Services Worker and Commissioner on the Santa Clara County Council of Aging
  • Riko Mendez, SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer
  • Mullissa Willette, SEIU Local 521 Localwide Vice President
  • Corazon Mendoza, Community advocate and 14-year veteran in the child care field
  • Ash Kalra, California Assemblymember (via video)

Community members and county workers will join together to share stories and a petition to increase revenues to fund housing, healthcare, and child care services at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on August 13, 9:30 a.m. at 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose (in the Board Chambers).

Photos available for the press: 

Community Forum in San Jose


[1] Citing figures from the U.S. Census, the 2019 Silicon Valley Index calculates that the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara area’s monthly average housing costs are the highest in the U.S. at an estimated $2,341 per month.

[2] Exploring the Unmet Need for Subsidized Child Care and Development Programs in California, California Budget & Policy Center, Feb. 25, 2019

[3] 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment Report – Stanford Health Care –



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