“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

Community Forum in San Jose

Community partners and Santa Clara County members 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.

It’s time for Santa Clara County to fix the housing, child care, and healthcare crises affecting our community. We need to invest in our families and our community now – #SantaClaraCountyForAllClick here to learn more. (PDF)

The County Supervisors decides how our public funds are used; they have the ability to address these issues.

Here is what you can do:

  • Add your name now to make sure your name is included when we deliver the petition to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, August 13.
  • Share the petition with your co-workers, friends, and family members: bit.ly/sccforallpetition

In the 10 years since the end of the great recession, our county’s most vulnerable residents have fallen further behind. More than 1 in 7 of our residents are living in poverty in one of the richest areas of our nation! Many people struggle to afford the costs of housing, child care, and healthcare 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 158% 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 that 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)

More photos on Facebook:

Sources:

[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 – https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/about-us/public-services-and-community-partnerships/docs/SHC-2019-CHNA-report-final.pdf

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