It's Time for Results
Our communities are facing many complex challenges today. The practices which have been in place are simply not adequate to bring about the progress we need. Merely acknowledging we can do better is not enough. It’s time to change our strategy now and in the future.
Months ago, before deciding to run for County Supervisor, I spoke with many neighbors in our District, many of whom showed frustration with the direction we are heading – and rightly so. Unhoused people are not receiving the help they need, crime is affecting all of us, housing has become more expensive, and no effective solutions are on the horizon. The things we love about living in Santa Clara County – sense of community, embrace of diversity and willingness to work hard for a better future – are getting lost in the process.
We need to put aside the politics and focus on finding solutions. As a former San Jose Councilmember and Vice Mayor, I’m proud to have worked with folks across the political spectrum. I believe together we can achieve change and implement fair and equitable services for everyone.
As Santa Clara County Supervisor, I vow to work from day one to deliver results with the following urgent priorities:
I will approach the County budget like I handle my own, where all funds must be accounted for – where there is an obligation of understandable accountability that justifies where our money is spent. I will be on the forefront of those efforts on the Board.
First, we need external audits of our key programs, such as homelessness and housing. We need to implement easily measurable means that our residents can understand and expect.
Second, we need to review how we set goals with our contracted partners. It’s important we hold ourselves and our partners accountable for delivering measurable results. This includes establishing concrete expectations from the outset. We can’t continue to spend in the same way and expect different results.
Our residents, many of whom are struggling to get by, deserve to know that every tax dollar is spent wisely.
Our district has the most unhoused people in Santa Clara County. Seniors are disproportionately affected with 40% of the unhoused being over age 50. The 2023 Point-in-Time Homeless Census reports a 36.5% increase in the number of homeless families over the past year alone. The housing crisis has been on the forefront, yet progress remains stagnant. Despite the County’s substantial spending of millions of dollars each year, more families are falling into homelessness, and many others are being priced out of their homes. How can we in good conscience tolerate them not having a safe and clean place to live? It is way past time to get people the shelter and help that they need.
Interim housing has proven successful in providing unhoused families and individuals with safe shelter, private living space, case management and other essential services. As County Supervisor, I will collaborate with all levels of government, nonprofit and private partners to facilitate building more interim housing plus ensuring on site services for mental health and substance abuse treatment along with job placement opportunities.
Accessing services, particularly mental health treatment, can be a challenge for both housed and unhoused residents. I will advocate for expanding the number of treatment beds and providing the mental health services necessary for our community members.
Too many of our residents feel unsafe in their own communities, and that needs to be a high priority. It’s time to promote civic pride and respect for small businesses and personal property. When we see rampant crime endangering our neighborhoods and it has a ripple effect on our small businesses, it’s time to let the offenders know that we are working with Law Enforcement and neighborhood protection, and we will not tolerate crime in our communities.
I will collaborate with the Sheriff’s Office, local police departments and the District Attorney to develop a community-based approach to get drug dealers, and those who prey on vulnerable people, off our streets, especially repeat offenders and those who pose a violent risk to others. If we all work together, we can form a united front and I will personally pursue funding for substance abuse treatment, domestic abuse programs and job skills training – providing resources that address root causes.
Investing in Our Youth
As a parent and former School Board member, I’ve experienced first-hand how vulnerable children are when they don’t have positive, easily accessible activities for their free time. One of my top priorities is investing in more recreational programs, including sports, such that young people are active and engaged in a safe environment.
While serving on the City Council, one of my heartfelt endeavors was navigating the bureaucratic hurdles, with a constituent, to bring him from being a street vendor to now having a thriving family business with four restaurants in San Jose.
I’m passionate about collaborating with area professionals and business owners to provide mentorship and invest in vocational programs that put young people on the path to technical and trade skills with the opportunity to start their own business.
Our children experience less stress and are healthier when they have a wholesome, clean environment with less air pollution and more green spaces. During my tenure on the City Council, I worked to bring new parks and trails to San Jose District 7 and I will bring that same devotion to the Board of Supervisors dealing with toxic sites, improving the tree canopy, and protecting our green spaces.
The cost of housing has well out-paced many seniors living on a fixed income. Working families and individuals are priced out of housing near their jobs. As District 7 Councilmember, I worked to create more than 1,000 units of affordable housing and preserved 58 mobile home parks in our city.
As Santa Clara County Supervisor, I will evaluate all County-owned properties earmarking additional locations for more affordable housing throughout the County. It’s imperative that we focus on expanding into neighborhoods that are not already saturated with affordable housing. I’ll work with affordable housing advocates to remove obstacles that slow the completion of new projects. And I will aggressively identify, leverage, and allocate federal, state, regional and local funding to produce more below market-rate housing for working families. Our economy and neighborhoods function more efficiently when our service workers, teachers, social workers, small business owners and the many other front-line providers can work and live in our community.