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2010 Newspaper Columns

Published on: 4/24/2013 3:57 PM

Keep your family safe from fires

Flames leaping off firewood in a barbecue offer a relaxing atmosphere in the back yard or on a camping trip. Unfortunately, fire 6can too often lead to sadness and destruction. Whether it is a cigarette butt that is dropped and destroys homes and habitat or a wildfire started by lightning that destroys a community, fire can have a devastating effect. Fortunately there are things that you can do to minimize your risk of loss due to fire. read more

The Fight for Education

My office, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, recently took a group of 130 local residents to Sacramento to talk with legislators about their concerns with the current state of education funding. The group of parents, educators, school officials, civil rights leaders, government officials and students met with Sens. Alquist, Yee, Simitian and Hancock, Assembly members Hill, Fong, Ruskin, Beall and Coto and staff from Sen. Romero's office. read more

The Choice for Local Jobs and the Environment: Vote NO on Prop 16

I am asking you to vote no on Proposition 16 because it will hurt local government. Despite the difficult economic times, one industry that has been in a period of boon is solar energy. Homeowners across the United States are adding features to their home in order to harness the energy of the sun. You may have seen your neighbor recently install a solar panel atop their roof this is a great way to not only generate your own electricity but also offset your monthly electricity bill. It is amazing how much electricity the average family uses in the United States and this can add up to a hefty monthly payment. And if you thought your electricity bill was high, you should see the county's bill! read more

Make Your Voice Heard for Education

Spring is here, the birds are singing and our allergies are kicking in again. For most of you, that means that the summer break is almost here and your children will be out of school and off playing with their friends. However, for elected officials such as myself, the beginning of summer is the time that we have to make the difficult decisions needed to balance the budget. Here at Santa Clara County, we are facing at a minimum $250 million in cuts. But that is not all that scares me. In addition, our schools and the futures of our children face millions of dollars in cuts. read more

Juvenile Hall is inappropriate for young minors

Speak to anyone on the street and discover near unanimity that most minors under the age of 18 should not be placed in adult jail facilities where they would interact with hardened criminals and witness unsavory activities. This viewpoint was actually memorialized with the passing of the 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act. This Federal law prohibited the placement of youth in adult jails except under very limited circumstances so that young minds would not be influenced by older offenders in adult jail. read more

County Policy on Young Juveniles Sets Model for the Nation

Although there may be competing theories about the effectiveness of our juvenile justice system, one point on which we should all agree is that incarcerating kids 12 and younger in jail-like facilities is wrong, period. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors made a bold move when, earlier this month, they adopted, at my request, a policy that youth offenders 12 and younger should not be placed in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. read more

Leaders Creating Leaders

When I first met Enrique Flores, I was instantly drawn to his electric personality and his motivation to help others. Seeing firsthand the opportunities for success that Enrique has created through his non-profit organization, East Side Heroes, I became energized by his charisma and joined the Board of Directors. In just five years, East Side Heroes has raised more than $200,000 to provide scholarships to private high schools for its low-income mentees, while also providing leadership development and mentorship. The following is an introduction to two of the latest success stories. read more

2009: A year in review

As I am tackling my many goals for 2010, I reflected on my first year in office as the District Three representative on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. I made it my goal coming in to the county to continue my active involvement in the community to make sure the community is fully informed and represented, to use my experience in private businesses to ensure the county's operations are as efficient as possible so we can continue providing the vital services to our
residents, and to ensure the county is well represented on regional governmental bodies to receive its fair share of resources.
Here are just a few highlights of 2009: read more

County Health and Welfare Services

Last month's cold front in Santa Clara County was a not so gentle reminder that winter is indeed here and we need to prepare ourselves for the cold months that lie ahead. For those who can afford it, this means setting our thermostat to the appropriate levels, stocking up on comfort food, dressing warmly to prevent catching cold/influenza, etc. But what about our friends, family and acquaintances who do not have the basic necessities such as shelter, food and health insurance? . . . read more.