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Equity and Justice

Update on Plans to Support Foster Youth

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved moving forward with Supervisor Cortese’s pilot program which would be the first in the nation to target the foster youth population with universal basic income. Under this pilot program, young people transitioning out of the foster care system in Santa Clara County, those of 21 years old and up to 24 years old, would receive unconditional cash payments of $1,000 a month from the period of June 2020 through May 2021. Foster youth in our County face unique obstacles and challenges, with a disproportionate amount experiencing homelessness, poverty, and multiple chronic health conditions. These discrepancies have only been exacerbated by our current health pandemic. This program will give foster youth the tools they need to be successful to help them achieve parity in education, employment and income.

Gender-Inclusive Hiring and Retention

At Supervisor Cortese’s request, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted on November 5 2019, to move forward with studying the expansion of recruitment and retention efforts for transgender, gender-nonconforming, gender-nonbinary, and gender-diverse employees, applicants and contractors. According to the Trans Employment Program at the San Francisco LGBT Center, transgender people are twice as likely to have a college degree, but three times as likely to be unemployed. By connecting employees with employers, supporting job seekers and newly placed employees, and creating a trans-inclusive and gender-inclusive workplace, we can create a more productive workplace for everyone in the County.

Support for our Immigrant Community

  • Support for DACA students/workers
  • Led the Initiative to establish the Office of Immigrant Relations initiative
  • $3.5 million for legal representation for immigrants and Know Your Rights media campaign
  • Legal fight against President Trump’s executive order to stop funding to “sanctuary jurisdictions”
  • Legal fight against President Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban
  • Called for a Notario Fraud Unit in Sheriff’s Office
  • Led the creation of the New Americans Fellowship

Youth Initiatives

  • Led the way for the County to stop incarcerating offenders under 13 at Juvenile Hall, the first such policy in the United States (2010)
  • Created Youth Peer Court
  • Initiated eliminating fees and fines for families of youth in Juvenile Hall
  • Summer Jobs Initiative

Other actions:

  • Establishment of Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE)
  • Establishment of Office of Women’s Policy
  • Establishment of Office of Cultural Competency
  • Conducted hearings on discrimination against immigrants, hate crimes and women’s rights
  • Vietnamese Community Services Center to serve as a one-stop hub for the County’s health and human services to be provided to the Vietnamese American community in a culturally-competent and language-accessible manner.
  • Pay Equity Ordinance to ensure that equal pay is made for equal work
  • Living Wage Ordinance to assure families earn a wage that is sufficient to survive without county assistance programs
  • Wage Theft Ordinance to prevent companies from taking advantage of their workers

Last updated: 5/18/2020 10:32 PM