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Equity and Justice

County resources supporting racial justice

The board of Supervisors Takes Action to address Racial Injustices:

County Resource page:​

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.

Update on 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
  • Legal fight against Trump Administration to protect our Dreamers
  • 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” that threatened withholding funds for vital services to residents
  • Legal fight against President Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban
  • Called for a Notario Fraud Unit in Sheriff’s Office
  • Established the New Americans Fellowship program under the Office of Immigrant Relations to employ DACA youth (2016)
  • Co-initiated with Supervisor Chavez a plan to allocate $1.8 million in funding for legal services for DACA/DAPA (2015)
  • Supported County resolution calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (2015)
  • Developed legal strategies to protect resident' civil rights
  • Led the way to establish a Notarios Fraud Unit in the Sheriff’s Office to help immigrants avoid being duped by people misrepresenting themselves as qualified immigration legal services providers
  • Initiated and led the Board to reaffirm its non-cooperation policy with ICE on civil detainers and notification of the release of undocumented inmates to protect their due process rights. (2019)
  • Led the Initiative to establish the Office of Immigrant Relations
  • $3.5 million for legal representation for immigrants and Know Your Rights media campaign

Youth Initiatives

  • Created Youth Peer Court
  • Coordinated with other partners to create a Youth Works summer jobs program to employ 500 at-risk and disadvantaged youth

Jail Reform

  • 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 Blue Ribbon Commission for Jail Reform that pushed forward 600 recommendations
  • Monitored Jail Reform reports
  • Support for the SJSU Record Clearance Project
  • Joined Data-Driven Justice Initiative to Enhance Local Efforts to Address Pretrial Detention Rates of the Mentally Ill and the Chronically Homeless
  • Advocating for cutting misdemeanor to infractions in the SCC
  • Initiated eliminating fees and fines for families of youth in Juvenile Hall
  • Created Bail and Release Working Group (2013)

Other actions rooted in Equity and Social Justice

Dave at the opening of the Santa Clara County Office of Labor Standards Enforcement

  • Establishment of Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE)
  • Establishment of Office of Women’s Policy
  • Establishment of Office of Cultural Competency
  • Instrumental in creating the nation’s first Office of LGBTQ Affairs
  • Conducted hearings on discrimination against immigrants, hate crimes and women’s rights
  • Successfully proposed creating a $5 million reserve to strengthen the fight against sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking (2019)
  • Annually hosted a free bus trip to the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument to commemorate the late labor leader's legacy
  • Hosted South African Flag Raising in honor of the late Nelson Mandela
  • 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
  • Fought against modern day slavery by working to in expand the county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Team
  • Supported and promoted free and discounted fares for VTA public transportation users
  • Support for Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet
  • Called for hearings by the SCC Human Relations Commission on ending the Death Penalty
  • Called for and created the county’s first Whistleblower Program available to all county residents
  • Wage Theft Ordinance to prevent companies from taking advantage of their workers
  • Fought successfully to reduce certain misdemeanors to infractions in Santa Clara County
  • Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis in Santa Clara County
  • Hosted multiple Non-Violence Conferences headlined by Yolanda King (daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.), Arun Ghandi, Ela Ghandi, and Dolores Huerta.
  • Supported funding for a Records Clearing Projects that helped residents rightfully and lawfully expunge criminal records
  • NAACP Legislator of the Year (2004 and 2014)
Dave and Civil Rights Champion Dolores Huerta
Dave and Civil Rights Champion Dolores Huerta

Vietnamese American Service Center
Last updated: 7/12/2020 9:56 PM