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Safety and equality for women

Pay Equity Strategy to Monitor Progress in Closing the Gender Gap

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, October 8 2019, unanimously approved moving forward with the development of a Pay Equity Strategy to more effectively track progress on pay equity in the County workforce and monitor contractors to make sure they are following pay equity guidelines. The Pay Equity Strategy Initiative was brought to the Board by Supervisor Cortese and Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

Women's safety issues

Supervisor Cortese regards prevention of gender-based violent crime as one of the county's most underfunded responsibilities.  To address this, he:

  • Co-led the 2018 Domestic Violence Hearing that led to the implementation of a hotline, funding for services, an Intimate Partner Violence Task Force
  • Led the way on the Anti-Human Trafficking Team in the Sheriff’s Office Reduced the back log of untested rape kits
  • Increased the investment to prevent and treat victims of domestic violence by 500%, exceeding $6 million
  • Co-authored a $5 million annual county measure aimed at rape crisis intervention and prevention

Women's policy issues

In addition to safety issues, Supervisor Cortese has pressed for social and legal gender equality.

  • Serves as Vice Chair on the Children, Seniors and Families Committee that makes recommendations on women's policy issues
  • Initiated the Gender and Ethnicity Pay Equity Ordinance
  • Co-led the 2018 Women's Issues Hearing as part of the Children, Seniors and Families Committee
  • Supported the Women and Children's Center at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
  • Supported $5 million in grant funding to recognize women's contributions and achievements
  • Demanded a pay equity study for county employees
  • Supported girls and women's empowerment conferences
  • Participated in all three Women’s Marches
  • Co-created, along with Supervisor Cindy Chavez, a youth jobs program which employs girls
  • Supported the Women’s Equality 2020 Leadership Council that is planning a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote
  • Supported the County’s coalition to fight the Trump Administration’s efforts to deny women access to contraception
  • Supported the “Cost of Homelessness” study that found that the rate of persistent homelessness among women was higher than that of men in Santa Clara County
  • Created the Blue Ribbon Commission for Jail Reform that led to improvements at the Elmwood Correctional Facility, including more classes for women
  • Called on the Office of Women's Policy to lead a group to assess, design and implement policies that support children with incarcerated parents (2017 SOTC)

Last updated: 5/18/2020 10:24 PM