San Jose’s current draft Housing Element report for 2014-2023 emphasizes the development of urban villages in select neighborhoods. The city’s commitment to urbanizing our communities should be applauded, but the means to house San Jose’s most vulnerable populations must not be overlooked.
It’s easy for the general public to lump all homeless people together. It’s easy to say that it must be the homeless individual’s own choice to be homeless when riches and opportunities abound in Silicon Valley. It’s easy to point the finger at “quick fix solutions” that supposedly should get everyone off the streets.
What’s hard is to face the true realities of the multi-faceted causes of homelessness. What’s hard is taking a stand for youth who are thrown into homelessness at no fault of their own. What’s hard is taking the time to talk with them about their lives and their hopes and their dreams.
Last week, Congressman Mike Honda accepted my invitation to stop by Bill Wilson Center’s TAY Inn to share a meal with its residents and spend the evening talking about their lives and challenges.
During the State Assembly’s annual Woman of the Year celebration, held earlier this month, I was honored to receive the award from the 25th Assembly District’s Bob Wieckowski. This annual event has been a Capitol tradition since 1987, highlighting the achievements of outstanding women throughout California during Women’s History Month. This year’s theme was the passage of women’s right to vote in California in 1911.
The speeches of the day focused on how far we have come—or not come, in electing women to public office. It got me thinking about the past few decades in Santa Clara County, and what has happened to women being elected to local public office. When I came to Bill Wilson Center in 1983, our area was heralded as the Political Feminist Capital of the World.