Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and remained healthy.
I’m a “cup is half full” kind of guy, and believe that 2022 has a lot of positive surprises in store for all of us!
Board President. In December, my colleagues selected me to serve as President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for 2022 and District 4 Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, to serve as Vice-President. I am honored to continue to serve our County of two million residents in this role.
COVID-19 Vaccinations. In 2021, the County’s Health System administered more than 1.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine; nearly 40% of all vaccine doses administered to Santa Clara County residents. The County’s mobile vaccination program provided more than 1,000 “pop-up” clinic days making vaccines as accessible as possible, especially for hardest-hit communities. Incredibly, Santa Clara County leads all large counties with more than 92% of residents ages 12 years and older vaccinated!
Animal Center. In February, I led the grand opening of our new 37,000-square-foot Animal Services Center! After 10 years of planning and preparation, this state-of-the-art facility was completed on time and under budget. Set on 4.5 acres in San Martin, our no-kill facility allows for enhanced animal care for the 4,000 animals taken in every year. The Center is also a hub for South County activities, providing a community public meeting space for up to 300 attendees.
Protecting Open Space. In November, the County worked with the Open Space Authority and partners to purchase and protect an additional 60 acres of prime farmland in Coyote Valley. This acquisition is a win-win for our community—preserving farmland and securing open space. The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is working to establish sustainable, local climate-smart agricultural practices within the Coyote Valley Conservation Program Area.
VTA Shooting. In May, tragedy struck when a mass shooting occurred across from the County building at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard. Ten people were killed during the shooting and the VTA, the County and the community rallied to support survivors, the victims’ families and coworkers.
Airport Closure. In August, a majority of the Board voted to expedite the closure of Reid-Hillview Airport. I advocated for leaving the airport open and switching aircraft to unleaded fuel since it is a critical reliever airport for San Jose International (SJI) airport. In fact, Reid-Hillview has more takeoffs and landings than SJI! The Board universally supported my resolution affirming that any future actions taken at Reid-Hillview must not adversely impact the residents of San Martin and South County.
Affordable Housing. In February, the Board of Supervisors approved $100 million for new affordable housing, from the $950 million 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond. Five housing complexes will generate 566 new units and house roughly 2,100 people. That brings the total to 34 new projects for homeless and low-income households in Santa Clara County. The County is now more than 60% of the way toward our 10-year goal in just four years!
Redistricting. In December, the Board of Supervisors approved a map adjusting some Supervisorial district boundaries. The new map was approved 3-2 with Supervisor Simitian and I voting no. I voted no due to its much higher population deviation between the five districts, lack of geographical compactness or contiguity, the addition of more urban areas to District 1, and grouping too many small cities in District 5. The new map is effective as of Jan. 13, 2022 and will be in place for the June 2022 Primary election.
Vietnamese American Service Center. Santa Clara County is home to the second largest Vietnamese population outside of Viet Nam. In October, the County unveiled the Vietnamese American Service Center (VASC)—a one-stop location offering wellness programs including behavioral health services, primary care, dental care, social services, a senior nutrition program, on-site child supervision in both Vietnamese and Spanish, bringing more equitable resources to our diverse residents.
On a personal note, I have decided that 2022 will be my 20th and final year as an elected official. It is time for me to step aside so that my wife Kim and I can enjoy more family time and resume a less hectic life.
Let’s make 2022 a wonderful year!