Taking into consideration the profound impact of COVID-19 and the expanded movement for racial justice and equity, what do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
1. Prevent children and families from losing their housing. 2. Ensure children's basic needs are met--access to food, clothing, health care, internet 3. Ensure equal access to quality education, beginning with pre-school.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
In city government, our customary role has not been to deliver social services or education, the areas where you most directly impact children and families, but as a city council member, I can look at our budgeting process through a lens to ensure that the needs of children are included when planning for public safety, housing, library, parks and recreation, and community services.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
Santa Clara has a wide range of library and recreation programs for preschool age children. We have partnered with the Santa Clara Unified School District on pre-school programs, providing some funding assistance and facilities. With the dissolution of Santa Clara's RDA, the City of Santa Clara turned over a property to SCUSD where pre-school programs were provided. I can bring to our SCUSD-City liaison committee the question of jointly funding additional childcare programs.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
Santa Clara has approved and is helping to fund an affordable housing development on city-owned property that includes permanent supportive housing for those with developmental disabilities. Our library and recreation programs reflect the needs of all children. We are fundraising to complete a Magical Bridge playground at our Central Park.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
Santa Clara is partnering with SCUSD and other local service providers to ensure all children have the food and nutrition they need to be healthy and grow. We offer a wide-variety of recreation, library, and sports programs, with scholarship opportunities for families of low financial means. I will look into seeking funding so that no child is denied access to programming because of financial need.