CEO and President,
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Year’s end is a time that we tend to both reflect and set goals. At Silicon Valley Community Foundation, we have much to be proud of. In 2017 we celebrated our 10th anniversary by granting a total of $1 million to 10 organizations pursuing innovative initiatives to improve education, help immigrants, bolster economic security for low-income families, and more. We launched an effort to ensure that California’s next governor is a champion for young children. And we led On the Table, a day-long community conversation that drew 7,000 local residents to address our region’s housing challenges in small-group discussions.
But when I think more broadly about our role as a community foundation in one of the most innovative, progressive regions in the nation, I feel a great sense of urgency about how far we have yet to go.
Silicon Valley’s housing and transportation crises are about more than just facts and data. It is about every school teacher who must move his or her family out of their home due to unaffordable rents. It’s about college students who sleep in cars because they can’t find a place to live. It is about every hourly laborer who must take a train, to a bus, to another bus just to get to work, or live in an RV or van to be close to work during the week, only seeing their families on the weekends. And it is about every high-tech employee who has multiple roommates to make ends meet.
Astronomical housing costs, insufficient public transportation and extreme traffic congestion are impacting all of us. And at SVCF we believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to help find solutions. That’s why we started the Silicon Valley Regional Fund, which supports innovative solutions to decrease traffic congestion, increase affordable housing, and improve public transit across Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
We know that transportation and housing improvements from San Jose to San Francisco will help all Bay Area residents. If we want to see change, we must come together, dig deeper, and do more.
I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to make our communities livable for people of all incomes and walks of life—newcomers and longtime residents alike. Through our work with innovative organizations like TransForm and Mission Economic Development Agency, we’ve already shown that there are solutions out there that can help combat gentrification, stabilize housing costs and improve transportation options. Watch this video to learn more about the incredible work these organizations are doing.
This giving season, I hope that you will join me in supporting housing and transportation solutions by donating to the Silicon Valley Regional Fund.
Better is possible. Together, we can make our region healthier, stronger and more prosperous for generations to come.