Why are you running for County Supervisor?
On the City Council, I have focused on policies to support women including the passage of the Women’s Bill of Rights, increasing funding for services that assist survivors of domestic violence, and strengthening policies to address human trafficking. It’s a unique perspective, especially since our County is aggressively focusing on the DV crisis. Additionally, my efforts on the Council to create paths for good-paying jobs through city investment & local hires, developing a clean energy program, and establishing an equity project for cannabis business opportunities are the many reasons that motivated me to seek a seat on the County Board of Supervisors. Before my time as an elected official, for over 25 years, I have worked in the area of social work and the nonprofit sector with families in crisis. These families dealt with issues of foster care, adoption, and domestic violence. Helping our most vulnerable is why I am motivated to serve you on the Board of Supervisors
What do you love most about Santa Clara County?
This one is easy. I love our diversity in Santa Clara County. I love that we embrace diversity and build on our differences.
If elected, what would your priorities be to improve the lives of residents in our county?
Housing and Homelessness. Access to health care, including mental health care and substance abuse help. Services to women and children, including early childhood development and help for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
What are some things you see that are happening in local government right now that inspire you?
That I can assist women and children on the City Council. I have focused on making the lives of women and families better by spearheading the passage of the Women’s Bill of Rights, increasing funding for services that help survivors of domestic violence and their children, attacking blight in our community, and strengthening policies to address human trafficking and sexual assaults, especially among children under the age of eight.
How can we help our residents who are facing mental health challenges? What would you propose?
I would continue to advocate at higher levels of government to secure the necessary funding to make sure we are facing the mental health crisis. We must continue to build on our partnership opportunities with non-profit organizations that are doing similar work. Far too many people are living on the streets or in their cars because of the mental health crisis. San Jose and the County have been building housing for our houseless, especially those with major mental health issues, however people who have been chronically houseless need additional support, they need to be in transitional housing. Addressing the mental health, especially the alcohol and drug addiction crisis of our County residents will be a priority as County Supervisor.
Any proposals for bringing more affordable housing to our region?
I am committed to solving our housing crisis by increasing the supply of affordable housing in Santa Clara County as well as ensuring that those working full-time jobs have ample opportunities to access housing; we cannot forget our “missing middle,” Seniors, Homeless, and those in the foster care system, when discussing our housing crisis. I understand that we must promote affordability by accommodating the needs of working people across the region. Building off major points of progress is key going forward, we must look at County-owned land and see where housing is possible on that land. All levels of government need to get on the same page, our housing crisis is having a life-threatening impact on our families and the workforce. As job growth spurs through the area, so should housing options to accommodate for the increase in population expected from all this growth. On the City Council, I have pushed for more housing in our area; from Accessible dwelling units (ADUs) to market-rate development, affordable housing, rent control, the Ellis Act, and just cause evictions policies that prevent Seniors and vulnerable renters.
I am also committed to continuing all the great work the County has done with the passage of Measure A and all the work being done through the Office of Supportive Housing. I am also looking forward to continuing to support permanent supportive housing developments to create housing opportunities for houseless residents.
Any ideas to ease traffic congestion?
The County needs to continue to find ways to fund transit options for all residents. When you don’t have easily accessible transportation options, people just won’t take public transit. I am against cutting bus lines and services. I recently championed the East Ridge light rail extension. Especially since the East Side has been promised this extension for decades, they have been paying into it. I support the expansion of Light Rail and BART in Santa Clara County. We must continue to find ways to build housing near current and future public transportation corridors as we have been doing in Downtown and North San Jose.
Do you have any ideas that would help our county government function more effectively?
Like any other government agency, Santa Clara County needs to be responsive to the needs of our residents. If you have not used our County services and programs, you are very lucky. The County is the safety net for our most vulnerable; they must feel comfortable to use our services and programs. We need to break down the complexity of the county. Our issues are far too large for it to be complicated.
What do you think the biggest issue is that’s impacting residents in our district, and how do you intend to help fix it?
Mental health needs to be the main priority, more importantly, offering access to services and treatment for residents that otherwise do not get those opportunities. The county must run health centers/facilities that have the resources and expertise necessary to treat those who are suffering from mental health-related issues.
What is something unique that you bring to the table?
As a mom of four, I will bring compassion and knowledge of community needs to the dais. Today, more than ever, going along to get along isn’t good enough.
What is something that not everyone might know about you?
In my spare time, I love to sneak away and travel.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my children and our doggies.
Anything else you’d like to share?
No, just that I am a mother of four amazing children.
Where can people go to learn more about you?
They can visit my website at: www.voteformagdalena.com
And finally, why should people vote for you?
I want to see a great quality of life for our children. Great schools and healthy neighborhoods. A place they can call home. A stable roof over their heads. A neighborhood, school, or area where there is no violence. A society for our children where they have the opportunity to go to college and obtain a high paying job! As a Councilmember, I have fought to provide more and more services on a grander scale to improve the quality of life for my residents throughout the district. If elected to the County, my staff and I will hit the ground running as we will have the most experience to do so. I will support good-paying jobs, equity in the workforce both in the private/public sectors, housing for all, but most importantly to make sure our County hospitals have the best healthcare for our future population. Being elected to the Board of Supervisors will be like coming home for me.