Human Trafficking: Cindy Chavez

County Supervisor Cindy Chavez hit the ground running as soon as she was elected in July 2013. She immediately initiated efforts to:

  • Improve county government transparency by regulating lobbyists
  • Combating the scourge of human trafficking with a commission she co-chairs with the Sheriff and District Attorney
  • Improving public transportation.

Her public service career has been about putting people and their neighborhoods first, making lives better through innovative, visionary and thoughtful policies. She represents Central, South and East San Jose, a district that is a microcosm of the ethnic and economic diversity of Santa Clara County. She chairs the Board’s Children, families and Seniors Committee and serves on the Public Safety and Justice Committee.

Before election to the Board of Supervisors, she led the nonprofit social justice organization Working Partnerships USA, which led the community campaign to raise San Jose’s minimum wage.

During her two terms on the San Jose City Council – including two years as Vice Mayor – she helped win City funding for the Children’s Health Initiative, which made our county the first in the nation to ensure health coverage to virtually every child who lives here.

Cindy lives in downtown San Jose with her husband and son.

Dinner will be served. Please RSVP to

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors invites the whole community to join in commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, in a ceremony that includes local survivor testimonies, student presentations, music and memorial candle lighting, in the Supervisors’ Chambers.  The theme this year is “Some Were Neighbors:  Betrayers, Bystanders and Protectors”.  A poster exhibit will be on display in the breezeway of the County Government Building during the week of the remembrance.

Free parking is available in the County C Lot, across the street from the Government Building.

This year’s sponsor is Supervisor Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors, who will present a proclamation in recognition of the remembrance.  Music will be performed by cellist Peter Gelfand and pianist Diane Fisher.  The program is presented by the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association.

Community Appreciation Dinner

Sheriff Laurie SmighWe will have Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith as our guest for a community appreciation dinner.

Smith began her career at the Sheriff’s Office in 1973, working as a Matron (the former title for a female Sheriff’s Deputy) at the Santa Clara County Jail until 1976. She then became one of the first female permanent undercover vice cops. In 1990, Sheriff Chuck Gillingham promoted her to Assistant Sheriff.

Smith was elected Sheriff of Santa Clara County on November 3, 1998 by a substantial margin and took office on December 15, 1998, becoming the first female sheriff in California.

Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a graduate of the California Command College and of the FBI Academy and National Executive Institute.

Sheriff Smith has received numerous citations and awards for her public service and has an outstanding record in the California Law Enforcement community. She is a Past President of the California State Sheriff’s Association and has been named Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly.

Free of charge; dinner will be served. PLEASE RSVP to

We’re going to the Parliament!

Parliament of the World's ReligionsWe have just received word that our proposal for a panel discussion at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City in October has been accepted! Our presentation, “From Partner City to Interreligious Council: Promoting a Just and Compassionate Society” will cover what we have learned over the past several years as SiVIC was founded and as we have grown and developed our work to make a more just and compassionate society.  The panelists will include Rev. D. Andrew Kille, Girish Shah, Joy-Ellen Lipsky, Diane Fisher, and Rowan Fairgrove. Continue Reading →

Pakistani Flag Raising Ceremony

Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors, Hamid Asghar Khan, Consul General of Pakistan and all Pakistani Americans are hosts for the 3rd annual Flag Raising event

Please invite someone who does not look like you to come, because it is a good opportunity to sow the seeds of new friendships and share some positive things about the country of our origin, heritage and where we have our roots.

We invite our fellow Americans to join us and have fun learning new things about Pakistan.

For details: Call 650-387-1994 or Email:
Supervisor Dave Cortese’s office; 408-299-5030


County Holocaust Remembrance: Child Holocaust Survivors

The theme of the annual County of Santa Clara Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony for 2016 is Child Holocaust Survivors: Refugee Experiences. Michael Thaler, Marie Donner and Asher Engler, local child Holocaust refugees, will share their stories of trauma and resilience. Cantor Stephen Guggenheim will perform vocal selections. Archbishop Mitty High School students will speak about what they have learned from these childhood refugee stories.

Sponsored by Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese, the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association.

Free and open to the public. For more information contact Diane Fisher,, (408) 357-7504.

Santa Clara County Becomes Compassionate Community!

SiVIC Board Chair Rev. Andrew Kille, Treasurer Girish Shah, and Secretary Rev. Joy-Ellen Lipsky spoke at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 25 in favor of a resolution to make Santa Clara County a Compassionate Community and to sign the Charter for Compassion. The vote of the Board of Supervisors was unanimous in favor of the resolution. This was a significant step in our Compassionate Silicon Valley Project.

For video and documentation of the Compassionate Community Resolution by the County Board of Supervisors, click here. You can find the specific location by clicking item #15 in the Agenda (it’s at about 3:04:19 in the video proceedings).

As part of the resolution, SiVIC has been charged with creating a Stewardship Group with other supportive people to “partner with local public and private entities to create a shared vision that will enhance positive change, civic engagement, and establish the County of Santa Clara as a model ‘Compassionate Community.'”

Now we need to others to join us in getting the mayors of the 15 cities of Santa Clara County to sign the Charter for Compassion.

We have taken a big first step in this program and can move forward towards the goal of Compassionate Silicon Valley!