Ensuring the Bay Area is a place of opportunity, rather than hardship, for everyone

Erica WoodThis summer, thankfully, I had a little time to unwind and reflect, as I hope many of you did as well. One of the reflections was about the satisfaction I get from living in a place filled with natural beauty and diverse, enterprising people. But as we all know, life in the Bay Area comes at a price. 

For too many people, working in the Bay Area is not a fast-paced thrill ride to career accomplishments and wealth. Instead, it’s a grind to make enough to pay rent or a hefty mortgage, and afford insurance, medical care and food. People of all stripes must fight traffic. Those taking public transit have their own set of woes, such as bus routes that connect poorly from county to county, or trains that don’t connect to job centers. As the local economy booms – especially for the tech sector – the benefits are not accruing to enough of our local communities. 

Are there aspects of our public policies that could make it easier for people to be economically secure in Silicon Valley? That’s one of the biggest questions we are asking ourselves at SVCF right now. 

We brought this issue out in the open in front of community members, our donors and our corporate partners at our Regional Meeting on Oct. 8 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. This year’s program included a conversation with government leaders who think about these issues on a daily basis and who understand the kinds of coordinated public policies and strategies that are needed to address our collective challenges – housing, transportation and economic security. 

If you missed the Regional Meeting, be sure to:

We hope to continue this discussion and other efforts to ensure the Bay Area is a place of opportunity, rather than hardship, for everyone.