There are no fiscal implications associated with the acceptance of this informational report.
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION
Per the Board’s direction, Administration undertook extensive stakeholder engagement related to the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance. Specifically, the Board directed Administration to host a public forum/town hall and to convene a series of roundtable discussions.
Public Forum/Town Hall
For the public forum/town hall, the County Executive’s Office of Human Relations, in conjunction with the Human Relations Commission, hosted a public forum on August 25, 2014 to address the concerns related to the cost of living in Santa Clara County. The forum took place in the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium at the County Government Center, and two sessions were held, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to provide opportunities to those who may have varying work schedules to give testimony. Approximately 300 individuals attended over the two sessions, and 76 testified at the forum. Simultaneous translation was provided at the forum in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.
Testimony given at the public forum provided the basis for the report attached to this legislative file. Specifically, this report captures the voices of individuals and families who not only fall below the standard for self-sufficiency, but also those who work full-time in skilled and professional capacities and yet find themselves struggling to make ends meet. This latter group’s experiences have become the new norm in Santa Clara County for a rapidly declining middle-class population.
In addition to the public forum, the Office of Human Relations and the Human Relations Commission solicited testimony online, inviting the community at-large, community partners, academia, and labor organizations to gather testimony regarding the cost of living in Santa Clara County. A total of 229 testimonies were provided. Of these, 121 were provided in Spanish. Testimony captured reflected the impact of the cost of living in Santa Clara County on quality of life; affordability of housing, food, and child care; the need to work more than one job to sustain oneself and/or one’s family; the lack of benefits to the employed; reliance on payday lenders; unemployment; high debt-to-income ratios; length of commutes; reliance on food banks, even for the employed; inability to save for emergencies, college, or retirement; and increased crime.
The Office of the County Executive’s Office of Women’s Policy engaged county contractors for input on the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance, and to discuss potential impacts such an ordinance could have on county contractors.
The Office of Women’s Policy hosted three roundtable discussions, developed and disseminated an online survey, and solicited and monitored input via email. The results of these engagement strategies are contained in the report attached to this legislative file.
The first roundtable discussion, involving Measure A-funded contractors, was held on August 29, 2014 in the Supervisors’ Conference Room on the 10th Floor of the County Government Center’s East Wing. The Office of Women’s Policy partnered with the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits to engage its considerable network of community-based service providers throughout Santa Clara County to participate in the second and third roundtable discussions, which were convened on September 25, 2014 at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits. The Office of Women’s Policy also reached out to its own network of organizations that are not members of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits to include their perspectives in the roundtable discussions.
Each roundtable discussion began with County Counsel’s overview of the Board’s May 20, 2014 referral regarding the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance. Office of Women’s Policy staff led the facilitated discussions and captured the questions and comments provided by the attendees.
In addition, the Procurement Department provided the Office of Women’s Policy with a list of contact information for 144 non-professional services contractors, who were engaged via an online survey. Two follow-up notifications were sent to these contractors to remind them of the opportunity to provide feedback. Information regarding the contractors that responded and the feedback that those contractors provided is included in the attached report from the Office of Women’s Policy.
Furthermore, the County Executive’s Office met with representatives from Working Partnerships USA in late May and late September and with representatives of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits in late June. In addition, scheduled conference calls were held with the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits in early August and with a representative of the California Restaurant Association in early September.
Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral impact on children and youth.
Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral impact on seniors.
Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral sustainability implications.
The Board of Supervisors, at its meeting of May 20, 2014, directed Administration to report back to the Finance & Government Operations Committee and the Children, Seniors & Families Committee at their June, August, and September meetings related to the Administration’s progress on the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance, including a process of stakeholder engagement. Specifically, the Board directed Administration to host a public forum/town hall and to convene a series of roundtable discussions. This legislative file includes the resulting reports from these two efforts, as well as the Administration’s overview of the outreach process.
CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION
The Board of Supervisors will not receive the requested community input and analysis contained in the attached reports.