About Cindy

Cindy Chavez giving a speech

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez represents close to a half million residents in District 2. This district includes the area of Central, East and South San Jose. She was sworn into office in August 2013 following a special election and has been re-elected twice to full terms.

Regionally, Supervisor Chavez serves as Chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and is a member of the CalTrain Board of Directors, playing a leadership role in the electrification of CalTrain and planning for high- speed rail. She is also a commissioner representing Santa Clara County on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and serves on the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors. Most recently, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Supervisor Chavez to the Board of State and Community Corrections. That will require Senate confirmation. On the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Chavez chairs the Board's Children, Families and Seniors Committee and serves on the Finance and Government Operations Committee.

  • In collaboration with her Board of Supervisors colleagues, Chavez has led Santa Clara County’s response to COVID-19 to raise funding for the hospitals needing protective gear and other medical supplies. She also worked with colleagues, cities, community groups, professional sports teams and schools to get more coronavirus testing sites in neighborhoods and communities of color hard hit by COVID-19 along with food and shelter to families who lost jobs and homes.
  • Inequities, including access to Wi-Fi for distance learning, health care, and other issues, exposed during COVID-19 prompted Chavez to help write and have the Board approve an Equity Pledge to ensure that all Santa Clara County programs and initiatives are undertaken through an equity lens.
  • In one of the nation's most expensive housing markets, Supervisor Chavez was a primary architect of Santa Clara County's groundbreaking $950 million affordable housing bond which was approved by two-thirds of the voters in November 2016. There are already hundreds of units of new housing under construction which will house and support people who are homeless, mentally ill, disabled, seniors and veterans. In addition, a new first-time homebuyer program was launched in early Fall 2018 to help get more people their own house.
  • Since land to build affordable housing is so scarce, Supervisor Chavez has proposed a creative, new partnership with area school districts and community colleges to explore ways to build affordable homes on their land.
  • Getting residents and workers out of single occupancy vehicles would have major benefits for both the environment and quality of life in Santa Clara County so Supervisor Cindy Chavez is working to expand the BART, Caltrain, and VTA mass transit systems, as well as leading the Bay Area-wide effort to encourage remote working through the “Cut the Commute Pledge.”
  • Under Chavez's leadership, the county developed the nation's third LGBTQ-focused homeless shelter in San Jose for youth, many of whom have been kicked out of their homes. It is equipped with beds, showers and meals for LGBTQ youth and adults.
  • The Women's Agenda as developed and implemented by Supervisor Chavez with deep community involvement has put Santa Clara County on the map. In 2018, county, community and nonprofit leaders made Santa Clara the first county in the state to expedite the processing of rape kits to no longer than 30 days.
  • Chavez also organized groups and got funding approved for the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote in 2020. The anniversary was used to increase voter registration and produce accurate Census numbers.
  • Supervisor Chavez also enacted policies for wage equality and wage theft in Silicon Valley.
  • In 2018 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors also unanimously approved Supervisor Chavez's proposal to increase funding for intimate partner violence services—educational, mental health, housing, childcare and employment—by an unprecedented 400 percent. Supervisor Chavez—who established and co-chaired the Intimate Partner Violence Blue Ribbon Commission in 2016 with Supervisor Ken Yeager to transform services for domestic violence survivors—said the boost in funding will change the trajectory of many survivors' lives.
  • Under Chavez's leadership, Santa Clara is the first county in California where the board of supervisors approved bail reform for low-level, non-violent offenders. The reforms are designed to reduce the number of people in jail and prompted the California Legislature to take similiar action in 2018.
  • Supervisor Chavez and the Santa Clara County Office of Education are partnering to streamline and improve the Santa Clara County foster care system to include schools and improve the dually involved youth system merging child welfare with juvenile justice. Under Chavez's leadership, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved $6 million to build a new resource center for foster youth called The Hub providing resources so they complete their education, apply to and get into college, get jobs and basic services.
  • In 2017, Chavez supported the County in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration—Santa Clara County vs Trump (2017)—when the administration threatened to withhold federal funds affecting hospitals, social services and thousands of children, seniors and the disabled. The Trump Administration targeted Santa Clara County for its "sanctuary city" status. A federal judge ruled in Santa Clara County's favor in July 2018.
  • Supervisor Chavez has been instrumental in the development and construction of the future Santa Clara County Vietnamese American Service Center (VASC) which broke ground in Fall 2019. The Service Center in San Jose will be the first of its kind in the nation and will serve the largest Vietnamese community outside of Viet Nam. The VASC will be a one stop shop of vital County services centralized in one location delivered in a culturally competent and language accessible manner based in the heart of our Little Saigon area.
  • Earlier in her career, Supervisor Chavez served on the San Jose City Council from 1998 to 2006. In 2005 & 2006 she served as San Jose's Vice Mayor. During her two terms she doubled the park space in her downtown district. She also launched the Megan's Law Task Force. Working with a large group of community stakeholders, the city adopted recommendations to better inform residents about sexual predators in their neighborhoods, strengthened communication between State, County, and Local law enforcement authorities, and equipped San Jose Police Department with state-of-the art tracking equipment.
  • In March 2009 she became the Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council represents ninety unions and over 100,000 union members in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. On her watch, the voters approved the first increase in San Jose's minimum wage.
  • She also served as the Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a progressive policy think tank. Among its signature accomplishments are pioneering the Children's Health Initiative which made Santa Clara County the first in the nation to provide health coverage to every child.
  • Supervisor Chavez lives with her husband Mike Potter in the Naglee Park neighborhood of San Jose. Their son is now in college.
Cindy Chavez rappelling on side of a building

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