Closing the Digital Divide (Broadband Expansion)
Supervisor Chavez is committed to achieving digital equity in Santa Clara County and throughout California. She was one of the leaders of a statewide coalition that successfully advocated for the passage of Governor Gavin Newsom’s landmark $6 billion broadband expansion plan. The coalition included representatives from Northern and Southern California, the urban coastal regions and the inland rural ones, and not only elected officials but also leaders from non-profit groups, philanthropic institutions, and economic development organizations.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2020, she led the effort to secure $7 million in County funding to provide tablet computers and mobile wi-fi hot spots for children who were on the wrong side of the digital divide and unable to participate in virtual learning because of a lack of internet access.
She believes that achieving digital equity is crucial to the fields of education, healthcare, and economic development. She views Governor Newsom’s plan to build a statewide open access $3.25 billion middle mile broadband network along California’s highway system as being as critical to the next 50 years of California’s development as Governor Pat Brown’s efforts in the 1960s to build the State Water Project and expand the CSU and UC systems were to the past 50 years.
Supervisor Chavez’s efforts in this area include a proposal to the Board of Supervisors in May 2021 that will result in funding and contracts with community-based organizations to fill identified gaps in service for school age youth across the County.
The Office of Children and Families Policy Advocate
Supervisor Chavez led the effort to create the office. Its core objective will be to strengthen children and family services through coordination of multiple County initiatives, including prevention efforts, childcare and early learning, as well as ensuring trauma-informed care for our youth. This office at the highest level of the County will place children and their interests at the governance table of the County of Santa Clara.