Homelessness is a tremendous problem that we must face as a county, region and state. I co-chaired the 2016 Measure A Campaign which is a $950 million housing bond. We have 19 multi-unit housing projects funded and underway already, but we need to do more. We still have thousands of people unsheltered-living under overpasses, in creek corridors and on the streets. In the Senate District we’ll need more money that is not restricted to only long-term housing but is also directed to short-term solutions including transitional housing.
Solutions to homelessness have been a priority while serving on the San Jose City Council and Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. When I chaired the Board four of my first nine years in office, I initiated the creation of a housing task force with representatives from business, labor, city and county offices and many experts on housing and homelessness. The panel included members of the homeless community who helped make decisions and generate ideas which led to Measure A being placed on the ballot. The task force also brought forward recommendations for additional short-term, interim housing options. We shouldn’t be waiting; people are dying and it’s not acceptable.