tv Comunidad del Valle NBC May 31, 2020 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
hello and welcome once again to "communidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo coming of the you in a virtual setting. so from my home to yours, this is your "communidad del valle." >> nbc bay area presents "communidad del valle" with damian trujillo. >> and we begin today here on "communidad del valle." welcome to the show, connie. >> thank you. thank you for having us on. >> before we get into voting, tell us where are you guys at and what do you do in the community? >> we are a nonprofit based out
of redwood city. we work with families and children. we have different programming for both children and adults. and right now, our programming is online. but we do have a lot of online programs that the children and the parents are accessing via zoom. and we just have a lot of different programming when it comes to art. we have music programs. we also have online programs for adults and we're just trying to make a difference in our community and do a lot of programming, get the families to participate in a lot of community events and programming. >> let's talk about the census first, because that's one of the hot topics that you're undertaking right now. the census, as we all know, said that we can now -- or the folks
who are doing the vote count can put pamphlets on doors. tell us the difference that may make in getting an accurate count, the fact that you'rible to go out now and drop off pamphlets or those forms at home. >> right. so we received a grant from santa msan mateo county. before covid, we had decided to go out to the community in different events and talking to community members about the census and the importance of being counted. and that it's easy, fast, and it's important to be counted. and then covid happens, right? so a lot of that had to stop. we had to refocus and figure out how are we going to reach our community? so we did start doing a lot of phone calls, reaching out to the
community via a lot of the social media. just having conversations with people, just trying to do as much as we could online and through phone conversations. but now with the drop, it's really important, because now we are able to access some of the homes that are hard to count. there are certain sections of our community that are hard to count or considered hard to count. and therefore, we need to be able to reach them in a way that -- where they will get the information. having this, you know, having something to drop off to them, we're going to do a drop. >> you have a lot of rural areas on the coast and some other pockets on the inland. so that's -- it's a difficult task there in san mateo county. >> yes, it's a large coast, and there are communities that are hard to reach also, right?
so even though it's beautiful out there, there are communities that we need to be able to reach. >> and we had the secretary of state alex padilla on the show a couple of weeks ago. you can't emphasis the importance of getting that accurate count. there is a lot on the line in every neighborhood and every community and every city. there's a lot on the line if we don't get an accurate count. >> correct. especially now with covid, we can see the disparities in our community. the lack of -- or the need, basically the need for all these programs that -- for our community, for our seniors, for our children, for education, food. so it's really important now that we do get an accurate count, and that people, you know, people participate and that we -- everyone gets the word out to the communities to people that they know, to make
sure that they get counted. >> how responsive has the community been? i know we're in the early stages, we should have started a long time ago. but we have until november 1st. you have a lot of farmers out in the coastal regions. how willing have they been to be counted? >> there are certain communities that we still have low count, right? there are still tracks that are low that we would like them to be higher, so those are the ones we're targeting right now. overall, san mateo county is doing a great job. we have a 70% -- i didn't look today to see what it was. but overall, we're doing really good as far as the self-response. but there are certain tracks in san mateo county that are a little bit more challenging. so those there ones we need to focus on, getting the message out to the community.
and having -- finding a way for them to complete the census, maybe some communities where they don't have the technology or they're unable to do it online. so we give them phone numbers in spanish and english in other languages that they can go and make a phone call and complete the census via the phone. but also we can bring an ipad in and help them complete the census. obviously using social distance at this time. >> it's a difficult task, and i'm glad there's somebody like your organization out there to inform that task. doing a lot of great community work. we'll be back with connie guerrero when we continue. stay with us.
we're back here on "communidad del valle." you know, they go hand in hand, census and voting. there's a great effort underway. which vote redwood city is one of your endeavors. talk about what that entails, and, again, it's probably the same premise as a census count. >> yes, exactly. we started we vote redwood city as a project, something that i'm very passionate about, community engagement and getting the community to participate, whether it's, you know, in their schools or churches. any decisions that are made that are, you know, we need to have somebody there representing the latino community. so we started this project,
voter registration in 2018. we did a lot of work to get people to register to vote. we also did a lot of community engagement, just letting people know about some of the items that were on the ballot information, going on the radio, talking to people just letting them know about, you know, the elections and some of the decisions that were being made. so we continue with that work. we are still working to inform the community that this is a very important election coming up. we need to make sure that you're registered to vote. that you are doing what you can in your community to get others to register to vote and participate. and, you know, just make sure that you get out there and register and vote. >> and i'm -- i would imagine that you have the same covid challenges in doing that work.
>> yes. we are challenged this year with covid. we're trying the best that we can to get out, you know, really social media is what we've been able to work with right now. but we do have a lot of people that are standing up, a lot of groups, a lot of people that are wanting to do something to get others engaged. so there are -- i do see a lot of in my area, in redwood city, throughout the county, a lot of different work, a lot of different groups are working together. so that's a really positive thing. i really like that we all are able to work together on this. >> how vibrant would you say in san mateo county is the latino activism? whether it's community activism or political activism, getting involved and making a change?
>> you know, it's been -- i'm going to say it's been kind of quiet. we do have great latino representation. i would say we don't have enough latino representation. we have a few members on city council. we have -- i don't think we have anyone on the board of supervisors -- actually, i know there aren't any latinos on the board of supervisors, sorry. but we do need more. i think we need to wring those programs, leadership programs to san mateo county and get people interested in running for political office and get them trained and help them find ways, find tools in which they can run for political office. i think we need more representation in san mateo, latino representation in san mateo county. i was just on a zoom call
yesterday talking specifically about this, that, you know, this is something that we need. there are other counties that have higher latino representation and unfortunately, san mateo county is not there yet. we do have a big need. we're hoping to work together with different groups to increase that participation, because we really do need a voice. i'm not saying we don't have a voice. we do have representatives that are doing a great job. and even representatives that are non-latino that are, you know, looking out for our community. but there are some of us that, you know, need to -- sometimes we need to speak up, right? because if we don't, then they don't -- you know, we get ignored. >> absolutely. >> we really need to stand up for those that don't have a voice. and, you know, make our voices hard. >> connie, thank you so much.
joining us on "communidad del valle" is dave cortez. welcome to the show, dave. >> hi, damian. thank you for having me. >> thank you for being here. you know, we've had -- last week we had this covid-19 latino task force-out of the mission district. and they were on this from day one. they've been on it for about two months now. have we lagged behind, by we, i include myself in that as a member of the press, have we lagged behind in getting the word out in silicon valley to the latino community? >> i think we have lagged behind
in that particular area. it relates back to this debate about transparency. you know, about data and statistics that's been going on since day one, since the pandemic became a pandemic. and different governments, local, state, and federal are handling the dissemination of information differently. san francisco has done it differently than we have down here. i've been calling out for granular data, if you will, census track by census track, based on who, what, why, when, where. what's thee ethnicity, race, ge rog -- geography, is there a cluster there. but yeah, it's a few weeks into the pandemic, and it's unfortunate because people would have liked to have known what areas they should be avoiding, and i think that's the big issue now. you know, nobody -- because of
their race or ethnicity or creed or income or anything else deserves to be victimized by this pandemic in a disproportionate way, and if they are, it means the government hasn't invested enough money in those areas that need the preventative measures. >> how bothered are you by the fact that it seems to be concentrated here in the county and san jose in four zip codes, and those are on the east side of san jose and those four zip codes includes yours and mine? >> it bothers me a lot, damian. it really cuts the heart for a lot of people here. recently, there was an op-ed that i thought was spot on. it was in print, and people can google that. she's one of many people who have begun to speak out as community leaders say thing is not okay. and it bothers me a lot, because
there's two things. one is, we don't want to stigmatize people. come on, this is a life and death issue. it's not about stigmatizing people but alerting people, giving them the information they need, empowering them to do what they can to protect themselves and giving them the resources to do it. the second one is, well, should we spread resources evenly throughout the county? again, that's a false choice. the fact of the matter is, people, particularly in the zip codes that have been called out, those four zip codes, there's a higher -- in those zip codes, there's a higher propensity who are working, who are in service industry jobs, who are in essential jobs like you are who have to go out. they have to go out. this isn't -- you know, if i had another very passionate concern, don't start stereotyping. you don't do that, i don't do that, but without mentioning
names, i've heard elected officials on the other side of town saying, you know, hey, we have low-wage workers working in restaurants and certain places. hey, this isn't about what somebody's stereotype is of a latino -- of an asian american or of an african-american. this is about the fact that areas of people living and working hard and carrying the rest of us on our backs frankly are at a huge disadvantage because this is a virus that contracts more and more people, depending on how much they're out. and certainly that's our hardworking community here, no matter what their income level is. >> today, dave, is sunday, may 31st. on tuesday, you're going to present what before the board of supervisors? >> on tuesday, i am presenting
a -- what we call a referral. it is a legislative item that asks the board of supervisors that endorses further investment in those four zip codes that was leverage or utilize the data and the outreach capabilities of every community based organization out there that's been dealing with the communities that are disproportionately afflicted. that would mean the hispanic chamber of commerce, for example. irrc, which has been around for years in the vaietnamese community. the black chamber of commerce. these folks haven't been leveraged or utilized at all. they have databases, memberships. they would like to help get the word out. let's put the resources to work to make that happen. i think that's probably a $250,000 or $500,000 item. but we've got an $8 billion
budget, and as i said, this is a life and death item. i think that's a small price to pay to protect people's lives. >> absolutely. i think a lot of us were surprised at the concentration levels, but at the same time, i don't think we were. i think it may have been expected by a lot of us, just the fact that a lot of us did not mobilize in town. we'll be back, stay with us.
we're back with dave cortez on "communidad del valle." it's going to take everyone that is vested in the entire community to solve this issue, is that correct? >> it is. it's going to take a huge grassroots effort, but one that the county can do, one that we have to take the initiative of and have the government be the catalyst of that kind of grassroots activity. that involves community based agencies as i mentioned. but it involves, you know,
really empowering and activating people in this community who, frankly in these four zip codes are used to doing that, and doing that since the 1960s. rallying around causes, taking care of one another. communicating within cultural groups and organizations, all that is going to have to happen. but it's certainly activity that the county can initiate and fund. nothing happens without investment, so that has to be part of it. >> i know in city hall, it's been council members who have been sounding the alarm. but you heard that they think we have had enough. >> yeah. you know, i served in the past with former assembly members all the way back to city council. that goes back 20 years. she's been outspoken when it comes to these issues, as have
i. i have also and other officials. but she has really emphasized the fact that this is not a time to be quiet. this is a time where we need action right now. i think she's going to be out there organize people over the next few days to make sure that we get this investment that needs to be made soon. as urgently as possible and we get it out on the street. >> you're not in that inner circle, supervisor cortez? you're not part of that think tank that involves dr. sarah cody in making these decisions, but you're just outside that door. how are we doing as a county do you feel in responding to this and making sure that we minimize the damage if --? >> overall, the county is doing a great job. this is the first county to think about and have shelter in place. it led the whole nation in that
regard. that was after this county led the nation in -- remember, it was 1,000, then 100, and then 10, and basically sarah cody said look, we have to quarantine the healthy people, keep them away from the sick people. that's what should have been done with greater effort in the zip codes we're talking about. but the county has done a great job. we have economic damage that's being done, not just to private sector businesses but the county itself. we have a $285 million deficit because of this. and then, you know, the governor keeps saying hey, look, counties, you can open things up, you make the rules. writing or rewriting the rules for how society undertakes its business is a tremendous task. and you have to feel for the lawyers and the public health people that are working around the clock 24 hours a day to get this done. >> i know that the latino media
has been hard at work at getting the word out. and the basics, wear a mask. minimum six feet separation, social distancing and what not. i include myself as a member reporting for telemundo occasionally. what advice could you give to the folks in those four zip codes, again, one that includes yours? >> learn everything that you can, one. we're going to be communicating some more with you, your friends, your neighbors. if you stay informed, don't take it for granted that your neighbor is informed or understands the severity of this issue. this virus isn't by any means going away. it hasn't gone anywhere yet. there's no vaccine. there's no testing, no immunity testing that's available yet. it's embedding itself like a ghost-like parasite in our community. it's out there.
it's everywhere. so don't let up. the only thing that's slowed it down at all is good people in this community, smart people in this community, which includes a lot of people in zip codes that are overrepresented right now, have been going above and beyond to take care of their neighbor. your neighbor that needs to be taken care of is the clerk in the store, the person that's fixing your car, the person that's interviewing you for a television spot. you know, there's a lot of people who have essential workplace situations that are very, very good people that need to be protected. we don't want to make them sick. so if you can stay at home and you're not suffering serious economic distress, make sure you're reaching out to others to help educate them. that's what we need, especially in east san jose right now. >> supervisor dave cortez, any final thoughts? your proposal goes before the
board of supervisors this coming tuesday. >> if people would like to get involved, those board of supervisor meetings are virtual. they're on zoom. it's easy to call into those meetings and speak up. we can certainly use the people to speak on behalf of the proposal to invest more in east san jose, in terms of prevention and protecting people. my number is 408-299-5030. please call in any time this week or even monday if you're interested in participating in that meeting. usually a one-minute comment is allowed per speaker and we would love to have you join in. >> thank you so much for your hard work, supervisor dave cortez. >> thank you, damian. >> thank you for joining us. we'll see you next weekend from my home to yours.
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