US Congressman Meets Black Leaders in Silicon Valley, Addresses Disparity
CUPERTINO, Calif. – U.S. Representative Ro Khanna met today with leaders of the African-American community in Silicon Valley. He says he was troubled by a recent report highlighting disparities affecting black people across the South Bay.
Congressman Ro Khanna said that after reading the Silicon Valley Pain Index, he wanted to address the needs of his African-American constituents. And in this meeting with Khanna, they made it clear that they often feel ignored and left out of the community investment conversation.
“The index says black people in Silicon Valley are leaving, they’re disproportionately homeless in San Jose, they’re disproportionately food insecure. So I wanted to meet with community leaders pitch black to hear, what are we’ missing? said Khanna, who represents California’s 17th district.
A dozen people gathered at Nirvana Soul in Cupertino to discuss issues and resolutions affecting the black community in Silicon Valley and all of Santa Clara County.
“So what we find is in many parts of Santa Clara County, there’s a lot of food, but it’s all fast food, fried food, low-quality convenience stores, high-sugar food. So , what we’re doing is actually fueling diabetes, fueling heart disease, fueling obesity,” said Jocelyn Dubin, chief public health nutritionist for Santa Clara County.
Community leaders told Khanna that less than 1% of venture capital goes to black businesses, there are very few black executives at big Silicon Valley companies, and small black-owned businesses don’t get support. what they need.
“One person said that the African American community has been celebrating June 19 for 41 years and yet many companies have never contacted the people celebrating it long before it was a holiday,” Khanna said.
Proponents also claim that some form of reparations and financial investment is essential to engaging and sustaining South Bay’s black community.
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“We represent nearly 20% of the homeless population here in the county. How can we secure housing for black residents? How can we invest in projects like this? How can we invest in agencies like the Community Service Agency? Like the Roots Community Health Center and so on, who serve our community?” said Jahmal Williams, of Silicon Valley’s Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet.
Khanna said these conversations will continue throughout the year. Santa Clara County also announced today that it will join President Biden’s House America plan to house 20,000 people by 2025.