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                   September 2015 Newsletter
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Step Up Through Public Works
by Professor Scott Myers-Lipton

Today, poverty and inequality are at record levels. Forty-five million Americans, or 14.5% of our population, live in poverty. The median income has declined over the past several years and has stagnated over the past 30 years. At the same time, growth for the top 1% of income earners has remained strong, with their income up 120% and their net worth at 40% of all wealth. Incredibly, the top 20% now control 89 percent of all the wealth, up from 81% in 1983. As a result, the United States is number one in the industrialized world in child poverty, income inequality, and wealth inequality. Locally, nearly 20% of our population cannot afford basic necessities each month without financial assistance.
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Professor Scott Myers-Lipton

As a response to this situation, some are calling for an Economic Bill of Rights, an idea first proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt and later by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Economic Bill of Rights has a clear and coherent vision and agenda on how to solve poverty and extreme economic inequality by guaranteeing the right to a job; a living wage; a decent home; medical care; a good education; adequate protection from economic fears of unemployment, sickness, and old age; and fair competition.

Step Up Silicon Valley has decided to take on the first two rights of the Economic Bill of Rights—the right to a job and living wage—through public works. Our campaign is titled “Step Up Through Public Works."

Scott Myers-Lipton is a sociology professor at San Jose State University and co-founder of San Jose's minimum wage campaign. He recently authored the book, "Ending Extreme Inequality: An Economic Bill of Rights Approach to Eliminate Poverty.”

To learn more about the Step Up Through Public Works Initiative click here.

Start Your Career in Healthcare!
Free Geriatric Home Aide Training

The Day Break Cares program of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, in partnership with Foothill College, offers training designed to provide you with basic, hands on skills and knowledge that you will need for an entry level career as a geriatric home aide. This non-credit program emphasizes basic nursing needs, safety considerations, and nutrition needs for older adults in preparation for your continued education towards becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Sign up now for a great way to enter the health services field and a great way to initiate a family sustaining career in the Silicon Valley.

Classes will be held at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.

Orientation and registration is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m.
The classes begin on Monday, September 21 at 9:30 a.m.

For more information about the free Geriatric Home Aid training, you can download the flyer here or contact Irmela Vrankic.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County Celebrating 60 Years of Inspiring Innovation for Change!

The founder and backbone organization of Step Up Silicon Valley is celebrating it's 60th anniversary. With a renewed focus on alleviating, preventing, and reducing poverty, the Hope and Opportunity Summit celebrates Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County’s 60 years of Changing Lives for Good. 

Join us as our Summit engages community leaders in a three-part conversation to create a shared action agenda to move people out of poverty in Santa Clara County. Keynote speakers are Emmett Carson, PhD, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, “Moving the Needle on Poverty” and Miriam Rivera, JD, Managing Director, Bay Area Growth Fund, “Making Change Real: Community Transformation for Our Times.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at the Tech Museum and San Jose Marriott.

To register and find out more information on the 60th Anniversary for Catholic Charities,
 click here.

Public Policy Research: Poverty in California

In 2013, 16.6% of Californians lacked sufficient resources to meet their basic needs, according to official poverty statistics. The rate has slightly declined from the 16.9% in 2012, but is well above the low of 12.4% in 2007. Furthermore, the official poverty line does not account for California’s housing costs or other key family needs and resources.

As the official poverty line does not account for housing costs or other key needs, the California Poverty Measure (CPM) was developed by the PPIC and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality to account for such costs. According to the CPM, it found that in 2012, a staggering 21.8% of Californians were living in poverty.

Overall, about one in five (20.1%) of Californians lived fairly close to the poverty line. Altogether, 41.8% of state residents were poor or near poor. 

To read more facts and figures about Poverty in California click here.
Learn about our Steps Forward

2014 Annual Report
Step Up Community Update 2014 

Step Up Pay for Success
Idea to Action Document

  Community Announcements  

Step Up Silicon Valley Core Team Meeting
Next meeting: September 4th

The SUSV core team meets on a monthly basis in order to build and strengthen relationships, identify community needs, work with diverse leaders and the community-at-large to cut poverty and build the capacity to bring about needed systemic change.

Contact Angela Silveira to learn more.

  Community Action Poverty Simulations
Experience 1 Month of Poverty in 2 hours. The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) immerses us in the harsh reality of a Silicon Valley that grows in disparity as much as prosperity.

Our next Poverty Simulation is on September 27, 2015 –Los Altos United Methodist Church, Los Altos

To sign up for this upcoming simulation click here.

If you would like to sponsor, host, or attend a poverty simulation, please contact Angela Silveira.

1,000 Out of Poverty

Next meeting: September 18

The 1,000 Out of Poverty team meets monthly to co-create community-based solutions that provide people access to jobs, healthcare, housing, food, and education.

Contact Angela Silveira to learn more about our initiative.

Get Ready for a New Career as a Security Officer!

Start your career as a security officer through Goodwill’s Good Guard Program. Classes begin each month and are filled on a first-come, first served basis.

For more information on the Good Guard Program, contact John Seaman or download the information flyer here.




About Us
Step Up Silicon Valley is a social innovation network focused on reducing poverty in Santa Clara County through convening, advocating for policy changes, and incubating innovative solutions to help people move out of poverty. We achieve this by working closely with representatives from various organizations and community members to coordinate breakthrough systems change that allow us to holistically create a thriving community in which none are too poor to give or too wealthy to be in need, and where everyone has access to affordable health care, sufficient nutritious food, decent affordable housing, meaningful educational and career opportunities, and reliable income that meets their basic financial needs. Learn more at

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is to reduce poverty and increase economic opportunities in Santa Clara County. The mission of Step Up Silicon Valley is to achieve this vision by transforming community awareness and generating the political will to create systems change that will enable individuals and families to step up and out of poverty in Santa Clara County.

Join our 
mailing list, visit our website, or follow us on social media.

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Thank You to Our Sponsors!

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Almaz Negash | Managing Director, Step Up Silicon Valley
Tel: (408) 325-5128 |

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Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
2625 Zanker Road
San Jose, California 95134

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