COVID-19 Updates, 4th of July, Black Lives Matter, County Budget Cuts
Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman
Mike's Monthly Message
July 2020
COVID-19 Update
Today, Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody announced changes to the County’s Health Order that mark the end of the phased openings and the beginning of a new approach. The new order will be effective as early as July 13th -- unless the State does not approve our request to open. The County is submitting an application to the State that, if approved, would allow more businesses to open under the State’s Stay-at-Home Order. The State calls this a “variance.” If the State approves the County’s application for a variance before July 13, then the Order issued on July 2 goes into effect on July 13. Otherwise, the Order will go into effect two days after the State approves the County’s variance. (Check the Public Health website for updates.) In the application, Dr. Cody has requested approval to allow several new parts of our economy to resume operations as well as increase outdoor gatherings to up to 60 people and indoors up to 20 people, following strict risk-reduction measures. The new Health Order affects the following specific industries and activities:
  • Personal services, including hair and nail salons, massage therapy, and other body care services
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Construction
  • Recreational and athletic activities
  • Gatherings, including for social, economic, religious, cultural, and other purposes
  • Agriculture
  • Hotels and motels
  • Outdoor wine tasting
  • Public transit
  • Childcare, summer camps, and children’s activities
  • Pools
  • Outdoor dining
  • Food facilities

All open businesses will be required to follow the County Health Officer’s rules to make sure their workers and customers stay as safe as possible from COVID-19 including. (See the Public Health Website for details).

Business facilities that pose a high risk of COVID-19 transmission or large outbreaks must stay closed to the public. These include any indoor facility used for activities where face masks are removed (including indoor dining and bars, indoor swimming pools, saunas, heated exercise rooms, and smoking lounges), nightclubs, theaters, stadiums, arenas, music venues, indoor playgrounds and amusement centers, and non-residential adult and elder daycare facilities.

There is a no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is as much an economic crisis as it is a health crisis. As I’ve said many times: I want our economy to safely re-open as soon as possible. While I am optimistic that we will recover, it is little comfort for the families who are struggling without any income and business owners who had to shut their doors as a result of the crisis. Please visit my website at for COVID-19 resources including where to get free testing, case tracking, business resources, assistance with food and housing as well as volunteer and donation opportunities. 

Trying Our Souls
Photo of a bowl of food arranged in US flag colors
Disease. Death. Sheltering in place. Demonstrations. Distance with neighbors. Destroyed businesses. Anger, confusion and distrust. Was it the right choice? Did we wait too long or not act soon enough? While I could easily be describing recent events and sentiments, I am reflecting on the past. On another turbulent upheaval that took place 2,500 miles east of Santa Clara County and nearly 250 years ago. A revolt that began in 1765 and ended 18 years later with the birth of a nation. While it is easy to look back with certainty about what was right, who was right, and the worthiness of the sacrifices made for the cause, American independence was anything but certain at the time. And citizens on both sides of the fight experienced the destruction of their businesses, and the loss of their homes, fortunes and lives. While observing the American colonial struggle for independence from Great Britain, Thomas Paine wrote on December 23, 1776 that “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

The same could be said for us living now in 2020. Since March, I have received more than 16,000 emails and messages about COVID-19 from the people I represent on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. I read them -- from morning to night, seven days a week -- and respond to the pleas for help, demands for accountability, and the understandable expressions of anger, frustration and confusion. I have been a staunch advocate for re-opening our economy, as those who have contacted me or who watch the County Board of Supervisors meetings can attest. The insidiousness of a viral enemy makes it frustrating to fight because we cannot declare ourselves independent of it or vote it away. Instead we are left to wage a war of patience and cleanliness, and plan for an uncertain but hopeful future. And although I drew a parallel between the hardships faced by Americans 250 years ago and now, the common enemy is not a person or ideology. The enemy is COVID-19 plain and simple. I empathize deeply with the families who are struggling to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads and businesses afloat. And much like during the aftermath of the American Revolution, I do believe that our economy is well-positioned to rebound and that recovery will happen. I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July. Please check my events calendar below for some ways that you can celebrate safely.
Addressing Racism
I am proud to report that my colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors are standing in solidarity with the African Americans community to affirm that Black Lives Matter. Protests sparked by the recent deaths of unarmed African Americans have brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of many public discussions. I remain committed to our collective fight against discrimination of any kind and will continue to uphold the principle that every person is equal and must be treated as such. Sheriff Laurie Smith and her administration are working in collaboration with the unions to review their current policies and make any necessary revisions and reforms. We can and must strike the correct balance to keep both the public and law enforcement officers safe. Click on the link below to learn more.
A Budget Like No Other
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us into a recession deeper than what we faced in 2008-2009. The County is currently anticipating a $300 million budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2021 due to increased costs and declining revenues as a result of fighting the pandemic. As with all levels of government across America, cuts are inevitable and services will be impacted. This is an extremely daunting budget season and my goal is to work with the community and my colleagues to minimize negative impacts to our most vulnerable residents who rely on County services, including foster children, victims of domestic violence, homeless families and individuals, and County health services users. On June 23rd, my colleagues and I approved a $8.3 billion continuation budget to keep the County operating after the fiscal year ended on June 30th. Upcoming budget public hearings are scheduled for August 18th, August 19th, and August 21st at 1:30 pm and can be watched live online. In the coming months, I will draw on my experience as a businessman and my nearly 16 years of public service to help ensure that our budget meets the increasing needs of our residents.
Community Announcements
7/2/20: Bay Area Older Adults - Virtual Lecture Series: Free Home Repairs & Remodeling
7/4/20: City of Gilroy - July 4th Fireworks (Remote/Virtual)
7/4/20: City of Morgan Hill - Morgan Hill Freedom Fest – Virtual July 4th Celebration
7/4/20: City of Saratoga - July 4th Celebrations Virtual Parade
7/4/20: City of San Jose- Saturday Shenanigan Activities (4th of July edition)
7/4/20: Parents Helping Parents - Emergency Food and Shelter Service Listings
7/9/20: Housing Trust Silicon Valley - Empower Homebuyers SCC Webinar
7/9/20: Valley Water - Free Water Infrastructure Virtual Tour
7/10/20: Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce - Optimizing your Website
7/10/20: Bay Area Older Adults - Virtual Lecture Series: Use of Gene Editing to Change Biology
7/11/20: Supervisor Ellenberg's Virtual Community Conversation - Public Safety
: Santa Clara County Library District - Edible Terrariums
7/16/20: Supervisor Ellenberg's Virtual Community Conversation - Public Safety
: Peninsula Open Space Trust & Midpen Regional Open Space - Birds of Bear Creek Redwoods
7/20/20: Santa Clara County Library District - Zero Waste Cleaning Workshop
7/21/20: Supervisor Ellenberg's Virtual Community Conversation - Public Safety
: Housing Trust Silicon Valley - Empower Homebuyers SCC Webinar
7/21/20: Santa Clara County - Virtual Board of Supervisors Meeting
7/21/20: Santa Clara County Library District - Plant-Based Cooking Demo
7/23/20: Work2Future - Virtual Employer Connect (South County)
7/24/20: Peninsula Open Space Trust - Outdoor Skin Care
7/25/20: Santa Clara County Library District - Geology of Henry Coe State Park
7/28/20: Gilroy - Remembering the Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Tragedy
7/28/20: Valley Water - Free Virtual Tour of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center

Community Announcements
The Santa Clara County Library District is now offering free curbside service at all eight library locations Monday - Saturday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, and offers the following three contact-less services: Curbside Holds Pickup, Walkup Holds Pickup, Library Returns. Learn more on their website.
Supervisor Mike Wasserman is the Vice-President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
He represents District 1, which includes Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and portions of San Jose. Visit my website.

Office of Supervisor Mike Wasserman - County of Santa Clara
70 W. Hedding St.
East Wing, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
United States

This email was sent to:

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign