Silicon Valley is enjoying its fifth straight year of unfettered growth. Job growth out-paces the nation. Driverless cars, the Internet of things, web apps and a crop of IPOs promise greater, unprecedented wealth.
But the valley's economic ascent only worsens the region's affordability crisis.
More than half of new jobs through 2018 will pay $50,000 or less, according to state employment projections. Meanwhile, the cost of housing continues to climb, pricing low- and middle-wage workers out of the market.
Santa Clara County's Office of Human Relations is inviting public testimony about the cost of living in Silicon Valley.
"The Price We Pay" forum takes place over two sessions, one at 2pm and another at 6pm, on Monday at the County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding Street. Interpreting and free child care will be provided. Click here for more information about the event.
The county says it already began collecting feedback:
Concerns already gathered from the community include: the difficulty of living from paycheck to paycheck; inability to find sustainable income through one source of employment; the need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet; inability to save for emergencies, higher education of children and retirement; reliance on payday lending; inability to access affordable housing; high adolescent and young adult unemployment; reliance on food banks, even while working; increased youth and adult crime.
Sources within the county tell San Jose Inside that Supervisor Cindy Chavez has been aggressively pushing the topic of living wage ordinances, despite the fact that the county would have little control over enforcement or changing the status quo.
Testimony from the sessions will be compiled into a report for the Board of Supervisors, "so they can have the information as they develop policies and practices," according to a county announcement.