Supervisor Cindy Chavez elected president of Santa Clara Co. Board of Supervisors

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has elected Supervisor Cindy Chavez as the new president. She becomes the first woman to hold the position in almost a decade

Supervisor Chavez says she will be focused on two big issues over the next year: climate change and affordable housing, especially for women and children.

"One of the things we have really been focusing on is addressing domestic violence and sexual assault. Doing it the most aggressive ways that we can," explains Chavez.

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When Chavez was elected, she says the county was spending less than $1 million a year on services to help victims of these crimes. She says they now spend up to $13 million dollars a year.

"We have much more to do. One of those priorities is going to be focusing on housing and sheltering families who are fleeing for their lives. That will really be a priority this year," explains Chavez.

The latest proposal is to build up to 80 affordable housing units at the new civic center. According to a 2018 county report, violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women. Chavez says more must be done to help them, especially mothers who are trying to protect their children.

"Women are trying to keep their children safe. So what they may be doing is having children live with other family members. The mother staying in a car. So what we are really trying to do is recognize that we have this hidden homeless population and make sure we are addressing it," she says.

Supervisor Chavez also says that one of the predictors in becoming a homeless adult is being a homeless child. She hopes building more affordable family units will help break that cycle.

A vote on the affordable housing proposal is Tuesday afternoon.
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