In July, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley released the Voices of Change report, which details results from a survey of the Latino community about quality of life in Silicon Valley. Here are some of the report’s findings:
- Nearly 9 in 10 respondents view the quality of life for Latinos in Silicon Valley positively
- Immigrants are two times more likely than those born in the U.S. to view the environment as the most important quality of life area to address
- Nearly half of respondents rated improving the quality and safety of parks and walkable areas as the top solution for environmental sustainability
That last point is not surprising. Your neighborhood is your immediate environment and it has a direct correlation to your health. Latinos are more likely to live in neighborhoods that lack access to parks, healthy food, and walkable streets, and therefore are at greater risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Upon the release of Voices of Change, Ron Gonzales, CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, invited community leaders to discuss the report’s findings on five aspects of quality of life: education, jobs and income, health, housing, and environment. Watch this interview about how our environment is integral to quality of life:
This effort to increase Latino community engagement in Silicon Valley began in 2011 when the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley released the region’s first Latino Issues Report Card. Greenbelt Alliance and others partnered with the foundation to grade how the Latino community fared in the aforementioned five quality of life areas.
The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley followed this up with Nuestro Futuro, an initiative that invited Latinos from both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to share their vision for how this growing and diverse community can thrive in Silicon Valley. Over 2,200 Latinos participated in the survey, many of them women, immigrants, and low-income individuals.
From urban village planning in San Jose, to the plan for El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, to a community benefits program in Redwood City, efforts to improve cities and towns are underway. It is critical that all the voices that make up a community are weighing in on these decisions. Increasingly, this includes the region’s Latino community, which is currently 26% of the population but expected to be 40% by 2050. When communities work together to address the region’s growth challenges, we can improve the quality of life for everyone.