I am pleased to announce the launch of 911 texting services throughout Santa Clara County. This new option will help those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and anyone who feels unsafe speaking over the phone. The county operates a consolidated (law, fire and medical) emergency communications center that is staffed by 130 employees, including 80 dispatchers who answer approximately 45,562 calls per month, 62 calls per hour, 1,497 calls in a 24-hour period (491 of them considered urgent or emergency calls) and 546,750 calls per year.
Dialing 911 in an emergency is still the preferred way to request help, and the public is reminded to “Call if you can. Text if you can’t.” Texting is not always ideal because it takes longer than a voice call and does not provide the location of the texter. The service is currently available in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County and all local jurisdictions, except for Campbell and Los Gatos, which are scheduled to offer the service by the end of the year.
Doing the right thing is its own reward, but recognition is always appreciated. As the chair of the county’s Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee, I am proud to announce that the county has received a 2019 Green Power Leadership Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for our progressive efforts to use renewable energy. EPA’s annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognize America’s leading green power users for helping to advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. This leadership award demonstrates that we can continue to get closer to achieving our environmental stewardship goals while being fiscally responsible.
Last month, my office co-hosted another super successful Trash Bash in San Martin. Thank you, San Martin Neighborhood Alliance and GreenWaste Recovery for all your hard work to make this happen. It is always so encouraging to see residents, students and community leaders come out to support our efforts to beautify San Martin. If you couldn’t make it this time, we hope to see you in Spring 2020!
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sponsors this event to promote the adoption of dogs from local shelters. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year. When these abandoned and often abused animals find their way to a shelter, each one needs a forever home, and their potential is limitless. I invite you to visit the county’s Animal Shelter in San Martin to see if you can find a match for your family.
Santa Clara County has the undesirable honor of being home to the largest reported incidences of wage theft per capita in the state. This pervasive problem disproportionately affects immigrants and low-wage workers. The county’s new Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Department of Environmental Health recently launched a Food Permit Enforcement Program that will enable the county to suspend food permits from businesses that have not paid their judgments. This new effort helps protect workers and gives an advantage to the majority of businesses who do follow the rules.
Supervisor Mike Wasserman represents District 1, which includes South County, on the board of supervisors. This guest view is excerpted from his September “Mike’s Monthly Message” newsletter. Wasserman can be reached at (408) 299-5010 or [email protected]