As 2023 concludes, I’m energized by the remarkable efforts and victories defining our community. Together, we continue to draw inspiration from a legacy of pioneering labor organizers like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Fred Ross, and local community leaders such as Blanca Alvarado and Chava Bustamante. Their relentless determination shapes my leadership, and empowers us to tackle seemingly impossible challenges. We also draw strength from workers nationwide and locally, including San José city workers, employees at tech giants like Google and Meta, and others fighting for better working conditions and against wage theft daily. Our collective strength fuels us.
At the core of our work is a dedication to ensuring families not only survive but flourish in our community. During my first year as Executive Director, I’m proud to see this dedication embodied by our team, donors, supporters, and partners. Collectively, we’ve provided direct services impacting thousands of lives in Santa Clara County. We helped secure parental leave for city workers in San José, won $100 million in the city budget for crucial programs that serve working families, laid the foundation to end wage theft, and passed legislation making San José the first city in California to restrict corporations with significant foreign ownership from influencing local elections. Watch the video below to learn more about what we’ve accomplished together.
In the coming year, we’re focusing on making an impact on the lives of fast-food workers, improving child care in Santa Clara County, and expanding our organizing and power building efforts. Housing justice is also a top priority, and we’re working towards making changes that matter, like more funding for affordable housing and giving tenants a stronger voice. With the growing number of renters in our community, we have a unique opportunity to shape the conversation and demand policies that truly meet the needs of those who call this region home.
I invite you to be a crucial part of this transformative journey. Your support is pivotal to our continued success. By contributing to Working Partnerships USA, you directly fuel our initiatives, allowing us to make a lasting impact on the lives of those who need it most.
Maria Noel Fernandez
Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA