As a government office, we are committed to creating strong bridges throughout Santa Clara County that affirm and embrace the whole person, especially LGBTQ individuals and their families. We strive to create inclusive systems of support that respond to the critical, often diverse and complex, needs of over 1.9 million residents of this county, with a special focus on LGBTQ communities who have been largely underserved. We are working to create a social climate with institutional backing that offers multiple pathways for LGBTQ individual and communities to thrive here and everywhere.
We provide leadership and support for the well-being and longevity of LGBTQ communities in Santa Clara County through coordinated, integrated approaches.
What We Are Doing:
Training: Train County staff and community stakeholders on best practices while raising awareness of LGBTQ issues that are relevant to our interaction with clients, constituents, residents, and employees.
Individualized, Case-specific Assistance: Offer guidance to County departments and community members seeking to support and referrals to local and national resources.
Cross-Departmental Best Practices: Work collaboratively with all County departments and local agencies to ensure that our programs and policies are pushing to expand options to LGBTQ clients, residents, and employees.
External Relations: Represent the County and build partnerships with local, state, and national government agencies, school districts, and nonprofit organizations on LGBTQ issues.
Communications: Develop the Office’s communication strategies and efforts, including a website, pamphlets, and directories.
Resource Development: Identify gaps in services to LGBTQ residents and develop resources to address them.
Community Engagement and Mobilization: Play a role in promoting and collaborating on LGBTQ community events, building supports and platforms to strengthen and amplify community voice.
Measuring Progress: Develop an evaluation metric to determine the effectiveness of the Office on each of the above responsibilities.
The Office of LGBTQ Affairs was passed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on March 24, 2015, as a referral item introduced by Supervisor Ken Yeager. The Office opened in late January of 2016, with two full-time staff members and one part-time administrative assistant. Santa Clara County was the first county in the United States with such an office.
View the emotional proposal made by Ken Yeager for the establishment of the County of Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs in the video on this page.