Supervisor of District 2
Get to know Supervisor Chavez
- Supervisor Chavez was the architect of 2016’s successful Measure A, a $950 million housing bond that is responsible for much of the new affordable housing in the county. In the seven years since the measure’s approval, approximately $809 million of bond funds have been committed to building nearly 5,000 units of housing. More than 4,000 of these units are targeted at groups with particular challenges, such as extremely low- to very low-income residents and those who need more supportive services.
- She is a national leader in the movement to end the use of leaded aviation fuel in the United States and authored the successful 2021 proposal to begin the process of closing San Jose’s Reid-Hillview Airport, located in a densely populated suburban neighborhood in San Jose’s East Side.
- Supervisor Chavez has been a statewide leader in the effort to close the digital divide in California, helping organize the advocacy campaign in 2021 in support of SB 156, Governor Gavin Newsom’s landmark $6 billion expansion of affordable, reliable broadband service in California. She also co-authored the Santa Clara County proposal to establish a publicly owned last mile broadband service for the county’s unserved and underserved populations that was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2021.
- Santa Clara County became a national leader in the processing of rape kits after Supervisor Chavez partnered with District Attorney Jeff Rosen to end the backlog of unprocessed rape kits in the county and ensure all rape kits are processed within 30 days.
- Supervisor Chavez also secured a 400% increase in funding for programs for survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking, and gender-based violence, helping to change the trajectory of lives through affordable housing, mental health and job training services, education, and childcare.
- She led the effort to establish a Fentanyl Working Group, partnering with the District Attorney’s Office to expand public awareness of the dangers of the drug fentanyl.
- Getting residents and workers out of single occupancy vehicles has major benefits for both the environment and quality of life in Santa Clara County, so Supervisor Chavez is working to expand the BART, Caltrain, and VTA mass transit systems, as well as leading the Bay Area-wide effort to encourage remote working.
- Supervisor Chavez was instrumental in the development and construction of the Vietnamese American Service Center (VASC), which opened in 2022. The VASC in San Jose is the first of its kind in the nation and serves the largest Vietnamese community outside of Viet Nam. It is a one stop shop of vital services centralized in one location delivered in a culturally competent and language accessible manner based in the heart of the Little Saigon neighborhood.
- Inequities, including access to Wi-Fi for distance learning, health care, and other issues, exposed during COVID-19 prompted Supervisor Chavez to help write an Equity Pledge, approved by the Board of Supervisors, to ensure that all Santa Clara County programs and initiatives are undertaken through an equity lens.
- Under her leadership, the county developed the nation's third LGBTQ-focused homeless shelter in San Jose for youth, many of whom have been kicked out of their homes. It is equipped with beds, showers and meals for LGBTQ youth and adults.
- In collaboration with her colleagues, then-Board President Chavez led Santa Clara County’s response to COVID-19, including raising funds for the hospitals needing protective gear and other medical supplies. She also worked with colleagues, cities, community groups, professional sports teams, and schools to get more testing and vaccination sites in neighborhoods and communities of color hard hit by COVID-19, along with food and shelter to families who lost jobs and homes.
- Supervisor Chavez also organized groups and got funding approved for the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote in 2020. The anniversary was used to increase voter registration and produce accurate Census numbers.
- She has enacted policies for wage equality and preventing wage theft in Silicon Valley.
- Since land to build affordable housing is so scarce, Supervisor Chavez proposed a creative, new partnership with area school districts and community colleges to explore ways to build affordable homes on their land.
- She established and co-chaired the Intimate Partner Violence Blue Ribbon Commission in 2016 with Supervisor Ken Yeager to transform services for domestic violence survivors.
- Under Chavez's leadership, Santa Clara is the first county in California that approved bail reform for low-level, non-violent offenders. The reforms were designed to reduce the number of people in jail and prompted the California Legislature to take similar action in 2018.
- Supervisor Chavez and the Santa Clara County Office of Education partnered to streamline and improve the Santa Clara County foster care system to include schools and improve the dually involved youth system merging child welfare with juvenile justice. Under Chavez's leadership, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved $6 million to build a resource center for foster youth called The Hub providing resources so they complete their education, apply to and get into college, get jobs and basic services.
- In 2017, Chavez supported the County in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration—Santa Clara County vs Trump (2017)—when it threatened to withhold federal funds affecting hospitals, social services and thousands of children, seniors and the disabled. The Trump Administration targeted Santa Clara County for its "sanctuary city" status. A federal judge ruled in Santa Clara County's favor in July 2018.
- Earlier in her career, Supervisor Chavez served on the San Jose City Council from 1998 to 2006. In 2005 & 2006 she served as San Jose's Vice Mayor. During her two terms she doubled the park space in her downtown district. She also launched the Megan's Law Task Force. Working with a large group of community stakeholders, the city adopted recommendations to better inform residents about sexual predators in their neighborhoods, strengthened communication between State, County, and Local law enforcement authorities, and equipped San Jose Police Department with state-of-the art tracking equipment.
- In March 2009 she became the Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council represents ninety unions and over 100,000 union members in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. On her watch, the voters approved the first increase in San Jose's minimum wage.
- She also served as the Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a progressive policy think tank. Among its signature accomplishments are pioneering the Children's Health Initiative which made Santa Clara County the first in the nation to provide health coverage to every child.
Supervisor Chavez lives with her husband Mike Potter in the Naglee Park neighborhood of San Jose. Their son Brennan attends college in upstate New York.