Community Organizing

PACT Recognized for Voluntarism

PACT Recognized for Voluntarism

On April 17th 2018, The Junior League of San Jose held a Volunteer Recognition Luncheon themed  "Giving Back... Paying Forward" in which PACT was recognized with the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Volunteers Award for our work on Engaging "over 200 volunteer grassroots and faith leaders to collectively address issues that impact our community and to create solutions to pressing social problems including the housing crisis and mass deportation."

Supervisor Ken Yeager is doing something wild to fight AIDS

Sal Pizarro| San Jose Mercury News| Link to Article

Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, right, talks to Steve Ellenberg about his plans to participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle in June. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)

Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, right, talks to Steve Ellenberg about his plans to participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle in June. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)

If there’s one good thing about term limits for Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, it’s that he’s not running for anything on June 5. Instead, he’ll be riding his bike — a lot.

For the first time, Yeager, 65, will be participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven-day, 545-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles taking place June 3-9.

“I’ve been wanting to do this ride for as long as I’ve known it’s existed, which is 25 years,” said Yeager, who was the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County. “HIV/AIDS is as much about my life and my community as any issue has ever been.”

The fitness-minded supervisor is an avid hiker and bicyclist who participates in mud runs and obstacle courses. But even with that background, Yeager has been working with the South Bay Blaze training group since October. On April 1, he was among a 51-person group that took a grueling 6-plus hour ride to the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton and back.

A fundraising event for Yeager’s effort was held last Thursday at Deluxe in downtown San Jose, hosted by former Health Trust CEO Fred Ferrer and Paul Hepfer, the Health Trust’s senior vice president of programs who oversees the agency’s AIDS Services. Yeager has raised $7,500, and having blown past his original fundraising goal of $5,000, he’s readjusted his aim to raise at least $10,000.

“Ken Yeager has raised more money for HIV than any elected official in this county,” Ferrer said. “I’m delighted that we have this opportunity to thank Ken and support him on this absolutely crazy, stupid ride.”

SCOUT SALUTE: The Silicon Valley/Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored a quartet of community leaders Thursday night at the 13th annual Character Awards, which drew a crowd of 275 people to the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose.

This honorees at this year’s dinner, chaired by Brad Baron, were Genstor Systems co-founder Raj ChahalDavid Ginsborg, Santa Clara County’s deputy assessor; Blach Construction executive Tony Mirenda; and Realtor/Broker Elizabeth Monley, who also serves on History San Jose’s board of directors.

HERE’S TO VOLUNTEERS: The Los Altos Community Foundation paid tribute to 19 dedicated volunteers from Peninsula nonprofits at the annual Gardner Awards, held March 21 at the University Club in Palo Alto. There was plenty of applause as each recipient came on stage to get an award and a handshake from Los Altos Community Foundation CEO Joe EyreLarissa Robideaux, executive director for the Center of Excellence in Nonprofits, provided an inspiring keynote that touched on her father’s dedication to nonprofit service, an idea that I’m sure the audience of 250 could embrace.

And on April 17, the Junior League of San Jose recognized more than 100 community members at its 49th annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. Of those, 11 volunteers received the prestigious Crystal Bowl Award, along with something new this year — a $500 stipend for the honoree’s nominating agency.

Phil Mastrocola from Grace Baptist Church received the Voluntarism At Its Best Award, which includes an additional $1,000 stipend. Kaiser Permanente presented the Thriving Volunteers Award to grassroots organizing agency PACT (People Acting in Community Together).

Google advisory group moves forward in San Jose despite intense pushback

SAN JOSE — After more than three hours of impassioned pleas from dozens of local residents and community groups who wanted to be included, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved the creation of a controversial advisory group that will offer input on the possible Google development near Diridon Station.

'11/8/16' looks back at a shocking, emotional Trump vs. Clinton election day — and the divides that remain

'11/8/16' looks back at a shocking, emotional Trump vs. Clinton election day — and the divides that remain

On the morning of Nov. 8, 2016, 20-year-old Hana Barkowitz, a Kent State University student with bright eyes and bleached blond hair, bubbled over with optimism. The Pittsburgh native was about to vote in her first presidential election, and her passion for her candidate, Hillary Clinton, was unsinkable.

A documentary crew captured her exhilaration as Barkowitz, president of the Ohio school’s College Democrats, spent the morning door-knocking around campus, then co-hosted a nonpartisan watch party to cheer as the polls came in.

Utah Film Center to screen 11/8/16, impressive time capsule of a day in American politics

In one of the film’s strongest subject treatments, Shane went to San Jose to follow the story of Jesus, a DREAMer and an organizer for PACT (People Acting in Community Together), a non-profit which works on issue advocacy rather than supporting a particular candidate for office. Jesus and others seem optimistic about the future, confident that Clinton will be elected. However, as the results begin to show a different outcome ...

San Jose: Gun owners must lock up weapons when they’re not home

RAMONA GIWARGIS| San Jose Mercury News| Link to Article

SAN JOSE —  City residents who own guns will have to to lock them up when they leave home under a new law set to take effect in December.

The San Jose City Council approved the hotly-debated ordinance on a 6-5 vote late Tuesday, with some of the city’s elected leaders favoring stronger protections. The San Jose law is similar to safe-storage gun laws in San Francisco, Oakland, Sunnyvale and Berkeley. State law requires that guns be locked up or secured only in homes with young children.

$141 million Lotto winners from San Jose still active in philanthropy years later

Long before they made headlines after winning a $141 million California lottery jackpot in 2001, Alcario and Carmen Castellano were stalwart supporters of San Jose’s Latino community and its events. Sure, their lottery windfall allowed them to make a much larger impact, but they were hardly newcomers to the scene.


FOLLOWING THE LEADERS: One of Silicon Valley’s famous financial power couples — NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer and Beneficial State Bank co-CEO Kat Taylor — will join Community Health Partnership CEO Dolores Alvarado as this year’s honorees at People Acting in Community Together‘s annual Leadership Luncheon on Nov. 9.

Support for Muslim Community Prevails over Fear and Prejudice in Rival Rallies

Diane Andrews | The Santa Clara Weekly| Link to Article

American Congress for Truth (ACT) for America supporters rallying out of fear of Muslims, who they believe are infiltrating the Islamic code of law into the U.S. legal system, were far outnumbered by hundreds of Unity with Muslims supporters staging a counter-rally on June 10 in Santa Clara–home to a Muslim community and mosque. From 11 a.m. until about 3 p.m., each group staked out its own street corner at the busy intersection of Stevens Creek Blvd. and Winchester Blvd., bordering San Jose.

Japanese Americans join Unity Vigil

San José, CA - On June 10, 1000 people joined a Unity Vigil called by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), People Acting in Community Together (PACT), and Meet a Muslim. More than 130 religious, community, oppressed nationality and other organizations endorsed the vigil, which was organized on a week’s notice.