Teresa’s Plan for Improving the Economic Security of Women

It is critical for the long-term economic viability of Santa Clara County — and our country — that the income and economic status of women be increased. Recently, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in Congress launched When Women Succeed, America Succeeds, an agenda addressing the economic challenges facing women and families today and putting this issue front and center in our national dialogue.

From working with nonprofits that provided scholarships and services to women to updating the City of San Jose’s master plan for future growth and economic development, Teresa Alvarado has fought hard to provide more opportunities for women. As the founder of the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley and board member of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), Teresa has helped to educate, prepare and connect Latinas in the areas of educational advancement, economic empowerment, civic engagement and leadership development. As a member of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation Board of Directors and their STEM Leadership Board, she worked to ensure that students are academically prepared for college.

As Supervisor, Teresa will work in partnership with government, business, and the community to push for a strong economy that provides economic security and jobs for the women of Santa Clara County.

Ensure Equal Access to Jobs

Ensure that women are offered opportunities for promotion.
Teresa will work to increase public and private investments in the education and training of female workers, particularly workers in low wage jobs.

Encourage businesses to recruit women into predominantly male jobs.
Teresa is committed to work with private business and community agencies to create outreach and training programs to encourage women’s employment in nontraditional careers and predominantly male trades.

Increase access to STEAM jobs now.
In 2013, health care was the top area for job growth in San Jose, and careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) were among the highest paid. Yet, according to the White House Council on Women and Girls, only 25 percent of the STEAM workforce are women. Teresa, a trained engineer, will work with job development agencies, placement firms, and technology firms to provide job fairs that will increase access to STEAM jobs.

Increase the number of women working in the STEAM field.
STEAM is the growth industry of the 21st Century. Teresa will work with the technology sector and educational institutions to encourage and prepare women and girls to participate in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teresa will create a database of role models and match girls with mentors and sponsors to provide them with advice and exposure to this critical industry.

Close the Gender Wage Gap

Ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
All individuals should receive the same pay for the same work. Teresa will work with community agencies to expand outreach and training programs to inform women of their rights in the workplace.

Support an increase in the minimum wage.
With women comprising two-thirds of minimum wage earners in the United States, Teresa supports Supervisor Dave Cortese’s proposal to increase the County of Santa Clara’s minimum wage from $8 to $10 to help women make ends meet.

Expand Educational Opportunities

Address increased high school dropout rates for girls.
Girls with no high school diploma face higher rates of unemployment than their male counterparts, Teresa will work with school districts to develop more targeted intervention approaches to increase the high school graduation rates for girls such as early identification and intervention in middle school.

Support programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
Many females cite pregnancy and parenthood as a main reason for dropping out of school. Teresa understands this reality and will work aggressively with school districts and community agencies to offer comprehensive education courses to reduce teen pregnancies and help young women understand that their parenting choices are theirs to make and prepare for.

Create mentoring programs for women in business.
Teresa will work with private business to develop mentoring programs to provide support for the career development of women.

Offer Affordable, High-Quality Child Care

Expand access to affordable, high-quality child care.
Access to child care is a barrier to employment for many women. Teresa will work with local Chambers of Commerce, community agencies, and private businesses to improve access to affordable, high-quality child care so that more women with primary care responsibilities can work.

Support universal preschool for all children in Santa Clara County.
Teresa knows that children who attend preschool are more likely to succeed later in life. She will work with government and community leaders to develop a program to provide universal preschool access to every child in Santa Clara County.

Expand training and increase pay for child care workers.
Quality preschool requires better trained, and better educated teachers. Teresa will work with community agencies to ensure that our preschools can retain good teachers and that our children have the highest quality care available.

Promote Women-Owned Businesses

Help female entrepreneurs succeed in small business.
Small businesses play a key role in the economic development of the community. Teresa will work with community agencies and private business to help women succeed in starting and growing their small business.

Work with banks to increase loan approval rates for women-owned companies.
Teresa will work with banks to ensure that more women-owned companies receive loans to start up a small business.