Working Partnerships Workshop Moved to 10:30 am at the Ramada Inn

Working Partnerships Workshop has been moved to the Ramada Inn at 10:30 am!!!!


US Social Forum

Silicon Valley Rising Workshop, Saturday June 27th Time: TBD

Silicon Valley Rising:  A Response to Growing Poverty and Inequality in the Bay Area Tech Driven Economy 

Low wage workers do their part to make Silicon Valley the most prosperous region in the world, yet they struggle every day to feed their families, pay their rent, and take care of themselves and their children when they are sick. Although the region’s top tech firms made a record $103 billion in profits in 2013, one in three Silicon Valley households do not make enough money to meet their most basic needs. While technology companies’ direct employees are often well compensated, many contract out most of their service jobs to workers who are poorly paid and don’t receive basic benefits creating an underclass of tech workers.

And in a stark diversity gap, Blacks and Latinos make up the majority of these janitors, food service workers, maintenance workers, security officers, and shuttle bus drivers who help build and sustain the tech economy — yet comprise just 3-4% of the core tech workforce.  This reality amounting to what some call “economic and occupational segregation.”

2014 saw an increase in worker and community driven solutions as well as significant engagement from large technology companies.  These steps signal that there is great opportunity to continue to work together to improve the lives of working people in the capital of innovation and technology, but only if we organize, push and demand a tech economy that works for all.

Come hear from service workers in tech including a shuttle bus driver, food service worker, and security officer as well as local community organizers and policy experts about how they are working to build a movement in Silicon Valley to unveil the truth about the invisible workforce in Silicon Valley and lift up tangible solutions.  


Michael Johnson – Silicon Valley security officer and member of the worker organizing committee

Rebeca Armendariz – SEIU-USWW political organizer

Doug Bloch- Political Director for the Teamsters Joint Council 7

Food Service worker in Tech

Maria Noel Fernandez- Campaign Director for Silicon Valley Rising


There are a myriad of reasons for holding a 2015 US Social Forum, as a followup from previous US Social Forums in Detroit (2010), and Atlanta (2007). As the presidential election 2016 cycle nears, planning and formulating progressive priorities, presenting third party or independent platforms, and rejuvenating faith in a democratic system through voicing common concerns is an exercise of our natural and civic rights.

US Social Forum 2015 Conventions in Philadelphia, Jackson, San Jose

The US Social Forum introduces World Social Forum concerns to the American public; led by recognized American nongovernmental organizations such as the Green Party, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Move to Amend, and sponsored by a variety of local stakeholder community organizations.

The reasons include observing or experiencing widening social gaps; schools emphasizing educational testing rather than growing student civic engagement; political leaders sacrificing their moral compass in exchange for privatization and short-term profits; a nation’s infrastructure being compromised by overseas military investments; large numbers of underemployed people struggling to make ends meet; and cities abandoning subsidized housing in exchange for higher revenue office buildings…

Many familiar grassroots organizations are coming together in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California for the U.S. Social Forum June 24th-28th. The human agenda will be made manifest through the convergence of think tanks who realize protecting human life and the planet earth in an era of global overpopulation and climate change is more important than ever before.

In Philadelphia, workshops and teach-ins will be held at Temple University with the Green Party playing a more active leadership role. Visit the Philadelphia USSF 2015 @

In Jackson, Mississippi, “Summer of Our Power” will be a combined US Social Forum and Climate Justice Alliance Event held on Friday, June 26th to Sunday, June 28th.

In San Jose, break-out sessions, films, and youth camp will be held at San Jose State University and other nearby host sites, with kickoff and evening plenaries held at Washington United Youth Center. Visit the San Jose USSF 2015 @

Details vary by location with a variety of nearby hosts and venues, including help with childcare and conference housing arrangements.

In all cities there will be national coordination, such as live streaming conferences, synthesis, or closing ceremony. There also will be how-to demonstrations, tours, short marches, and evening hip-hop music—a little something for each person’s needs for social justice consciousness-raising.

Find out more about USSF:

1. United States Social Forum 2015-San Jose, CA

2. US Social Forum San Jose,

3. US Social Forum Philadelphia 2015 – Another World is Possible,

4. “World Social Forum,” Wikipedia,

Silicon Valley Rising Fights for Worker Justice

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Silicon Valley is an area of contrasts. When you stop at a traffic light in Silicon Valley, you will often find a Maserati or a Tesla on one side of you and a beaten-up, 15-year-old Accord on the other. It seems there are more high-end Mercedeses, Jaguars, Bentleys or the occasional Maybach than in other areas.

Silicon Valley companies, many run by stock billionaires, pay a lot at the top and squat at the bottom. There are the lucky employees and a huge number of“contractors” — employees who are not called employees. The employees who reach a certain age are discarded.

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San Jose clears out the Jungle, but it won’t end homelessness-SF Gate

Published 6:00 pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014
The Jungle Image

Crews begin the clean up process at a homeless encampment known as The Jungle Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Police and social-workers on Thursday began clearing away one of the nation’s largest homeless encampments, a cluster of flimsy tents and plywood shelters that once housed more than 200 people in the heart of California’s wealthy Silicon Valley. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Jungle, a ramshackle 68-acre homeless encampment in San Jose, was a national embarrassment. For years, as many as 300 people lived in filthy conditions along a creek bed just minutes away from the downtown’s shiny high-rise tech headquarters. The Jungle was notorious as a symbol of America’s new economy of haves and have-nots, as well as for the number of residents. It was one of the largest homeless encampments in the country.

Last week, San Jose officials cleared out the camp, hoping to put an end to one of the city’s more difficult sagas. There were good humanitarian and environmental reasons to shut down the site. Crime rates were rising in the camp as more people moved in, and pollution from the camp was poisoning Coyote Creek. But clearing out the site is only the first step in a long process for San Jose and the rest of the region.

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