Sunnyvale’s demographics are such that no single group has a majority. Still, like any other city, Sunnyvale has problems of bias and racial tension. To address our structural racism, listening to citizens is a necessary start. Nancy was honored to bear witness to the peaceful Sunnyvale march in support of Black Lives Matter, which served to launch ongoing conversations and actions toward a more racially just city. As Mayor, Nancy will help ensure Sunnyvale citizens and City employees have access to tools and information that empower us all to overcome racial bias in policing, delivery of services, and in our daily lives.
Nancy sponsors, and sometimes edits, United for a Fair Economy’s annual report called “The State of the Dream” which describes various aspects of how racial injustice adversely impacts Black people in the United States. Nancy has been trained to provide interactive “popular education” workshops designed to bring experts and concerned and impacted citizens together for dialog and solution brainstorming without anyone being given a position of privilege – as is the case, for example, with talking heads at a panel. Instead, done properly with simultaneous translations and all participants seated in a circle, all are heard as equals, resulting in effective discussions to teach and come up with solutions together. Nancy would like to apply these skills and techniques to issues like BLM public safety reforms.
To carry this conversation forward, under Nancy’s sponsorship, the Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute (YPPI) partnered with the City to organize a teen-oriented town hall on racial justice.
Racial Profiling Endangers our Youth
As public servants, our public safety personnel and our social and justice system workers should never presume, based on racial or other characteristics, that a child is inherently dangerous. Those who provide services to at-risk youth may not be aware of the dangerous and negative impacts any sort of presumption has on a young person. Smith has found the work of Dr. Patrick Lopez-Aguado in his recent book, Stick Together and Come Back Home, to provide compelling criteria for managing relationships with at-risk youth. Our city needs to call upon experts like Dr. Lopez-Aguado, who study the impact of profiling on the lives of young people, and those impacted by profiling to create a culture of care for all people in Sunnyvale, regardless of race or socio-economic status.
Racism in Our City
Incidents of racial harassment take place in our community. An elderly Asian friend of Nancy’s was racially harassed on a major City street, and in April 2019, a man ran over a Hindu family in an apparent hate crime. Sunnyvale needs to take a serious view of responding to the threats of racism in all aspects of the community.
Racism and Public Health
On June 23, 2020, Santa Clara County declared racism a public health crisis, recognizing the efforts needed to combat systemic racism in our community. Nancy would like to see Sunnyvale follow the County’s example and make an independent declaration on the damaging impacts of racism.