The County of Santa Clara Division of Equity and Social Justice (DESJ) is comprised of seven different offices within the Office of the County Executive. These Offices include the Office of Women’s Policy, Office of Gender Based Violence Prevention, Office of Cultural Competency, Office of Immigrant Relations, Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement, Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Affairs, and the Office of the Census.
Some of the Offices have been in existence since 1997, while others are newly developed. While these seven offices have different mission, ultimately, they are all working to address equity and social issues within our community. The DESJ is developing a shared framework and organizing structure that allows us to talk about the collective body of work of our seven Offices as a whole and move toward a shared frame for accountability.
This illustrates areas of work we are collectively addressing:
- Administers programs
- Builds County capacity
- Collects data and community investments
- Develops policies
- Ensures policy compliance
- Increases awareness & education
We are policy experts and provide guidance to County departments on best practices, current issues, and help facilitate a coordinated response to interconnected issues. But more importantly, our mandate is to be a bridge between the County and the community and ensure policymaking is driven by community needs and priorities. It is to forge collaborations and partnerships between government, nonprofit communities, communities of faith, and the private sector. As a Division that is focused on equity and social justice, we aim to infuse an intersectional lens with focused actions; Introduce cross-systems strategies that are trauma-informed, healing-focused, and culturally-responsive, while focused on data analysis and research to inform emerging policies.