Rene Fong: Working with the County
This year I have the amazing opportunity to work in Santa Clara County District 3 Supervisor Otto Lee’s office as an intern to his Chief of Staff. In first starting work as an intern at the Santa Clara County office, I was almost immediately introduced to a number of issues that the County works with and some of the County government does as opposed to the City government. But in the process of completing one of my very first assignments, I was able to have meaningful conversations with other members of the Supervisor’s team about how the County works on housing, racial equity, and behavioral and mental health and other problems faced by County residents. I’m beyond grateful to have the chance to work on projects with such direct impact on people in the community.
It was highly impressive to me just how much the County does for residents that goes largely unnoticed, or at least is not usually attributed to them. The work done by the County has been described to me as “the safety net” for residents. Things like social services, health care, and even operating 911 call centers all fall under County jurisdiction, which I would not have known without working at the Supervisor’s office. There are so many decisions and processes that go into running the county which I find fascinating to learn about as I continue to work with the County. Aside from the Board of Supervisors who make so many decisions that impact the daily workings of the County, Supervisor Lee also sits on a number of committees which deal specifically with health services, hate prevention, and government operations within the County. They do so much to provide and serve the community and I hope to aid in those efforts as best as I can in this fellowship position.
I hope to continue to add value to the initiatives set forth by the Supervisor’s office and, in the process, learn more about the ways in which the County government works to improve the lives of residents.