A regional discussion focused on housing challenges in Silicon Valley will take place Santa Clara and San Mateo counties on Wednesday, including in Mountain View.
The event, called On the Table SV, will bring together thousands of residents, city officials and others to talk about what can be done to address the lack of affordable housing. The event is sponsored by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and is funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
Based in Miami, the Knight Foundation is providing funds for 10 community foundations throughout the country to hold conversations about important topics to foster solutions. The project is based on a model developed by the Chicago Community Trust, which the Knight Foundations wanted to see replicated, said Mauricio Palma, Silicon Valley Community Foundation's director of initiatives and special projects.
Wednesday's event is expected to bring more than 700 hosts in both counties for conversations, which will occur over a meal, coffee or bite to eat, he said. Two events are being planned in Mountain View.
Palma said the foundation chose housing as the topic after finding that housing was a critical element in the Bay Area during of series of separate community discussions.
"You just have to open the newspaper to see on a daily basis that housing is a major issue," he said.
While some of the conversations will be by invitation and others public, participants will be asked to fill out a survey at the end and the data will be included in two reports. One report will focus on how the On the Table model brings communities together, a goal of the Knight Foundation; the second report will focus on what is critical for Silicon Valley related to housing.
"We will use that information to inform our grant-making strategies in housing and transportation over the next three years," Palma said. The reports are expected to be completed in February and March.
"For us, there are multiple issues: immigration, education and economic security and housing and transportation. We decided to take a big dive into housing and transportation because it is critical across the region," he said.
In Mountain View, the On the Table event will be open to the general public at the following locations and times:
From 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.:
• SVCF Headquarters, 2440 W. El Camino Real
From 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.:
• Day Worker Center of Mountain View, 113 Escuela Ave.
More information is available at siliconvalleycf.org/onthetable.