Even though they do not vote, the nearly 438,000 children living in Santa Clara County deserve elected officials who understand how funding and policy decisions impact their lives. Too often, children are lost in a long list of priorities. However, decisions made today about investing in children’s safety, health, education and economic security have long-term effects on our community’s future. Our community’s and our nation’s current and future prosperity will be decided by our elected officials. This is why we, the voters, have an obligation to speak for children at the ballot box and why the Santa Clara County Local Early Education Planning Council, Strong Start of Santa Clara County and Kids in Common, a program of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, came together to create this Voter’s Guide on Children’s Issues.

For this guide we asked each candidate running for selected local, state or federal offices in Santa Clara County to answer five questions about their priorities for children. Candidates were given several weeks to respond to the survey. The responses are in their words and are unedited. This Voter’s Guide is informational only and no endorsement of any candidate is intended. We did our best to contact every candidate and ask them to participate in this Voter’s Guide. In many cases, candidates had an email address or phone number listed with the Registrar of Voters. In cases where this was not available, we searched for a website or other manner of contacting them. Even with our best efforts, we were unable to reach more than 35 of the candidates for the selected offices.

Please take some time to identify the races and candidates important to you and to read the candidate’s thoughts on a range of issues relating to children and how their communties can serve them better. And then VOTE!