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Silicon Valley



A magazine for the Silicon Valley community: with love, compassion, and gratitude!

Building a Trusted Cyber Environment

Ken Xie, CEO Fortinet Interview with:

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Presents Photographer

Ash Kalra

James Gong Movie Review Growing Up Smith

City of San Jose’s Big Dreams

Dave Cortese Fixing the Ladder to Prosperity

Where Do You Want to Live? Housing Alternatives in Silicon Valley The Times They Are a Changin’

The Affordable Housing Issue

and more... ISBN 978-0-692-40495-9


CONTENTS 4 Building A Trusted Cyber Environment An Interview with Ken Xie 6 Affordable Housing for All Levels of Income An Interview with Ash Kalra 12 Growing Up Smith: Movie Review by Eeli Ram 13 It’s Better to Stand Out than to Fit In Interview with Anjul Nigam 15 SVI Magazine’s Chief Photographer James Gong goes to Virginia Museum of Fine Art 18 Fixing the Ladder to Prosperity Interview with Dave Cortese 21 New Developments in Surrounding Areas: Marian Chaney 23 Where Do You Want To Live By Eeli Ram 26 The Times They Are A Changing’ By Marc Kulla 28 Immigration Forum - APAPA 30 Please Do Not Dissect Your Children




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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and interviewees. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Copyright notice: No part of this publication and/or website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior written permission of the publisher. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing. Silicon Valley Impressions owns all rights to contributions, text and images, unless previously agreed to in writing. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



Building a Trusted Cyber Environment An interview with

Fortinet President Silicon Valley Impressions: In light of many security breaches happening in all levels of government, business, health, and information sector, what is the biggest challenge in your field for the next 5 years and 10 years? The Internet was built over 40 years ago, and was originaly intended to facilitate point-topoint connections between a few dozen government entities and universities in a trusted environment. Today, the internet connects billions of users and tens of billions of devices across the globe every day, and is continually proving that it should be considered anything but trusted. The cybersecurity industry exists because of the need to fill the security gaps between the internet’s original design and its vastly different traffic and use today. Filling that gap began with security vendors developing point-solutions designed to secure specific attack vectors on the network. This was good enough to secure data in the past, but as enterprise infrastructures evolve and everything and anything connects to the network, that strategy begins to fall apart. The biggest challenge for organizations is how to continually adapt to changing network architectures, S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

Ken Xie

and the ever-expanding volume and velocity of traffic in use by enterprises going forward. As a result, we are seeing companies move from best of breed solutions to consolidated security strategies that can be integrated to simplify management, reduce IT overhead and provide protection across the entire network infrastructure. SVI: The cybersecurity industry proposed that a company now needs a chief information security officer (CISO). What do you think about that? What should be the CISO’s profile? The risks facing organizations today are too great to ignore and security has become a boardroom discussion. Enterprise organizations absolutely require the skills and leadership of a C-level security officer to successfully compete in today’s economy. Even smaller companies that may not have the resources to hire a cybersecurity leader should consider partnering with a trusted Managed Security Service Provider who can act in that capacity for their organization. A CISO’s role is to protect the data and assets that are keys to their business success. This includes things like intellectual property, the privacy of sensitive data, meeting regulatory and compliance

requirements, maintaining and protecting their relationship with customers, and safeguarding their reputation. This is not an easy task when facing today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape. A key challenge is sourcing the right leader to successfully fill this critical role. That leader must have a thorough and strategic understanding of the threat landscape, the capabilities of their adversaries, and the technology and tools at their disposal. They must then be able to combine that expertise to effectively manage cyber risks, consistently defend their organization and its users and data from attack, and strategically plan security to meet the future needs of the business. To be successful, a CISO needs to effectively work and communicate in both management and technical environments, be able to identify the right talent, and effectively plan and execute appropriate security strategies. SVI: In the next 5-10 years, do you think that cybersecurity field will need lots of talents? Will these talents be different from that of the software/hardware engineers? What else will the young people of today need to master in order to be in the industry?


Businesses are struggling to fill and retain their cybersecurity talent today: The future of the industry depends on fostering new talent and building educational programs that are tailored to the unique skills required of cybersecurity professionals once they enter the workforce, and establishing an ongoing process to help new security specialists develop much needed expertise. Cybersecurity skills require foundational knowledge in computer sciences and infrastructure technology, and then specialized training and experience beyond. Comparing general IT versus cybersecurity skills is like comparing to a primary care physician to a surgeon. They both have very in-depth and critical knowledge, but surgeons receive additional, highly specialized training to successfully perform their job. Ideally, cybersecurity education should start as soon as children can use an internet-connected device. They should first be taught how to stay safe online, and understand the risks that they can face on the internet. Young people should then learn the basic concepts and principles of computer science, networking, and security as an integrated whole. With these fundamentals in place they can begin building more advanced skills, like data and traffic analysis, penetration testing, application security, intrusion detection, and remediation skills. Fortinet is committed to training the next generation of cybersecurity specialists. It’s why we developed our free Network Security Expert training curriculum to mirror this progression in skills. The early levels of the Fortinet NSE (network security expert) certification program

set a basic foundation of networking and security concepts and theory. Coursework then progresses to advanced security concepts and implementation skills. The goal is to provide a resource that will foster new cybersecurity talent while also supporting the continuing development of cybersecurity skills for practitioners. SVI: Is it possible that no matter how well you build your system, you can still be vulnerable to cyberattacks? Just like life in general, no one can entirely eliminate risk. Given the low cost for cybercriminals to generate a data breach, the difficulty in locating and prosecuting them, and the lucrative rewards of a successful breach, cybercrime will always be appealing to some and a risk to the everyone else. What we can do is prevent known risks, manage new risks so they have minimal impact on an organization, and reduce the potential damage when a breach occurs. That’s why we pioneered our broad, powerful. and automated Security Fabric approach to cybersecurity. The breadth of the Fortinet Security Fabric solutions spans the entire network, including the cloud, IoT devices, SDN and traditional components. This enables enterprises to see and control their entire infrastructure today and into the future. We also aggressively participate in third party testing to ensure that Fortinet solutions are the highest performing in the industry, and exceed the requirements of today’s largest enterprise networks. This ensures that organizations can deploy security solutions without impacting infrastructure efficiency


and performance and have the headroom to meet future demands. Lastly, the tight integration of Fortinet Security Fabric components enables automation capabilities that reduce complexity and provide coordinated response to threats. This reduces the administrative burden on IT resources, automates protections against existing threats, and enables the rapid detection and mitigation of advanced zero-day attacks and new threat strategies. The combination of breadth, performance, and automation enables the Fortinet Security Fabric to deliver unmatched security capabilities that, when combined, equal more than the sum of its parts. Ken Xie is an American businessman who founded Fortinet and NetScreen. He serves as CEO of Fortinet and was previously the CEO of NetScreen. Starting out as a tinkerer in his garage in Palo Alto, California, he built an ASIC-based firewall/VPN appliance in 1996 that would be the basis of his newly formed company, NetScreen, in 1997. Ken received M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a state-registered Professional Engineer. Xie was awarded top 5 Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2005 and Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 2006.

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Affordable Housing for all levels of Income: The City of San Jose has big dreams for Silicon Valley An interview with

Ash Kalra Silicon Valley Impressions: Can you describe a little bit about the demography in your district? Ash: My District, District 27 is approximately half of San Jose. Downtown San Jose has over 200 tech companies. High rise buildings are being built at the downtown core and the urban core of Silicon Valley. We’re seeing many growth and vibrancy but we also have many families struggling. My District includes East San Jose, Silver Creek and Evergreen which are very nice neighborhoods, it includes little Saigon, Japan Town, Story Road and King Blvd. It’s an interesting district because in all of Silicon Valley, my district has the most working class families and homes with multiple generations, two to three families living in a home. Some people live in garages, backyards, or sheds. Housing in Silicon Valley has become very expensive that only people in certain professions can afford them. But as a community, we need people working in all professions to help keep the S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

economy afloat. We need nurses, accountants, janitors, all of these people in various professions to function and thrive. I love my district because of its character and diversity. We’ve seen it transform in recent decades from the best agriculture region in the world to one of the most cultural diverse places in the world. However, it also offers many challenges. SVI: How many people, in percentage, in your district that need affordable housing? Ash: It’s hard to know the exact number because when you say who needs affordable housing, part of what people need is housing stability. There are plenty of people who have a place to live, but they literally live month to month, or paycheck to paycheck. At any moment, if the main breadwinner(s) lost a job, the household is at risk. That number is hard to figure out. We have thousands of homeless people. There are many tens of thousands that are in a place of housing insecurity.

SVI: You mean they can be homeless? Ash: Yes, in a few days’ time. If they lost their place, they don’t have any other options. They don’t have savings account where they can stay in a motel or even anywhere for a long stay. Many working people and families, including children, are living in their cars, shelters, friend’s couches or spare rooms for a week here and there. The housing instability puts pressure for many families. Silicon Valley lifestyle puts so much pressure on many people, even though tremendous wealth has been created here. We want to create a community that welcomes everyone and that has a quality of life so that people aren’t so stressed out every day. Even people who are rich are stressed out about the high housing cost, traffic, difficulty in finding day care for children. We need to put less emphasis on the work aspect of our lives. In


some ways, that’s what drives Silicon Valley too, so it’s a balancing act. SVI: Measure A gives $950 million for affordable housing. What is the status? Ash: It will take some time because we need to build some long term transitional housing. Transitional housing means very short term housing for people but they are actually housing facilities that can be used permanently. The money from Measure A is going to go towards building transitional housing which is expensive to do anywhere, especially here. Transitional housing means that we don’t just give someone a roof over the head but we do recognize that people who are chronically homeless, may have mental health issues, or drug and alcohol issues need housing first. They may need job training. They may have kids that needed to be taken care of. It’s not realistic to tell them to get a job first, to clean up their act first or deal with their mental health issues first then we’ll get you a place to live. That doesn’t make sense. Transitional housing policy is housing first. Transitional housing will provide a shelter, a safe place with wraparound services. Transitional housing will include social services to help them, medical services to heal them, and a stable ground under their feet that ensures they can transition out of the homeless situation. Eventually they will become employed and become tax payers that are contributing to our community. Once one group leaves the transitional housing, the next group will come and go through the same process of healing and rebuilding. It is an evolving door. This is an effective way to get people off the

streets. We cannot just sweep away encampments, or open up more shelters, but provide a long term opportunity. Measure A is a big part of that. SVI: When you say transition, how long is it? I also made a calculation, the 5,000 housing unit that Measure A is building costs $19,000 per unit. Ash: There will be different types of programs. But for us, it is usually six months to a year, where you like to try to transition them to permanent housing somewhere. But again, it depends on the individual and it depends on the type of program. You don’t want to rush out someone who is not ready. But if someone is ready, you want to create an empty space, for someone who is waiting for the opportunity. We have thousands of homeless people. These kinds of transitional programs aren’t designed for long term. It’s not going to be an ‘apples-to-apples’ where, “Okay, we’re going to build 5,000 units for-- or 6,000 units for the exact number of homeless, rather it’s a way of transitioning those that are currently homeless to permanent housing. There won’t be space for every single person to be in a transitional situation but it’s about the long term, moving people through this transitional environment to get them permanent housings, so they no longer need the services provided in transitional housing. The cost for a transitional unit


is actually more than $19,000 because you’re bringing in social services too but it’s much cheaper than having homeless people in the community where it depletes our resources such as our fire department responding to emergencies or our police forces having to deal with the everyday problems of the homeless population. There are many side effects of having a large number of people on the streets. It costs tax payers’ money and for the homeless person, the cost is even higher in terms of human capital and lost opportunities. SVI: Measure A addresses the services and housing? Ash: Yes. This transitional housing is supportive. It will include social services too. The county has these social services but they have to know where to deliver them. If someone who is homeless and wanders around, we cannot reach him/her. Once you build a transitional housing complex and you have supportive housing there, then they can stay in one place for many months and get the help they need, get the job training they need, and start to find work and

Oak Grove Apartments is a new affordable housing community located in San Jose, California. This five- story apartment building will offer 134 affordable multifamily apartments. Photo Source: S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



become financially responsible. It’s a much more cost effective way for us to deal with the homeless situation rather than just moving them around or closing down encampments which is extremely expensive to do and it has no positive end result. SVI: What will be the geographic breakdown for these 5,000 affordable housing units?

SVI: There are about 500 homeless veterans.

at this salary, many people cannot afford housing.

Ash: There used to be about 700 or 800. Now it’s actually dropping below 500. The plan was to provide housing for all of them by 2018 which is the 100th anniversary of Veteran’s Day. My understanding is that we will house every homeless veteran by this year. Everyone wants to house our veterans so it’s easy to get financial support

When we talk to the CEO’s in Silicon Valley, the number one issue is the housing cost. It doesn’t just impact the engineers. It impacts an entire workforce, for example people in the kitchens, the cafeterias, the janitors, the security officers etc., all of them are a part of the Silicon Valley infrastructure and ecosystem. We need to provide housing opportunities for all of our workforce. Some of the affordable housing funds can go towards these families.

Ash: San Jose is taking a huge part and I would love to see other cities build some transitional housing in their communities. There’s nothing to be afraid of, I know SVI: Okay, great. people have certain Do you feel that the impressions of affordgeneral population able housing or the here, they’re against homeless but once development? they’re in a supportAsh: Yes. I think that ive housing environit’s not just here, I Charlotte Park is a new affordable housing community coming to San ment they’re no Jose, California. This four-story apartment building will offer 200 affordable think many places, a lot longer homeless and multifamily apartments with 235 parking spaces. ~ Source: of people are against they are not scary. developments. Once they have their I’m hoping other cities in the even from the private sector. In home at their neighborhood they’re county will take advantage of that terms of other populations, affordvery wary and have concerns and build supportive housing. able housing means a lot of differwhenever anything around them Geographically, I don’t want to see ent things in different parts of changes. People don’t like changes. it all on San Jose. the country and state. In Silicon We are used to the traditional Valley, an entry level engineer, a SVI: It’s not committed? nurse, a firefighter and many other one or two story homes. The new developments have a much higher professions qualify for affordAsh: No. But the city of San Jose density. We cannot continue the able housing. There are differjust broke ground on a supportway we spread out in the ‘60s, ent levels of housing support in ive housing community. Another ‘70s and in the ‘80s. Many people our program: affordable housing, one will be built soon. There are at low income housing and moderate are going to object to some of the least two or three in San Jose right density levels being built but we income housing, very low and now being built that will ultimateextremely low income. The afford- don’t have much of a choice. ly house several hundred homeless able housing program addresses all individuals. Again, Measure A goes those levels. We don’t want to build on every a long way in helping us build even hillside. We need to keep the open more, but I do think it needs to be spaces of nature free from developThe transitional houses will spread out around the county and ment. We want to keep some of the focus more on the extremely low allow all communities to be part of income or those that have zero beauty that we have and it’s more the process in constructively and economically feasible to build income. Even in Silicon Valley lovingly dealing with our homeless when someone makes $60,000 to higher density in the City and it’s situation. less of a drain on city resources $70,000 a year can qualify for low income housing because we know continued on page 10 S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



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such as police, fire, utilities, and transportation. SVI: Transportation will be better when the population is concentrated in one place. Ash: Exactly. It’s much smarter when you build along transit corridors. By the end of this year, we will have the first BART train going to downtown San Jose, but we are not going to build a bus station for a few single-family detached homes. We’re going to build up and have high density. We will have jobs and higher density homes because that’s what is required of us as policy makers. It’s up to us to help our community feel comfortable with that. I know it’s not an easy process in many of the smaller communities like Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale

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and Los Gatos. It is the right thing to do. We have to think about future generations, not just about our comfort level today. SVI: The younger generations would like that because then they have the transportation, the shopping available. Many of them don’t want to drive. Ash: Many of them don’t even have cars. They prefer to live in an urban environment. Last year we approved the first project in the history of Silicon Valley. It’s a 10 story tower with zero parking spots allotted. Zero parking. It’s a block or two from the train station. It will be an all bike parking lot. Every unit has hooks for a bicycles. There are spaces for a rideshare to come pick people up. They have some spots for the car sharing spots but that’s what the younger generation wants. Some of them are going

to want more traditional home and that’s fine. We have enough single family detached homes in Silicon Valley to last a couple of generations. We don’t need to build more of it. We have plenty of options and there’s a housing life cycle to someone’s life. You’re younger you live in a condo downtown, maybe you get married and have kids. You want to go live out in Evergreen or South San Jose or in Cupertino, then your children get a little bit older. There are many young professionals and many empty nesters that live along highway 880, for example. We have to start thinking about how to create these environments that reduce our dependence on vehicles, get us out of our cars, and build housing that fits that lifestyle.



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“I am not from here” and serves to obliterate the intended friendly greeting. This movie uses humorous stumbles as an attempt to identify cultural barriers and then moves further to examine how a community works to bridge these barriers. Whether you are a recent immigrant or native-born, young or old, ultimately, having the ability to understand and participate fluently in a given culture will affect your power within that culture. As the movie retells a familiar coming of age story, elements of sorrow, joy, and laughter tug nostalgically yet retains relevance within our contemporary culture.

Movie Review: Growing Up Smith By Eeli Ram

G rowing Up Smith is a coming of age movie that beautifully depicts the

journey both from one culture to another and also from one generation to another through the eyes of a child who has the additional challenge as he takes his first steps towards adulthood. While a cultural faux pas may either backfire to alienate or to endear, this movie reminds the viewer that making mistakes is how we learn. For example, the greeting used by the immigrant family, “How doing?”. This almost works but with its awkward phrasing the real message becomes, S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

Hues of Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, and Almond welcome the viewer to a simpler time. The straightforward look and feel of this film enhance its storyline development. Attention to detail keeps the suspension of disbelief at bay. Small touches such as one perennial metal garbage can at the curb, station wagon in the driveway and a banana seat stingray bike all serve to take you back in time. Mismatched furniture, a makeshift shrine and Kellogg’s corn flakes in the same kitchen where mom labors to make traditional food all intertwine to hold your attention through each scene. Seemingly, the film took a calculated risk, as it relied on a set of well-established stereotypes to define each character. Carefully crafted these stereotypes served to expose and not ignore key points in gaining a better understanding of people. While we view the world through a sharpened lens of cultural sensitivity, this movie reminds us that as we relate to the challenges of trying to fit in we might also discover its better to stand out. Without giving away too much of the movie, suffice to say each character struggles to both fit in and also


to stand out. Recent immigrant father doubles as an American CPA and the cultural standard bearer; immigrant sister doubles as the studious Indian daughter and the American party-girl, native-born neighbor doubles as the Lone


Ranger hero and the failed provider and so the story unfolds as each character reveals multiple intentions.

background rather than our heart. Then there is the moment where our hearts speak louder than our intellect.

We all come to the party playing roles dictated by our cultural

You definitely need to see this movie, “lickity lick”.

It’s better to stand out than to fit in Interview with writer/actor of Growing Up Smith

Anjul Nigam Photo source: Anjul Nigam

Silicon Valley Impressions: Are you in Silicon Valley today for the first time, for the screening? Anjul Nigam: This is my first time being here, for this show. We’re doing a press tour. SVI: What did the reviewers like about it? Anjul Nigam: It’s interesting. We are releasing a movie that deals with immigration at a time when it has become such a divisive dialog within the country. Our movie deals with immigration from the perspective of diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. The movie is about taking the

opportunity to step back and understand the other person’s needs and desires. When you start to understand people, you’re going to bring out a compassionate quality in you. Our movie talks about a first love, about childhood heroes, and about growing up in a small town as a fish out of water. It’s told from the perspective of a 10-year-old Indian immigrant boy. When we look at our childhoods, they naturally seem simpler. We told this story from a nostalgic perspective - a perspective that makes us feel optimistic and hopeful. SVI: I started to see that there is a lot of collaboration between different countries in Hollywood. In

the past, the minority was always a minor cast included to complement the main character or the theme of the movies. What do you think the future is for this kind of collaboration? Anjul Nigam: Ultimately, I think it comes down to telling stories that we know best stories based on our experiences. When we allow our children to think of the arts, writing, filmmaking, directing, producing, acting, and seeing art as a true profession, then they’re going to be in positions to be able to tell their stories. Once you start telling your stories, then you start to see more and more diversity in the casting process. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7





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That’s just the tip of the iceberg the casting process - but it has to start somewhere. Where it starts is with the storytellers. Here, we have a movie called Growing up Smith that we made. It’s about an Indian family within Americana. Because it’s within Americana, you have the Caucasian characters who are equal and counterpart to the Indian characters. It’s about the convergence of the two different cultures and the two different ethnicities and races. Every immigrant community goes through a progressive cycle. When an immigrant community first gets here, there’s a knee-jerk reaction to allowing your kids to do anything other than the safest path, as becoming a doctor or an engineer.

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SVI: The recent changes in Hollywood, to include many diverse cultures that are part of our community in movies, are different from how things were in the past, where Asian actors had small parts in movies playing their own race. However, recently, I have seen movies made without really a cultural reference, such as the recent Star Wars Rogue One episode. They casted Chinese actors Jiang Wen and Donnie Yan in roles that could have been played by anyone.

together here. The hope is that we can live compassionately with each other, understand each other. Of course, we’re living in very cynical and divisive times, and where that comes from? I’m not really sure.

Anjul Nigam: Yes, somewhat colorblind, right? I think Hollywood starts to reflect the makeup of all people in the U.S. We are a community from different parts of the world, and we’ve come

Anjul Nigam: It’s a story about identity for first- or second-generation immigrants, which is always a challenge. Our slogan is “It’s better to stand out than to fit in.”

SVI: I think this aspect is very exciting, that we can integrate different cultures. Actors and actresses from other countries can be part of Hollywood’s main act. I think there is hope in Hollywood. Do you think of Growing up Smith as a mainstream Hollywood movie?



Silicon Valley Impressions Magazine’s Chief Photographer James Gong Goes to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts January 11, 2017 – July 30, 2017 VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), Lewis Focus Gallery Since the 1970s, contemporary Chinese photographer Gong Jianhua has been photographing Shanghai’s longtang neighborhoods. Unique to Shanghai, longtang are an architectural hybrid, started in the late 19th century, in which the traditional Chinese courtyard home is adapted to the urban townhouse format. As the exhibition’s title suggests, longtang were organized into walled urban neighborhoods, each interlaced with a grid of progressively narrower lanes and alleyways. Gong’s photographs, which span the period from the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) to Shanghai’s recent resurgence as a global economic hub, provide vivid access to these semiprivate passages that once dominated Shanghai’s urban landscape. Rather than document this disappearing architectural style, Gong’s work is sensitive to the unique way in which the longtang environment affected its residents’ everyday lives. The 25 photographs in this exhibition comprise half of a promised gift from Kent and Marcia Minichiello, which was divided between VMFA and the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums. The exhibition is a collaboration between the University or Richmond Museums and VMFA and was curated by Kristopher Kersey, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Richmond. ~ VMFA S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



Interview with Santa Clara County Supervisor

Dave Cortese

Fixing the Ladder to Prosperity Photography by James Gong

SVI: The jungle was evacuated. At that time, about 300 homeless individuals lost their place to live, do you track their whereabouts? Dave Cortese: That was the most tragic thing about how the homeless situation was handled over recent years. We are at cross purposes in government services, we are not always on the same page. The County homeless service is considered to be the safety net for someone with drug and alcoholic problems or mental illness. As for housing, we have relationships with the Santa Clara County Housing Authority. The City of San Jose and other cities only have the police to help maintain order and evict people who are homeless. Nearby to the jungle, there is a creek which is considered a water way by the water company. Their S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

main concern was water contamination. So the City was urged by the Santa Clara water district to use police force to do what we call sweeps in the Jungle. That’s what you saw in the Jungle. The County had a bus service with doctors, social workers, psychiatrist, mental health workers, and housing specialists. The homeless people were put on to the electronic computerized enrollment system and we created a medical file for any newcomers with their health and medication history. We had completed over 300 individuals’ medical files, and many of our workers knew most of these 300 homeless people. We could start the process of allocating housing for them. For the sick and mentally ill people, we all agreed that the jungle wasn’t

a good holding facility for them. Anyone who is on the way to be rehabilitated needs to be in a more secure environment, some kind of transitional village, like advanced refugee villages that some countries have created. The villages will have garbage facilities, doctors and social workers, showers, security, and schools for children. As we are in the process of building files for these people and trying to find housing for them, City of San Jose Police came along and told the people they had to leave. After the Jungle was evacuated, people scattered about, and nobody knew where they went. Now we have these beautiful files on people, but we don’t know where they are. They are nowhere to be found.


Some people need medication, some people are on the housing list and we have the housing for them, and some people are on lists for job training, but we have lost them.

of 18. The most vulnerable of the homeless population are children, but what can they do to self-initiate help? That requires a mature mind and thinking.

When we offer treatment to the mentally ill and then force them to leave the area and their belongings, their care suddenly stops. It can also be physically destabilizing, and their conditions become worse than before treatment started. We found ourselves in this situation after the Jungle was evacuated. In this case, the City and the County have different worldviews about the problems and how to deal with them.

At the time we did the census, 700 of the 6,500 were U.S. veterans, 500 of them were homeless, which is another examples of government agencies not working together. Most of these veterans were once in the U.S. Army, in combat, in a fort, or a station. They had housing provided by the U.S. military and 97% of them were discharged honorably, however, they have no place to live after being discharged. The federal government takes very little responsibility for that. The County is trying to fill that gap, too. Many of our veterans look healthy and strong, they have jobs, too, but for the wage they make, they cannot afford housing in this area.

The city has been spending tens of thousands of dollar a week to sweep homeless encampments. Trees have been posted with announcements from the City telling people to get out or they will be forced out. It is costly to do that. It takes away our public safety resources. SVI: Many of the people in the homeless camps suffer psychological disorders. How does the county help them? Some people say that homeless people need to seek help proactively. What do what do you think? It would be great if the homeless could seek help on their own. But most of those who have been in homelessness for a long period of time have no immediate hope of prosperity, security or housing. They are preoccupied with their daily survival. They are occupied with where to get the next meal, how to stay safe and warm, how to protect themselves from being abused, and they are not likely to come to us for help. Twenty-five percent of our homeless population of 6,500 are under the age of 25, half of that are under the age


felons (bank robbery, theft, non-homicide) released from state prison. When someone is released from state prison, he is given $200 and a bus ticket as his fare to rebuild his life; $200 is not enough for him to start. It can afford him a motel room for one of two nights, and a few meals. If there are no family and friends helping, they will become instantly homeless in a few days. With the Re-entry Center, our county staff intercepts them, and offers them with interim housing. They must come to the center every day, just like going to a job. However, housing is temporary, for only two to three months. At the center, they will be given clothes, job training, drug and alcohol programs, housing placement and mental health services from the County. Senior citizens can get help processing Social Security.

Two or three generations ago, Santa Clara valley was viewed to be a place where, even if you came penniless, if you worked hard, you would make it. The ladder of prosperity is here. It has been the story of the Valley, it’s our heritage, and one the most important stories of who we are. We are now losing that heritage. There was quality of life for majority of the people working in all professions. We used to have quality of life and opportunities for all. Today, there are opportunities, but they do not reach everyone. This is the root cause of our homeless problems and the housing crisis.

In the state of California, non-violent felons have a 70% re-offense conviction rate. Our program has turned it upside down. After our program started, nearly 70% of these individuals were staying away from crime. They continue to stay out of prison, out of trouble

If an individual has a criminal record, they are not eligible any type of social assistance. Is that right?

Soon, he found a plumbing job for $20 an hour, which isn’t a bad wage. But he still was not able to afford housing. After his housing expired, he lived in a van for one and half years.

Under AB109 by Governor Jerry Brown, we have established a Re-entry Center for non-violent

I have a case of Henry Townsend, He was sentenced for 25 years to life in prison. He was released after 10.5 years. He came to the Re-entry Center. We gave him an apartment for four months. He didn’t receive any assistance from Social Security.

One day he called me and started S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



to cry: “I feel like giving up, I feel like going out committing a theft, and I can go back to the prison. I don’t have to work there, it’s warm there and there is food. I did everything you told me to do and I still cannot make it. This is very hard.”

We did pass the Housing Bond, Measure A, which will give us $950 million for affordable housing. But even $950 million is not enough to transcend this problem because building one apartment complex can cost $100 million.

Many people say that the prison industry is growing and growing because the sentencing is too tough or the prison industry has a strong lobby and they want to grow. If you look at Henry Townsend’s story, the prison industry is thriving because many people cannot make it. The bottom part of the prosperity ladder is missing. People who work so hard, but instead of the joy and reward of life, they get beaten down and frustrated by the formidable housing market that is affordable for the few.

We intend to use this money as a sweetener. We know that there are many independent affordable housing developers who are on track for their projects, but they need 10% or 5% to complete their funding. The county can give $5 million or $7 million in exchange for some affordable housing. In this way, for $700 million worth of subsidies, we can negotiate for $2.8 billion in total housing production. That’s enough to build 4,300 units for homeless individuals and families with supportive services. Supportive housing means that the County will be there to provide medical attention and assistance, job training and mental health services. Now we can do that without fearing that our homeless clients will disappear from us.

There are 40 landlords in our community who signed up with us to offer housing for the homeless. They are particularly interested in veterans because they can get housing vouchers from the government to pay rent. But most landlords have to look at the person’s credit first. People who were just released from prison don’t have any credit. One does not have good credit after being in prison for 10 years. Those are the problems we are dealing with, but we are dealing with them more effectively now than ever before. We have to deal with the structural problems in the system, which is the broken ladder. There are plenty of people on the top of the ladder. There are more billionaires per capita here than in any of the metropolitan area in the world. We have the highest GDP productivity per capita. And yet at the same time, we have 6,500 people who are homeless. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

It’s in our best interest to keep people housed and stable. Not just from a humanitarian aspect, but as a business model, it works better as well. The County spends about $520 million per year out of the County’s general fund budget to help the transient homeless community. We can cut that number down by 60% or 70%. If we can keep homeless people in our housing units, we can focus the resources more effectively. Currently, much of the $520 million is used to treat them after they get out of the jail, responding to them after the police sweeps or when they refuse to be chased away, or when they get sick and end up in County hospital. We have some homeless people who

are picked up and released by the police nine times a month. An independent party conducted a study a year and half ago. They studied the 6,500 homeless people we have in the County and broke down the population into children, seniors, veterans, and repeat offenders. The repeat offenders number 2,800 and we are spending $80,000 a year on each one of these repeat offenders. It only costs us $35,000 a year to house one of them. Our new way of paying housing subsidy money is to give the landlords money, but we require the landlord to keep their homeless tenants for at least 60 days. The landlords need to prove that the homeless are there so the County worker can visit them and find them there. This program is called Project Welcome Home. Due to this program, right now, we have 112 chronically homeless people have houses already and they are staying there. Many of the stories from the 112 families are heartbreaking. They said that they never thought they would be homeless. They had jobs and some even with higher education. Then after being homeless for a while, they never believed that they could be in a house again. These are not felons or prisoners. During the heart of the recession, they lost everything. Now that they are back in housing again, they are absolutely overjoyed. There is a wonderful personal reward when we can do this work to house these people. That should be the way it is. There is something structurally wrong with the system when we have priced ourselves so dramatically askew that we have to worry about our sons and daughters being able to afford basic housing.



New Developments in Surrounding Areas: The Alternative of Affordable Housing in Silicon Valley Marian Chaney DRE # 01937247

(408)805-6680 (650)383-7388

Your Realtor for Life!

I s there affordable housing in Sili-

con Valley? If you ask me, a real estate agent who mostly deals with regular sales, my answer would be “I don’t see many.” Everything seems very expensive, good luck getting a starter home for a million dollars; or in cities like Palo Alto, not even an apartment. How can this be “affordable” for most middle class or millennial professionals who are still under the burden of or just recently repayed their student loans? With too little saving for the sizable down payment, affording these houses without additional help is just a dream.

ing and just look at the headlights coming over the Altamont Pass, and you know that’s where you know we are building our affordable housing, on the other side of the hill.”

Inside the valley, developers are fighting for buildable lands as if searching for needles in a haystack. Supposedly in every new residential development over 10 units at least 10 percent are “below market rate” subsidized units. From my first hand experience working with developers who have submitted or obtained entitlement of the residential development projects in silicon valley cities, from 10- 100+ Solution? Share a pad or move out. Many people who desire more units, I have realized most develspace for themselves or their fami- opers nowadays choose to pay a lies have chosen to move out of the “low income housing fee” to avoid area or to the outer areas of Silicon actually building the BMR units. The reason is that if the investor is Valley. In reality, statistics have to build and sell, a building without shown that many Silicon Valley workers are priced out of expensive BMR units is more desirable on the mid-Peninsula cities, and have been market and easier to sell for higher moving to places with more afford- price. If the investor is to build and able living costs. While the bidding hold, a building without BMR units wars are still on going in the valley, is easier to manage. Either way, it is favorable for the investor to many started to think about Pleasproduce a product with only reguanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Tracy, lar housing. Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and even further areas. Matt Regan, a regional Finding land and obtaining entitleplanning expert at the businessment is uber-competitive in silicon backed Bay Area Council commented, “You only have to drive on valley, it can be significantly costly (Interstate) 580 at 4:30 in the morn- and time consuming. Construction costs for new buildings has also

reached record high. These are all reasons that developers have also started to try their luck in outsider areas. Recently I’ve seen plenty of development projects from Oakland to Gilroy. Another reason building inside the valley is challenging is because dense housing is often a hard sell in suburban towns in Silicon Valley, where residents often fight new construction they fear will worsen traffic, impact schools, and change the character of their communities. “As soon as a project proponent arrives at City Hall with a multi-family development idea, the pitchforks are sharpened and the flaming torches are lit,” said Regan. Because of such opposition, many attempts to build new housing have been scaled down or abandoned altogether. In contrast, some outside cities are much more hungry for investment, economic growth, and thus are development friendly. I am sure that many housing experts, planners, and developers are working hard to provide more affordable housing for increasing number of residents inside Silicon Valley. In the meantime, there is also tremendous opportunity for development for outside cities that actually have more capacity to receive the growing population. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7





Courtesy Jens Lindhe


Eeli Ram

R emember the good ‘ole

days when urban planning was allowed a “do-over” such as when Napoleon Bonaparte hired his nephew to implement the Haussmann renovation of Paris. Rebuilding Paris was an enormous public works project aimed to bring air and light into the crowded and often filthy medieval neighborhoods of Paris. Perhaps not as extreme, yet, it looks like the Peninsula could use an urban planning “do-over” to correct the long-standing job-housing imbalance.

The Mountain Project

Photo source S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



8 - House Project


In the United States, the government term “affordable housing” is used to describe housing, rental or owner-occupied, that is at or below 30% of one’s income. An alternative definition of “affordable housing” may include qualities such as sustainability, aesthetically pleasing design, and a connection to safety, services, and amenities such as schools, parks, stores, offices, and senior centers. Ideally, the Bay Area should welcome a meeting of these two definitions to blend both financial and quality of life concerns into one cohesive vision. Unfortunately, plentiful, affordable housing priced less than 30% of one’s income in not the case in the Bay Area. The housing supply has not kept pace with the strong economy and rising population. Bay Area residential development lags far behind the creation of office space. Between 2010 and S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

2016 there were six times as many new jobs created as there were new housing units built. This imbalance causes hardships for workers, employers and most importantly it detracts from our quality of life. Simply stated, if a community creates a new job, then it needs to anticipate the services required by the person who will be filling that job. Housing affordability is more than just an inconvenience experienced by individual households who cannot easily find a place to live. Lack of affordable housing is considered by many urban planners to have adverse effects on a community’s overall health. Often the local workforce, especially lower wage earners, are forced to endure long commutes for employment. Lack of housing choices destroys community cohesiveness, adds to environmental pollution, requires a significant investment

in transportation corridors, and reduces the quality of life. Affordable housing may serve as an anchor for creating the kinds of neighborhoods where all families thrive. The key to affordable housing is for the local municipalities to maintain a long-range plan to support the needs of growth. The current housing demand is an opportunity to create living systems that go up and incorporate holistic needs of a thriving community. For example, “Live, Work, Play Developments” are a viable alternative to address the job/ housing imbalance. The Bay Area is a world-class location and needs a world-class urban planner. Now is the time to talk with visionary architects such as Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group who believes building sustainability will

increase the quality of life. This firm creates architecture by focussing on conventional components such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. Their idea for planned communities is transforming within the environmental movement. Within the highly conforming constraints of Mr. Ingels’ hometown, Copenhagen, this architect was able to change people’s mindset as to what was possible. For example, 8 House, a non-traditional 500 home development with shops that make it feel like a village. Bjarke Ingels explains his idea “that by mixing traditional ingredients, retail, rowhouses, and apartments in untraditional ways, you create added value, if not gold.” The idea is to layer jobs and housing in accessible and aesthetically pleasing ways allowing businesses and housing to co-exist. Imagine views and fresh air within your private oasis above retail and office spaces bounded by garden courtyards. The Mountain, another

Photo source

for thoughtful reflection. It is important not to forget that exceptional cities begin with exceptional neighborhoods. If the local governments in concert with the State and Federal agencies would focus on the housing needs to relieve the job/housing imbalance, then the Peninsula would evolve to maintain Courtsey Jesper Ray affordable housing and sustain a high quality development, works to create of living for a broader cross section indoor/outdoor living with a large of its constituent. garden area, high ceilings, and parking garage hidden beneath the The first half of the twenty-first structure. Both of these developcentury could be the birth of a new ments are examples of creating age on the Peninsula for work/ social infrastructure for resilient residential design. An opportunity cities. to transcend the boundaries of age, income, and profession to develop Think about the last time you took a vibrant new aesthetic readily a leisurely stroll, had a chance accessible to all. By tapping into meeting with a new acquainthe broad spectrum of expertise tance or took time for a daydream and by using collaboration between under a tree. Opportunities such communities and developers, the as these are the byproducts of Bay Area provides the location convenient and accessible public to support a world class answer spaces; spaces that nurture and to blending art with science to reward the informal discovery of accommodate life. community and possibly a chance



The Times They Are a Changin’ By

Song title by Bob Dylan, 1964

Marc Kulla

Photo source: History San Jose

“F or all intents and purposes

[people have] built regulatory walls around their communities that prevent even their own children from moving back to the area after college, given the housing costs.” ~ Matt Regan, the Bay Area Council’s senior vice president of public policy and government relations statement to The Mercury News. As everyone who has lived a respectable number of years on this planet knows, things change. Bob Dylan knew this in the 60’s and we all know this today. Sometimes they change for the better, and other times they change for the worse. However, change, in itself, is a positive movement. No person, group, city, state, country, or race of people wants to stagnate. Yet, when voting on local ordinances and regulations related to the construction of large-scale apartment complexes, people often block any change, thinking that it is always bad. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

Many of the hurdles to getting affordable housing are blocked by regulations that are voted on directly or indirectly by the members of the community. Why would people vote in a manner that would not invoke change, without having a solution to the problem that the change is supposed to be fixing? In short, people do want change. They just don’t want change to occur near them. This NIMBY-esque (not in my backyard) attitude has stopped harmful things such as cell towers from being built near schools, as well as nuclear power plants or oil refineries to be built within a dangerous proximity to our homes. However, the construction of high-density apartment complexes in our communities should never be equated to the construction of a nuclear power plant or a potentially harmful radiation hazard. Affluent people live in luxurious homes. Less fortunate people live in apartments. Affluent people

drive luxury cars. Less fortunate people ride public transportation. These thoughts are integrated into American culture and are especially true throughout the Bay Area. Yet, we all realize that we have a housing shortage, a traffic problem, and a potentially threatening situation to our younger population who, quite frankly, can’t afford to live and work in the Bay Area. Even though we all agree on these problems, people want the problem solved somewhere else. Well, this is one problem that must be solved in our own communities if we want to integrate large companies into our folds. Cupertino boasts Apple. Mountain View boasts Google. Menlo Park boasts Facebook. The list goes on, and all of these companies add so much to the life of so many people in our community as well as the entire world. It’s just a shame that most of their employees cannot afford to live near their work.


The dream of home ownership is partly fading. This is not only because millennials cannot afford the enormous down payment or the monthly payments, but also because they have less of a desire to own a home. Mowing the lawn on weekends and barbequing in the back yard is not something they seek. They live full lives, go out often, embrace travel and technology, and don’t aspire to the 30-year mortgage and eventual home ownership. Does this make them less of a value to our community? Not at all. Yet there are so few options for them to live if they want to rent an apartment. The number of large development projects for apartments in the bay area is not keeping up with the pace of demand, let alone outpacing it to potentially lower the outrageous costs of rent. How many times have you heard people in the Bay Area almost reminisce about all of the farms and fruit orchards that were here? Is this what we should have hoped for? That we could still have acres and acres of farmland? That our sons and daughters could grow up to a prosperous life of farming? Of course not. Change happened, and the change was good. Even when the Bay Area was filled with farms, we still had technology. In the early 1900’s vacuum tube development was happening. In the 1930’s we had test equipment. In the 1950’s we had microwave and defense. In the 1960’s we had integrated circuits. The rest, as they say, is history. These changes in the landscape were a positive change. Anyone reminiscing about the days of farms is not looking at all of the positive influences that came with the change of landscape.

projects (50+ units) was San Jose with just over 4,000 units. Compare this to Houston, which had just under 26,000 units added! The smaller cities in the Bay Area added so few units that it surely will never effect any real change. According to the Mercury News report, Palo Alto had under 100 units built in 2016 and Sunnyvale had just under 400. We cannot pressure people to vote one way or the other when large-scale apartment buildings are proposed in their community. However, we can educate them. The notion that people who rent apartments are not good for the community is outdated and incorrect. Your children may be renting those apartments one day so that they can work at wonderful companies in the Bay Area. Let’s not think that the younger generation, with their desire to not buy a home or own a car, is absurd. Possibly this is the generation that changes the Silicon Valley, just as the engineering generation changed it from a farming community years ago. If new roads are not being


built, then we must reduce cars on the road. Riding buses is not for lower class people. It is for people who realize that just talking about traffic is not going to change it. If a large-scale apartment complex gets built in your community, it is not a bad thing. It brings younger people to your community to work in the companies that you have allowed to be present, to eat at the restaurants that you love to go to, and contribute to the society in positive ways. We can easily find excellent examples of newly developed complexes in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino, and others. These newer downtown areas are vibrant with neighbors out in the evenings talking to each other and socializing. Ask yourself what you are afraid of by building a community filled with our younger generation, vibrant shops and restaurants, and a public transportation system that allows more people to gain that lost commuting time and live fuller lives. Photo source: History San Jose

Sold House

Investment SS Income

Total Incom

Taxes, Insura Maintenance Rent

According to the Mercury News, in 2016, the leading city in the bay area for construction of large-scale S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e

Cash Flow/N Income 2017



S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7



T he Trump administrations immigration

policy not only had the undocumented immigrants and Muslims deeply disturbed, many Asian immigrants also expressed concerns. Asian Pacific Islander for American Public Affairs (APAPA) held an immigration forum on Saturday, March 25, 2017, 1:30pm - 4:00pm at the Stanford University’s Li Ka Shing Learning and Knowledge Center. A number of elected officials and community members were invited to discuss the current immigration policy and how it might affect Asian and Pacific Islanders residing in the U.S. Panelists for discussion included: Congressman Ro Khanna; Nick Kuwada of Asian Law Alliance; Cupertino Vice Mayor Darcy Paul and Santa Clara County Assistant Sheriff Rick Sung. Ro Khanna, congressman of the 17th district of Indian descent talked in the forum. Coming from an immigrant family, he welcomes and encourages immigrants to live in the United States, and is firmly opposed to “hate crimes” against immigrant groups. “The immigrants are making an outstanding contribution to the US economy, and most of the immigrants are law-abiding, but it is clear that the so-called asylum cities and asylum counties should not accept criminals, this kind of offenders should be deported. “ APAPA Silicon Valley president Sun Xiaoguang said that many Chinese immigrants believe that Trump’s immigration ban against the Muslim countries will not impact Chinese immigrants. However, many immigrants might gradually feel the effects. In the future, visa or green card applications for relatives and families will become more and more difficult. The forum was jointly organized by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Public Affairs, the Silicon Valley Chapter and Peninsula Chapter, the Asian Law Alliance, and the Civic Leadership Forum.

Back Row: R-L Anjali Kausar, Teresa Lai, Jerry Chen, Don Sun Front Row: R-L Rick Sung, Darcy Paul, Nick Kuwada

S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7





Please Do Not





Yo u r C h i l d r e n


By Vitya

T here has always been some

kind of belittling when it comes to the word “children”- like when such children are told to not offer their opinions on certain matters that should not be ignored (i.e. feminism, wars). It is oftentimes associated with naivety and ignorance; however, that is usually not the case, and this goes especially for teenagers. Teenagehood does not, in any way, equal childhood; teenagehood is the appropriate dawning age of realization in which former children begin to take note of the world surrounding them. However, it is not uncommon for growing teenagers to be treated as either children or adults depending on the situation; they are treated as children in a S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | J u n e 2 0 1 7

serious matter, and as adults when they are still learning to adapt and grow. This is usually the reason for the so-called “rebellious” phase the word “teenagehood” insinuatesteenagehood is the time in which one realizes what kind of place the world is, and who they are/who they want to be. Indeed, this time is usually for the discovery of sexuality and opinions regarding general human rights and sense of self; what is decided and thought in this age seriously affects their future selves, as people who can impact the world. Therefore, this article can be considered as both advice and a plea, for/to parents: please do not tamp down your growing angel by forcing your own ideals onto them; let them discover who

they are and what they believe in- slacken the reins a little bit. Let them become someone who is proud of themselves because they learned who they are through their own experimentation. One cannot fully trust a piece of advice when it is words alone, after all. Your growing children are stronger than you think; let them burn themselves with a forewarning- that is the essence of youth. And, above all, remember that you are not “handling” your kids - it is exactly that kind of mindset that is the root of trouble. You are growing with them, and listening to them, and considering their opinions. Please, please be waiting, believing in them.



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Silicon Valley Impressions Magazine summer2017  

SVI summer 2017 edition. Affordable housing issue, include interviews with Ash Kalra and Dave Cortese about Silicon Valley affordable housin...

Silicon Valley Impressions Magazine summer2017  

SVI summer 2017 edition. Affordable housing issue, include interviews with Ash Kalra and Dave Cortese about Silicon Valley affordable housin...