Voting: A moral obligation

by Robin Doran

illustration of people votiing

I believe that voting is vital. It’s a moral obligation. Our votes reinforce our collective interests and empower officials to act on our behalf. Yet, according to the 2020 Silicon Valley Index, eligible voter turnout in the November 2018 election in our region was only 53%. But here’s the sting – that was the highest turnout since 1974 for any other midterm general election.

Why don’t more people vote?

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Stand up loudly and boldly

by José Luis Gandara

José Luis Gandara is a 2020-2021 Benest Fellow at Joint Venture. Originally from Seattle, Washington, José is a freshman at Stanford University. He is passionate about state and local policy and has studied gentrification processes in San José, wildfire policy in California, and rent assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban and Regional Policy and he is also considering a double-major in Economics.

Illustration of Summer Taylor

On July 4th, I lost my cousin, Summer Taylor (they/them), after they were struck by a high-speed car that drove into a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle. They worked full-time in a vet clinic but for the past several weeks had used any time off to protest against police brutality and in solidarity with Black lives. They dedicated their life and what privilege they had to make the world a better place. Summer is my hero and role model for what antiracist white allyship really looks like.

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From the farm to the fellowship: A Stanford student discusses joining Joint Venture

by Lukas Lopez-Jensen

Lukas Lopez-Jensen

Back in September, I took a Stanford class on regional politics in Silicon Valley with President Hancock (Russ, as I know him). Within weeks, I was transfixed by the intricate, beautiful, hot mess that is the Valley. It was the only class of mine that allowed me to engage directly with agents in the real world—city council members, Google workers, and local activists—and learn about their issues in ways much more compelling than the internet and textbooks can offer.

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About the Blog

There's something about a crisis that brings people closer together. The Joint Venture Blog was created on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic as we shelter in place. Stepping outside our usual structure, the blog is intended to provide an informal window into the people and the inner workings of the organization. Please feel free to jump in with your own comments.