How to sign up for ‘On the Table,’ the Bay Area-wide, grassroots conversation about housing

Tomorrow is D-Day for the conversational mobilization known as “On the Table.” The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has signed up more than 700 people and organizations to host small-group conversations about housing across the region.

Thousands are expected to participate in dozens of cities, mostly in Santa Clara and Santa Clara Counties, but also in San Francisco and the East Bay. And it’s not too late to sign up to host or participate in one of the discussions, which begin Wednesday and run through Nov. 22.

Sign up here.

Asked to name a few sessions that he is especially anticipating, “On the Table” organizer Mauricio Palma mentioned one at the Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, where multiple sessions involving around 40 people will take place, as well as one in Pescadero, where Puente de la Costa Sur, a nonprofit serving agricultural workers in San Mateo County, is hosting several sessions.

The Palo Alto conversations, he said, will involve a cross-section of the community, using the housing discussion as a bridge between faiths and ethnic groups.

Palma, director of initiatives and special projects for the Foundation,  is expecting something similar to happen in Pescadero, where he attended a community meeting not long ago.

“Housing immediately surfaced as the critical issue for everyone who attended,” he said, ” and that included farmworkers, as well as farmers and ranchers. I thought, `How is it possible that in such a small community, everyone is making this same point, that housing is the single most important issue they face?’ It blew me away.”

Photo: Mauricio Palma, director of initiatives and special projects for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, talks to a group of people who will host “On the Table” sessions about the Bay Area housing crisis. (Courtesy Silicon Valley Community Foundation)


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