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All-America City Script from 2001

4 people in costume behind the mayor - Father Serra, farmer, 50s housewife, high tech 'bunny"

My name is Judy Nadler and I am proud to be the mayor of Santa Clara, California. We are celebrating our sesquicentennial - 150 years as a city. Santa Clara started as a mission when California was still a territory owned by Mexico. Our rich soil and great climate made Santa Clara an agricultural center filled with orchards and farms. After World War II, we became a typical American suburb filled with the dreams of veterans and their families. Now we are known throughout the world as Silicon Valley, the home of computers, semiconductors and technology innovations that have changed the way everyone lives, works, and communicates.

Today Santa Clara has a population just over 100,000 and we aren't a small town anymore. We are the center of high tech, but we still have the human touch when it comes to solving our problems. People in our city work together with government, nonprofits and local businesses to solve problems. We see grassroots democracy in action over and over again in Santa Clara.

It is the All American way and Santa Clara, California is an All America city.

My name is Grace Davis and I work for Intel Corporation. A major challenge in Santa Clara is housing. We don't have enough and what we do have is very expensive. Finding a place to live that they can afford is especially hard on middle and lower income households -- the working poor. Many families double or triple up in overcrowded housing to afford the rent. The average age of a homeless person in our valley is just 9 years old.

I'm Amber Anderson and this is my husband, Morgan. We're both teachers in Santa Clara. We love this community but we thought we might have to move so we could buy our own home. Thanks to a special loan program that is a partnership between our school district and Intel [gesture towards Grace] we were able to buy a house and stay in the area. Our school district is also building an apartment complex that will offer affordable housing to teachers. Santa Clara has several programs like these that help teachers, police officers, fire fighters, waitresses and other middle income people in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

My name is Nannarie Chaikumnerd and I am a loan officer with Cal Fed Lending. We make many home loans, but our favorites are through the First Time Homebuyers Program which is a partnership between the city and our financial institution. The median price of a home in Santa Clara is four hundred thousand dollars, and that's for a small house or condo. The Santa Clara community works together to create programs that help with housing in many ways.

I'm Daniel Aldana and these are my sons, Daniel and Travis. This is our neighbor Debra Guzman and her son, Seth. We are all Santa Clara residents who needed a helping hand with housing. A few years ago I lost a long-time job and I've had periods of unemployment and being without a home ever since. The Sobrato Family Living Center in Santa Clara gave us a temporary home so my children could go to school every day and I could earn my contractor's license. This is another example of the way city government and nonprofit agencies work together in Santa Clara to help every one of its residents have a good quality of life.

I'm Mildred Uchytil and this is my friend Robert Lopez. We live on very small incomes and we can't afford to pay $1200 for a studio apartment. But we have lived in Santa Clara a long time and this is where our family and friends live. We want to stay here. Santa Clara has some lower rent apartments set aside for seniors and the disabled. I think it is important for a community to come up with ways to help all of its citizens. There is a lot of high tech in Santa Clara, but there is also a human touch.

All together - Santa Clara, California is an All America City!

I'm Jennifer Sparacino and I am the City Manager of Santa Clara. Our community is mostly built-out, so our second challenge was the difficult decision of what to do with 300 acres of surplus state-owned property. It was previously used for a hospital and it was the last large undeveloped piece of land in the city. Almost 2000 people testified in public hearings or through letters about how they thought this land should be used. It started to become a controversial and emotional issue that could create hard feelings in the community for many years to come.

I'm Beverley Bryant, a manager at Sun Microsystems. In 1996 our company had the chance to buy part of this land in Santa Clara. It was a vacant eyesore, but we believed it was a special opportunity to work closely with the community and to be creative in serving many needs. Now this land contains the corporate headquarters of Sun where we employ more than 2000 workers, but we restored several of the historic buildings and keep them open to the public, including an auditorium that is used for performances by local music and theater groups. A new homeless family shelter and day care center were built on the property. We are proud of our new buildings, but we are really more proud of the All-American way that citizens came together with Sun to create a new community asset. We're high tech, but we haven't lost the human touch.

My name is Carole Cooper and I have lived in Santa Clara for most of my life. It's important to me to preserve the history of this community so that my grandchildren will see and feel their connection to past generations. When Sun bought this property I was afraid we were going to lose all the historic buildings, like the clock tower and the street lined with palm trees. These are well loved symbols of old Santa Clara. I'm so happy that all of us in Santa Clara could work together to preserve our heritage.

I'm Kim Vu. I am one of the volunteers who spent hundreds of hours restoring the 40 acre Ulistac Natural Area next to the Sun campus. We've made it into a public park where people can go to see how it looked when Ohlone Indians lived here. We had students from high schools and colleges and other volunteers removing trash, pulling weeds, and planting grasses, trees and flowers.

All together - Santa Clara, California is an All America City!

My name is Josh Romero and me and my friends like to skate. The problem is that nobody wants us skateboarders around. Everyone gets mad if we skate in the street or on the sidewalk or in parking lots, but we didn't have any place else to go.

I'm Karen Tsai and I am a member of the Santa Clara Youth Commission. A lot of kids told us that we needed a skatepark and we decided we should help them. We talked to a lot of people in the community and came up with the idea of building a skatepark on the corner of a school property and making it a joint operation between the school district and the city. We thought the school could donate the land and the city could pay for the construction, and that's what happened.

My name is Erik Monnie and you can see that my son is already a skater. I am so glad we have a free skatepark in Santa Clara where the kids are supervised and have to wear helmets and pads. I like knowing that Anthony will grow up having a safe place to go after school to have fun.

All together - Santa Clara, California is an All America City!

My name is Steve Van Dorn and I'm with the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau. The world knows about Santa Clara. They come to us for technology innovations and they come to us from countries around the globe to build a new life. We are proud of the diversity in our community and that we all live, work, learn and play together. We're high tech, but we haven't lost the human touch. It's the All American way and Santa Clara is an All America City!

Everyone sings "I Like It Here" (Song provided by Scott Lane School; students from Scott Lane on videotape sing along with onstage delegation members).
Last updated: 9/28/2009 10:05:53 PM