Renters of Silicon Valley: A Project of PACT
Renters of Silicon Valley is a storytelling project that aims to gather 50 stories from renters and communities experiencing housing instability. Organized by PACT: People Acting in Community Together,
the project is led by youth and students passionate about collecting interviews, creating social media content, and developing creative ways in sharing the stories of our community members to the larger public. The stories will be shared through testimonies, videos, and various online content through platforms such as Instagram, a WordPress, and Facebook. At the end of our project, we will host a community celebration in August, sharing an appreciation for our organizers and community members leading our storytelling efforts and encouraging members to join in our renters’ rights campaigns.
How We Interview
Our interviews explore the diverse personal situation that every renter or houseless person faces. The interviews focus on two fundamental guiding questions:
- What has been your experience renting in the valley?
- What, in your opinion, could be a solution to the housing crisis?
Before each interview, we went over the scope of our project and purpose of their participation. We obtained informed consent to each interviewee’s participation, audio recording, and/or photo depending on their level of comfort. All participants had the option to maintain anonymity and decline any questions they preferred not to answer.
Meet the Team
Katherine Nasol is a Project Coordinator at People Acting in Community Together (PACT) a San José-based multi-faith non-profit that leads campaigns around renters rights, immigration, and educational justice. Born and raised in San José, she is passionate about ensuring that those in her local community are able to find dignified and accessible housing. The issues of gentrification and displacement are near and dear to her, and for her, the Renters of Silicon Valley is one piece to uplifting the stories of those most marginalized in her home city. Outside of PACT, she is also an immigrant rights organizer with the International Migrants Alliance and the regional Filipino community. She will be beginning a doctoral program at UC Davis’ Cultural Studies program to study the intersection of immigration policy and gentrification.
Genevieve Richards is an intern at
Acting in Community Together (PACT) a San José-based multi-faith non-profit that leads campaigns around renters rights, immigration, and educational justice. She has lived in downtown San Jose in the heart of the Silicon Valley her whole life and has grown to become an advocate for the disadvantaged of her local community. She joined this project because she has witnessed the issues of homelessness, gentrification, and lack of empathy in the valley firsthand, and hopes to be a positive force of change. She is a current senior at Notre Dame High School in downtown San Jose, where she enjoys being a part of student leadership and educating on the issues surrounding the nearby community.
Laura Yien is an intern at People Acting in Community Together (PACT), a multi-faith non-profit that leads campaigns around renters rights, immigration, and education justice based in the Bay Area. Born and raised in San José, Laura is passionate about ensuring that her community remains diverse, welcoming, and affordable for all. She joined this project because she wants to ensure that the stories of the disadvantaged and the unhoused are heard in suburban neighborhoods like hers. Laura is a current senior at Notre Dame High School where she is also involved in social justice advocacy and activism. Laura also once saw Troy Bolton’s dad (Bart Johnson) in New York after seeing SpongeBob the Musical.
Sean is a Public Health fellow at People Acting in Community Together (PACT), and undergraduate at Santa Clara University double majoring in Public Health Science and Biology with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biology. Sean is passionate about community and using fair, evidence-based techniques to help others.