Welcome to the United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County. We operate from the recognition that thriving neighborhoods are core to communities that are engaged, connected, and mutually supportive. In 1993 our founders decided that what was needed was an organization that would foster new neighborhood associations, support their growth, and connect them in ways that amplified their impact.

To that end, in 1994 our founders:
  •  Tiralisa Kaplow
  •  Roald Alexander,
  •  Natalie Kraten,
  •  Roland Dittmer, and
  •  James Richards
applied for non-profit status as the United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County. Our application was approved and the UNSCC became a non-profit under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code [1925663] based on our commitment to:
  1. Help neighborhood organizations through training
  2. Monitor local governments and agencies on matters important to neighborhoods,
  3. Voice neighborhood concerns to elected and appointed officials,
  4. Develop Communications between neighborhoods, public officials, and businesses, and
  5. Encourage the formation and growth of new neighborhood organizations.

Since our founding 30 years ago the UNSCC been fulfilling on a vision of empowered neighborhood associations:
  •  Hosting multiple Resource Fairs designed to connect emerging and existing neighborhood associations with City/County and community focused groups providing expertise and assistance.
  •  Providing Fiscal Agent services to the City of San José’s generous annual grant programs starting with the Community Action and Pride Grants (CAP Grants) that have now transitioned into the current BeautifySJ Grant Program. UNSCC participation has ensured that grant funds flow to organizations not having IRS designated “non-profit” status and ensuring oversight of project execution.
    •  Typical grants are for $5,000 that deliver project seed funding that gets augmented with volunteer execution and outreach for in-kind contribution.
    •  The 2022 Cycle #6 disbursed $348,000 to 80 San José Neighborhood Associations that delivered on 280 projects that improved the quality of life in their communities and connected people through action.
    •  These 80 organizations amplified the City’s contribution by generating $504,808 in volunteer labor and securing $116,964 of in-kind contributions.
  •  Protecting neighborhood associations with group rate liability insurance for their meetings and special events. This coverage enables neighborhood project leaders to secure venues that would otherwise deny access – Concerts, Clean-Ups, and Neighborhood Night Outs have all benefited from insurance protection.
  •  Empowering community voices through the member groups appointed representatives to the UNSCC Advisory Council chartered to “...promote networking among neighborhood associations and their members, to develop UNSCC programs and serve through participation in committees and to recommend policies and directions for the UNSCC...”

The UNSCC suffered a double blow to our efforts. First was the impact of the COVID pandemic. COVID caused a sharp decline in public engagement due to mandated response to COVID and public reluctance to support projects that involved risky, face-to-face participation. Many neighborhood associations adapted by transitioning to on-line meetings and curtailing in-person projects. Adding to this COVID impact on volunteer organizations, the UNSCC lost our multi-decade Executive Director, Ken Podgorsek, who died in December of 2022. Losing Ken’s commitment, knowledge, relationships and skills has been our greatest challenge.

But we have a noble mission and we, the leadership of the UNSCC, are committed to fulfillment and growth.
  •  Board Chair – Perry Henry
  •  Board Vice Chair – Ed Rast
  •  Secretary and Managing Member – Ty Greaves
  •  Treasurer – Juan Estrada
  •  At Large – Grace Red

Here is your opportunity to help us actualize the power of community in action for results. Join us as we work to stabilize in 2024 and flourish in 2025 and beyond.

We are KEEN to hear from you, so send us an e:mail to unitedneighborhoods@gmail.com.