In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

Welcome to In the Spotlight.

This monthly feature spotlights the people who make San José an incredible place to call home. From unsung heroes to former city leaders and politicians who’ve disappeared from the public eye, we catch up with San Joseans who are doing amazing things — and we share the awe inspiring stories behind their struggles and successes.

We are telling the unique, ever-changing, diverse story of San José. One person at a time.

Who should we feature next? To nominate someone for our next In the Spotlight profile, email [email protected].

San Jose’s Darlene Tenes makes sure farmworkers are appreciated

While efforts were made to help essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of those core groups—farmworkers—was overlooked. One woman made it her mission to change that dynamic. San Josean Darlene Tenes wanted to support those who toil in the fields. She understood their vulnerability to COVID, pesticides and smoke from wildfires. She assembled a...

Regina Williams understands affordable housing in Silicon Valley

Regina Celestin Williams knows firsthand the importance of equitable housing, especially in the Bay Area. As a Richmond native, Williams grew up in Barrett Terrace, an affordable housing project that provided stability for her and other families in the area, she said. “I came into affordable housing with a great passion because I’ve benefited from it,” Williams...

‘Helping people is satisfying for me’: Gabriela Chavez-Lopez takes back the power

Gabriela Chavez-Lopez learned about the power of organizing from an early age. Born and raised in the Central Valley, the birthplace of the farmworker movement, Chavez-Lopez grew up hearing stories about Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. She was inspired by their ability to mobilize the community to aid farmworkers and create policy change. “Here are these...

Silicon Valley entrepreneur reimagines education

One Silicon Valley entrepreneur is devoting his life to create programs where students think outside the box and take ownership of their learning. Bill Zhao is the founder of Harmony Plus, which provides in-person and online classes for students and executives across the United States and abroad. Professors from universities including UC Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, MIT...