It started with Cindy Chavez getting us to acknowledge all of the dignitaries in the room. For the first couple we gave each a good hand. Then we fell into a pattern where she would read a name and we would clap once in unison. Then she repeated the procedure for four pages of names. So many important people in the room! The only one that didn't get a clap was Larry Stone, the assessor, whom we all booed on que. He took it in stride and we all giggled.

It wasn't just the ones in the elevated chairs watching the rest of us, they were sprinkled everywhere in the crowd.

Then this lady gave us a warm and interesting intro for Joe Simitian, listing the many public service jobs he had held in the County (City Council member in Palo Alto, Mayor of Palo Alto, Supervisor, Assembly Member, plus others) and such tidbits as "He introduced me to my husband 12 years ago."

He started by talking about his Grandfather, a tailor married to a seamstress in New York. The guy had told Joe in his preteen years "Take care of your health, it's the most important thing."

Then he talked for an hour about what Santa Clara County is doing to improve public health. Stuff like running an insurance exchange for those of us not on employer provided insurance, buying the hospitals that were going out of business, and many other things. He included such statistics as "Being homeless can take 20 years off your life expectancy."

He finished by telling us directly "Take care of your health. It's the most important thing. "

To read the entire speech click here.

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