Alameda County

Tamara Nghishakenwa’s son, Bakari Bell, 13, has severe autism, and Alameda County pays her $11.50 an hour to take care of him. But getting by on those wages is tough in the Bay Area.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan is casting a spotlight on cuts that state lawmakers want to make to health care and social services for the county’s poor, sick, young and old. Chan held a hearing at Alameda’s Boys & Girls Club on Wednesday night intended to detail the human impact of the cuts – and to ask participants to pressure lawmakers to reconsider them.

“We live next to these folks that are impacted. We go to church with these people. We see our kids go to school with them,” said Chan, a former state lawmaker herself. “I think if people are aware of this, we can get a lot more help from people who are really devastated and really suffering right now.”