July 13th, 2012
The Secrets of Silicon Valley was released 11 years ago, but it is still relevant today. The two main characters in this insightful documentary are Magda Escobar and Raj Jayadev. Both of these individuals are trying to buck a corrupt system and save the world – or at least the little bit of world they inhabit.
Magda Escobar runs Plugged In, a low income computer training center focused on helping the less fortunate in the community find work in this potentially lucrative but often exploitative field. She fights rising costs to stay in business, determined to make a difference in a community that reveres the uber wealthy.
Raj Jayadev is the ying to Escobar’s yang. He is himself a temp worker in the computer industry and is fighting from inside the system for change. Seeking higher wages, a better working environment and for the temp agencies to be held to their pay promises, Jayadev is eventually fired. Rather than being discouraged, he ramps up his fight and takes it all the way to the California State Senate, where he passionately advocated for a better system.
Escobar and Jayadev are the heart of this earnest documentary. They continue the fight today. Jayadev now works as the Coordinator of Silicon Valley De-Bug, an organizing collective in San Jose. He also writes for various publications. Escobar is still the executive director for Plugged In, as well as serving on several other boards and organizations.
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