Board of Supervisor Slocum September's Newsletter | North Fair Oaks Community

Search form

Community News

Board of Supervisor Slocum September's Newsletter

Stay in touch with District 4 News! A quick read for what is new in September!
September 2021 Newsletter

Greetings!

We are now fully into Fall – and chugging towards the holiday season! San Mateo County, the Bay Area and California are finally seeing a break in the number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations after a dangerous summer surge. We must continue our good work and ensure that those who are eligible get vaccinated if they haven't already done so. And we must also wear masks, practice social distancing, and get tested and stay home if we exhibit symptoms of the virus.

During these challenging times, if you have questions about COVID, the Delta variant and beyond, things happening in your neighborhood or general concerns about county government, don’t hesitate to email me. I will do my best to research your questions and share a response.

In this September newsletter, I hope you find topics that are of interest to you. If you’d like to make suggestions for future content- shoot me an email.

Best,
Warren Slocum
COVID19 UPDATE
As of September 21, there are approximately 45,000 individuals who are eligible for vaccination who remain unvaccinated against the COVID19 virus. The good news is that this is 29,000 less than reported in my last newsletter.

And although 93.6% of those eligible 12 years and older in this County have been vaccinated, both East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks, both in District 4, are lagging the County with about 82% of those eligible being vaccinated.

There is good news in California: we have the lowest coronavirus transmission rate of any state following a sharp decline in cases and hospitalizations after a summer surge. We are seeing this here in San Mateo County too. Our hospitalizations have begun to lessen from the height of the Delta variant and daily cases high in August. But this is still a pandemic of the unvaccinated. What I mean by this is that those hospitalized in San Mateo County with COVID19, are nearly all unvaccinated. Our message remains simple: get vaccinated to protect yourself, your loved ones and those you come in contact within our community! To see data on our San Mateo County Health data dashboards, click here.

As for the latest information on booster shots, the County is preparing for its roll out. The information has frankly been confusing. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a Pfizer Covid booster shot for the elderly and adults at a high risk of serious illness from the disease. But they also recommended against a Pfizer booster for all persons ages 16 and older. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) will soon recommend how exactly the extra doses or booster should be used. This decision will inform how the state and this County moves forward. In the meantime, health care providers and local pharmacies are already providing 3rd doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to residents who are considered immunocompromised. We will keep the public updated with the important information on booster shots.

But there is good news for children under the age of 12. Both Pfizer and Moderna will request authorization from federal authorities for vaccines for children ages 5-12 by mid-October. 
BOARD SETS RACIAL EQUITY AS A PRIORITY
In January 2020, when I began my term as President of the Board of Supervisors, I set my priority and focus on equity – to filter all County activities through the lens of equity. This past February, San Mateo County hired our first Chief Equity Officer, Shireen Malekafzali. She has set out to bring forward an agenda of equity across County departments, reporting on her progress quarterly to the Board of Supervisors. 

At our September 14 Board meeting, Supervisor David Canepa and I put forth a resolution, approved by the full Board, to set racial equity as a priority. Why is this important? To achieve equity, we must create the conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. And the inequities by race are pervasive – even here in San Mateo County. Some examples include: the life expectancy gap between Black and White is 4 years; overcrowding is 11 times higher in Latinx and Pacific Islander populations; food stamps are used over 4 times more by Latinx, Pacific Islander, Black and Asian than White households. In short, race is a key determinant in most life outcomes.
 
This resolution gives a concrete commitment to racial equity. It calls out specific actions to build accountability to advance equity efforts in our County, including setting up the Office of Equity and Social Justice, tools to complete an equity assessment, data and metrics, workforce training and diversity strategies. It gives us a roadmap from which to work positively on this issue. 
PROMISE SCHOLARS – FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE TUITION
At a recent meeting of the San Mateo County Community College District, trustees approved a budget that would cover the educational costs for up to 4,000 students. This program, Promise Scholars, which began in 2017, makes college more affordable and accessible for students through a Free Community College strategic initiative. Promise Scholars receive multi-year tuition support, individualized counseling support, textbook vouchers, and food and transportation incentives through the completion of their community college degree or certificate. A special shout out to Trustee John Pimentel, who was elected trustee in 2020, for his perseverance to ensure this program continues with strong funding.
DISTRICT LINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE HARD AT WORK!
Every 10 years, local governments use new data from the Census to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. And we are required by State law to hold public hearings in our communities withing San Mateo County, including to underrepresented and non-English-speaking communities. This effort is led by the Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission, a 15-person commission appointed by our Board of Supervisors in August.

Now we are asking for you to participate in these important meetings to help plan and draw new County districts. The finalized maps that you will help us create will define the five San Mateo County district borders. They will impact your local Supervisors for the next 10 years. and these new districts will impact how you elect your Supervisors for the next 10 years. This process is on a tight timeline and will be completed by the end of this year – and your voice is needed!

You can learn more about our 2021 Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission, make your own maps to submit, follow and participate in their important work here
IMPACTS OF MEASURE K INVESTMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY
This past April, the Board of Supervisors approved my request for Measure K district-discretionary funding to Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP). This non-profit whose mission is to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives was given a grant of $135,000 to perform major repair projects (most often roof replacements) at six homes owned by low or extremely low-income individuals or non-profit community facilities in vulnerable communities within District 4 over the next year.

One of RTP’s projects have been completed! Youth United for Community Alliance (YUCA) in East Palo Alto now has a much-needed new roof and now can rest easy as the rainy season comes this winter. YUCA is an organization created, led, and run by youth to address environmental and social justice issues through community organizing. The roof on YUCA’s circa-1949 building was between 30-40 years old with much hidden damage. Our Measure K grant will help keep the home office of YUCA programs cooler in the summer and retain heat in the winter months.

Thank you to RTP, a local anonymous donor, and El Camino Roofing Systems for also helping to make this project a reality.
September Revisions -
County Budget to be Finalized
On September 28th, the Board of Supervisors will vote on the final budget changes to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Approved Recommended Budget. We call this the September Revisions. And this newsletter comes before that vote – so let me explain what we will be asked to consider and approve.

The September Revisions with its final budget adjustments will increase County expenditures 13% from the Recommended Budget approved in June this year – or $431.8 million. With these changes, the Board will be asked to adopt a $3.8 billion budget, with 5,627 positions, a net reduction of 15 positions from the June budget. This budget also reflects the receipt of $74.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

These are big numbers and a complex topic. To better understand the revisions, I encourage you to listen to the Board meeting here.
Celebrating
Hispanic Heritage Month
This month is Hispanic Heritage Month – where, before the pandemic, many in our community would be celebrating their traditions and culture with family and friends. But during the last 2 years – and we have had to find new and safe ways to mark this month.

I am so proud to represent District 4, particularly North Fair Oaks, with our large Hispanic and Latinx community. Here in San Mateo County, Hispanics represent nearly 25% of our population. But this community still lags in the overall vaccination rate of 93.6% - only 60.8% of the Hispanic population that are eligible have been vaccinated. We will continue to push out information on our social media sites about pop-up vaccination clinics to encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated. If you would like to know where you or someone else can get vaccinated, click here.

Remember, if you attend an event celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, even if outdoors, please wear your mask to protect yourself and others!
We have a new publication coming online in District 4 – Redwood City Pulse. It’s part of the Embarcadero News Group, and editor Michelle Iracheta welcomes news stories in our community. She can be reached at miracheta@rwcpulse.com.

Did you know that September is Library Card Sign Up Month? There is nothing more empowering than getting your own library card. It gives you access to technology, resources, and services to pursue your passion and dreams. Click here to sign up for a San Mateo County Library System card.

There are two new members of the Bayside Design Review Committee: Ariela St. Pierre, as Devonshire Community Representative, and Matt Bloom, as Alternate North Fair Oaks (Middlefield Road) Community Representative. Both were appointed by the Board on September 28th. To learn more about the important work of this committee, click here.
 
While CalFire has lifted the ban on open fires in rural parks, San Mateo County Parks will continue restrictions on open campfires in historic Memorial Park. This park is part of the Pescadero Creek Park complex where the CZU Lighting Fire burned more than 28,000 acres last year. For more information on this advisory, click here.
 
Follow the progress of the Middlefield Road Improvement Project going on now in the heart of North Fair Oaks. Updates and more information on the project can be found here.
 
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 28th. And as the former Chief Elections Officer, I encourage everyone to register to vote – it’s your civic duty! To register to vote in San Mateo County, click here.
 
Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, pears. Fall is here and one of my favorite times of year for food. Here’s a link to some great fall recipes from my staffs' favorite food blog Half Baked Harvest.
 
The Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department will hold its annual Truth Act Forum on Wednesday, November 3 at 6pm. This forum is mandated by state law to give residents the opportunity to ask county law enforcement officers about their enforcement activities related to immigration, as well as their interactions with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. You can participate via Zoom here.
If you want to get more insight into what my staff and I are working on, please connect with us on social media. It’s also a great way to interact with the office and to get notifications on upcoming events. Click the icons and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

Finally, if you would like to see back issues of this newsletter, they can be found on my website here. They certainly reflect the long way we have come!

Warren Slocum
District 4 Supervisor
San Mateo County
Follow us on social media.

Upcoming Events

21
Oct
Monthly Renters Rights Assembly / asamblea mensual de inquilinos Join Faith in Action Bay Area to learn about your rights and apply for rental assistance. Faith in Action Bay Area will be holding their monthly Renters Rights Assembly in Redwood City on October 21... read more
28
Oct
NFOCC Regular Meeting Join us for the North Fair Oaks' Community Council's regular meeting. Held every fourth Thursday of each month. Location: via Zoom https://smcgov.zoom.us/j/95544465606 read more
18
Nov
Monthly Renters Rights Assembly / asamblea mensual de inquilinos Join Faith in Action Bay Area to learn about your rights and apply for rental assistance. Faith in Action Bay Area will be holding their monthly Renters Rights Assembly in Redwood City on October 21... read more
25
Nov
NFOCC Regular Meeting Join us for the North Fair Oaks' Community Council's regular meeting. Held every fourth Thursday of each month. Location: via Zoom https://smcgov.zoom.us/j/99772851480 read more
09
Dec
Monthly Renters Rights Assembly / asamblea mensual de inquilinos Join Faith in Action Bay Area to learn about your rights and apply for rental assistance. Faith in Action Bay Area will be holding their monthly Renters Rights Assembly in Redwood City on October 21... read more

Community Video