Community News

Board of Supervisor Slocum's July Newsletter

July 2022 Newsletter

Dear Marci,

 

As students are now midway through their summer vacation, I am thinking about our climate crisis. How could I not – as I write this, over half of our country from coast to coast is experiencing a heat wave like no other. And abroad, England has called for its first ever red warning for extreme heat and the rest of Europe is sizzling and even dealing with wildfires.

 

We can all do our part to help our environment. Recently, I received an email from a constituent – a grandfather who is concerned about the earth’s warming for his grandchildren. I share his concerns. Through our San Mateo County Office of Sustainability, we are finalizing the Community Climate Action Plan that outlines priority actions to achieve a 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality within unincorporated San Mateo County by 2040. This work will enable us to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Thank you for taking a moment to read our July’s newsletter. And if you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Regards,

Warren Slocum

Visit our website for more news and information!

COVID-19 UPDATE – A TOUGH NEW VARIANT

This new COVID19 variant BA5 is a reminder to us all that COVID has not gone away. We still need to be vigilant in protecting ourselves and our loved ones. I say this because San Mateo County is currently in the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) high/red community level. Both County Health and the CDC recommend that residents wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation, stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, get tested if symptomatic, and connect with a doctor or Test-to-Treat options if you are infected. You can read more about COVID prevention strategies here.

 

Currently, San Mateo County is not planning to go back to a universal masking requirement, but that does not rule out such a need in the future. If there is a need to further protect the public’s health, we will do so. And County Health also urges businesses, venue operators, event hosts, faith organizations, and other groups to consider requiring masks for participants in indoor activities and to increase indoor ventilation by opening windows and doors. 

SAN MATEO COUNTY COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS:

GRANTS HELPING NORTH FAIR OAKS BUSINESSES! 

Nearly $260 million – the dollar amount that San Mateo County has invested in COVID-19 relief programs since the inception of the pandemic! This funding has meant nearly 15,000 approved applications for assistance rent and housing payment assistance, totaling $126 million, and $73 million that funded the distribution of 3 million meals to residents struggling with food insecurity.

 

Earlier this year, the County invested $10 million in ARPA funds to various recovery initiatives. These included funding $4.65 million towards children and families, including for Summer 2022 Enrichment programs which added 2,500 new students to summer programs and funded 800 scholarships for low-income students. We also prioritized childcare grants to 87 family day care providers (who are desperately needed) who serve infants and toddlers, and the Big Lift Summer 2022 program. Nearly $3 million went to support vulnerable populations through a housing pilot, a safe-parking program, and basic needs financial assistance to households in the unincorporated areas of the County.

 

And to bring this to an even more local level, we have had a small business grant program going on North Fair Oaks that will provide $5000 grants to up to 100 eligible businesses. Thanks to the hard work of our bilingual outreach team from the Office of Community Affairs to date 80 applications have been received from businesses, 42 of those businesses have submitted the required documents to receive funding, and grants have gone out to 25 businesses. We know how important this funding is to our small businesses who have struggled greatly during the pandemic – and we hope more businesses will apply.

DISTRICT 4 AND BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ UPDATES 

Here are some of the updates and decisions our Board of Supervisors made since the last newsletter:

A New Director of Public Works: on July 12th, the Board approved the hiring of Ann Stillman as the new Director of the Department of Public Works. This is significant because Ann is one of only 6 women who head County Public Works in California (we have 58 counties in this state). Ann has been with our Department of Public Works for the 35 years and has held various technical and senior leadership roles in the areas of engineering, resource protection, utilities, and flood control. She is a registered civil engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering. Having worked with her for many years, I know her to be particularly collaborative and community minded. Congrats Ann!

 

Realize Flood Park: at the Board’s July 26 meeting, the Board unanimously approved the Revised Flood Park Landscape Plan. This now allows the renovation of Flood Park to begin in earnest – so that both young and old can enjoy this gem of a park! Did you know that Flood Park was founded in 1937 and since that time has served the recreational needs of residents of southern San Mateo County? Thank you to everyone who participated in community meetings and surveys over the last several years – your input was invaluable, and I look forward to – as do so many families – the park’s Grand Reopening! To learn more about this project, click here.

 

Healthy Community Mural Funding: on July 26th, the Board of Supervisors approved our District 4 Measure K grant to fund the Healthy Community Mural project at the 5th Avenue Underpass in North Fair Oaks. I am excited about this public art project – which comports with the community vision highlighted in the North Fair Oaks Community Plan. Soon, the Office of Arts and Culture will invite local professional and emerging artists to transform the pedestrian walkway on both sides of the 5th Avenue, North Fair Oaks, underpass into a vibrant work of art highlighting the theme of "Healthy Community”. It will bring culturally significant public art to a well-travelled walkway. Click here to read more about this project.

Sequoia Trailer Park Update: The Sequoia Trailer Park, a mobile home park located in North Fair Oaks, has 134 units and is home to many families and seniors. In summer of 2021, one of the units was destroyed by fire. Since then, County staff, including our office, began working with the residents to find compassionate solutions that will prevent future incidents, fix code violations in many of the trailers, exploring financial assistance programs with local non-profits to provide subsidized repairs for eligible residents, all while allowing these residents to continue living in their units. On July 14, the County hosted a community meeting with over 60 residents and their advocates to continue the discussion about the safety issues stemming from the significant code violations at the trailer park and how these could be fixed. The County is committed to do everything in our power to support these residents, who find themselves in a very stressful situation, in addressing their code violations. We will continue to look for compassionate solutions, and to outreach and to meet with residents regularly. We have also directly asked park management to fix a list of problems within their control, including sewage and electrical issues and will update you on their progress.

NOMINATE A VETERAN TO BE HONORED!

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The San Mateo County Veterans Commission is seeking nominations for the Veteran of the Year, Patriot and the Year and Enterprise of the Year for their 7th Annual Veterans Recognition luncheon that will be held in-person on Thursday, November 10th at the Westin SFO in Millbrae. So – do you know a San Mateo County resident who is a veteran that has made an impact in our community? Or a non-veteran resident who is making a difference supporting veterans to nominate for Patriot of the Year? Or an organization that serves veterans in our County – consider nominating them for Enterprise of the Year. The link to all nomination forms can be found here. The deadline for submission is August 22nd.

There is a new internet provider in North Fair Oaks – Atherton Fiber. Founded by Atherton resident Mike Farmwald who was frustrated with slow internet speeds, the company is also providing lower-income communities with free service. It currently serves parts of North Fair Oaks with free, 1-gigabit fiber.

 

Did you know that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal program, helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service? Any household that participates in the free and reduced-price school lunch program, CalFresh, or Medi-Cal is eligible for the ACP benefit. It provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information here or call 877-384-2575.

 

Homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments may qualify for a new state program with assistance available for past due housing payment sup to $80,000 per household. To qualify, one must own a home, meet income requirements, be behind at least two payments and have been financially impacted by COVID-19. More information is available here.

 

A great way to get involved in your community is through a Board or Commission. Check out our openings and bring your experience and expertise to help in County initiatives and efforts. For more information or to apply, click here.

 

Want the latest news on the Middlefield Road Improvement Project? Sign up for updates 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 our office and to get notifications for 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

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