Community News

Board of Supervisor Slocum's May 2023 Newsletter

May 2023 Newsletter

Dear Marci,


Today I was reminded that I only have a year and a half left as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. I’ll be termed out of office in December 2024.


I can’t say enough about my Board colleagues and how much I enjoy working with them on addressing the serious issues of our county. That’s one of the things I will miss – the daily interaction with other members as well as our outstanding county staff.


As candidates line up to run for my seat, I am thinking back ten years ago when I took office and what I wanted to get done. I go through my mental checklist every day.


But I am focused on the future and how to continue to serve residents in the very best way possible. As such, I wanted to share with you a few of the problems I am working on.


The most immediate item on my “to do list” list is to pass a strengthened Tenant Protection Ordinance. This important ordinance, which will help protect landlords and tenants, will be voted on at an upcoming Board meeting. After that hopefully passes, I will be introducing a commercial tenant protection ordinance.


Next, I am exploring ways to get more road resurfacing done in North Fair Oaks. This has been a slow process because funding comes from our gas tax collections – which have been down significantly over the past few years. I am convinced that we need to figure out a way to fix our neighborhood streets faster.


Another area of focus is community safety. There has been lots of growth in San Mateo County in the bioscience space and growth in bio labs. I am exploring and enhanced regulatory framework for those labs as I know people are concerned about possible leaks of bio contaminants.


I am also committed to creating an affordable loan program for the residents of the Sequoia Mobile Home Park in North Fair Oaks so that new safe units can be purchased-similar to what we did at the Barron Avenue Mobile Home Park.


As the Chair of the Emergency Services Council, I want us to focus on earthquake preparedness. And as a representative to the Commission on Disabilities I want to fight to get a full time ADA Coordinator.


And finally, I am looking forward to an update on the North Fair Oaks Community Plan, the completion of the Middlefield Road improvements and the construction of the affordable housing to be built behind the Fair Oaks Clinic (Construction should start in May).


There are many other areas that need attention, but I’ve learned that time goes by very quickly and its best to being a focus to the work.


And then there are all the issues that rise to the surface each and every day.



Warren Slocum

Visit our website for more news and information!



At a future Board meeting we will honor Sister Christina Heltsley for her enduring work in North Fair Oaks for over two decades as Executive Director of the St. Francis Center. For anyone who has met Sr. Christina, even briefly, she is an angel walking amongst us.


Raised in Pasadena as one of nine children in an Irish-Catholic family, she graduated from UC Santa Barbara where she came across a flyer for volunteers to teach in inner-city schools, moved to Chicago and ended up living in a convent and teaching at the school next door, where she joined the Dominican Order in 1976. She later earned a doctoral degree at the University of San Francisco and came to North Fair Oaks in 2000.


Sr. Christina is a one-woman force of nature. What she has done to transform North Fair Oaks is certainly a miracle. It is said that Sister Christina is responsible for more affordable housing in North Fair Oaks than all developments added together. In fact - her vision of improving the neighborhood and organizing private funding from families and foundations has allowed her to purchase 17 properties and turn them into a community with a school, youth recreation center, food pantry, clothing program and 259 deeply affordable apartments in 15 buildings. And more is planned.


Well – word got out. Last month, Sr. Christina’s Dominican Order elected her Priestess General and she will soon leave her beloved North Fair Oaks for Wisconsin. Sr. Christina – your legacy in our community will live on and you will be greatly missed. Thank you for your decades long work making our community a better place.


On May 8, the first residents began to move into the San Mateo County Navigation Center. As our County Executive Mike Callagy reported, the first resident to move in was a woman who openly wept as she saw her living quarters – the first that she had lived in for a very long time - that included a door, a doorbell, furnishings and a bathroom. This state-of-the-art facility includes 240 individual units, for both couples and singles – and their pets – many ensuite with bathroom and showers, on-site services and an amazing dining hall, outdoor dining spaces, a dog park, basketball courts and more. This will be the first in the nation homeless shelter that will have an on-site dental clinic, as well as on-site medical services. We are moving the needle on homelessness here in San Mateo County. And we are leading the nation as a role model on how to get this done compassionately.


It’s that time again – 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 8th Annual Veterans Recognition luncheon that will be held in-person on Thursday, November 9th. 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.


Memorial Day Celebration: On May 29, America will celebrate Memorial Day. Since the founding of our country, more than 1.3 million Americans have lost their lives in service to our Country. They died for our freedoms. As a proud veteran, I never will forget their sacrifices. Please join members of the San Mateo County Veterans Commission at the 81st Annual Memorial Day Observance at Golden Gate National Cemetery on Monday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m. The emcee for the event is Veterans Commissioner Hank Scherf. More information on the event can be found here


May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The theme for this year is “Share” – to let others know how you overcame stigma or how you practice self-care or one of your cultural wellness practices. In 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a health advisory on the youth mental health crisis that has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And one out of every twenty-four Californians with a serious mental health condition has difficulty functioning in everyday life and, if left untreated, those with serious mental health conditions have life expectancies 25 years shorter than the general population. Furthermore, the U.S. Surgeon General just reported that loneliness has as severe health consequences as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And loneliness also has a mental health component.


A District 4 Funding Opportunity: I am very concerned about the mental health of our youth, particularly after facing the pandemic. Because of this, I am looking for unique programs that target mental health service for students. If you are an organization in Redwood City, North Fair Oaks and Belle Haven, consider submitting a district-discretionary Measure K proposal (of at least $10,000) to me at


Tobacco Ordinance is Updated: At the May 9th Board meeting, our Board voted to approve updates to the current Tobacco ordinance. What we are really talking about is saving lives. We put teeth into enforcement for two big reasons: to make the penalty large enough to negate the profit in selling to minors. And two, we need to do everything we can to keep cigarettes and other tobacco products out of the hands of kids. Most adult smokers began when they were not old enough to legally by tobacco products The updates include: restricting where new tobacco retailers can be located – not within 1000 feet of a Youth-Populated Area including schools and college campuses; a mandate in fines and an increase in fines up to $500 for a first violation of selling to minors and up to $1000 for subsequent offenses; requires two inspections a year; and a requirement that a permit be suspended if a business is found to have sold tobacco products to persons under the age of 21. The updated ordinance can be viewed here.

Human Services Agency reopens East Palo Alto office: Last month, I participated in the reopening ceremony of our Human Services Agency office in East Palo Alto, which underwent an extensive remodel. The renovation offers residents and their families an inviting environment to apply to for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKs, General Assistance and Cash Assistance for Immigrants (CAPI). Located at 2415 University Avenue, Suite 3 in East Palo Alto, the office is now open Monday-Friday from 8am-12noon and 1-5pm.

CalFresh Awareness Month: On May 9th, I offered a proclamation for CalFresh Awareness Month, approved by the Board. This recognition is important because no one in San Mateo County should face the threat of hunger and CalFresh is a program that truly provides a lifeline for individuals and families squeezed by inflation, high housing costs and other necessities. In short, CalFresh helps families and individuals who are struggling to put food on the table due to financial difficulties helping them stretch their food budgets and provide access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. According to the Human Services Agengy, as of March 2023, a total of 30,960 San Mateo County residents are signed up to receive CalFresh. That’s an increase of more than 8,000 recipients since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The proclamation can be read here.

Iliana Rodriguez named Assistant County Manager: At the April 25Board meeting, Iliana Rodriguez was unanimously approved to serve as Assistant County Manager. Ms. Rodriguez started her County career over 34 years ago and for the past five years, she has served as a Deputy County Executive. Prior to joining the County Executive’s Office, Ms. Rodriguez served as Director of the Human Services Agency and Director of Child Support Services. She is a proven innovative and strategic leader, and has extensive experience in financial planning, strategic planning and execution, and complex change management. Most recently, Ms. Rodriguez managed the Emergency Operations Center’s pandemic emergency response and continues to work with the Center on Homelessness to achieve the Board’s goal of “functional zero.” She holds a master’s in public administration. Congratulations Iliana – we look forward to working together on projects.

New Redwood City Police Chief: Redwood City has a new Police Chief, Kristina Bell – who most recently served as the San Carlos Police Chief. Bell is a veteran law enforcement officer who blazed a trail and has focused building community connections through policing, advocating for a dedicated community service officer to patrol downtown in San Carlos. Her priorities for Redwood City are “…to work in partnership with the City Council, staff and the community to provide continued safety and security for those who work in, live in or visit our wonderful City…I will continue to value and practice transparency and listen to all voices.” Congratulations Chief Bell – we look forward to a continued partnership.

Registration is open for The Big Lift Inspiring Summers Program – a free program through a Measure K grant from the County of San Mateo. There is still space for rising kindergarten through 3rd grade students in the San Bruno Park, Half Moon Bay, La-Honda Pescadero and Redwood City school districts. Families must meet eligibility requirements and submit an online application.


The Menlo Park Library is hosting a special traveling photojournalism exhibition, “A Day in the Life of Recovery” that I encourage all to visit. The exhibit from Momentum for Mental Health shares the stories of real people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or a substance use disorder, have gone through tough times and come out the other side stronger than ever. The exhibition can be seen at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park, during regular business hours through May.


It’s time for the San Mateo County Fair – running from June 3-11. The Fair has a rich tradition of bringing family and community together – with the rides, animals, art exhibits, food, concert series and more – something for everyone! Information and tickets can be purchased here.

Juneteenth Flag Raising: On June 6 at 9:00 a.m., San Mateo County will raise the Juneteenth flag at 400 County Center in Redwood City. Juneteenth, or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the traditional observance of the end of slavery in the United States and is observed annually on June 19 – now a holiday. Observing Juneteenth allows us to join together in the name of freedom, justice and the power of community. 

The City of Menlo Park will host a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17. Attendees will enjoy live performances, food and joyous community to commemorate African American freedom and emphasizing education and achievement. Event co-sponsors include Belle Haven Action, Belle Haven Community Development Fund, Belle Haven Empowered and the City of Menlo Park. This event is free and will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Karl E. Clark Park at 313 Market Place. 

The County Controller has published Property Tax Highlights for Fiscal Year 2021-22. It shows property tax revenues collected (more than $3.3 billion!) and distributed to local governments operating within San Mateo County.


The North Fair Oaks Community Council is recruiting for three members: a full voting member, a Youth member and one alternate Youth member. It’s a great way to become more involved in your community – consider applying here.


And if you do not live or work in North Fair Oaks, there are other County Boards and Commissions that have vacancies and could use your experience and expertise to help in County initiatives and efforts. For more information or to apply – click 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

Follow us on social media.
Facebook  Twitter