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March 2019 Newsletter
Exploring Civic Engagement and Health


Join us for the Health Equity Now Conference 
On April 22nd, Health Policy and Planning is partnering with other County agencies and community partners to host a health equity conference on how place, race and health connect in our county. We’ll have workshops focused on economic opportunity, educational attainment, civic engagement, transportation and more plus excellent guest speakers from around the Bay Area and county.  The conference is free and open to everyone, but registration is required. Please register today!

Items to include in this newsletter


Ready to Serve on the SMC Youth Commission? 

The SMC Youth Commission (SMCYC) is recruiting youth between the ages of 13 to 20 who reside in San Mateo County to serve on the commission for the 2019-2020 term. The SMCYC advises the Board of Supervisors and other county departments on the needs and concerns of the county’s youth with the goal of informing policies that can improve the well-being of and the conditions for all youth to thrive in San Mateo County. Share the opportunity with any youth leaders you know! Applications are due May 24, 2019.


San Mateo is 2nd Healthiest County in California!

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual ranking of counties by health outcomes once again lists San Mateo County as the #2 healthiest county in California—the same position as last year. 2 out of 58 is quite an accomplishment! Looking deeper, we see gaps we need to fill. We are ranked 32nd in our physical environment where housing burden, commutes and other factors surface our challenges. We also still have a long way to go to close the gap in who has health and who doesn’t.

SMC Youth Commission Video

SMC Youth Commission Video

Watch this brief video to hear from one San Mateo County youth member about her experience serving as chair of the Youth Commission.



How Healthy Are Our Kids?

The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is an important tool to understand school climate and safety, student wellness, and youth resiliency. This past year, there were over 18,000 San Mateo County student survey responses that can help inform key decisions in local education policies and programs. Click here for more information about your local school’s data and please stay tuned later this year when Get Healthy San Mateo County will be publishing its analysis of the data.


Preschool Matters! Big Lift Program Shows Promise

Supporting high-quality preschool for low-income students in San Mateo County shows early promise in an effort to boost literacy and third grade reading proficiency. RAND’s latest study on the county’s effort called The Big Lift reports that students participating in a Big Lift preschool program were better prepared for kindergarten than their peers who did not attend a preschool.


Champions for Daly City

Claudia Melendez and Ethel Rodríguez are CCCS champions in Daly City and active parents at Woodrow Wilson Elementary where their children go to school. They talked with their fellow parents, neighbors and community members and shared their experiences in a recent interview.

 Q: Tell us about yourself. What is your connection to Daly City?


East Palo Alto and Daly City Engagement Updates

Community members from East Palo Alto and Daly City are continuing to meet as the CCCS Neighborhood Leadership Groups to prioritize needs, assets and strategies. On March 13 community members in East Palo Alto identified cost of living and gentrification, emotional trauma, racial inequities and not enough time with supportive adults among the highest priority community issues for youth.


Join Us to Share Assets in Daly City and EPA

Share your knowledge and be a community leader by joining us at the next CCCS Neighborhood Leadership Group! We hope to get your best thinking on priority strategies and  assets and resources available to support the communities’ top needs and aspirations. Please mark your calendars for the next meetings:


Community Turns out to Audit the Streets for Safety!

Health Planning and Policy and County Office of Education hosted Mark Fenton to lead three walk audits at elementary schools in San Mateo County. These three schools were Bayshore Elementary and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Daly City, and Los Cerritos Elementary in South San Francisco.


20% Reduction in Caltrain Fares

County’s most vulnerable residents to receive 20% off their Caltrain fares starting in Fall 2019. In February, Caltrain Board of Directors unanimously voted to join regional means-based fare pilot to bring equitable fares to riders making less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Equitable fare policies such as means-based fares ensures healthy transportation options for all County residents.