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December 2015 Newsletter
That's a wrap


Thank you for a great year 

As we close 2015, we want to thank each of you for helping to advance healthy, equitable communities for all in San Mateo County. It is only together, in partnership, that we are able to tackle the pressing issues that impact the health of us all. We look forward to working together next year to advance health for everyone in our county!

Funding healthy priorities 

We’re excited to announce that we received a strong set of proposals for our Get Healthy San Mateo County Implementation Funding request and are close to finalizing the 2016 recipients. Look for the official announcement of our 2016 funding recipients who will help advance healthy housing, schools, economy, and neighborhoods coming in January.

Items to include in this newsletter

Case Study

Starting Small for Big Gains
Case Study: Schools Gardens at George Washington Elementary School

Students at George Washington Elementary School in Daly City, CA are an urban bunch. While they have some exposure to where fruits and vegetables come from, they by-and-large aren’t really “in the mix” with cooking and food prep. Their recreation outside of school hours consists largely of video games and other indoor activities, shares Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) volunteer Azjah Robertson.

Health by Numbers

San Mateo County’s Median Age

Did you know the median age of San Mateo County residents is 39 years old? This is slightly older than the median age for neighboring counties San Francisco (38 years old) and Santa Clara (36 years old). Residents with the lowest median age live in San Bruno, San Mateo, West Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto. The resident median age is highest in Portola Valley and East Menlo Park. Knowing the age of individuals in a population is important in determining how to meet current and project future age-specific health, social, and economic needs. 

Staff Perspective Jasneet Sharma

Better, Fuller Plates

Food is a central part of our lives during Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It’s also an opportune time to reflect upon the issue of hunger and food insecurity that affects millions of people across the country who struggle with not having enough food, are unable to afford a balanced and nutritious diet, or are unsure when or where their next meal will be.


Want to learn more about how health and housing are connected?

new study by the Federal Reserve Bank looked at credit scores and found that people with lower incomes are more likely to be forced out of neighborhoods with more opportunities to be healthy and move to areas with higher crime, lower-performing schools, and worse economic conditions. Housing and health are directly connected – people who live in healthy, affordable places live longer and healthier lives.


City of Pacifica explores housing stability solutions 

The City of Pacifica held a rent stabilization study session earlier this month to hear directly from the local community and housing experts. Staff provided balanced and factual information on rent stabilization to support the City Council’s discussion. Presenters included Daniel Saver from Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and Joshua Howard from the California Apartment Association. Following the meeting, the City Council directed staff to explore opportunities and challenges to rent stabilization and present options for the City Council’s review on January 25th. Stay tuned!


Congestion Cycle 

What happens when you add more lanes? More people drive. When more people drive on more lanes, it creates even more congestion – which the new lanes were meant to reduce. Our CA Dept. of Transportation put out a new report showing just that. When people drive less, air pollution declines as does asthma and other health problems – and this is all while reducing the impacts of climate change.


Building Capacity in East Palo Alto 

Help advance leadership development in East Palo Alto! The group One East Palo Alto fosters leadership and builds community capacity to promote social cohesion and violence prevention. Check out their webpage for more information about joining their partnership and how to get involved.


Changing Climate Changes Health 

Did you follow the Paris Climate Change talks? We got a local taste of the climate discussion when our Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Manager for Policy, Planning and Equity, participated on a panel during the Climate and Health Summit organized by SF’s Dept. of Public Health on the health impacts of climate change across the Bay Area.  San Mateo County, with the Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, has many potential impacts related to climate change.


Financing Sustainable Food Systems

SF’s Federal Reserve Bank hosted the Innovations in Healthy Food Access and Finance conference to share best practices for increasing access to healthy food through urban farming and helping to expand economic opportunity. This includes youth and the formally incarcerated through partnerships, enterprises, funding, lending, skill building and job creation.


Numbers that don’t add up 

Did you know black students are 3 times more likely to be suspended than white students? Studies show teachers have lower expectations for students of color and these perceptions can predict student achievement. The more education someone has, the healthier they are – all students deserve access to high-quality education that equips them for success down the road! Check out resources and ideas for action to improve educational attainment for all students here.


Equality Atlas

How can we build a Bay Area economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind? Financial insecurity makes it difficult to people to afford and meet their basic needs, which leads to higher rates of stress and more health problems. Check out how we can build pathways that create opportunities for all and promote everyone’s health.


The New Main Street

Did you know that many people who work full-time are living in poverty? A national survey of small and large businesses shows most business owners support paid family leave, paid sick days, and raising the minimum wage so that anyone working full-time is not in poverty. Supporting efforts that advance income opportunities with benefits such as health care and child care and paid sick days can help build financial stability and improve health and well-being.