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August 2019 Newsletter
Removing Economic Barriers to Health


A Call to Action on Climate, Health and Equity
Join us September 25th as the County brings together stakeholders with a shared interest in understanding the intersection between climate change, community health and vulnerability and identifying solutions. Please register here before Sept. 20.

 Youth  Commissioners Getting Ready For Their New Term 
After a whole-day training on the structure of County government, commissioners’ roles and responsibilities, public meeting rules, evidence-based policy making skills, and team building activities, twenty six new and returning commissioners are ready to tackle the needs and aspirations of local youth. We are looking forward to partner with these new cohort of youth leaders!

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers

Employment and Mental Health

Bad mental health days are more likely for residents with less than excellent employment opportunities. In an analysis conducted by the Office of Epidemiology and Evaluation of the 2017 – 2018 Health and Quality of Life Survey, results revealed San Mateo County residents that feel they have fair employment opportunities (compared to excellent opportunities) are more likely to experience bad mental health days. Strong community hiring policies can enhance the health and well-being of San Mateo County residents by boosting quality employment opportunities.

Staff Perspective Grace Streltzov

Improving Health through Equitable Fee Policies

Dear Get Healthy SMC Partners,

One of my favorite things about this job is the chance to learn about issues impacting our most vulnerable in our County and ways we can advance health equity by building financial security for all people. One issue we’ve been researching recently is the impact local fines and fees can have on residents’ ability to grow their assets and savings.


Wage Theft Leads to Health Problems

As more San Mateo County cities like South San Francisco and Menlo Park explore raising the minimum wage, Get Healthy SMC continues to share its Low-Wage Worker profile and research other issues impacting low-wage workers, such as wage theft. Wage theft is most common in low-wage jobs.


Guaranteed Income Improves Health

On August 15th, Grace Streltzov, our Healthy Economy planner, attended a regional conversation on guaranteed income initiatives that give participants cash without conditions. Panelists discussed the impacts of cash supports on health outcomes and ways the model can address racial economic and health inequities. Participants in guaranteed income pilots report spending more time with their children and improved access to career advancement opportunities.


Farming for Pay Equity

Recent federal report shows an underrepresentation of women and minority farmers as agriculture loan recipients. The county’s Vision for a San Mateo County Food and Farm bill (summarized here) recommends prioritizing strategies to create a local food system that addresses inequities such as these in all aspects of the food and farming system.


CCCS Findings: Community Violence is a Key Concern for Local Youth

Now that CCCS data collection is complete, project staff is reviewing findings to understand youth’s biggest challenges to success and co-develop strategies to help them address those barriers. One of the top challenges youth cited was the prevalence of community violence and the need for a greater sense of safety and security.


Children in San Mateo County Are Consuming Less Fruits and Vegetables

Partners across San Mateo County, including Get Healthy SMC partners UC Cooperative Extension, San Mateo County Family Health, and Community Alliance with Family Farmers, will continue to work with local school districts to implement a comprehensive Farm to School program. Farm to School connects school food service programs with local farmers to include local produce in school meals and has been shown to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.


Diversity Is an Important Part of Education

Choosing a school for our precious kids can be hard. Knowing education is a predictor of health, it feels even more important. It’s so important that it often drives where we choose to live. But it’s not easy to understand how “good” a school is. A big factor that we weigh are test scores. How well are the kids doing on the standardized exams? Or, how many graduate and go on to college? But, what about diversity of experiences and exposure along the way to the diploma? If we value culture, language, and cross pollination of ideas and stories, we value difference.


East Palo Alto Reconvenes Anti-Displacement, Second Unit Task Force

The Task Force met again in July to collaborate with City staff in continuing to identify sensitive solutions to habitability issues in unpermitted second units. Get Healthy SMC is excited to continue this partnership with the City, which has been a local leader in thinking about habitability without displacement.  The City has made much progress in addressing key issues identified by the Task Force over a year ago like enhancing relocation benefits for displaced tenants and working closely with homeowners that need support to address code violations.