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July 2016 Newsletter
Health Gizmos


En Español por favor!

We heard from many of you that having our strategies for building healthy, equitable communities translated into Spanish would help you better reach the Latino community. We’re excited to announce that we now have our full strategic plan available in Spanish! Please help us distribute our plan, “Estrategias para construir comunidades saludables y equitativas” to your networks. We also have printed copies available. Email us and we’ll send you some to distribute!

Join the Get Healthy SMC Initiative

How would you make San Mateo County healthier? Next month you can apply for our annual Community Implementation Funding and advance health where we live, learn, work, and play. Mark your calendars for our:

Check out our website for more resources on how to create a stellar application using our online application system this year and download the funding flyer. See the great work accomplished by our 2015 recipients here.

Come work with us! 

We’re looking for two interns to help us build healthy, equitable communities and inspire healthy changes. Please visit our website in early August for position descriptions and requirements, to download the application and share with your networks as well – we’re looking for grad or recent grad students who can help us 16-20 hours/week starting November through May.

Items to include in this newsletter

Case Study

NACTO Trainings
Healthy Case Study

NACTO Trainings
Complete Streets are all the buzz, but getting from a great idea to a great street takes a lot of work. In 2014, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) offered trainings on complete street design, implementation, and evaluation to bring ideas from concepts to reality. Read more here.

Health by Numbers

How active are you?

About half of San Mateo County census tracts have 10% or less of residents taking active transportation to work, which includes walking, biking, and taking public transit. Active transportation increases physical activity, which improves health. Read more here.

Staff Perspective Jessica Garner

Tools to Build Health

Where we live, work, play and learn have an impact on our health—the availability and accessibility of public transit, safe places for us to walk or bike, our incomes, and even how much we spend to live in our communities affects the quality and length of our lives. Each of the above considerations is a choice we make every day, yet the health of a community is not always factored in by policymakers from the local to federal levels. 


Where is the Bay Area? 

A recent study shows the Bay Area’s skyrocketing housing prices have pushed many residents further from their jobs in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. This is creating longer commutes and mounting pressure on the Bay’s roads and mass transit. Read up here.


San Mateo becomes first city in San Mateo County to approve minimum wage increase

Earlier this month, the San Mateo City Council unanimously voted to proceed with a law that would increase the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour by 2019, making it easier for San Mateo workers to afford basic needs, plan for the future and stay healthy.  The ordinance is expected to go into effect in about six months, with the first increase to $12 per hour beginning 2017, to $13.50 a year later and then $15 in 2019, beyond which minimum wage would increase each year per the regional consumer price index.


Walkers given head start in downtown San Mateo

The City of San Mateo took an important step toward pedestrian safety by installing a Lead Pedestrian Interval (LPI) in its downtown. The LPI programs traffic signals to give pedestrians a 3-7 second head start to cross the street before the light turns green for vehicles, helping make pedestrians more visible to motorists, create safe walking and biking conditions, reduce collisions and increase everyday physical activity. Read more here.


Growing up together

Our youth are growing up and so is the Youth Commission! The San Mateo County Youth Commission is a 25 person advisory commission that informs decision makers from across the county on the needs of youth in San Mateo County. This year the Commission received 46 applications from youth across San Mateo County for 13 vacant spots. The review committee conducted interviews in early July and the final selection was made by Supervisor Groom a few weeks later. We are happy to welcome our new Youth Commissioners to the County!


Math adds up for health

Did you know studies show students of color are disproportionality held back to repeat math classes? That’s math inequality. With educational attainment an important social determinant of health, holding students back has lifelong implications. Our County’s Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Unit has been working with the St. James Community Foundation in moving the needle on the issue all the way up to the state’s education policy.


California’s most significant policy change for housing in years

As part of the Governor’s budget deal, Jerry Brown is proposing to spur housing development in the state by streamlining project approvals for housing production. Depending on a project’s access to transit and inclusion of a small percentage of affordable units, developers would be allowed to bypass the normal review process and break ground faster. The proposal could bring much needed housing to our county but some communities have expressed concerns. Read more here.


County adopts Affordable Housing Impact Fee and Housing Preservation Fund

Our Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an Affordable Housing Impact Fee that will generate funding for construction of affordable housing throughout the County. The Board also approved a $10 million fund to help preserve currently affordable rental units. Both these programs will help provide and maintain housing that allows people to be healthy and build roots in San Mateo County.