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June 2020 Newsletter
Equity in Recovery


Items to include in this newsletter


Racial Equity Now

The racial injustices we are seeing televised today are centuries old and cut across institutions. Without truly acknowledging the past and current racial inequities, we cannot recognize the dynamics of how power and the privilege play out in interpersonal relations, policies, institutions, and structures. And without that understanding, we repeat history in new ways. We must take action today. Get Healthy San Mateo County has been explicit about a focus on racial inequities for many years now. Health equity is not possible without racial equity.


Board of Supervisors Codify their Commitment to Black Lives Matter

At the June 23rd County Board of Supervisor meeting, the supervisors unanimously voted on a resolution supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and reaffirming the County’s commitment to racial equity. The most important part of the Board meeting was how many people turned out to express their deep commitment to racial justice.

Post Erika Rincón

Welcome Erika Rincón to the Team! 

Erika will be supporting Get Healthy SMC Healthy Economy efforts and the Community Collaboration for Children’s Success (CCCS) initiative. With a focus in workforce development and transportation justice, Erika brings over 10 years of experience working to advance equity and access to opportunity for low-income people of color in California.  She holds wide-ranging experience in coalition and capacity building, policy advocacy, community-based planning, education outreach, technical assistance, and research.

Health by Numbers

Understanding the Fabric of our Community

It is important to know where people of color live in San Mateo County to be able to best serve their needs. 60% of San Mateo County residents identify as people of color. People of color are most concentrated in the northern and southern parts of the county, including Daly City, South San Francisco, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto. Source:


Planning for Health Toolkit Update: New Chapter on Community Engagement 

Community engagement is a critical component to planning for health and advancing equity. Check out our latest update to our Planning for Health Toolkit to learn more about inclusive public engagement that respects community leadership and expertise, and the importance of youth civic empowerment. We will soon add a virtual community engagement section to the toolkit. Stay tuned! To learn more, please contact HPP staff Heather Eastwood.


Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (in post-COVID-19 economy) for Improving Health Equity

While the number of cars on the road during Shelter in Place is down, local jurisdictions are still moving forward this month to comply with the state’s directive (SB 743) to evaluate environmental impacts using a more sustainable, healthier metric. Rather than measuring how much travel delay a project will generate, the new metric is to measure how many vehicle miles travelled (VMT) a project will generate.  As with many transportation policies, it is important to evaluate them through a health equity lens.


CCCS Prioritizing Strategies to Advance Racial Justice

CCCS is focused on advancing racial equity. All four CCCS communities identified the advancement of racial equity as one of their top four goals for children’s success. Our communities are more activated now than ever before to manifest that goal as our country contends with some of its ugliest racial injustices. The CCCS partners developed a list of ideas for how to meet the moment –ranging from resolutions codifying commitments to racial justice, community conversations on race, to police reform policies.


$100K Google Impact Funds to Support CCCS Priorities!

 We are excited to share that we received $100,000 from Google Impact Fund in support of our CCCS joint proposal with Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) to support local community leaders to help Big Lift families navigate complex systems and resources to support family and children’s success. System navigation support was one of the top strategies to support youth success across all four CCCS communities.


Trauma-informed Leadership Training 

Trauma Transformed leaders trained over 40 CCCS partners on June 1st on how to be a trauma-informed leader during this time of COVID crisis. They presented us with a framework to guide us – the 5 C’s of Leading During a Pandemic: 1) give people Clarity – keep staff up to date with clear, accurate and essential information. 2) build team Cohesion – trust and support others to speak vulnerability and freely, 3) Connect with youth people – connection is central to healing. 4) Communicate – early and often.  5) have Courage – prioritize progress over perfection. See the full 1-page overview.


Schools and Libraries Continue to Provide Meals Over the Summer 

Health Policy and Planning staff partnered with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, the San Mateo County Office of Education, and San Mateo County Office of Sustainability to host a meeting with local school district food service administrators. The purpose of the meeting was to identify challenges that school are facing as they continue to provide meals for students into the summer. Despite the many challenges food service administrators are facing, they are continuing to ensure that students in San Mateo County receive nutritious meals regularly.


Supporting Educators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Members of the San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance, which includes representatives from San Mateo County Health, San Mateo County Office of Education, Sequoia Healthcare District and Peninsula Healthcare District partnered to host the “Becoming Connected Resilient Educators in Uncertain Times” series. The weekly series provided educators with an opportunity to connect with others to discuss the personal and professional challenges they were all facing related to the COVID-19 crisis.


Guidelines for Schools Re-opening

Education across the globe was changed overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic and San Mateo Schools were no exception. As classes shifted online, teachers, students, families, and support staff had to adjust their approach to education. California State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, recently released the guidance for schools to follow as they plan to re-open in the fall.


Emergency Medical Services Corps Continues to Support San Mateo County Trainees

EMS Corps, a nationally-renowned program that trains entry-level emergency medical technicians from disadvantaged backgrounds, provided 7 individual coaching sessions to San Mateo County trainees, to discuss their career options and how to build a strong personal foundation for achieving success.  Trainees received guidance on navigating the job market during the pandemic, coping with personal challenges, and identifying the best career and educational pathway going forward to reach their goals.  Applications for the next EMS Corps cohort will open in the next couple of months.


California Crowded Neighborhoods Hit the Hardest By COVID-19

With the increasing debate around blaming density and overcrowding for the spread of the novel coronavirus, we will take the next few newsletters to explore the role that density, overcrowding and other social conditions have in the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.