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March 2016 Newsletter
A Fresh and Healthy Start


How could your community benefit?

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Spring Forum on how to use Community Benefits as a key tool for building healthy, equitable communities! Join us Wednesday, May 18 from 4-6pm at the Health System, Room 100.

We’ll have leading experts in the field like Julian Gross discussing how community benefits can promote community health by spurring economic development, parks and open space, stable and affordable housing, and funding sources for schools and childcare facilities. You’ll also hear about the local implementation of a Community Benefits Program right here in San Mateo County: Steven Turner, Planning Manager, City of Redwood City will present on Partnership Redwood City. We look forward to seeing you there and finding out how these programs can be used to address the specific needs of your community.


Items to include in this newsletter

Case Study
Teens Making A Change Walkability Audit

Teens Making A Change Walkability Audit

Teens Making a Change (TMAC) youth assessed safety concerns that limit walkabilty in their neighborhood. They utilized their research findings to create recommendations and an ordinance for the city of Pacifica to improve the street crossing.

Health by Numbers

Pedestrian and bike deaths

1 in 3 of pedestrian and bicycle deaths are among San Mateo County’s Black population, although they are only 3% of the total county population. 

Staff Perspective

A new partner in community health
By Cassius Lockett, Public Health Policy & Planning Director

Greetings, Get Healthy San Mateo County Community, 

As the new Public Health Director at the San Mateo County Health System, I am excited to have the privilege to serve all who live, work, and play in San Mateo County. Having worked at the federal, state, and local level, I’m excited to continue working to reduce health disparities and promote health equity here in San Mateo County.


Planning health for all in EPA

The City of East Palo Alto has released a Draft General Plan that has great tie-ins to health throughout the document, as well as a separate Health and Equity Element. The plan includes plans for housing that are crucial to health, safe transportation for all ages, and economic development to ensure the health and stability of the community. We know that the most vulnerable residents often face the greatest health challenges and stand to gain the most health benefits from EPA’s improvements – as long as the mechanisms are in place to protect residents from displacement.


Filling healthy bellies for success

Did you know research shows hungry kids are more likely to miss school and less likely to graduate high school? We were lucky to join the Hunger Action Summit “Too Hungry to Learn” this month hosted by the Second Harvest Food Bank to collaborate across sectors and help bridge the achievement gap. With only 69% of students eligible for the free or reduced school lunch program participating in school lunch programs, we can encourage more families who are low income to take advantage and ensure school districts can maintain funding.


Not something to sneeze at

How do we measure up in supporting workers when they’re sick? California is one of five states along with one county and 22 cities that have paid sick time laws on the books. Earlier this year, Spokane, Washington became the latest jurisdiction to pass a law that guarantees workers the right to earn paid sick leave. Click here to learn more about paid sick leave laws across the country.