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March 2020 Newsletter
COVID-19 and Health Equity


Items to include in this newsletter


Get Updates on the Novel Coronavirus

We know the reality of most people’s lives have changed given the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the situation is evolving rapidly. Because of this, we will be more active on our social media to bring you promising practices that are advancing health equity during this emergency. Find us on Twitter or Facebook @GetHealthySMC.


Don’t Delay! Be sure to fill out your Census form Before April 30th

The Census2020 is underway! Early this month, households should have received their invitation to participate in the Census 2020. You can complete the Census form by mail, phone or online. The forms are available in multiple languages. In fiscal year 2015, almost $2.5 billion in federal funding was allocated for health care assistance in California based on census data. An inaccurate count in #2020Census could lead to less funding, not enough health centers, or limited staffing.


How California is Working to Achieve Vision Zero

At all levels of government, traffic safety has been identified as a crucial public health issue that is disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations such as low income, young people and older adults. Cities across the County such as Daly City, Menlo Park, San Mateo and East Palo Alto have championed a Vision Zero approach to address the issue by making a commitment to eliminate traffic deaths.


The Impact of the Novel Coronavirus on the Local Food System

On March 24th the San Mateo Food System Alliance held their meeting virtually to adhere to the most recent recommendations from our Public Health Officer and founding SMFSA member, Dr. Scott Morrow, to avoid large, non-essential gatherings. The meeting addressed the impact the Novel Coronavirus has on workers and their families throughout the food system during this public health emergency. The increase in unemployement due to the Novel Coronavirus is unprecedented and is leading to a much higher demand for emergency food resources.


Creating a Healthy, Equitable, and Just Regional Food System

On Friday, March 6th Santa Clara University along with the Santa Clara Food System Alliance hosted a South Bay Food Justice Workshop. The agenda included a presentation by a local Latinx female farmer, a panel discussion of how various groups have fostered collaboration around food justice, breakout sessions on various aspects of food justice, and a presentation on agroecology. This convening brought together a wide range of stakeholders that are working to address issues related to food security with a focus of building a regional coalition.


Preservation of Quality Housing is Key to Health

In the last three years, we partnered with Faith in Action Bay Area and Rebuilding Together Peninsula to improve the conditions of garages that are serving as homes for many families and residents in East Palo Alto. These and other critical community and technical partners will be able to carry the work forward to ensure more low-income homeowners can rehab their garages while minimizing the displacement of tenants. Thank you to all the partners and the City of East Palo Alto for their leadership in this housing preservation work.


Daly City Creative Healing and Empowerment Program Proposed

Community Collaborative for Children’s Success (CCCS) partners in Daly City came together to develop a concept to provide healing, community building and empowerment in creative ways for the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School community and surrounding neighborhood. The CCCS Action Planning effort highlighted the challenges with community engagement in Daly City given the number of jobs many families are working and the diversity of the population.


School Closures Affect Thousands in the County 

Beginning on Monday, March 16th San Mateo County Health Officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, issued an order to close school districts in San Mateo County in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 in the community. While the school closures are a necessary measure to reduce the spread of the virus, it presents another set of challenges to students and families.


Local Control Accountability Plans as a Tool to Fund Restorative Justice Practices in Schools

Local school districts have used their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) to prioritize restorative justice practices (RJP) as a strategy to improve school climate and school discipline. Most school districts in San Mateo County are in the process of updating their LCAP, so it is the perfect time to get engaged in the process and advocate for the inclusion of RJP language.


Promoting EMS Corps. At Sequoia High School’s Health Fair

Our team shared flyers and information about the upcoming Emergency Medical Services Corps. Training with a large number of Sequoia High School students. Applications will open up this summer. This program prepares local residents to become medical responders and increases the diversity of the health workforce. Head over to the EMS Corps of Alameda County’ website for more information on this program. We’ll share more on the summer recruitment when that opens.