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May 2016 Newsletter
Health Counts


New look coming soon

We are launching a new Get Healthy SMC website! We’ve been busy working behind the scenes organizing the data, resources, and reports for our priorities so that everything will be easy for you to use to build healthy, equitable communities. Look for an official announcement in late June for all the ways you can use the new features on our site. We’ll also debut a new look for our e-newsletter – coming fresh to your inbox next month!

Community Benefits for Health Forum

We had a great discussion about Community Benefits at our forum last week, with elected officials, city staff, and community leaders gathered to learn how to capture value from investments. Didn’t get enough? Check out the presentations here


San Mateo County Health System hosted Way2Go week around Bike to Work Day that featured the Office of Sustainability’s refresher course on bike safetycommuting tips from Commute Champions, favorite apps and social media tools for easy commuting, and Lyft’s new carpool program. We hope you enjoy these great tips and resources to make your travels even more enjoyable!

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers


People who are unemployed are more likely to have poor health related to chronic disease and mental health. The percent of unemployed residents over 16 years old is high in neighborhoods in Redwood City (14.8%) and East Palo Alto (15.5%) and low in neighborhoods in Woodside (1.9%) Read more here

Staff Perspective

Earning Health

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Mountain View, El Cerrito, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale… The list of jurisdictions raising their minimum wages has grown exponentially in the past several years, culminating this spring with the near simultaneous signing of statewide $15 minimum wage legislation in both New York and California. Originating in high-cost large metropolises, the movement has spread to whole states and smaller cities, including many throughout Silicon Valley.


Teaching affordability

People across the Bay Area are affected by the housing crisis, with many having to relocate far away and commute in to work. Studies show 60% of San Mateo County workers live outside the county and commute in for work. San Mateo Union High School District is taking this issue to heart and exploring whether building affordable housing for teachers can help their educators remain in the district. Read more about the latest proposal here.


Building transit where it counts

We know that transit can make getting around easier and faster – especially as the Bay Area continues to grow. Luckily for cities in San Mateo County, there are new Transit Street Design guidelines released by the National Association of City Transportation Officials profiled in Streetsblog SF to help us plan rightly ahead!


Something to bike about

The City of San Mateo has a new bike program in town! Bay Bikes is an app based bike share program that allows users to see bikes nearby – and you can drop off bikes anywhere within the city radius. Check it out!


Your preference, please

Plan Bay Area 2040 is hosting open houses across the Bay and wants your input in how to plan ahead for growth while still preserving the character of our diverse communities. They will share 3 land use and transportation scenarios and want to know which one you prefer! The preferred scenario would be approved by Association of Bay Area Government’s (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in September. Find your closest open house here.


Full of Pride

We had another great turnout at this month’s School Wellness Alliance meeting at the County Office of Education! Over 55 participants learned how to create a more inclusive school environment for LGBTQ youth and discussed how educational attainment impacts health. Continue the conversation and bring the whole family to the San Mateo County Pride Celebration on June 4 at San Mateo Central Park from 11am to 5pm!


Intervention: Racism

How does discrimination affect academic performance? Child Trends explains that rethinking learning approaches, disciplinary actions, and parental involvement can help educators, parents and stakeholders do more to support the health and well-being of all of our students. Read more here.


Health in dollars makes cents

In May 2016, the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, along with the SF Federal Reserve, Sutter Health and others, hosted a discussion on how to improve neighborhoods across the Bay Area and shared strategies on how to invest in health. Ideas for how residents can help included social impact investing that pays back for health improvements and crowd sourcing for healthy options such as community markets.