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November 2016 Newsletter
Giving back for health


Reinforced Commitment to Health and Equity 
In light of the recent presidential election, Get Healthy San Mateo County remains committed to our vision: building healthy, equitable communities where all residents – regardless of income, race/ethnicity, age, ability, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender – have the opportunity to reach their full potential. As we look to the future, we know that it is only with our strong partners like you that we will be able to improve health for those who need it most. Thank you for all that you do for our community – we look forward to continuing our work together to build healthy, equitable communities.

Play with New Data
Get Healthy San Mateo County has just expanded our data portal with more social, environmental, economic, and health data! You can now map indicators by city and census tract, as well as break down county-level data by race/ethnicity, educational attainment, poverty, and/or income. Be sure to check out all the new indicators we’ve added to the mix using interactive maps and charts to explore health equity in San Mateo County, such as jobs-housing fit, access to parks, income inequality, and poverty. You can explore which city has the best ratio of low-wage jobs to affordable housing (spoiler alert: East Palo Alto) or which city has the highest percentage of active transportation commuters (Colma with 24%), and much more. Happy data-ing!

Items to include in this newsletter

Staff Perspective Jasneet Sharma

Better, Fuller Plates

Food is a central part of our lives during Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It’s also an opportune time to reflect upon the issue of hunger and food insecurity that affects millions of people across the country who struggle with not having enough food, are unable to afford a balanced and nutritious diet, or are unsure when or where their next meal will be.

Health by Numbers

Food Insecurity

In San Mateo County, only about 3% (7,698) of households receive CalFresh while about 30-40% of residents are food insecure but ineligible for benefits. This is due to the difference in local self-sufficiency measures and the federal poverty line that qualifies people for programs. Find more here.


Rising Living Wages

The County Board of Supervisors voted to establish a $17/hour living wage for all County contractors in October 2016! Living wage measures the gap between the minimum wage and the amount of money you need to meet a minimum standard of living. This will be phased in over 2.5 years, starting January 1 at $14/hour and gradually increase to $17/hour by mid-2019. The Board researched the issue and appointed Supervisors Carole Groom and Dave Pine to a Living Wage Ordinance Subcommittee.


Ensuring Full Plates for All 

Last month, we presented to the End Hunger Work Group about how we’re participating in federal and state food programs, and factors that impact food insecurity in San Mateo County, such as food access, housing instability, job projections, and cost of living challenges.


Preserving Access to Transit

The Free South City Community Shuttle has received an award from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for providing transportation to 250 students, low-income residents, and disabled residents every day. The City launched the shuttle service with the help of the County and local partners, after a major bus route was eliminated, to help people maintain transit access.


Envisioning Safer Millbrae Streets 

This month, Millbrae hosted a community planning charrette on the future of downtown Millbrae and how to make El Camino Real more pedestrian friendly through their General Plan. This included community visioning sessions and a tour of the area. During the charrettes, we were excited to see many residents envisioning separated bike lanes on El Camino Real to protect cyclists in the corridor. We will continue to work with the city throughout their plan update and provide health data to include in their General Plan!


Join the Caltrain Bicycle Advisory Committee 

Want to guide future investments for cyclists? Caltrain is looking for new Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) members to make up an advisory body comprised of 9 volunteers that integrates the interests and perspectives of bicyclists into the Caltrain planning process. The BAC meets once every other month at the Caltrain administrative offices in San Carlos. Applications are due by Dec. 2. More information about the BAC and the online application can be found here.


Racial Equity in Education 

This month’s School Wellness Alliance meeting drew over 60 people with Speaker Milton Reynolds of San Francisco Bay Area Facing History and Ourselves leading the discussion on racial inequity in education. What more can we do to create a more equitable school environment? You can bring the Facing History and Ourselves resources and curriculum into your school to teach students about topics such as race in US history, democracy and civic engagement, among other engaging topics.


Resegregation of the Bay Area 

Segregation has negative health implications. It can concentrate amenities and resources in high income communities and limit opportunities for health in lower income communities. Racial integration helps ensure all races and ethnicities have access to similar resources and enables us to better understand and connect with the diversity of residents that make up San Mateo County.