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November 2017 Newsletter
Procuring Good Health for All


Share your Transportation Priorities!
SamTrans wants to know what your transportation needs are. Please take this brief survey: SamTrans recently launched the Get Us Moving San Mateo County to inform and seek input from the public on a potential sales tax measure on the 2018 San Mateo County ballot. This sales tax would be earmarked for transportation and could generate up to $81 million a year for much needed transportation improvements throughout the county. SamTrans is working hard to bring a wide range of stakeholders to the table to inform the process. Our senior manager, Shireen Malekafzali, other County agencies such as County Office of Education, Office of Sustainability, and community partners like Youth Leadership Institute, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Transform -along with many more -are part of the stakeholder advisory group and raising important health, equity and sustainability considerations. Take the survey and voice your interest in health equity!


Implications of the Planning for Healthy Communities Act for San Mateo County
Five San Mateo County municipalities will be subject to the recently passed Senate Bill 1000 (SB 1000), the Planning for Healthy Communities Act, effective January 2018. This new law requires cities and counties with disadvantaged communities to include an environmental justice element with their next general plan update. The goal of the element will be to reduce the cumulative health risks in disadvantaged communities by focusing on reducing pollution burdens, but also by increasing healthy environmental factors, such as food access, housing options, and physical activity, as well as public participation in decision-making processes by the communities most impacted by environmental degradation.

In San Mateo County, there are six census tracts that are defined as disadvantaged communities. They are within the areas of East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, South San Francisco, and one community spanning multiple jurisdictions including Millbrae and San Bruno. The next time these communities update their general plans, they will be required to include an environmental justice element or environmental justice policies throughout their general plan. To learn more, jurisdictions and community partners can check out the SB1000 toolkit prepared by California Environmental Justice Alliance and PlaceWorks. Let us know if we can help you plan for implementation of SB1000!


EMS Corps Application Deadline Closed 
Thanks to all of you who helped us disseminate the EMS Corps opportunity to San Mateo County youth! Eleven San Mateo County residents submitted applications to the EMS Corps in this round that closed on November 17. EMS Corps is a renowned training program that focuses on preparing underrepresented young males to enter the health care and emergency medical services field. EMS Corps will make the final selection of candidates in early December.

There will be a competitive process to select the strongest applicants which will include Alameda County residents as well. and selected applicants will start the training program in mid-January. We are rooting for our San Mateo County applicants!

Items to include in this newsletter


Faith in Action, Protecting and Creating Vibrant, Healthy Communities

The Need: Grassroots Leadership in Low-income Communities of Color
Communities most impacted by health inequities are often not part of the conversation to identify the problems that impact their lives and their accompanying solutions. Public processes don’t always recognize the expertise of low-income people and people of color in policy decision-making. And, engaging in public processes also takes time and often English proficiency.

Staff Perspective Maeve Johnston

The New California Housing Bill Package

By now, most people who follow housing news know that Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark housing bill package in September that is expected to fundamentally change the ways we fund and approve housing projects in the state.

Health by Numbers

CalEPA Disadvantaged Communities in San Mateo County

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) identifies disadvantaged communities as those that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution and with population characteristics that make them more sensitive to pollution. CalEPA used the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 to designate disadvantaged communities. The higher the score the higher the burden. There were a few communities identified in the San Mateo County.  Two census tracts in South San Francisco were scored 76-80% and 81-85%. San Bruno scored 76-80% and North Fair Oaks scored 81-85%.


Redwood City Transportation Plan is on the Horizon

Redwood City is updating its transportation plan! The RWC Moves effort looks at how safe and effective the current systems are, prioritizes proposed transportation projects, and anticipates transportation needs that may arise. Redwood City will be collecting input on the draft through mid-December. The next workshop will take place, December 9 from 10am to 1pm at Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Avenue in Redwood City. The public can also fill out an online survey. Please take a look at the plan and submit your feedback!


GBI Grant Opportunity for Safe and Healthy Corridor Communities Projects 

Get Healthy San Mateo County is partnering with the Grand Boulevard Initiative on the Creating Safe and Healthy Corridor Communities project. The project will use a comprehensive public engagement process to facilitate the design of street improvements that create a safe, accessible roadway for all users with the goal of increasing pedestrian and transit activity. The project will include conceptual designs to help bring the Grand Boulevard vision of a vibrant, walkable, bustling streetscape to life.


Update on East Palo Alto’s Zoning Implementation for their General Plan

East Palo Alto adopted a new General Plan in 2016 with strong provisions for health, including a Health and Equity element. Now the city is updating its development code to implement the policies of the General Plan. The City accepted comments on the development code through November 13th, and Get Healthy San Mateo County submitted a comment letter offering our support to implement a health indicator tracking system and healthy design guidelines and suggested language promoting healthy food and transportation demand management policies.


Outdoor Education highlighted at School Wellness Alliance Meeting 

On November 9th, educators and community members gathered at the San Mateo County Office of Education to learn more about the importance of exposing children to nature. Whether it’s reducing stress, providing opportunities for exercise, or serving as a living laboratory, there are many reasons to increase the amount of time we spend outside. Sharon Danks, executive director of Green Schoolyards America, provided an overview of the science behind the many benefits of being in nature.


Restorative Practices in San Mateo County

Building on the good work that has been done in recent years to reduce suspensions and expulsions in San Mateo County schools by implementing Restorative Justice Practices, we are partnering with the San Mateo County Office of Education to develop a strategic plan for implementing Restorative Justice Practices in San Mateo County schools. For students to be successful in school, first and foremost they must be present to learn.


City of Belmont Adopts a Minimum Wage Ordinance 

Local cities continue to make strides to increase local minimum wages, and our San Mateo County Low-Wage Worker Profile continues to inform city councils’ deliberations. On November 28, the City of Belmont adopted a minimum wage making it the second city in the county with such policy. Their minimum wage will increase incrementally starting on July 1, 2018 and will reach $15 by 2020. In 2022, the local minimum wage will adjust increases to the Consumer Price Index of the Bay Area.


Enhancing the Capacity of Small Businesses

Commercial revitalizations can place a burden on small businesses. During the construction phase, businesses can experience regular disruptions. After construction, they can experience rent increases due to the improvements in the surrounding area.


Brisbane adopts Parkside Precise Plan 

The City of Brisbane adopted a precise plan in the Parkside area in order to clarify a vision for the approximately 25-acre space. The intent of the plan was to accommodate at least 228 low- and moderate-income housing units and guide future redevelopment of the Brisbane Village Shopping Center and surrounding commercial properties. Congratulations to Brisbane on adopting this new plan and for the new vision for this area.


Bringing Health to North Fair Oaks

On Tuesday, November 21 the Board of Supervisors adopted zoning for North Fair Oaks to help achieve the vision of the NFO Community Plan. The zoning will bring the opportunity for more density, more housing, and greater access to open space and high quality food. Planners worked closely with community members to address concerns and provide a zoning plan that will bring vibrancy and health to North Fair Oaks.