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A vision for a Healthy, Equitable San Mateo County

Staff Perspective Shireen Malekafzali

Hello, Friends, and Family of Get Healthy San Mateo County – This has been an exciting month for us!

We released the strategic plan that all of you helped pull together. This plan includes a vision rooted in ensuring everyone has equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and live long and healthy lives. The vision is broad, deep and powerful –but also basic. Basic in that, our vision isn’t a community with enormous homes, gold-plated rooftops, fancy cars and cloths. Our collective vision is about stability, access to opportunity, education, and safe and affordable options for things like food and transportation. It’s, in fact, simple. And some communities have access to all of these things right now. What’s not simple is to implement this vision for everyone –to ensure everyone has equitable access to opportunities and stability.

I just came back from a conference – the PolicyLink Equity Summit 2015: All in for inclusion, justice and prosperity with a track focused on health equity. Their vision of a just and fair society where all can participate and prosper brought over 3000 people together from across the nation. They showcased how place matters in achieving health and equity; how cities can be leaders in advancing a comprehensive approach to building healthy, equitable communities; and how the time to act is now. I saw our vision in the vision they presented and the strategies as aligned with ours. This means there are thousands of people from across the nation enlisted in a similar vision. We are not alone. And we can be an example.

While our vision of healthy, equitable communities is both simple and difficult, it’s fair and necessary for a successful and healthy future for San Mateo County. To achieve our vision, we need committed partnerships, carefully crafted policies, engaged communities, and thoughtful leadership. I’m inspired and encouraged that together we can manifest our vision in San Mateo County. We have all the right ingredients.

I’m very excited to work together with you to bring our vision to life!