Fourth District Supervisor Warren Slocum was unanimously elected president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors at its annual rotation Tuesday night, marking his first time with the gavel by emphasizing the need to make this county a home for everyone and build on its successes.
“It’s clear to me that our overarching challenge is how to build and sustain livable communities on the Peninsula. By that, I mean communities in which prosperity is broadly shared, children have the opportunity to success and are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, resources are used in a sustainable way and people are civically engaged,” Slocum.
Slocum made his inaugural remarks during a rotation meeting and program held at Cañada College that featured a reading by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin and performances by Ballet Folklorico del Circulo Culturla and H2O, East Palo Alto’s hip hop orchestra.
The Board also chose Supervisor Don Horsley, District Three, as Board vice president and thanked outgoing president Supervisor Carole Groom for leading the past year with what Slocum referred to as a “steady hand.”
Slocum’s 2016 priorities as Board president center around housing, transportation and quality of life issues. Specifically, Slocum said he plans to focus on ending veteran homelessness in 2016, invest in water infrastructure to stave off flooding and seriously reconsider the Dumbarton corridor project to bring rail across the bay. Community engagement, particularly with the Latino community, and developing industry partnerships to build sustainable communities are also on Slocum’s upcoming to-do list.
Slocum, whose district includes the cities of Redwood City, East Palo Alto, part of Menlo Park (east of El Camino Real) and the unincorporated community of North Fair Oaks, also listed off areas of focus there. In 2016, Slocum said the County must identify and acquire property suitable for parking in North Fair Oaks and tackle code enforcement complaints through a Neighborhood Response Team.
“The simple truth is that we have begun and by doing so we have set out priorities and once again reaffirmed our commitment to the noble idea of a county government working for a better future for all people,” Slocum said.
While Slocum looked to the future work before the Board, he also highlighted its significant accomplishments include investments in affordable housing, the closing of a half-mile gap in the Bay Trail, funding additional mental health services, closing nine illegal massage parlors and increasing funding for emergency shelters and social service programs.
Slocum was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2012 and his current term expires in January 2017. He also served as the County’s elected Chief Elections Office and Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder. He lives in Redwood City with his wife and they have two sons.