Reflecting on a Productive 2017
Happy 2018! Last year was undoubtedly a tough one for many people across the country, but here in San Mateo County, we remained focused on making this the best place to live for all our residents. I am very proud of the things that we were able to accomplish -- we took major steps forward on crucial infrastructure and transit improvement projects like the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor, and built new affordable housing units through our Home for All Initiative, we saw continued job growth throughout the County and made further investments with Measure K funds for social services for our most vulnerable residents.
Below is just a glimpse of the many exciting things that took place in 2017.
As always, I welcome your ideas, questions and comments. I hope to hear from you as we tackle with the issues before us. My door is always open. Here's to another productive year ahead!
Volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. On MLK Day of Service, Assembly Members Kevin Mullin and Marc Berman and I joined volunteers from Kaiser Redwood City and the Peninsula Multi-Faith Council at Taft and Fair Oaks Community Schools in North Fair Oaks for some gardening and other projects. It was a great way to kick of the year.
San Mateo County supports all its residents. In February, our San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution to reaffirm the County's commitment to support and respect all community regardless of ethnic or national origin, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status. Every member of our community must know that they are welcome, safe and protected.
Unveiling of the new mural behind the Fair Oaks School. Created by artist Nico Berry and the students who had the opportunity to work with him, the mural features California poppies, the Fair Oaks School mascot, the Falcons, bright colors and a message that signifies hope and community: "I am somebody/Soy Alguien."
Middlefield Road Improvement projects approved. In April, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved recommendations from the North Fair Oaks Community Council on four design elements for the Middlefield Road Improvement Project, including buffered bike lanes, 35-foot tree spacing, bulb-outs at all intersections, and 12-foot sidewalk widths that will allow for benches and other seating.
Iron the Golden Retriever at the Stand Down for homeless veterans event. Modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat, San Mateo County hosted a Stand Down event in May to brings services and other resources to one location, making them more accessible to homeless Veterans.
Grand opening of the Sequoia Belle Haven, affordable housing for seniors. Our seniors are a vital part of this community, and our numbers are growing. Providing high quality housing that seniors can afford is critical. I was excited to celebrate the opening of Sequoia Belle Haven – a beautiful, new affordable housing community which 90 of our valued senior residents now call home.
Swearing in members of the Veterans Commission. It was my honor to give the oath of loyalty to these fine San Mateo County Veterans Commissioners - here they are sworn into their second term. Thank you for your service, Francisco Oliva, Ron Dickson, Fred Baer and George Smith.
Viewing the Solar Eclipse. 30 seconds the whole country will never forget! Here are students from the Fair Oaks Community School watching the solar eclipse at Courthouse Square in Redwood City.
Taking on the housing crisis. Supervisor Horsley and I wrote about our support for the Gateway at Milbrae Station project -- turning a parking lot into a mixed-use development with 80 units of affordable housing, with a preference for veterans. We believe this is an important project that will create jobs, revenue, and provide more housing options for County residents.
Hosting the San Mateo County Immigrant Integration Summit. The day after the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution affirming the County's support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and calling on federal lawmakers to adopt a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients, my office held the second annual Immigrant Integration Summit. The Summit aimed fostering dialogue about the current challenges immigrants face in San Mateo County. We heard stories from our immigrant residents, learned about the work being done for immigrant integration at the local, state and federal levels, and heard about innovative programs in our County that support immigrants.
Connect17 Conference “Disruptive Technologies that Impact our Communities." I was proud to co-host our fifth annual Connect Conference alongside Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, Assemblyman Marc Berman, and Rosanne Foust, President & CEO of SAMCEDA. We welcomed a roster of distinguished speakers who shared their ideas, stories, passions and best practices for using disruptive technologies to better impact our schools, nonprofits, services and public agencies.
Final Dumbarton Transportation Corridor Study adopted. In December, the SamTrans Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt the Final Dumbarton Transportation Corridor Study. The vote represents a major step forward for the Bay Area to tackle the region’s serious and growing traffic issue. The approval of the Study signals that local leaders and private companies alike are serious about creating mobility alternatives along the Dumbarton Corridor between Alameda County, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. I have been very supportive of this project, and I am looking forward to seeing even more progress towards making the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor a reality 2018!