February 23, 2016   

Improving the lives of Contra Costans - Working Together
As we enter 2016, I'm excited to build on the momentum of Contra Costa County's accomplishments last year, highlighted below.

I'm proud to have worked alongside so many other great people, from community groups, business, labor,  and government, to improve the quality of life in our County, and look forward to continuing our partnerships.

I believe our accomplishments demonstrate the positive role that government can play in making our community a better place to live. Here are a few highlights:

We improved the health of Contra Costa residents    
  • More County residents than ever are now covered by health insurance because of our successful local Medi-Cal expansion effort under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly one-fifth of County residents (that's nearly 200,000 people) are enrolled in our Contra Costa Health Plan and a majority of them are being cared for in our own hospital and clinics.  
  • We expanded health and dental care for youth by partnering with Kennedy High in Richmond to open a community health clinic at the school.  The County now helps run more than 40 school-based health centers.
  • We saved lives of County residents who suffered heart attacks.  Last year, the American Heart Association nationally recognized our Emergency Medical Services Agency for its work in optimizing the care of heart-attack patients during transport to the hospital, and in emergency rooms.   
  • We expanded healthcare to undocumented families by partnering with local hospitals and community clinics to establish a preventative healthcare plan for undocumented families.
We improved public safety in our County
  • We improved ambulance response times by approving an innovative public-private partnership between the Contra Costa Fire District and AMR to provide high quality emergency ambulance service to most County residents (including West County). This will speed ambulance response time, reduce service duplication, and allow us to obtain new federal funding.    
  • We opened two Family Justice Centers (in Richmond and Concord) to provide vital one-stop services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse.
  • We  expanded services to the formerly incarcerated to help them get stable housing and employment, which reduces the likelihood of criminal recidivism and improves community safety. We helped open a one-stop Reentry Success Center in Richmond and created housing opportunities in Central and East County.
  • We broke ground on an urban educational farm in North Richmond. We are improving opportunities for youth to lead healthy, safe and successful lives by partnering with non-profit Urban Tilth to develop an innovative urban educational farm.
We made our County a more sustainable place to live
  • We made it easier for residents of unincorporated areas to finance energy and water conservation improvements by establishing a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.    
  • We're hiring a new County Sustainability Coordinator to help lead our sustainability initiatives and pursue new funding to expand those efforts.   
  • We approved a Climate Action Plan identifying how the County will achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets while supporting public health, energy efficiency, water conservation, and air quality goals.  These efforts will result in lower energy bills and enhance our quality of life.
  • We are studying Community Choice Energy to enable us to receive more of our electricity from renewables like wind and solar.    
  • We supported clean technology by passing a law to require electric vehicle charging stations in new multi-family and commercial developments, and purchasing electric vehicles for the County fleet.
We supported our most vulnerable families
  • We helped low-income families become more self-sufficient by expanding pre-school opportunities for children and making assistance to buy healthy foods available in three rather than 30 days, to those with immediate food needs.
  • We helped families affected by mental illness by implementing Laura's Law to provide assisted outpatient treatment to individuals with serious mental illness, and by further integrating our mental health, substance abuse and homeless services.
  • We honored and supported our Veterans by helping, through our Veterans Service Office, nearly 6,000 veterans access $24 million in well-deserved and life-changing benefits.
We protected the taxpayer and the County's fiscal health
  • We approved a structurally balanced budget of over $3 billion while exercising strong financial management.
  • We maintained the County's AAA credit rating (the highest possible) enabling us to restructure debt and save taxpayers 4 ½ million dollars.
We supported the hard work of our County employees
  • We concluded labor negotiations providing well-deserved wage increases and reduced health care costs for most of our county employees after they made sacrifices during lean years of financial challenge.
I'm looking forward to continuing to serve Contra Costa residents and am always open to your ideas or suggestions. Please send an email to  John_Gioia@bos.cccounty.us with any thoughts or concerns.

Sincerely,
John  
John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone