October 2021 Newsletter


With the holiday season arriving soon, it’s a good time to start thinking about how you can give back to the community you live in. Here are a few simple ideas you and your family can take to make a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing hardships.

One of the best ways for an immediate impact is by volunteering. There are several opportunities in one of San Mateo County’s many outstanding non-profits. It could be as simple as serving food at St. Anthony’s Church.
Many brands and stores donate a percentage of purchases to an organization that helps those in need. Many stores will also provide shoppers with an opportunity to donate a small amount during checkout and be featured on their “wall of fame” throughout the holiday season. Consider shopping at one of these supportive stores.

3.     DONATE
Even the smallest cash donations go a long way in assisting those in need. Imagine how great it would feel to know that you are helping another human get a fresh start he or she so desperately needs.
Warren Slocum
October brings much good news as our COVID19 positivity rate declines and the virus metrics move in a positive direction. In the articles below, there is new information on both booster shots and in new indoor masking rules that are to soon be implemented. And of those eligible for the vaccination, 90.3% have completed their vaccination series.

And there is good news for children under the age of 12. Pfizer will request authorization from federal authorities for vaccines for children ages 5-12 on October 26. And this could happen at your child’s pediatrician’s office, a local pharmacy or potentially at their school sites. Hopefully this will mean shots for youth will begin sometime in November.

To see data on our San Mateo County Health data dashboards, click here.
Booster Shots
Right now, Pfizer booster shots are available to those 65 and older, medically compromised individuals, and those whose work puts them at an increased risk to COVID19 exposure or transmission. If you are eligible, and it has been 6 months since your last COVID19 vaccine, you can make an appointment on MyTurn. to receive your booster shot – appointments at local pharmacies and other larger drive-thru vaccination sites are available.

Also, Moderna and J&J boosters have just been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with a mix-and-match approach of getting an alternate booster from the shot you received. 
New Indoor Masking Rules on the Horizon
On October 7, the Bay Area Health Officers, in a joint press release, gave new criteria for lifting COVID19 indoor masking requirements. They did so because of regional data showing that the surge is now receding, that the Bay Area is one of the most vaccinated regions in the country, and that they believe it is now time to plan for a transition.

To lift the indoor masking rule, each county must meet the following criteria:
  • Be in the moderate (yellow) COVID19 transmission tier (as defined by the CDC) and remain there for at least three weeks, which we have met for about one week; and
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations are low and stable, which we meet; and
  • 80% of the county’s total population is fully vaccinated – we are currently at 72.7% of our population fully vaccinated; OR
  • Eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds (which is likely to begin in November).
Bottom line: we are still several weeks away from lifting the indoor mask mandate. I will continue to keep you updated.
Findings from the
2021 Silicon Valley Poll
Interesting and some sobering findings in this year’s Joint Venture Silicon Valley poll.

According to the poll, 65% of Bay Area residents feel a strong sense of belonging to their region. Yet the majority – some 71% - believe the quality of life has grown worse. And more than half the respondents (56%) plan to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. The underlying issues are not new – the cost of living and the cost of housing, only exacerbated by the pandemic.

Also, some 60% of those polled say their lives have become more stressful since the pandemic. The issues most on our minds are climate change (drought and wildfire), homelessness, and political polarization.

A few positive findings include that there is a strong sense of belonging to this region and that our region’s employers responded well to the pandemic (66%).
You can read the full findings of the poll here.
A Local Survey: Redwood City and North Fair Oaks
Last month, the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University released their findings from the Redwood City and North Fair Oaks COVID19 Community Needs Assessment Survey, done in partnership with Redwood City Together. This survey followed up on the findings of their Fall 2020 survey.
The survey concluded that several challenges remain. First, housing insecurity increased more than any other unmet need during the pandemic and since the last survey, particularly with the expiration of the eviction moratorium. Food insecurity also remains high, with the largest demographic disparities and those most food insecure have the least knowledge about resources available. There were some good news shared as well. Interventions to help the digital divide during the pandemic are working and access has increased across the board. And, although 86% of the respondents were vaccinated, of those unvaccinated, 60% said they were willing to get the vaccine.
You can read the full findings of the survey here.
Also – if you are in need of food resources, please text “FOOD” to 876-876. You can also look at Second Harvest Food Bank’s website here.
A number of North Fair Oaks constituents had written to me concerning both development of oversized homes – McMansions – and potential destruction of the tree canopy caused by development.

On October 18, we held a virtual meeting with these constituents, many of them long-time residents of North Fair Oaks. Our Planning and Building Director Steve Monowitz and Deputy County Counsel Tim Fox presented an overview of the zoning laws, specifically for North Fair Oaks. And we listened to their stories.

More research needs to be done and we will soon meet again to discuss options. But I am glad that these constituents brought this issue to my attention and gave us the opportunity to meet them and hear from them.
Every 10 years, local governments use new data from the Census to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. And we are required by State law to hold public hearings in our communities withing San Mateo County, including to underrepresented and non-English-speaking communities. This effort is led by the Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission, a 15-person commission appointed by our Board of Supervisors in August.

Now we are asking for you to participate in these important meetings to help plan and draw new County districts. The finalized maps that you will help us create will define the five San Mateo County district borders. They will impact your local Supervisors for the next 10 years. and these new districts will impact how you elect your Supervisors for the next 10 years. This process is on a tight timeline and will be completed by the end of this year – and your voice is needed!

You can learn more about our 2021 Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission, make your own maps to submit, follow and participate in their important work here
What do you want to see in your library? The San Mateo County Library System (SMCL) is asking patrons to fill out a survey to help them reimagine programming, hours and improvements to the facilities.
This is important to all libraries, but especially in the North Fair Oaks Library, the newest addition to SMCL.

Right now, there are a number of in-person programs starting or ongoing at the North Fair Oaks Library, including: after-school meals, on-demand tech help, Youth Zone, 3D printing, LEAMOS Spanish literacy, and ESL Conversation Club. There is also virtual programming too. And coming in early 2022, the NFO Library will be open on Sundays for the first time ever – we will update you on this when more information is available. You can learn more about programs at the North Fair Oaks Library here.

I encourage you to take the survey, and to let me know your thoughts. Send me an email at [email protected] with your ideas!
At our October 19th Board of Supervisors meeting, we approved affordable housing commitments of $54.3 million! The Department of Housing Affordable Housing Fund 9.0 will bring 759 units of affordable housing to San Mateo County, with one-third of the units going to help those homeless, or with special needs or those who are extremely low income. Two of these projects are located in District 4 – in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks.
The San Mateo County Veterans Commission will hold its 6th Annual Veteran Recognition event virtually. The program will be available to watch beginning Wednesday, November 10. Honorees include Paul Harrell as Veteran of the Year; Sue Digre as Patriot of the Year; and Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. as Enterprise of the Year. More information can be found here.
Earlier this month, Governor Newsom announced that vaccines will be required for in-person school attendance, likely beginning fall of 2022 for students in grades 7-12.
Follow the progress of the Middlefield Road Improvement Project going on now in the heart of North Fair Oaks. Updates and more information on the project can be found here.
The Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department will hold its annual Truth Act Forum on Wednesday, November 3 at 6pm. This forum is mandated by state law to give residents the opportunity to ask county law enforcement officers about their enforcement activities related to immigration, as well as their interactions with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. You can participate via Zoom here.
If you want to get more insight into what my staff and I are working on, please connect with us on social media. It’s also a great way to interact with our office and to get notifications for upcoming events. Click the icons and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

Finally, if you would like to see back issues of this newsletter, they can be found on my website here. They certainly reflect the long way we have come!

Warren Slocum
District 4 Supervisor
San Mateo County
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