November 2022 Newsletter

Dear Marci,

As the former Chief Elections Officer for San Mateo County, I was deeply concerned, not about our County, but about the Mid-Term elections nationally earlier this month. Democracy and voting rights have been on my mind since 2020, maybe before that. But this November’s election showed that democratic values and our freedoms withstood the challenges from the extreme elements. And for that I am grateful.


On a related topic, as a proud veteran who served in the Army in Vietnam, this Veterans Day was particularly poignant to me. Veterans Day is a reminder that democracy comes with responsibilities and at times, those in the military have had to leave our families in order to serve our country. Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the idea of service above self. And as an elected official and former soldier, it is a reminder that we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

Now, as we head into the holidays, it’s a time to celebrate with our friends and family, without losing sight of the freedoms we have because of those who served our country.


Thank you for taking a moment to read our November newsletter. And if you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.



Warren Slocum

Visit our website for more news and information!



It is an exciting time in San Mateo County as we build for the future – with a number of projects in various stages of completion. Here is an update:

COUNTY OFFICE BUILDING 3 (COB3): One of the most dramatic examples of the County building towards the future is our new County Office Building located at 500 County Center in downtown Redwood City. And it has changed dramatically over the past few months. With its “Mass Timber” design, COB3 will be energy efficient as wood dramatically lowers the building’s carbon footprint by reducing the reliance on structural steel and concrete. Designing exposed wood ceilings and walls also eliminates the need for such traditional building features such as acoustical ceiling tiles, dry wall and other non-renewable materials. The building is designed to be zero-net energy, meaning it will produce as much energy as it consumes. With light and airy space for public meetings, this civic center building is on track to open by the end of 2023.

NAVIGATION CENTER: The San Mateo County Navigation Center broke ground this April and the race is on to meet the extremely ambitious goal of completion in January 2023 – perhaps even sooner. Once complete, this state-of-the art Center will provide 240 safe temporary living spaces along with an array of supportive services designed to help homeless clients obtain stable housing. For now, work is underway simultaneously on multiple fronts including the future entrance to the Center and the extension of Blomquist Road, and the Center site where utilities have been installed, power has been provided, and vertical construction of the community building, the dining hall, and the commercial training kitchen is complete. The prefabricated modular units, which will eventually be craned and stacked into place to create four housing buildings, are on the factory line or completed and staged for shipping. The County was excited to received 13 of these units last week and has staged them nearby the site ready for installation. So, stay tuned – this Navigation Center will be a model to the rest of the state and quite possibly the country.

CORDILLERAS MENTAL HEALTH CAMPUS: Construction on the County’s new Cordilleras Mental Health Campus is underway and moving fast. Briefly, this project is to replace a 117-bed facility constructed in 1952 originally as a tuberculosis ward and then repurposed into a mental health facility. In advance of potential wet winter weather, new paving has been completed leading into the campus on Edmonds Road. At the campus entrance, construction of the timber frame for the co-housing building, which will house 57 individuals with a history of serious mental illness, has reached the third and final floor. The campus’ four single-story mental health rehabilitation centers, which will each hold sixteen clients, are in varying stages of construction with three of the four having already gone vertical. The project is on track for the new buildings on campus to open in 2023 and the project to wrap up, after demolition of the old facility and final landscaping, in 2024. 

SAN MATEO HEALTH CENTER: The County’s most complex project, the San Mateo Medical Center, is approaching another important milestone.  The new 52,000 square foot Administration Building, which will house the new morgue, a regional public health lab, and various important administrative offices, is scheduled for completion and occupancy by March 2023. The next part of this project is the demolition of the 1950’s era health administration buildings, followed closely by construction of an additional building linking the hospital and administration buildings.

MIDDLEFIELD JUNCTION: This project began as a dream and hope for the residents of North Fair Oaks when I first took office, some 10 years ago. It is now close to becoming reality and will soon break ground. The Middlefield Junction project, which will be developed by Mercy Housing, will provide 179 affordable homes (one-to-three bedroom units) plus 11,000 square feet of child-care space and 3,500 square feet of community serving space. Of note, Middlefield Junction will provide housing for 20 formerly homeless households with wrap-around supportive services. All told, Mercy Housing and the Middlefield Junction project has attracted over $134 million in private, federal, and state investment in affordable housing, public transit, and public infrastructure improvements to North Fair Oaks. With these County and State funding sources committed, Mercy Housing is gearing up to begin construction in early 2023 with completion expected approximately 2 years later.


This year’s Veterans Day celebrations were special and back in-person. On Thursday, November 10, the San Mateo County Veterans Commission held its 7th annual Veteran Recognition Luncheon with over 250 in attendance. Those honored included Congresswoman Jackie Speier (Lifetime Achievement), American Legion Post 105 Commander George Smith (Veteran of the Year), Wendy Weller and Andrew Trapani (Patriots of the Year) and Veteran Surf Alliance (Enterprise of the Year). Even more special is that there were two World War II veterans at the event: Navy veteran Vick Bertaldo and Army veteran Al Adreveno.

On Veterans Day, I was honored to speak at the American Legion Post 105 Celebration at Courthouse Square in Redwood City. This annual event, back in-person, was equally moving – celebrating veterans for their service to our Country.

Lastly – a shout out to Judge John Grandsaert, Army veteran and founder of Veterans Service Court here in San Mateo County. Judge Grandsaert, the first Veteran of the Year honoree in 2016, is retiring at the end of the year. He has always had a deep affection and abiding respect for military personnel, but his lasting mark on this County will be The Veterans Treatment Court which he launched in 2012 to address the specialized needs of military veterans facing criminal prosecution whether it is substance addiction, mental illness and/or other service-related afflictions. Through his Veterans Treatment Court, Judge Grandsaert partnered with a local veterans’ center to provide mentors and sponsors for those who come through his court. Most remarkable is that many veterans who graduate from his program become peer mentors for others in the program. Thank you Judge Grandsaert for your compassion, huge heart and work with our veterans!


Here are some of the updates and decisions our Board of Supervisors made since the last newsletter:


Civilian Oversight Subcommittee: At the November 1 Board of Supervisors meeting, he Civilian Oversight Board Subcommittee (Supervisor Dave Pine and myself) held a Study Session on the options available for civilian oversight. This was an educational forum for our Board, but we did unanimously agree to and asked the County Attorney’s Office to research a model that includes both an Inspector General and an oversight committee. With two new supervisors and a new sheriff taking office in the new year, our work in earnest will begin at that time. But we anticipate working with incoming Sheriff Christina Corpus and advocacy groups including Fixin’ San Mateo County to hold community meetings about this.


Truth Act Forum 2022: The Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department held its annual Truth Act Forum on November 9. Last year, after the Truth Act Forum, Sheriff Bolanos announced that the Sheriff’s Office would end U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) transfers immediately. At this year’s mandated forum, we heard from community members who have been affected by ICE transfers in the past. Our Board requested that the County Attorney’s Office come back with an ordinance that would effectively ban ICE transfers in this County – taking this decision out of the hands of the Sheriff’s Office permanently.


Minimum Wage Ordinance: At our November 15 Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a minimum wage ordinance that will require employers operating in unincorporated areas of San Mateo County to pay a minimum wage of $16.50 per hour for all employees, with an annual adjustment based on increases to the U.S. CPI-W and capped at 3.5 percent per year. In short, the ordinance ensures that the County’s minimum wage will remain higher than the State minimum wage over time. And it allows for a better quality of life for those working in our unincorporated areas, from the farm workers on the coast to the restaurant workers in North Fair Oaks and beyond.


$4M for San Mateo County Voucher Program: At our Working Together to End Homelessness Summit at the end of October, County Executive Mike Callagy announced a new voucher program to directly help those in need of permanent housing. The County has set aside an annual commitment of $4 million in Measure K funding for Emergency Housing Vouchers for the next 15 years! What this means is there will immediately be 222 new vouchers to assist individuals and families who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence or with high risk of housing instability. We did this because the federal housing voucher program was taking too long to help those in need, and the need greatly exceeded the available funding. Those who need this assistance, need it immediately – and that’s what we aim to do. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Already, more than 95% of this fund has been utilized reflecting the great need.


In past newsletters, I’ve talked about a wonderful public art project – the Healthy Community Mural, which will be located at the 5th Avenue Underpass in North Fair Oaks. Many in the community took a survey – in both Spanish and English – to help us guide the project which will include 16 individual murals.


A number of artists have indicated their interest in this project and will be available at the first community meeting to hear your ideas! The hybrid meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 29 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 2500 Middlefield Road, as well as on Zoom.


Thank you to the work of the Healthy Community Mural Committee and the partners in this project, including

 the Culture Collective of North Fair Oaks and the San Mateo County Office of Arts & CultureWe are all looking forward to seeing this mural become reality! For more information, please contact my Legislative Aide Maggie Cornejo at

On another topic, soon we will announce a new Poet Laureate for San Mateo County – with interest high in serving – so stay tuned for an update next month.

Thinking back to where we were one year ago, the news on COVID19 continues to be positive. The numbers of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are stable which puts are county in the CDC’s “low” tier. Nearly 18% of our residents 12 and older have received the updated bivalent booster. And for those still in need, County Health continues to offer vaccinations clinics at rotating locations to reach the communities hardest hit by COVID. These locations are listed on the vaccine clinic calendar website. Another option is to schedule an appointment at your local pharmacy – where you can also receive a flu shot. There are concerns about other respiratory viruses, particularly RSV that is circulating in our region.

So, what does this mean for our residents this winter? First, schedule your flu and COVID booster vaccine to protect you and your family. Second, individuals who develop viral symptoms, such as a cough and fever, should be tested for COVID and isolate for 5-10 days if positive.


For more, read the message from our Health Chief Louise Rogers here.

Two wonderful holiday events for the entire family! The Redwood City Improvement Association and Downtown Business Group will hold the annual Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 3 at Courthouse Square from 6:00-7:00 p.m. And on Saturday, December 10, Redwood City will hold its Hometown Holidays and Christmas Parade.

Menlo Park, in partnership with AbilityPath will host an exhibition of artwork that celebrates autumn created by artists with disabilities. This exhibition will take place now thru Monday, December 5 at the Menlo Park Library. Stop by and admire this exhibition!

Family fun at our libraries this month! At the North Fair Oaks Library, the Weekly Expert Highlight on Monday, November 28 at 3:30 p.m. will be about honeybees. Come learn about the amazing society of honeybees through storytelling and puppetry, and learn the bee dance, taste honey and see live bees in a safe observation hive! And at the East Palo Alto Library, join award-winning author Linda Hamilton on November 30 at 6:00 p.m. to learn about the goal of the messy first draft, fun exercises to stretch your imagination, and ways to keep writing. To learn about more library events, click here.

Do you live or work in North Fair Oaks and looking to serve your community? We are recruiting for a full-voting member and a Youth alternate member of the North Fair Oaks Community Council. To learn more about the important work of this council and apply, click here.


And if you do qualify for the North Fair Oaks Community Council, there are other great ways to get involved in your community serving on a Board or Commission. Check out our openings and bring your experience and expertise to help in County initiatives and efforts. For more information or to apply, click here.


Want the latest news on the Middlefield Road Improvement Project? Sign up for updates 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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