I'm honored that West County residents have given me the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Our accomplishments together demonstrate that government can play a positive role in making communities healthier, safer and stronger.
I'm a stronger leader thanks to many others, including the valuable partnerships
on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, S.F. Bay Restoration Authority, and California Air Resources Board. I'm also stronger because of the work and ideas of my constituents.
Here are some of our accomplishments in 2016.
WE PROTECTED THE TAXPAYER AND THE COUNTY'S FISCAL HEALTH
We saved taxpayers money by passing a structurally balanced budget for the 6th year in a row, increasing the County's reserves to over $370 million.
Our strong fiscal management helped us maintain our AAA bond rating (highest possible rating).
WE IMPROVED THE HEALTH OF RESIDENTS
We continued to make healthcare more accessible and affordable by
providing health coverage to more families than ever before (over 200,000) under our successful Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
made healthcare available to 3,000 uninsured residents regardless of their immigration status through enrollment in the Contra Costa CARES preventative health plan and are exploring options to expand the program to an additional 25,000 residents. I helped lead this effort.
We made it easier for County residents to easily understand a restaurant's food safety record by
requiring food establishments to post a health grade placard.
We expanded health services to 1,300 children regardless of immigration status by enrolling them in our Contra Costa Health Plan for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits.
We saved the lives of heart attack victims by placing 200 more AEDs in schools, senior centers and other public locations (now having 1160), increasing the number of law enforcement personnel who carry AEDs, and expanding CPR training throughout the County. My father died of cardiac arrest, so I personally understand this issue.
We expanded school-based healthcare by adding additional clinics at several schools, and behavioral health services at Helms and DeJean Middle Schools in San Pablo and Richmond. All West County high schools now have health services.
We helped increase vital urgent care services for West County residents by supporting the operation of a non-profit urgent care center in San Pablo.
We helped children and their families learn environmental stewardship and take charge of their health by
supporting the Mira Vista School Garden Program where students learn how to nurture soil, care for plants, conserve water and eat healthy food.
We provided telephone healthcare advice to 300,000 callers regardless of insurance status through the County's 24/7 Advice Nurse Unit.
We're making our air healthier and more breathable by the adoption of
new Bay Area wide regulations to cut refinery pollution by 20% and reduce sulfur dioxide pollution from the largest polluters.
WE IMPROVED PUBLIC SAFETY
We're improving and modernizing fire services, including
breaking ground on a new County fire station in San Pablo.
We've improved medical outcomes for 911 patients needing emergency care
by improving ambulance response times by an average 51 seconds, coordinating ambulance services with our County's fire system, and increasing the number of available ambulances.
We're reducing violence, minimizing incarceration and strengthening communities by
creating a new County-wide Office of Reentry & Justice to improve housing, job training, mentoring and family re-unification services for people leaving jail.
We made communities safer and reduced criminal recidivism by helping formerly incarcerated residents get stable housing and employment, and by
expanding support services at our one-stop Reentry Success Center in Richmond.
We protected children from exploitation and helped over 100 victims of human trafficking through our strengthened Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking Coalition, a partnership between law enforcement, County departments and community organizations.
We protected victims of domestic and sexual violence by expanding our one-stop Family Justice Centers in Richmond and Concord, and reorganized the Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse.
We supported 2,500 teens by enhancing services at the RYSE Youth Center to help young people who are impacted by violence, arranging college tours and building leadership skills.
We're reducing the number of accidental drug overdoses by making it easier for residents to remove unwanted drugs from their home through a County ordinance requiring drug manufacturers develop and fund a plan for collecting unused medicines.
WE MADE THE COUNTY & BAY AREA MORE SUSTAINABLE
We are making San Francisco Bay cleaner, improving shoreline access, and increasing wetlands through a Bay Area voter approved Measure AA which provides $500 million for Bay improvements. I helped lead this effort as Vice-Chair of the S.F. Bay Restoration Authority.
We increased community involvement in the County's sustainability goals by
establishing a citizens' Sustainability Commission to advise us on community engagement, fairness and equity.
We hired Contra Costa's first Sustainability Coordinator to help lead our initiatives and pursue new funding to expand our efforts.
We made it easier for County residents to finance household energy and water conservation upgrades with a property tax repayment program (Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE).
We are working to make our
electricity less expensive and more renewable by studying options for bringing Community Choice Energy to more County residents.
We saved over one-half million kWh per year in energy use and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by
converting 4,000 County maintained streetlights to LED.
We made our neighborhoods, creeks and Bay shoreline cleaner by sponsoring our 26th annual Richmond bayfront cleanup and numerous neighborhood community cleanups throughout West County.
We made our air healthier and saved money by
using cleaner fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles in our County fleet, and using more renewables to power County buildings.
We are building environmental stewardship and increasing healthy eating opportunities for youth by
breaking ground on a North Richmond urban educational farm with non-profit Urban Tilth.
We are protecting Bay Area residents and businesses from sea-level rise flooding by
adopting an action plan to protect our vulnerable shorelines-- work I'm helping lead as a member of the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
We made it easier for residents to get solar projects approved by instituting electronic plan review.
WE ARE INCREASING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
We are helping hundreds of families obtain stable affordable housing by
providing funding assistance to develop or rehabilitate 635 affordable apartments in El Cerrito, Pinole, Richmond and other cities.
We are working to make it possible for West County teachers and school employees to afford to live in our community by
forming a Teacher Housing Task Force to explore new opportunities to develop affordable housing.
WE SUPPORTED OUR MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES
We helped people affected by mental illness by
implementing Laura's Law, an initiative
to provide assisted outpatient treatment to individuals with serious mental illness.
We helped low-income families become more self-sufficient by
strengthening our pre-school programs and expanding school-based financial literacy and parenting classes.
We are helping the homeless by
establishing a new Health, Housing and Homeless Services Division to better integrate County services, and by partnering with school districts, housing providers, law enforcement and social service agencies to develop innovative strategies.
supported the nutritional health of thousands of low-income children by serving over 500,000 healthy meals to our Head Start preschoolers, including fresh fruits and vegetables, organic breads and low-fat milk.
We are protecting 245 families in North Richmond from flooding by building a levee improvement project on San Pablo and Wildcat Creeks.
We improved the quality of life for thousands of County veterans and their families by helping them access nearly $16 million in life-changing benefits.
We helped over 300 low-income families make energy and money saving improvements to their homes with funding from the County's Weatherization and Neighborhood Preservation Programs.
We helped over 24,000 low-income individuals and 155 small businesses get employment, housing, health, training, and other supportive services by helping fund agencies that deliver these vital services.
We're helping finance improvements to parks, senior centers, childcare centers and non-profit facilities that primarily serve our most vulnerable residents.
We supported the well-being of 320 low-income children by
providing free school uniform shirts and books to every student at North Richmond's Verde Elementary School.
We helped low-income families afford zero- and low-emission cleaner cars by establishing an Air Resources Board sponsored program to provide grants and low-interest loans to Bay Area residents, including Richmond families.
We created a pathway for people with developmental disabilities to get well-paying County jobs through a soon to be implemented new pilot employment program, the Bridge to Success; an action I led.
WE INCREASED CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
We made it easier for residents to vote by establishing early voting sites and ballot drop-off locations throughout the County.
WE SUPPORTED EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS FOR ALL RESIDENTS
We are making our Criminal Justice System more fair and responsive by
creating a county-wide citizens' Racial Justice Task Force, an action I spearheaded.
We relieved unfair economic burdens on 11,000 families by
stopping the collection of costly fees charged to the parents of youth in Juvenile Hall and on electronic monitoring, which disproportionately impact African-American and Latino families. I'm proud to have led this effort.
We provided high quality culturally sensitive healthcare to LGBT patients, getting recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a national leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.
WE SUPPORTED THE HARD WORK OF OUR COUNTY EMPLOYEES
We increased support for our employee's healthcare costs and significantly increased wages under new labor contracts that cover
all County employees.
WE ARE IMPROVING OUR COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND DESIGN
We improved street safety and walkability in El Sobrante by constructing new wider sidewalks, new street landscapes, and drainage improvements along San Pablo Dam Rd. and completing design for new sidewalks and bike lanes on Appian Way.
We expanded and improved library services by
breaking ground on a new larger County library in San Pablo and a new outside community gathering space at the El Sobrante Library.
We protected neighborhoods from irresponsible placement of cell phone towers by
passing a new Wireless Facilities Ordinance regulating the location and placement of telecommunications equipment.
Thank you for working together!