August 2, 2015

Applications Sought for San Mateo County Veterans Commission

VETERANS AND members of the public now have the opportunity to serve on the newly established San Mateo County Veterans Commission, which will focus on the needs of the
approximately 33,000 veterans who call this county home. On Friday, July 17, the five week application period opened to form this nine-member Commission whose composition will reflect the diversity of vets in this county and those who provide services to them.

The Board of Supervisors will appoint the nine voting members.

The formation of the Commission is near and dear to my heart. It's our job and our duty to help them.

Applicants must live or work in San Mateo County, or provide services which target and benefit veterans residing in the county.

Applications must be received by 5 pm, August 21. After the close of the application period, applications will be screened and interviews will be conducted in September. The Board of Supervisors will consider approval of the selected nominees at its November 3 meeting.

Applications are available from Alicia Garcia, Deputy Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 400 County Center, Redwood City or by calling 650.363.4634. Applications are also available at:

https://bnc.smcgov.org/vacancies

March 7, 2015

Evidence-Based Practices Seminar

I AM PLEASED to announce a special seminar, "ABC's of Evidence-Based Practices and How to Apply Them for Funding." The event will take place Monday, March 9 - from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City (Shoreway Conference Room).

Supervisor Adrienne Tissier and I, in partnership with the Probation Department and County Manager's Office will share strategies on how to serve people more effectively and track outcomes efficiently. Attendees will also gain an understanding of the Community Corrections Partnership priorities, review the grant application process, and learn strategies for creating successful applications.

This workshop will help you better serve your clients, and create more competitive applications to attract funding.

Lunch will be provided and everyone will have the opportunity to network and share ideas.

To RSVP - https://eventbrite.com/event/15527966566/

March 6, 2015

Parks Make Healthy Communities

I'M PLEASED TO report that the County's 91-year tradition of maintaining large-scale regional parks and trails is about to change. Supervisor Don Horsley and I represent districts with communities that want and need smaller neighborhood parks and green spaces to promote health and well-being. We asked the Parks Department and the Parks Commission to see what might be feasible for the County.

On April 9, the Board of Supervisors will consider a proposed Mini-Parks Policy for the unincorporated areas. If adopted, the policy will authorize the parks Department to create and maintain mini-parks in the unincorporated areas of the county. It will support the County's strategic goal of building "Healthy Communities" as well. Mini-parks like the FOBA Pocket Park and Friendship Park in North Fair Oaks as well as Quarry Park, the Moss Beach Park and the Clipper Ride Community Park on the coast will now have a legitimate "home" in our family of parks and fall under the Parks Department's mission.

Kudos to the Parks Commission Subcommittee who drafted this policy. Special thanks to Park and Recreation Commissioners Neil Merrilees and Meda Okelo, Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council member Nic Erridge, Midcoast Community Council Member Chris Johnson, North Fair Oaks Community Council member Linda Lopez, and Fair Oaks Beautification Association member Laura Caplan along with North Fair Oaks Forward Outreach consultant Patricia Brown and Margy Kahn, an interested resident of North Fair Oaks. I also want to give a shout out to our amazing Parks Director, Marlene Finley, who worked with the Parks Commission Subcommittee to develop this policy for our consideration.

March 5, 2015

AB 60: Supervisor Slocum to Host Panel on Getting a Legal Driver's License

FOR THE FIRST time, undocumented drivers are eligible to apply for a California driver's license. Assembly Bill 60, the law to license drivers in California regardless of immigration status, took effect on January 1, 2015. To date, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports it has issued more than 60,000 driver's licenses to illegal immigrants under AB 60.

Those in San Mateo County who have not yet applied and are interested in learning more about AB 60 can attend a free panel discussion "Getting A Legal Driver's License" which is being hosted by my office and Sheriff Greg Munks, California Highway Patrol
, Mexican Consul from San Francisco and California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The panel discussion takes place on Tuesday, March 17 from 7 to 8:30 pm. It will be held at the Fair Oaks Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 2600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.

The panel presentation will be made by DMV officials in Spanish with a question-and-answer session to follow. This will be an opportunity for those interested in applying for a dirver's license to hear from the experts, learn about the process and requirements and ask questions.

The passage of AB 60 is now creating thousands of legal, well-informed drivers, and removing the driver angst among the many undocumented people who regularly drive with licenses to go to work, pick up their children and run errands. Our roads are safer as the result of this law.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Irving Torres, Legislative Aide at 650.363.4801 or itorres@smcgov.org.

February 20, 2015

Civic Technology Helps Build a 21st Century Government

CIVIC TECHNOLOGY IS changing communities for the better. Over the past decade, the number of civic tech companies has grown at a rapid rate, bringing with it a slew of new applications and platforms that streamline government and make it more accessible to the public.

Quoting the Knight Foundation, one of the biggest sponsors of civic tech projects, "Civic leaders, organizations, funders and citizens increasingly recognize the power of technology to connect people, improve cities, and make governments more effective."

Civic tech spurs people to participate in public good development, enhancing citizen communications, improving government infrastructure or generally making national and local governments more effective. It encompasses civic applications, platforms supporting government bodies and institutions and other software enabling those goals.

The Knight Foundation's 2013 study and its 2014 update suggest that new civic tech falls under two categories: open government and community action. Civic tech in each category seeks to make data more accessible to citizens and allow them to share civic-minded solutions. Here are six reasons for the emergence of civic tech platforms and how civic tech is helping changing communities for the better:

1. Citizens want more information about their government.

In San Mateo County Socrata is helping the county to provide information to citizens in a more efficient and accessible way. In addition, Code for America helps jurisdictions create custom apps that target specific areas of community need like locating free food sources.

2. Citizens want to be more involved with how government operates.

TurboVote and TrusttheVote allow more citizens to get involved in the electoral process. The platforms allow citizens to track elections, register to vote, view ballots before going to the polls and fill out the paperwork that keeps busy people from the polls.

3. Citizens want to interact with their government, but hate all of the red tape.

In San Mateo County SeeClickFix allows citizens empower to provide feedback on public services and report things like crime, downed power lines, potholes and illegal dumping.

4. Citizens want to share their knowledge, but have nowhere to put it.

Information crowdsourcing tools like Waze make it easier for citizens to share their knowledge with their community.

5. Citizens are passionate about a project, but need to find funding to complete it.

Civic crowdfunding platforms like Kiva and Lenddo provide platorms for passionate citizens to connect with people who can help fund their projects.

6. Citizens want to change or support something, but don't know where to go.

Community organizing has been used for decades to get people who care about an issue, candidate or problem all in the same place to focus their energy on action. Civic technology is streamlining that process. Organizations and platforms like Causes and EngagementHQ allow citizens to connect with other citizens around issues they care about and officials to connect with those group.

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