Supervisors Appoint New President, Vice President

By: David J. Canepa San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572

Supervisors appoint new president, vice president
By: David J. Canepa San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572
A big thank you to outgoing San Mateo County Board President Carole Groom for her superb leadership in 2019 and congratulations to Supervisor Warren Slocum who was appointed to lead the board in 2020.
I was especially humbled to be named vice president of the board on Tuesday, Jan. 7, the first board meeting of 2020. Thanks to Supervisor Horsley for nominating me.
At the swearing-in ceremony, Slocum spoke of equity, opportunity and inclusiveness as his top priorities for the upcoming year. I agree. Although, we live in prosperous times here in San Mateo County, not everybody’s boat is rising, not even close.
I look forward to working with my colleagues this year to tackle the tough issues of solving our Health System’s deficit, keeping our community safe, creating more affordable housing and being prepared for any potential natural disaster or other emergency.
In other news, the 2020 Census gets underway soon and it’s critical that every person living in the county is counted to secure federal funding for medical services, including clinics and children’s health insurance, housing, emergency preparedness, nutrition programs, infrastructure and a host of other services.
However, there are some hard-to-count neighborhoods in the county that could jeopardize the amount of federal dollars the county receives. African Americans, Hispanics and renters are commonly the most undercounted. A 1 percent undercount, for example, could cost San Mateo County coffers up to $75 million in lost revenue a year, or about $750 million over the next 10 years.
As co-chair of the county’s Census efforts this year, I can tell you that our Office of Community Affairs (OCA) is starting to conduct extensive outreach to highlight the importance of the Census and why each resident needs to be counted.
Most residents will get an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census starting March 12. Some households will also receive paper questionnaires and reminder letters will be sent out March 16. If you haven’t responded by March 26, you will receive a reminder postcard. If you haven’t responded by April 8, you will get a reminder letter and paper questionnaire in the mail. Starting April 20, a final reminder postcard will be sent before Census workers start to follow up in person.
It is critical at this time to let everyone know, citizen or not, that the data collected is completely confidential. There is no citizenship question on the Census and no individual who participates in the Census will be put at risk in any way. So, please take the name to participate in the Census this year because everyone counts.
David J. Canepa serves on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors representing District 5, which includes Brisbane.