Monday, March 30, 2020

Now more than ever, it’s time to be counted

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically upended all of our lives, and sometimes it can feel like everything is out of our control. But in this very unique moment, every household in San Mateo County has the ability to generate tens of thousands of dollars for your family, and your community, by filling out the 2020 census.

If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of achieving a complete census count. Census results are used to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds for essential programs and services that will be more important than ever in a post COVID-19 world, including job and child care assistance for needy families, unemployment insurance, and emergency food and shelter programs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

State and local elected officials made an emphatic appeal last week urging all Santa Clara County residents take part in the 2020 census, announcing a series of initiatives to make sure everyone gets counted, despite the shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Households have already started to receive census forms in the mail with a unique ID and instructions on how to fill out the questionnaire, kicking off a monthslong effort by the U.S. Census Bureau to get an accurate decennial count of residents living in the United States. Census data serves as the basis for region's apportionment of federal funding and can affect California's share of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for next 10 years.

Friday, February 21, 2020

On a sunny day last April, Anthony White, a 29-year-old Marine Corps veteran, told a room of California state legislators how he had survived a semester as a cash-strapped student at MiraCosta College: he’d slept in his car.

Mr. White parked his Chevy Silverado late at night in warehouse lots, showering at his gym, and he was once kicked out of a Lowe’s for brushing his teeth in the bathroom. The experience, he said, was “traumatizing.”

Homelessness among American college students has become an increasingly visible problem, with those who attend community colleges hit the hardest. Seventeen percent of community college students experienced homelessness in the last year, according to a 2019 survey of close to 167,000 college students by The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia. And half reported housing insecurity, paying only part of their rent, skimping on utility bills, or sleeping on friends’ couches and sometimes in their cars.

Friday, February 21, 2020

In an address framed as myopic in its laser focus on a single issue, local lawmakers largely lauded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s resolute commitment to solving the state’s homelessness crisis.

Assemblymen Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, and Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, as well as state Sen. Jerry Hill-D San Mateo, roundly applauded the sentiments shared in Newsom’s State of the State speech, Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Noting the uniqueness in largely designating the entirety of the annual event to a specific topic, the Peninsula’s representatives suggested the urgency around resolving homelessness was deserving of the outsize attention it received.

“It was appropriate, fitting and necessary for him to address it and take it on as aggressively as he did,” said Hill. “It is the crisis of our time.”

Berman shared a similar perspective, also calling homelessness the biggest issue facing the state.

Friday, February 14, 2020

At the edge of the City College of San Francisco main campus, there's a small, invisible neighborhood.

Its residents look out for each other, keep the sidewalks clean and sometimes throw quiet dinner parties. They share tools and recipes, help each other out with projects and give a friendly welcome to newcomers.

But of the 60,000-plus students who attend City College, it's likely that many walk through this neighborhood every day without knowing it's there. And that's exactly the point.

"It is a bit of a paradox," Kyle Murphy said. "Create community, keep below the radar."

Murphy is, according to his friends, the unofficial mayor of this small and flourishing neighborhood. Dotting the edge of campus along Frida Kahlo Way, somewhere around a dozen nondescript vans and work trucks are hiding the handcrafted tiny homes of City College students, attending school in the face of San Francisco's record-high rent.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

(CN) – Beginning in mid-March, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin soliciting online responses from California residents, marking the first time the federal agency will use online tools to make its count.

Later, beginning April 1, the enumeration process in California will commence. The stakes for the state are high, as California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said during an event sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California.

“If there is an undercount in California, not only does the state not get the funds we deserve and need, but also our voice in Washington diminishes,” he said.

California officials are increasingly concerned about an undercount.

Many Golden State residents are immigrants, sometimes living with multiple families in a single house, may not speak English proficiently, may be experiencing homelessness or may be under the age of 5 and unable to speak for themselves.

Friday, October 25, 2019

From disaster preparedness tips to free immunizations, this Saturday's Back to School Health Fair in East Palo Alto will offer many local resources to prepare children and families for this school year.

Hosted by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, the free event will provide flu shots plus vision, hearing, dental and Hepatitis B screenings, according to Berman's office. There will also be booths featuring organizations from across the 24th Assembly District that will provide information on local resources such as free legal services, therapy, service support animals and health care providers.

"This is an opportunity for attendees to take full advantage of the resources and services that are available at the health fair," Berman said.