March 19, 2016

Citizenship Workshop in East Palo Alto

TODAY MY OFFICE held a free Citizenship Workshop at the Costano School & 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto. Hundreds of folks showed up this morning to start the paperwork process to become citizens.

My heartfelt thanks go out to our partner organizations and sponsors because they really helped make this a successful event. Around 40 volunteer lawyers assisted attendees through the process and one of the best parts of today's event was that the $650 fee to process citizenship applications was waived.

Also, a big thank you to Dr. Hernandez-Goff, the Ravenswood School District Superintendent, for allowing us to use the Costano School. It worked out perfectly. We used several classrooms as screening areas and the huge gymnasium was filled with processing stations and volunteers.

This event is the third of its kind in San Mateo County. The first citizenship seminar was held in Daly City with Redwood City being the second location. Just like today, several hundred people showed up at the first two workshops.

A huge shout out to all the volunteers who showed up at 7:30 AM to help the people of our communities.

I am so proud that we were able to organize the Citizenship Workshop and have a hand at making life better for people.

Pretty amazing!

No Electronic Billboards on Highway 280

Interstate 280 is designated as a scenic corridor and therefore - off limits! It is one of the most beautiful transportation corridors and we would never do anything to change that.
The County of San Mateo is considering a feasibility study of potential sites for electronic billboards - and ONLY looking at areas where billboards currently exist near Highway 101.
The Board of Supervisors must still approve the contract for a feasibility study, and, if one or more sites are deemed feasible, make all decisions regarding any potential project.
Ongoing revenue from a possible electronic billboard can be used to pay the capital and ongoing operating costs of projects that benefit our community like the Devil’s Slide Trail and the addition over recent years of about 200 acres to the Parks System.

March 12, 2016

San Mateo County Joins 118 Cities and Counties to File Amicus Brief

AS PART OF Cities for Action, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors joins a broad coalition of cities and counties that are filing a friend-of-the-court or amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas today, urging the Court to overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked President Obama’s executive action on immigration and allow it to move forward.   

The brief, signed by 118 cities and counties representing 35 states, argues that the nationwide injunction blocking implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration should be reversed because it does not consider the harm the injunction imposes on local jurisdictions when it places millions of families in cities and counties at economic and personal risk.   

Locally, six Bay Area counties have signed on to the amicus brief, including San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, Sonoma and San Mateo Counties along with the major municipalities of San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento.   

On Feb. 25, 2016, in closed session to discuss personnel and legal matters, San Mateo County supervisors voted unanimously to join other local governments in support of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. Both programs were created by executive order but were later successfully challenged in court by the state of Texas (joined by 25 other states).  

Together, these two programs provide relief from deportation to about 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since 2010 with children who are citizens or permanent residents or who came to the United States as children and meet certain educational requirements.   

Board President Supervisor Warren Slocum requested that the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors join this action. “It’s rare that our Board weighs in on a Supreme Court brief, but this will have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of 24,000 San Mateo County residents,” Slocum said. “These residents are largely voiceless. It is up to us to express our support for these programs that bring stability to the lives of children and families and strengthen the local economy in our County.”   

Statistics published by the Migration Policy Institute located in Washington D.C. indicate that there are about 16,000 people in San Mateo County that are eligible for the DAPA program and another 8,000 for the DACA program.  

The Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments in the United States v. Texas case beginning April 18, 2016, and likely render a decision in early June.