December 21, 2016

Policy Prescriptions for San Mateo County

ONE OF the biggest challenges we face in San Mateo County and especially District 4, is making our exploding local economy work for low-and middle-income workers and households. The county's newly released "Vulnerability Index," clearly shows where the people being left behind reside.

This short guide of policy recommendations, organized into five main goals, is designed to help guide us to accomplish just that by:
  1. Creating more housing choice
  2. Connecting residents to opportunity by providing more transportation choices
  3. Empowering individuals to have a voice in county government
  4. Investing in existing communities through non-profit organizations
  5. Making smarter, more targeted investments in programs that support these goals
It doesn't matter that we have a low county unemployment rate. If you still can't get a job or you watch as your housing costs escalate or opportunities dry up, things aren't working for everyone.

Housing, transportation, and access to education and job opportunities have to be at the top of our action list as we talk about boosting wages, expanding the middle class or providing pathways out of poverty.

These objectives are not cure-alls for all issues. But given the effects of housing and transportation costs on people's checkbooks, expanding economic prosperity, improving lives by improving the communities that we call home and creating opportunities for people to have a high quality of life and build wealth have to be part of the solution.