Amourence Lee · LIKE IT IS with MAYOR LEE
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  • Writer's pictureCouncilwoman Lee

Community Benefits & COVID-19 Response

One of the most concrete ways to fund sustainable and resilient infrastructure improvements is through development projects. Our Council will provide policy direction on community benefits that exceed our City requirements in exchange for greater height (within the existing General Plan provisions).

After a year serving on the 2040 General Plan Subcommittee and actively participating in the Home For All initiative, I’ve heard broad community consensus prioritizing housing and transportation improvements.

I’m excited for the chance to be a voice supporting affordable and workforce housing, as well as multi-modal/sustainable transportation infrastructure. I hope bringing more clarity in this policy area could open up new funding sources for projects like the Bicycle Master Plan.

As I write this, our County’s COVID-19 cases have reached 579 with 13 lives lost. There's an onslaught of information and emotions, and I thought it would be helpful to do a quick recap of our City’s response: 

  • eviction moratorium protecting small businesses and nonprofits

  • rent deferral for commercial tenants in city-owned properties

  • waiving late fees for business license tax paid to the City

  • increasing police patrolling + ranger presence in parks

  • suspending enforcement of the downtown parking meters through the end of the shelter in place order

  • Spanish/English Shelter In Place public education materials + signs 

  • closed all City playgrounds, dog parks, fields + limited to essential services and operations

  • continuing senior food programs, activated CERT for meal deliveries 

  • monitoring childcare needs of essential workers + exploring partnership with SMFCSD

  • formed COVID-19 Policy Sub-committee (Lee, Papan)

We are championing the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown San Mateo Business Association to help connect our businesses to resources and support. A small team of City employees have been reassigned to support outreach to our businesses to collect data on financial impacts and help folks navigate options. The array of loans, grants and other resources is impressive, but we still need to break down barriers by improving language access and broadening eligibility criteria.

The City of San Mateo is a major employer and our staff members are also our Emergency Responders. Where possible we have transitioned staff to telecommute and created rotational schedules to ensure that there’s a second and even a third line workforce if this health crisis worsens. As the demands on our core service agencies multiply, additional City staff could be reassigned to bolster capacity at local nonprofits to meet the increased community needs. 

The courage and dedication of San Mateans is humbling, I'm grateful every day to work along your side.


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