The county poet laureate read, a housing group presented a giant “thank you” card and new Board of Supervisors President Warren Slocum sought the top spot for San Mateo County in California on the social progress index.

“Our goal ought to be to replace Marin,” Slocum said.

He spoke at Tuesday’s reorganization meeting held by the Board of Supervisors and cited San Mateo County’s fourth place ranking on the index that measures social and environmental needs. Marin County is at the top of the list.

Slocum said that for the last 80 years people bought into the idea that a strong economy was the ultimate compass. Equity requires asking how many residents share in prosperity and have basic needs for survival, Slocum said.

“We live at the center of one of the richest economies in the world,” he said.

Embrace the social progress index as a “new equity scorecard,” urged the board president, who also spoke about the moral obligation to end homelessness.

He thanked other county supervisors for their contributions on issues including sea level rise and climate change.

Slocum referred to the almost 5,800 county employees and noted the Silicon Valley economy results in the lowest unemployment rate in the United States.

“The Peninsula is a special place,” he said. “Our best days lie ahead of us.”

Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice said Tuesday that she agrees with Slocum and applauds his remarks about equity, which Rice listened to on the San Mateo County website.

“We all have to have our eye on this ball of equity,” Rice said.

The Marin County supervisor added that three women serve on the board there, while Carole Groom is the lone female supervisor in San Mateo.

Adding more women in San Mateo might bump up the county’s social progress index and its goal of overtaking Marin, Rice said.

At the board meeting Tuesday, Aileen Cassinetto, poet laureate for San Mateo County, read “Census for a New Decade” that refers to a North Fair Oaks family member who walks “to the brightly colored torta shop on Middlefield Road.”

“And Sundays after church, she takes her family to the park,” the poem continues in part.

“On Census Day, she will be counted with the dignity of the uninvisible.”

Alex Melendrez of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County presented supervisors with an oversized thank you card signed for affordable housing developers, residents and others. Melendrez called 2019 a landmark year for affordable housing in the county.

County supervisors gave outgoing board president Carole Groom a gift certificate to the Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.

Supervisor David Canepa was selected as board vice president.

VRS Catering Connection in San Carlos, part of Vocational Rehabilitation Services by the county, provided fruit and pastries at a reception following the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Cost for the catered food and beverages, along with delivery, was $706.

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(3) comments

Craig

2019 was also a year of people -- including elderly -- sitting in their homes, reading Nextdoor, and wondering and worrying about crime waves including break-ins, opportunistic robberies that leverage criminal fencing networks, people wandering onto properties late at night, package / mail thefts, etc. Please highlight a balanced experience. It's thoughtful and honest, as well as transparent.

Christopher Conway

That is one scary group of county supervisors. We citizens in this county are going to have to keep a close eyes on these five people. Whenever politicians talk "equity" you can be sure one group of society will be penalized to benefit another group.

Pacman

I heard Chick-fil-A sent over a gift card to mark Canepa's selection as VP of the board.

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