Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Self-Help for the Elderly: 20 Years of Service to Seniors in San Mateo

Last weekend I was honored to be the host for the 20th anniversary luncheon celebrating Self-Help for the Elderly's presence in San Mateo's Central Park providing hot meals, health care, and social activities for seniors in San Mateo County.

Self-Help for the Elderly is a non-profit organization founded in 1966 in San Francisco to provide core social services to seniors.  In 1992, Rossalyn Koo and other community leaders worked with then Councilmembers Jerry Hill and Claire Mack to bring Self-Help's mission to San Mateo Central Park. 

The Central Park recreation center, which in 1992 was slated for closure due to budget issues and declining use, is today a vibrant hub of activity seven days a week for over 1,000 senior per year.  Hot meals every day and free health care screenings tell only part of the story.  At any given time, you might find yoga classes, singing lessons. or ballroom dancing taking place with senior as "young" as 65, to as old as 98! 

This past Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the center's opening, Self-Help honored all the Mayors of San Mateo from 1992 to the present.  As Deputy Mayor, it was my honor to host this very special event.  Besides acting as emcee of the event, I was glad to help serve over 200 meals to those seniors in attendance!

Congratulations to Self-Help for the Elderly on 20 years in San Mateo, and I look forward to another 20 years!

Here are some photos from the event:

Serving meals to the senior at the 20th anniversary luncheon.

Hosting the 20th Anniversary Event at Self-Help for the Elderly

Honoring San Mateo Mayors (L-R):  John Lee, Jack Matthews, Brandt Grotte,
Jan Epstein, Claire Mack, and Carole Groom!

One of the many great performances from the 20th Anniversay Luncheon for Self-Help for the Elderly:  The Chinese Youth Symphony.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lion Dance Festival - Downtown San Mateo

This weekend, in conjuction with the Downtown San Mateo Association and Self-Help for the Elderly, I was honored to host the third annual Lion Dance Festival in Downtown San Mateo.
The festival featured performances and exhibitions from Downtown San Mateo merchants including the Shaolin Cultural Center, Talbot’s Toys, Kaiser Permanente, Fletch’s Hot Dogs, and Kaffeehaus CafĂ©. 

Over 300 people attended the free event, with kids taking home goodies from the various booths.  While gray skies threatened all day, the rain never came, and festival-go'ers enjoyed a festive, fun atmosphere!

Hosted by principal sponsors East West Bank, U.S. Bank, and the Peninsula Regent, and organized by the Downtown San Mateo Association, the event also raised $2,000 for Self-Help for the Elderly, a non-profit organization that provides hot meals and health and wellness activities to over 1,000 Bay Area senior, including a large number at their facility in San Mateo Central Park. 

Here are some photos from the event.  See you next year!

Lion dancers perform for the crowd.

Students from Shaolin Cultural Center (217 S. Claremont St., San Mateo)
show off their skills to the audience!

Lion Dance drummer get the crowd pumped up!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Congratulations to New Planning Commissioner Joshua Hugg

At last night's Council meeting, the Council appointed Joshua Hugg to the Planning Commission. 

Josh has served as a Commissioner on the city's Community Relations Commission for the past three years, and works for the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.  Josh has been active in the community, and we look forward to his talents being brought to bear in making planning decisions that will help our community for years to come.

The process to fill the Planning Commission seat saw an unprecedented interest by residents of San Mateo.  Eleven individuals applied to fill the seat, all of them extremely well-qualified and dedicated to public service in San Mateo. 

Josh fills a seat made vacant by the election of Maureen Freschet to the City Council in November. 

Joshua Hugg - San Mateo's New Planning Commissioner!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

San Mateo City Council Goal Setting Session

On February 15, 2012 the City Council will meet to set the goals and priorities for the upcoming legislative year for the City of San Mateo.
Over the past year, I have worked tirelessly to meet with as many of you as possible to listen to your ideas about how we can improve our City for everyone. In the Fall, I hosted two successful "City Council UNPLUGGED" meetings at the main library, where Councilmembers, City staff, and the public met informally to discuss the future of our City.

Being a Councilmember means listening to all of you and turning your ideas in comprehensive legislation that can move our City forward. 

Based on my discussions with residents from all corners of the City, I plan ask the City Council and City Staff to focus on the following areas in the coming year:

  • DOWNTOWN PARKING: A review of our downtown parking inventory, with emphasis on it's the impact on residential neighborhoods in the area and the ability of senior to park, eat and shop in our Downtown.

  • LEAFBLOWERS: A review of our current leaf blower ordinance, with a focus on noise and emissions pollution.

  • SINGLE-USE BAGS & CONTAINERS: Support for a ban on single-use bags and containers that make sense to local small-business owners. 

  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Creation of a comprehensive plan for economic development throughout our City, with an emphasis on drawing retail, technology, and performing arts businesses to our Downtown.

If you have already been part of our discussions, THANK YOU for your participation, and I welcome your continued input as we move forward on these and other issues.

If you have yet to weigh in on these issues, I encourage you to contact me and share your wisdom and input with me.