Friday, March 30, 2012

Supporting our Youth Leaders in San Mateo

This month I have been busy supporting our youth leadership in San Mateo.

On March 11, I served as a speaker on local government issues at the San Mateo County Youth Leadership Conference at the College of San Mateo. 

Hosted by the San Mateo County Youth Commission, the day-long conference featured a wide range of topics including discussion of local and national policy issues, and the screening of two youth-created films. 

There was also a free demonstration on self-defense and conflict resolution (see photos below).  The event was brimming with energy!

On March 28, I completed my fourth year as a volunteer teacher with the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) "Speak and Lead Program", which provides a free six-week course to local high school students to improve their public speaking skills. 

With other community leaders, on March 28 we held the final competition for the program and awarded $900 in scholarship money to five worthy students.

The youth in San Mateo are active in our community, and I am proud to support their efforts!

Here are some photos from the two events:

Self-Defense training at the San Mateo County Youth Leadership Conference.

Final speeches at OCA's Speak and Lead Program - March 28

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moving Forward On Sustainability Issues

When I joined the City Council in 2009, I set a modest goal of addressing one sustainability issue per year.  In 2010, the City passed a gray-water recycling ordinance.  In 2011, budget issues precluded our ability to take on any new issues in this area.
However, in only three short months of 2012, I am please to say that with the help of active community leaders, we have made up for lost time!

Already this year, the City Council has given direction to City staff on reworking our out-dated leaf blower ordinance, has joined with the County of San Mateo on drafting a plastic bag ban, and has agreed to implement a comprehensive ban on the use of single-use "polystyrene" containers.

Each of these issues will address a critical environmental issue and help our community make better decisions on reducing our carbon footprint.  At the same time, the City will offer assistance to local businesses and organizations to mitigate the economic impact these sustainable initiative will cause.  We are blessed to live in a community were business leaders embrace the concept of sustainable, long-term economic growth that is environmentally friendly.

The quick movement on these issues was due in large part to the hard work of San Mateo residents who formed a "Cool Cities Team" in partnership with the Sierra Club.  These group of activists reached out to the community and help me in the advocacy of these issue. 

If there are issues that you think are important to the community, I encourage you to contact me so that we can work together to make positive changes to our neighborhoods! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

PLAY BALL! Enjoying San Mateo's Parks Today and Into the Future

As we head into Spring, our local Parks are alive with the sounds of residents of all ages enjoying the great outdoors.  Over the past two weeks, I was thrilled to take part in the opening day festivities of our many youth softball and little league organizations.

On March 3, I attended the opening ceremonies for my daughters' softball league, the San Mateo Youth Softball Association.  Then on March 10, I was invited to throw out the first pitch for the San Mateo National Little League.  Altogether, both leagues engage over 1,000 boys and girls from ages 5-14 in recreational baseball and softball.

Maintaining top-notched parks is a paramount priority for me and our City Staff.  Over the next two years, the City of San Mateo anticipates receiving over $4 million in fees from developers that will be dedicated toward improving our park infrastructure.  These "in-lieu" fees are not taxes, but instead are fees paid by developers of housing and apartment units to help maintain our community infrastructure. 

Our City staff is hard at work with our Parks and Recreation Commission and your City Council to identify the priorities for improving our parks.  You can read the most recent report on this issue here.

If you have any input on this issue, I encourage you to send me an email at

In the meantime, PLAY BALL! 

Here are some photos from my adventures on the baseball field: 

Opening Day at San Mateo Youth Softball Association.

Opening Day San Mateo National Little League

Throwing out the First Pitch at San Mateo National Little League Opening Day!