The following was provided by Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia
I’m honored that West County residents have given me the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Our accomplishments together demonstrate that government can play a positive role in making communities healthier, safer and stronger.
I’m a stronger leader thanks to many others, including my constituents and the valuable partnerships on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, and California Air Resources Board.
Here are some of our accomplishments in 2017:
WE PROTECTED THE TAXPAYER AND THE COUNTY’S FISCAL HEALTH
We saved taxpayers money by passing a structurally balanced budget for the 7th year in a row, increasing the County’s reserves to its highest ever — over $440 million. Our strong fiscal management helped us maintain a AAA bond rating, which is the highest possible rating.
We protected current and future taxpayers by reducing our retiree health unfunded liability by 75% over the last 10 years.
WE IMPROVED THE HEALTH OF OUR RESIDENTS
We’re making healthcare more accessible and affordable by providing health coverage to more families than ever before (about 200,000) through our successful Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act. We’re also fighting to save the Affordable Care Act so patients don’t lose this vital coverage.
We’re improving the health of immigrant families by supporting Contra Costa CARES — a health plan that now serves nearly 3,000 individuals regardless of immigration status and will soon expand to serve 4,400 people. I helped lead this effort.
We’re making it easier for County residents to understand a restaurant’s food safety record by requiring restaurants to post a health grade placard.
We’re protecting our County’s public health from tobacco addiction by passing a new law which prohibits the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and prohibits new tobacco retailers from opening within 500 feet of existing tobacco retailers.
We’re saving the lives of heart attack victims by increasing the number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, senior centers and other public locations to 1,200, increasing the number of police officers who carry AEDs, and expanding CPR training throughout our County. My father died of cardiac arrest, so I personally know the importance of AEDs.
We helped increase vital urgent care services for West County residents by supporting the operation of a non-profit urgent care center in San Pablo.
We’re making healthcare more accessible by providing telephone health advice to nearly 300,000 callers regardless of insurance status through the County’s 24/7 Advice Nurse Unit.
We’re making our air healthier and more breathable by adopting the toughest standards in the nation to reduce toxic pollution from Bay Area businesses and industry.
We’re improving the health of nearly 14,000 lower income residents and reducing their costs of care through our new Whole Person Care initiative helping families deal with unmet social needs which impact their health.
We helped those suffering from substance abuse by expanding medical treatment to these individuals through our Section 115 Medi-Cal Demonstration Waiver program.
WE IMPROVED PUBLIC SAFETY
We’re improving and modernizing fire and emergency medical services, including building a new County fire station in San Pablo.
We’ve improved medical outcomes for 911 emergency care patients by making ambulance response times faster, coordinating ambulance services with our County’s fire system, and increasing the number of available ambulances.
We’re decreasing violence, reducing incarceration and strengthening communities through the efforts of our new County Office of Reentry & Justice by improving housing, job training, mentoring and family re-unification services for individuals leaving jail.
We’re making communities safer and reducing criminal recidivism by helping formerly incarcerated residents get stable housing and employment through the expanded support services at our one-stop Reentry Success Center in Richmond.
We protected children from exploitation and helped hundreds of victims of human trafficking and domestic violence through our strengthened Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse, a partnership between law enforcement, County departments and community organizations.
We protected victims of domestic and sexual violence by expanding our one-stop Family Justice Centers in Richmond and Concord, and strengthened our Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse.
We’re reducing the potential for accidental drug overdoses, and helping protect our watersheds, by passing a new law requiring drug manufacturers to develop and fund a plan for collecting unused pharmaceutical medicines, keeping them out of homes and landfills.
We’re improving our county’s ability to respond to emergencies and disasters by building a new County Emergency Operations Center.
We’re reducing jail incarceration through our new Public Defender’s Office program to provide immediate legal help for persons with minor misdemeanor offenses so they can qualify for safe alternatives to unnecessary incarceration.
We’re protecting homes and saving lives from fires by supporting the Red Cross with home fire alarm installations in West County.
WE MADE THE COUNTY AND BAY AREA MORE SUSTAINABLE
We’re making San Francisco Bay cleaner, improving shoreline access, and increasing wetlands through a Bay Area voter approved Measure AA which provides $500 million for Bay improvements. I helped lead this effort as Vice-Chair of the S.F. Bay Restoration Authority.
We’re expanding our county’s sustainability efforts through the leadership of our newly formed citizen’s Sustainability Commission and our new county Sustainability Coordinator.
We made it easier for County residents to finance home energy and water conservation upgrades through our new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
We’re making our local electricity less expensive and more renewable by joining MCE Clean Energy and bringing Community Choice Energy to more County residents.
We’re saving enough energy to power 76 homes per year after converting 7,210 county maintained street lights from high pressure sodium to LED, which reduced energy use and greenhouse gases by nearly 70%.
We made our neighborhoods, creeks and Bay shoreline cleaner by sponsoring our 27th annual Richmond shoreline cleanup and numerous other neighborhood community cleanups throughout West County.
We’re making local energy cleaner and more renewable by requiring developers to install solar panels to meet the electricity needs of their buildings in North Richmond.
We made our air healthier and saved money by using cleaner fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles in our County fleet, and using more renewable energy to power our County buildings.
We’re building environmental stewardship and increasing healthy eating opportunities for youth by building an urban farm in North Richmond with our non-profit partner Urban Tilth.
We’re protecting Bay Area residents and businesses from flooding through an action plan to protect our vulnerable shorelines from sea-level rise — work I’m helping lead as a member of the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
We’re making it easier and faster for residents to get their home solar projects approved through our new electronic plan review.
We’re making California’s air healthier, saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making our energy cleaner and more renewable by passing the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) new blueprint to fight climate change. I’m the Bay Area’s representative on CARB and helped develop this plan.
WE ARE INCREASING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
We’re helping hundreds of families move into stable affordable housing by providing funding assistance to build or rehabilitate nearly 500 affordable housing units in El Cerrito, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond and other cities.
We’re working to make it easier for West County teachers and school employees to afford to live in our community through the efforts of our new Teacher Housing Task Force which is exploring opportunities to develop affordable housing.
We’ve made it easier to increase our affordable housing supply by passing a new zoning law making it simpler and faster to add a second unit to your house.
WE SUPPORTED OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH TO HELP THEM SUCCEED
We improved the well-being of 330 low-income North Richmond children by providing free school uniform sweatshirts and books to every student at Verde Elementary School.
We’re increasing opportunities for Richmond students through our innovative new Neighborhood Transformation partnership between the County, Richmond and school district to expand and better coordinate our services to families with children at DeJean Middle School.
We helped over 2,500 West County teens be more successful in school and life through enhanced services at the RYSE Youth Center and supporting the academic, social, and health needs of youth impacted by violence.
We improved the health of teenagers by expanding clinics at several schools to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services. All West County high schools now have health services available to their students.
We’re improving the health of 1,300 children regardless of immigration status by enrolling them in our Contra Costa Health Plan for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits.
We supported the nutritional needs of thousands of lower-income children by serving over 700,000 healthy meals to our Head Start preschoolers, including fresh fruits and vegetables, organic breads and low-fat milk.
We helped children and their families practice environmental stewardship and take charge of their health by supporting the Mira Vista School Garden Program where students nurture the soil, care for plants, conserve water and eat healthy food.
We’re helping young children become healthier through our award-winning pediatric obesity management program which educates families about obesity and assists them in living a healthier lifestyle.
We’re supporting the health and nutritional needs of pregnant moms and their young babies by building a new and expanded Women, Infant and Children Center in San Pablo.
We’re protecting teenagers’ health from tobacco addiction by passing a new law prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries, and youth centers and prohibiting new tobacco retailers from opening within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries and youth centers.
We’re educating 2,500 young children in our high quality Head Start Pre-Schools, and making it possible for lower-income families to work while their children are in a safe learning environment.
We’re improving the dental health of 400 children in our county run pre-schools, many seeing a dentist for the first time.
WE SUPPORTED OUR MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES
We’re helping families stay together through our newly created Stand Together Contra Costa program, which provides rapid legal and support services to immigrant families at risk of deportation.
We’re helping people suffering from serious mental illness through our Laura’s Law initiative, which provides assisted outpatient treatment.
We helped low-income families become more self-sufficient by strengthening our pre-school programs and expanding school-based financial literacy and parenting classes.
We’re helping the homeless through our new Health, Housing and Homeless Services Division’s efforts to more effectively provide County services, and to better partner with school districts, housing providers, law enforcement and social service agencies.
We’re protecting 245 families in North Richmond from flooding by strengthening the levees on San Pablo and Wildcat Creeks.
We improved the quality of life for thousands of County veterans and their families by helping them obtain $18 million in life-changing benefits, and reducing the time it takes for vets to access their benefits.
We helped hundreds of low-income families make energy and cost saving home improvements with funding from our County’s Weatherization and Neighborhood Preservation Programs.
We helped thousands of low-income individuals get employment, housing, health, training, and other supportive services by funding agencies that provide these vital services.
We’re improving parks, senior and childcare centers, and other non-profit facilities that serve our most vulnerable residents by providing financial assistance for these improvements.
We’re helping lower-income families afford cleaner and non-polluting cars through a California Air Resources Board program which provides grants and low-interest loans to Bay Area residents, including Richmond families.
We created a pathway for people with developmental disabilities to get regular County jobs with a new employment program, the Bridge to Success; an action I led.
We are decreasing homelessness through a new streamlined service delivery initiative to enhance collaboration among non-profits, faith-based and government providers of homeless services.
We’re supporting financially challenged families by reducing the time it takes them to collect child support on court orders through our innovative services, which have been recognized by the state.
WE INCREASED CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
We increased participation in our elections by making voting easier through the establishment of early voting sites and ballot drop-off locations throughout the County.
We’re making it easier for East Richmond Heights residents to be civically engaged by creating a new Municipal Advisory Council to improve county-community communication and responsiveness.
WE SUPPORTED EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS FOR ALL RESIDENTS
We made our criminal justice system better reflect our county’s rich diversity by appointing Judge Diana Becton as the first female and first African-American District Attorney in our county’s history.
We’re making our justice system fairer and more responsive through the efforts of our new citizens’ Racial Justice Task Force which is developing recommendations to reduce racial disparities in the county’s justice system; an action I spearheaded.
We decreased economic burdens on 11,000 families by permanently stopping the unfair collection of costly fees charged to parents of youth in Juvenile Hall and on electronic monitoring, which disproportionately impacted African-American and Latino families. We’re also the first county to refund unjustly collected juvenile justice fees. I’m proud to have led this effort.
We provided high quality culturally sensitive healthcare to LGBTQ patients, getting recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a national leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.
WE SUPPORTED THE HARD WORK OF OUR COUNTY EMPLOYEES
We helped our county employees pay for increased healthcare costs and fairly increased employees’ wages under new labor contracts.
We’re improving the skills and effectiveness of our county physicians by investing in our Family Residency Program which was named one of the best programs in the U.S.
We’re supporting our county employees’ career opportunities and helping them more effectively serve our residents through an innovative local professional development program.
WE ARE MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES HEALTHIER AND STRONGER
We improved street safety and walkability in El Sobrante by building new, wider sidewalks, planting trees and bushes, and improving drainage along San Pablo Dam Road, and designing new sidewalks and bike lanes on Appian Way.
We expanded and improved library services by opening a new and larger County library in San Pablo.
We increased park and recreational opportunities by building a new environmentally friendly park at the El Sobrante Library and completing new upgrades to Montalvin Park.
We protected neighborhoods from the unsightly placement of cell phone towers through a new countywide Wireless Facilities Ordinance regulating the location of telecommunications equipment.
We’re increasing community safety and health by improving lighting and creating no parking zones in North Richmond to discourage criminal activity.
We’re beautifying neighborhoods through community volunteer projects to paint and restore buildings, like the Rancho Market effort in North Richmond.
WE ARE IMPROVING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR RESIDENTS
We’re expanding our County’s economic opportunities by creating a new Economic Development Coordinator position to attract job producing businesses and streamline the permitting process to operate.
We’re increasing job opportunities for West County residents by approving permits to build new business developments in North Richmond.
We’re expanding opportunities for clean energy jobs by requiring MCE Clean Energy to hire Contra Costa residents for its local energy development projects.
We’re improving Contra Costa’s ability to attract well-paying new jobs in bio-tech, clean energy, food processing, bio-medical, and clean manufacturing through our Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative.
WE’RE SUPPORTING THE NEEDS OF OUR SENIORS
We improved the nutritional health of over 2,200 homebound and at-risk seniors by supporting Meals on Wheels and our Senior Nutrition Program in providing daily meals, and serving the 5 millionth subsidized meal since the program started in 1990.
We preserved services for seniors by saving the North Richmond Senior Center from closure by re-structuring its operations and expanding its funding.
Thanks for your help.