Edition 3, April 2020
Welcome to the April 2020 edition of Pacifica Voice
In this edition:
- Earth Day and climate interests are shared by Lynn Adams of the Pacific Beach Coalition and Mayor Deirdre Martin,
- Sanchez Art Gallery invites us on a virtual tour
- San Mateo County Legal Aid provides a FAQ sheet on tenant rights related to the County’s emergency ordinance and a tenant/landlord communication form
- The Oversize Vehicle Ordinance is reviewed
- The Pacifica Resource Center updates us on COVID-19 services and resource center hours,
- Community organizations are seeking volunteers and donations during this public health crisis
- The Pacifica Peace People inspire us to plant a Peace Pole
- The Pacifica Progressive Alliance discusses outreach to neighbors in District 1
- 4/22 – EARTH DAY!
- Safe Car Rally from 10 AM – 12 N: Meet at parking lot (1155 Veteran Blvd, Redwood City). We will then caravan together toward the Maguire Jail. Jails and ICE detention have never been safe, and in this public health crisis, people’s lives are at risk for serious illness or even death. To register for this event, contact bit.ly/freethemallSMC
- 4/23 – General meeting PPA, virtual at 7 – 8:30 PM https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/957325888 Or just call in for audio only: (669) 900-6833
- 4/27 – City Council 7 PM
Photos have been contributed by Leo Leon and Mark Hubbell
Pacifica Voice is eager to receive articles on issues important to our community. Please send them to email@example.com for consideration.
Pacifica Beach Coalition and Earth Day
Author Lynn Adams
Pacific Beach Coalition, President
It was with heavy hearts that as of March 14th, the Pacific Beach Coalition cancelled all pending cleanups, Corporate Give Backs and even the Earth Day of Action & EcoFest event scheduled on April 25th until it is deemed a safe activity for the public. And this wasn’t just any year for the Earth Day event, it was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on the planet and it seemed every Pacifica community group was signed up and excited to participate. Our Earth Day plans to celebrate with action, education, and a beautiful EcoFest were thwarted by a disaster affecting each of us and all people around the world.
But, perhaps, there is a silver lining in all of this. Earth Day was founded on the principle that people everywhere need to step up, speak up and take action from their homes and their communities. Maybe this is what we are supposed to do this year. Act up from home, from our neighborhoods? Perhaps we are supposed to take time to green up our lives, from the comfort of our living rooms by turning off the lights, by making green cleaning products, by cooking healthy meals, walking more in our neighborhoods, picking up litter or pulling weeds, gardening, driving less and witnessing the cleaner air. Perhaps this year is a good year to watch an environmental documentary or sign a petition calling for plastic legislation. Perhaps this is a time for us to pay attention to the waste we produce and the plastic we are forced to use even though we don’t want it. Just maybe this is what Earth Day is about – Every person, everywhere pitching in to help this planet that provides us air, water, shelter, and life!
This is the first time in 15 years here in Pacifica that we will not work as a team to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning our city, restoring habitat, and gardening together in groups. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help, that we can’t take action. For this reason, the Pacific Beach Coalition created an Earth Month Challenge and is calling on all citizens and all supporters of the PBC to sign up today to celebrate Earth Day all month and every day we hope. We can all do multiple Green Acts from our home and in our neighborhood to benefit the planet. And if we do it for this month perhaps it will be something we do every day – because in the end, every day should be EARTH DAY.
Doing a Green Act is easy. It can be as small as turning off your lights more often to removing all the non-native plants from your front/back yard. We hope you will feel inspired and will take the pledge because we are sure excited to see what kind of Green Acts you decide to take!
Happy Earth Day to one and all – please take part today and every day because the ocean and planet need you.
Take the Earth Month challenge with the Pacific Beach Coalition
Climate Emergency 2020
Author Deirdre Martin
As part of a press event for Elected Officials to Protect California (EOPC), I wrote an op-ed along with Ramona du Houx, Coordinator with EOPC back in December of 2019. It was rejected from a few newspapers and not didn’t go very far. I will share it today with you to celebrate Earth Day.
Pacifica is nestled between the mountains and the ocean but winds carrying pollutants still reach us, worsening our air quality. We know this all too well during fire season. On clear days or rainy ones, the air we breathe endangers our health.
An alarming U.N. report stated that drastic action is the only way to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We need rapid, unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The State of California has set a target of 2045 to be carbon-free in our energy stream. That would be too late to revert a lot of the devastating effects of climate change. It’s a snail’s pace. Administrations change over time. There is no guarantee we’d stay the course.
With predicted sea level rise affecting all coastal communities, fire seasons are becoming more dangerous throughout California, and with greenhouse gas emissions increasing it is high time we acted. I call on Governor Gavin Newsom to take dramatic action to phase out all fossil fuels now.
I stand with 307 Elected Officials to Protect California who are calling on the governor to end permits for new oil and gas wells, implement a 2,500-foot human health and safety buffer zone around all fossil fuel production sites and commit the state to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
San Mateo County declared a climate emergency, I urge Governor Newsom to do the same for the entire state.
I became involved in city politics through my environmental passions and desire to make the world a better place today—for tomorrow. Through the Pacifica Climate Committee, I started to work on initiatives that would help advance our climate action plan. Such actions included support of use of clean energy, advocacy of streamlined public transit and bike and pedestrian opportunities as well as local tree maintenance and tree planting.
Our sustainability as a city is dependent on the sustainability of our environment.
Every time I surf, I come out of the water with at least one piece of trash that I just couldn’t leave floating by. This shouldn’t be our new normal. Microplastics have become an issue for coastal cities and the entire world. This is why, since 2008, I’ve been working with the Pacific Beach Coalition (PBC) to help keep our beaches, oceans and streets clean. I believe we have the power to change it. PBC hosts cleanups on a weekly basis and always encourages more citizen involvement.
2020 Left Coast Annual Juried Exhibition
Sponsor: Sanchez Art Center
The 2020 Left Coast Annual Exhibition is juried by Carin Adams, Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum of California.
The Exhibition was scheduled to open at Sanchez Art Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. As the world turned upside down with the spread of COVID-19, it became clear that the exhibition would not be able to take place in-person as communities responded to shelter-in-place orders to protect public health. Artists and Sanchez Art Center staff pivoted to create this first show in our new virtual galleries.
One of the great functions of visual art is the opportunity it provides to take viewers to new places, filling the need in our souls to grow and to look at the world through a different set of eyes. Adams has put together an exhibition that fills the need.
Navigate the galleries, enjoy a leisurely “stroll” through the gallery of 50 pieces by 49 selected artists and sign-up below for an invitation to our virtual Juror’s Talk and Artist Gallery Walk Sunday, April 26, 3 – 5pm on the The 2020 Left Coast Annual Exhibition website.
SAN MATEO COUNTY EMERGENCY EVICTION MORATORIUM
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
On March 24, 2020, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously enacted an emergency eviction moratorium to temporarily protect tenants from being displaced from their homes during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The emergency eviction moratorium protects eligible tenants against COVID-19 related nonpayment of rent and no-fault evictions. Please read these FAQs for more detailed information on the emergency eviction moratorium, who is protected, and how eligible tenants should make delayed payments in accordance with the law. Click here to download and read the answers to:
- Who is an “eligible tenant” protected by this emergency eviction moratorium?
- I lost income as a result of COVID-19. How do I inform my landlord that I am unable to pay my rent?
- What kind of documentation do I need to provide my landlord to demonstrate that I cannot pay the rent as a result of COVID-19, and when do I need to provide it? Click to download fillable form to notify landlord
- If I am an eligible tenant, do I still have to pay my rent?
- If I am an eligible tenant and have to make a Delayed Payment, can my landlord charge me late fees?
- Does this emergency eviction moratorium apply everywhere in San Mateo County?
- I live in a garage, rent a room, or live in an illegal rental unit. Does this emergency eviction moratorium protect me?
- I received a no-fault eviction notice from my landlord prior to March 24, 2020. Am I protected by this emergency eviction moratorium?
- When does this emergency eviction moratorium take effect?
- What do I do if my landlord violates the emergency eviction moratorium and tries to evict me?
- Who can I contact for assistance?
If your landlord has served you with an eviction notice or initiated eviction proceedings against you, please contact us right away:
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Adopt, Effect, Implement: the Stages of the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance – and Why It Matters
Author Suzanne Moore
Homelessness is identified as one of the most significant issues to Californians. It was not surprising that homelessness was identified as a major concern in Pacifica’s 2019 goal setting. A month prior, San Mateo County had participated in the biennial homeless count; and although survey results didn’t come out until summer 2019, Pacifica was concerned about perceived (and later proven) increase in RV/ motorhome homelessness.
In February 2019, the new Pacifica City Council was prepared to take on a motorhome ban; but concerned Pacificans caught the ear of Council member O’Neill. The community then addressed Council in February 2019, relayed preliminary survey data which identified Pacifica’s vehicularly housed as neighbors with strong ties to Pacifica, and suggested time to develop a safe parking program. Council members O’Neill sided with members Bier and Martin, and Council approved a community task force for further study of Pacifica’s unhoused.
Pacificans were concerned about homelessness well before 2019. In 2016, the Pacifica Resource Center had a feasibility study for rotational shelters, but efforts to attract shelter hosts stalled.
When 2019 homeless count results were released San Mateo County was startled by a 127% increase in RV/motorhome unhoused. The County called for a fall survey to better identify demographics and cause for the increase.
The Unhoused in Pacifica Task Force met for the first time in August 2019. The Task Force, a group of 11 volunteers from diverse backgrounds, was charged to study Pacifica’s homelessness and prepare recommendations for City Staff and Council. By November, the Task Force held a City Forum to gather viewpoints of Pacifica residents; and on December 9th, the Task Force presented their preliminary findings at City Council.
City Council never agendized that initial Task Force report. Leaving the report of data on homelessness and Forum resident viewpoints unaddressed, Council voted on an Oversize Vehicle Ordinance which they adopted at a second reading in January, 2020. The effective date of the Ordinance, March 31st, allowed time for City Staff to return to Council with details of the Ordinance.
City Staff intended to present Ordinance details to Council on 3/23/20 prior to the effective date. The Task Force, faith community, and Pacifica Resource Center drafted a pilot parking permit program. City Staff intended to incorporate the pilot draft into their presentation. It was hoped that Council would recognize the community effort and delay the Ordinance effective date until the pilot was in place. The 3/23/20 Council meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 shelter-in- place directives. The Oversize Vehicle Ordinance went into effect – without presentation by City Staff, without Task Force pilot study details, and without public feedback.
Of course, it would have been possible for Council to have voted to delay the effective date until a time when Council, Staff, and the public could again meet face to face. Mayor Deirdre Martin asked staff for an emergency Council meeting to make that vote possible. It did not occur.
According to City Manager, Kevin Woodhouse, implementation of the Ordinance will likely not occur until September. This does not negate that Council chose to adopt, effect, and initiate implementation of this Ordinance without the data and community input gathered by the City’s own community task force.
WHY SHOULD THIS MATTER?
The Task Force report provides very useful information to the City:
- it identified that Pacifica’s homeless have strong ties to our community, the majority are working (prior to shelter in place), over age 50, and priced out of their former housing,
- it identified major concerns of Pacificans around health and safety issues,
- and it proposed solutions of a case-management based program which would vet/identify program participants, provide necessary services including waste management, and assist participants in finding stable housing.
At the November Task Force Forum, the majority of attendees voiced their desire for a safe parking program to precede an ordinance which may displace motor homes. COVID-19 ramps up the urgency for vehicularly-housed programs since public health identifies our homeless at greater risk during this pandemic.
We know the need is urgent, many homeless are willing to participate according to Resource Center staff, and workable solutions are already in place in other communities. The County and State have earmarked monies to assist communities.
Implementation of the Ordinance has a direct impact on our motorhome unhoused, and it needs to be coupled with a safe parking program. Please contact City Council to support a parking program prior to enforcement of the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance.
COVID-19 Updates and Information from our Local Core Agency
Pacifica Resource Center
Pacifica Resource Center is available to assist our community with essential services, including groceries, housing assistance, and other critical services during the COVID-19 shelter in place order by the San Mateo County Health Official. They have modified service delivery to minimize contact in the community and encourage you to reach out if you need help or would like to help during this time.
To minimize the need to leave home for groceries, PRC will deliver groceries to your home weekly. Please call 650-738-7470 to sign up for grocery delivery (Pacifica residents only). Groceries will be pre packed by staff and volunteers following safe food handling procedures, frequent hand washing, regularly sanitizing surface areas, and social distancing measures.
Applications for housing and other financial assistance will be provided and accepted electronically, whenever possible. Interviews will be conducted by phone. If you need help preparing the application or cannot do it electronically, PRC will complete it over the phone with you.
Community support is core to PRC’s ability to do this work. Whether you contribute financially or with groceries/other items (gift cards, toiletries, diapers, etc.) that they provide regularly to the Pacifica families they serve, all of it is welcome and appreciated. Make a contribution to PRC at www.pacresourcecenter.org/give.
Current needs: Diapers Size 5, 6 & 7, Baby Wipes, Peanut Butter, and Jam or Jelly.
PRC Modified Office Hours:
- Mon 9:00a-12:30p (office open) and 1:30-3:30 (by phone only)
- Tues 9:00a-12:30p (office open) and 1:30-3:30 (by phone only)
- Wed 10:30a-12:30 (by phone only) and 1:30-7:00p (office open)
- Thurs 10:30a-12:30 (by phone only) and 1:30-5:00p (office open)
- Fri 9:00a-1:00p (office open)
Pacifica Resource Center provides economic security services in Pacifica for Pacifica families. Since 1974, PRC has worked with local businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout Pacifica to provide support to our neighbors in need. PRC is the only core agency in San Mateo County that provides these services to Pacificans struggling to make ends meet. Last year, PRC served 1 in 10 Pacifica families annually, helping them feed their families, avoid homelessness, and become more economically stable. Visit pacresourcecenter.org for more info. Make a contribution to PRC today at pacresourcecenter.org/give.
For more information about PRC’s response to COVID-19, including fundraising and volunteer opportunities, please email PRC Development Coordinator Robby Bancroft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO HELP OUT IN THIS PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS?
Donations are needed:
- See the article from the Pacifica Resource Center (pacresourcecenter.org)
- Second Harvest Food Bank (shfb.org)
- ALAS services of Half Moon Bay supporting youth, families, and farmworkers PLUS – Bay Area Border Relief in partnership with ALAS (Ayudando Latinos a Soñar) and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation have launched a care campaign #BreathOfLife #RespiroDeVida provides FREE masks to coastside farmworkers and essential workers (alashmb.org)
- LifeMoves serving homeless shelters in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (lifemoves.org)
- Spring Street Shelter of Redwood City provides meals for clients in shelter and supportive housing (mhasmc.org)
Volunteers are needed:
- San Mateo County Volunteers email SMC_Volunteers@smcgov.org
- Samceda (San Mateo County Economic Development Association) samceda.org and scroll to volunteer opportunities
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Pacific Beach Coalition
Planting Peace Poles all over Pacifica!
Author Delia McGrath
A wonderful new project for peace is in the making from Pacifica Peace People. We will soon invite you — peace lovers, peace makers, and all who yearn for peace in our world — to join us in the planting of Peace Poles everywhere. Literally. This announcement in Pacifica Voice is to give you advance notice that details of this project will be coming soon.
Let me introduce you to Peace Poles. Many of you have seen the beautiful 6 foot Peace Pole, planted and dedicated on MLK’s birthdate January 15, 2020 at Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School on Palmetto Ave. Pacifica Peace People sponsored this with the generous cooperation of Principal Daniel Lyttle, staff and with the involvement of students.
Students and Principal, IBL School, Jan 15, 2020
Models of Peace Poles from World Peace Sanctuary
The IBL Peace Pole was purchased from World Peace Sanctuary. Its message on the IBL Peace Pole “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” was written in 4 different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog and Cantonese.
Pacifica Peace People is happy to promote this project in our town. Let’s join together in planting these beautiful symbols of peace throughout our city — Pacifica — the name itself is intimately connected to the word PEACE. More information will be forthcoming — letting you know how you can become part of this. Our project will focus on planting peace poles on September 21, 2020 as we celebrate International Peace Day in our home town.
PACIFICA PROGRESSIVE VOLUNTEERS REACH OUT TO NEIGHBORS TO ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Author Gloria Stofan
In February and March, volunteers from PPA walked neighborhoods in District 1 to introduce themselves and encourage residents to attend an April 16th community meeting. Covid-19 and the shelter-in-place public health recommendations interrupted plans, and the MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELED.
While talking with neighbors, our volunteers heard many stories. Chief among them was a desire to create a greater sense of community, with one resident of 3 generations reporting she knows so very few of her neighbors. “It didn’t use to be like this,” she said, and she expressed an interest to meet others who feel the same.
Housing costs and neighborhood parking problems were equally important issues to residents who spoke with volunteers. Residents seemed to feel that the issues were connected, that increased rents and mortgages require more breadwinners to live at an address. Some folks felt that their neighborhoods were also being used by commuters who park there for a workday or longer. Neighbors agreed that the parking problem impacted their quality of life.
Obviously, we all will need to wait until our public health experts once again feel it is safe to gather. Until that time, we encourage neighbors to visit the City of Pacifica website and stay informed. Please join the virtual meeting for Pacifica Progressive Alliance on 4/23/20.
PPA will post when a community meeting for District 1 can be rescheduled.