Edition 1, January 2021

Welcome to the January 2021 edition of Pacifica Voice.

In this edition follow link to articles:

  1. Former Mayor Deirdre Martin sends New Year greetings.
  2. Carolyn Jaramillo suggests 1/6/21 is a teachable moment.
    1. Pacifica Housing 4 All calls for support of moratorium extension.
    2. Human Investment Project (HIP) Housing update
    3. BIG WAVE: Supportive Disability Housing.
    1. Cindy Abbott invites us to an environmental art exhibit to create a safe space for discourse.
    2. Lynn Adams writes about beach access.
    3. Rick Nahass discusses seamless transit.
    4. Responsible City Planning: hear from CPUP.
    1. Equitable recovery after COVID by Suzanne Moore.
    2. COVID vaccines reviewed by Sarah Wright
    1. Daly City Black Lives Matter: press release and request for mental health investment.
    2. Pacifica’s Social Unity Project calls for social justice.
    3. Fascism & White Supremacy: Not Here by Deeg Gold.
    4. A call in support of conscientious objectors from Peace Action San Mateo.
    5. World Social Justice Day: join PPP and PSJ
    6. Pacifica Peace Pole Project: An event held at St. Edmund’s


CALENDAR Month Events:

  • MON 1/25 7:00 PM City Council
  • TH 2/4 5 PM RSVP for February 4th Beach Blvd Infrastructure Resiliency Project (BBIRP) Workshop
  • MON 2/8 7:00 PM City Council
  • TU 2/16 7:00 PM Planning Commission on Cape Breton
  • MON 2/22 7:00 PM City Council
  • Sanchez Art Gallery Special Exhibit 2/12 – 3/21/21 in the East Gallery – Creating Space for Fear-Free Conversation Around Sea Level Rise. By appt Thu-Sun: also check the virtual tours.


Photos have been contributed by Leo Leon, Mark Hubbell and Deb Wong

Pacifica Voice is eager to receive articles on issues important to our community. Please send them to editors@pacificavoice.us for consideration.

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Things are looking up!
Author Deidre Martin, Pacifica Mayor, 2020

2021 is a great year! I hope this year finds you all in a better place – one of hope and health and positive thoughts and energies for our future.

With the vaccine being actively distributed, I feel more optimistic than ever! I feel hopeful that come September, our children might be able to be back in school and we will be able to visit grandparents and friends alike without the fear of infection.

With the Trump administration gone, I feel as if a giant weight has been lifted off my chest. Sanity has finally been restored to our government and we now have a positive path forward with lots of work to do at all levels.

Locally, we have a 5 person council, 4 of whom have been working together for 2 years. I am hopeful that the newest member of the council will listen and recognize the community’s needs and fight for them even when the choice may not be the most popular choice. It is on us to continue to show up, to continue to take action and contact our local representatives to be our voice.

At the state level, we have 4 Pacificans that are running for election to represent us in District 22 as delegates to the California Democratic Party State Central Committee. If even one of us gets elected, we all win.

Nationally, we just elected President Biden and Vice President Harris, and the vibration of unity is spreading.

My wish is that we can continue to unite and work hard to help each other succeed. 2021 is a great year and things sure are looking up!

January 7, 2021–Thoughts About Yesterday and a Teachable Moment
Author Carolyn Jaramillo

I have been retired from teaching for 21 years, yet I still think in “teacher” terms, such as teachable moments, homework, rewards, extra credit, detention, and yes, I confess to still using a rather potent “teacher look” when I need to get my way. Yesterday, January 6, is now considered by many to have been a “teachable moment for the whole country”. So I ask myself, “What homework should we be willing to do to focus and sharpen our learnings? Here are a few assignments I suggest:

For All Americans: Looking at videos from various protests during the summer of 2020 and videos of yesterday’s protest, compare and contrast the response of law enforcement to the two events.

For the media: Juxtapose an image of a migrant scaling a border wall with that of an image from yesterday of a protestor scaling the wall of the US Capitol. Then pose/answer these questions:

“What laws are being broken? What is the reason each person gives for breaking the law? What are the consequences for the offenders?”

For all Christians: Yesterday, January 6, the Speaker of the House referenced “The Feast of the Epiphany”. What epiphany did you experience yesterday?

Yes, of course, there will be extra credit for those who can do all these assignments or suggest other appropriate ones!

And let us hope January 6 will be a teachable moment for the whole country.


PH4A Seeks a Resolution and Support for AB 15 – State Eviction/Foreclosure Extension..
Author Suzanne Moore, Member Pacifica Housing 4 All

PH4A Seeks a Resolution and Support for AB 15 – State Eviction/Foreclosure Extension.

At the end of January, state protection for COVID eviction moratorium expires. The California State Legislature is currently in debate on next steps to safeguard against both eviction and foreclosure and ways toward economic recovery. David Chiu has authored AB 15.

There is general consensus that AB 3088, set to expire 1/31/21, slowed evictions and COVID spread. The County’s “Get Healthy San Mateo” remains loyal to the tenet that housing is the cornerstone to a community’s health and wellbeing. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors has demonstrated leadership in this COVID crisis and used HomeKey funds to purchase supportive housing in Redwood City and Half Moon Bay. Redwood City opened a new Safe Parking Program in October – a program that now houses 45 motorhomes and welcomed 2 newborns into their community.

Redwood City, Daly City and South San Francisco are all creating city resolutions to encourage state legislators to pass AB 15. PH4A has reached out to a council member to champion this effort in Pacifica.

COVID is causing physical and socioeconomic harm to all Pacificans. It is important for our City and Council to encourage our state legislators to pass AB 15 and pave the way to health and economic recovery.

Click here to see the draft of the resolution.

Please do the following:

  1. Contact Kevin Mullin and encourage passage of AB 15:
    650 349-2200 Peninsula Office
    916 319-2022 Sacramento
  2. Email City Council in support a resolution for passage of AB 15. citycouncil@ci.pacifica.ca.us
  3. Speak at 1/25 City Council meeting and urge Council support of AB 15. Talking points in support of AB 15 can be found here


Winning entry in HIP Housing’s Calendar Contest by Akshara Jain

What does home mean to you? Akshara Jain, a 5th grader in the San Mateo-Foster City School District, drew the picture above and said “my home is a person which opened its arms to hold me tight during this pandemic.” Every year since 2001, HIP Housing has hosted a Calendar Contest for children in kindergarten to 5th grade throughout San Mateo County. We feel that Akshara’s picture captures the importance of having a safe and affordable home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Are you or is someone you know looking for a place to call home? If so, HIP Housing may be able to help.

HIP Housing is a non-profit based in San Mateo County that matches individuals who have a spare room or Accessory Dwelling Unit with individuals seeking housing. HIP Housing interviews applicants via Zoom, conducts background searches, develops a “Living Together Agreement,” and provides on-going follow-up support. HIP Housing is supported by the City of Pacifica, the County of San Mateo, and all 19 other municipalities in the County. For more information or to request a virtual appointment, visit hiphousing.org or call 650 999-6450.

650 999-6450
Staff and Board


Caring for Our Neighbors with Special Needs
Author Jeff Peck, CEO and Founder of the Big Wave Project

As Pacifica residents, you may have heard of the Big Wave Project. Close to Half Moon Bay, we are parents of adult children with special needs who are creating a unique community on the coast, providing homes for our adult children and their peers.​

Now through Big Wave, local adults with special needs will now be able to live independently, close to family and friends on the coast. This is an effort I have been working on for 21 years now, as your neighbor. We must allocate for our most vulnerable residents with special needs.

Mary Pancoast, a Pacifica resident, wife and mom of two daughters, wishes every adult with a disability could have a home with support. “We have become aware lately of what Big Wave is doing for adults with special needs, and we think it is a beautiful thing, especially when there has been so much bad news lately; it’s good to have some good news.” Pancoast is an aromatherapist and owner of Shen Aroma Farm, and loves that Big Wave includes a farm where vulnerable adults can work the land and soon will be comfortable in a necessary environment: their own community.

Our residents continue to grow around the Big Wave Farm, a pesticide-free project that sells fresh eggs and produce to Coastside neighborhoods. Working with our land in an ecologically-friendly way is part of our history and demonstrates our love and commitment to the Half Moon Bay coast and its natural resources. We invite you to come visit our farm, and please don’t mind our construction close by—our efforts will soon result in a new community, one where you are always welcome.

At Big Wave, we care about our community. We see our coastal land as healing and caring, as a place where adults with special needs come to connect and grow.

After the pandemic is over, we will go back to our many programs: from a local basketball team to growing food on a pesticide-free farm to informal get-togethers that give our future residents a feeling of belonging. Our values include community, hard work, and peer support for adults with special needs.

Our families will partner with organizations that have a proven record of innovative programs. These programs incorporate vocational, residential, and emotional support in a comprehensive and nurturing environment to help each person achieve new skills and confidence, ensuring local families the best chance of success for their adult children.

Big Wave has completed an eight-year, 6000 page, peer-reviewed environmental impact report, which was reviewed and approved by the County of San Mateo and the California Coastal Commission. We are proud to report that both of these critical agencies deemed the project posed no substantial environmental impacts. All buildings will conform to all Cal Green codes.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Big Wave.


Creating Space for Fear-Free Conversation about Sea Level Rise
Author Cindy Abbott

In January 2018, the City of Pacifica, in response to a mandate by the State of California and the California Coastal Commission, began a process as part of updating the Local Coastal Plan to develop strategies and associated policies related to sea level rise adaptation. Six well-attended public workshops were held over the course of the year.

The workshops covered topics including an overview of the Local Coastal Program Planning Process, a Vulnerability Assessment for Pacifica’s six miles of coastline, an introduction to Adaptation Strategies, Economic Analysis Methodologies, two meetings reviewing drafts of the Adaptation Plan, and draft LCP Policies. At each meeting, the public was invited to provide input; as is one of the hallmarks of our community, Pacificans responded with lively comments. Many of these comments – regardless of the meetings specific focus – centered on the contentious concept of “managed retreat”. What do these words mean?

Managed retreat is defined as the purposeful, coordinated movement of people and buildings away from risks. Beachapedia.org further elaborates, “Coastal managers realize that in many situations attempting to stop erosion through structural or non-structural solutions is a losing battle. Shoreline protection efforts and/or their repeated maintenance would be too costly and ultimately ineffective at preventing further erosion. A managed retreat approach typically involves establishing thresholds to trigger demolition or relocation of structures threatened by erosion.”

For the City of Pacifica, and other coastal cities, managed retreat is an understandably difficult conversation. At the meetings, some public commenters illuminated how every option and tool available needed to be considered to find the right balance for the historical development along our shore and the need to meet the challenge of sea level rise in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner. On the flipside, several speakers repeatedly shared their thought that these words should never be uttered, and certainly shouldn’t be included in a city planning document.

Some in the later group took their concerns to the extreme, fanning the flames with statements intended to stoke anxiety and fear about the planning process. Flyers were distributed to coastal residents noting, “The City of Pacifica will be holding a critical meeting to discuss which houses along the coast will likely be protected by sea walls or other coastal armoring, which houses could face restrictions, and which houses could be scheduled to be condemned in the future. In light of projected sea level rise, the City of Pacifica will be considering “managed retreat,” which could involve removing resources from the coast, including utilities and roads, removing sea walls, and requiring some homeowners to tear down their homes and clean their soil at their own expense.”

The “See Change” project came about specifically to remove the fear from conversation about sea level rise and adaptation strategies. Funded by the San Mateo county Office of Sustainability through a Community Resilience Grant, the project introduction notes that: “Too often fear has taken a leading role in community discussions regarding Sea Level Rise. Science-driven narratives, heavy with projections, complex maps and challenging adaptation strategies understandably create anxiety. The impact of the unknown causes the community to put up defenses frequently without a fact-based understanding of why plans are being developed and what they mean for individuals, the community and the environment.

The arts have the unique ability to affect us in ways that—though hard to quantify — can support the need for adaptation in a changing world, a shifting environment and an uncertain future. Engaging artists as agents of change, to create visual art projects that provide the opportunity for community members to be active participants, will raise awareness, understanding and build hope and trust that the impacts of sea level rise can be positively addressed in ways that support both the human population and natural (beach) habitats.”

A nationwide Call for Entries was held for artists to submit their proposals for socially engaged art. Integral to the review of the projects was the concept that the proposals should consider ways to involve the community with debate, collaboration and social interaction. The participatory element of a socially engaged art practice is key with the artworks created often holding equal or less importance to the collaborative act of creating them. San Francisco Bay Area artists Kim Anno and Alicia Escott were awarded the project and have included in their collaboration Heidi Quante and Modesto Covarrubias.

Early in 2020, a series of community engagement projects were planned only to subsequently be cancelled with the March shelter-in-place order due to Covid-19. Smaller groups have been engaged in person and via Zoom to continue a facilitated process named the “Bureau of Linguistical Reality” creating neologisms (new words) to help describe community feelings, concerns, our relationship to the ocean, and, hope that we can come together in a positive manner to plan for our shared future.

Though plans have necessarily adjusted for this project, to keep the momentum going, a special exhibition will be held from February 12 to March 21, in the East Gallery at Sanchez Art Center. The exhibition will include artwork (photographs, paintings, and sculpture) by local artists related to the topic of sea level rise and some of the neologisms (new words) that have been created to date through the See Change project. The See Change grant artists are working on an interactive space (including weaving and knitting with repurposed plastic material as part of an overarching concept of working to knit the community together via these engagement activities) in the center of the gallery to bring the project to the community. Sanchez Art Center galleries (located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica) are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 – 5pm, by free online appointment bookable at http://SanchezArtCenter.10to8.com. Health and safety protocols such as face masks and physical distancing will be honored.

650 355-1894

Pacifica Should Build Bigger Tent for Ocean Protectors
Author Lynn Adams, President Pacific Beach Coalition
reprinted from Pacifica Tribune with author’s permission

When I moved to Pacifica 26 years ago, I brought with me the values I learned in Wisconsin, where my mom sent my siblings and me outside with sacks to pick up trash on the side of the road. My environmental ethos quickly found a home here. I hiked a lot and was in awe of the ocean. Eventually, I became a site captain for Sharp Park Beach and organized beach cleanups. Now I am the president of the Pacific Beach Coalition.

Gradually, the work became much more than picking up cigarette butts and plastic waste at the beach. It became about helping people develop meaningful relationships with nature. More recently, I came to understand that while the environment impacts everyone, those impacts look very different depending on who you are and where you live. Some live next to oil wells and diesel traffic while others live just a short walk away from beaches and hiking trails. Some get to breathe fresh air, while others bear a disproportionate share of environmental pollution.

There is a deep injustice in this. And it gets worse when you consider the entitlement of those who do get to enjoy the benefits of nature but push back against sharing it.

I was disappointed by what I heard happened during the Oct. 14 study session at the Pacifica Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission. What was intended as a meeting to give input on how nonprofit organizations and commercial surf shops can share beach access, turned into a rant against a program to share surf space with those who have been left out. It included the need “to protect the beach from the hordes who would expose it for the wrong reasons.” Rather than supporting a project to address inequities in access to surfing, this person angrily denied that these inequities exist at all.

This person’s view, that deserving “locals” must be protected from less deserving “outsiders,” doesn’t represent me or the Pacifica that I know. We are a city where people showed up by the thousands to protest George Floyd’s killing and stand up for Black Lives Matter. We live in a city that values open spaces and works together to clean litter, restore habitats and make it a better, healthier place for everyone.

The most serious impact of that tirade was that it hurt people of color who were at the meeting. It also threatens to derail our collective efforts to nurture the next generation of ocean protectors — an effort that must be rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Among the people doing this work is Mira Manickam-Shirley. Her work at Brown Girl Surf is introducing more women of color to the joy of surfing. Her nonprofit, alongside organizations like City Surf Project, do incredible work organizing swimming and surfing classes and other outdoor activities at the beach for young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience them. Getting out to the beach takes time, and, in many cases, it’s tough if you don’t have a car. It takes money to rent or buy gear and take lessons.

As if these barriers aren’t challenging enough, I am learning that there’s the deep-seated history of racism that takes us all the way back to the Jim Crow era, when Black people were kept out of public beaches and swimming pools. Across the California coast, people of color were prevented from buying coastal real estate due to racially biased lending practices and housing covenants that prohibited the sale of houses to non-whites. The racial gap in beach access and surf culture persists today. Studies show that the fatal drowning rate of Black children is more than three times higher than that of white children.

Nonprofits like Brown Girl Surf are actively undoing racism in surfing and beach culture and creating lasting benefits for all of us who love the ocean. Their work helps young people of color to experience the ocean as a source of healing, joy, and community, and to understand the responsibility of respecting the ocean and taking care of it the way it takes care of all of us.

Looking around town and on the beaches in Pacifica, I have realized that we have missed the presence and voices from people of color who have the right to fresh air, open spaces and ocean. And they deserve opportunities to experience the grounding joy and satisfaction of taking care of the ocean.

The Pacific Beach Coalition would like nothing more than to partner with Brown Girl Surf and other like-minded organizations so that we can build a more diverse, bigger and stronger tent of ocean protectors. We would love to see and support the community in learning to swim, surf and protect the ocean right here in Pacifica.

That’s the spirit of Pacifica I know. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Bay Area Integrated Transit System
Author Rick Nahass

Imagine… purchasing a single ticket that puts you on the bus in Pacifica to Marine World in Vallejo via the ferry from the Port of San Francisco OR to a Caltrain station south to a 49ers game OR on BART from Walnut Creek to an express bus that makes limited stops at the beaches from Pacifica to Half Moon Bay on warm weekends.

Representatives from 27 Bay Area transit operators have been meeting weekly as part of the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) “Blue Ribbon Recovery Task Force” with shared goals that include:

    • Improve regional connections
    • Improve the rider experience
    • …creating a world-class network


According to a recent Mineta Transportation Institute (San Jose State) study of 10 world-class regional transit systems in Canada, Europe and Australia, the one common attribute was the establishment of a Regional Transit Coordinator, a Network Manager organization, that directly manages regional integrated fares:

“Without exception, the ten case study metropolitan areas have moved toward a single regionwide integrated fare policy.”

Seamless Bay Area, the 501(c)(4) not-for-profit project, has developed the following ‘Transit Principles” with a coalition of non-profit groups to guide transit operators and cities:

  1. Run all Bay Area transit as one easy-to-use system
  2. Put riders first
  3. Make public transit equitable and accessible to all
  4. Align transit prices to be simple, fair, and affordable
  5. Connect effortlessly with other sustainable transportation
  6. Plan communities and transportation together
  7. Prioritize reforms to create a seamless network

Click Here to see more details on the Transit Principles and show your support

The following public entities have adopted formal resolutions endorsing the Seamless Transit principles: City of Millbrae, City of San Mateo, City of Berkeley, Alameda County, Santa Clara County.

Today there is no single public transit option from downtown Pacifica Palmetto Avenue to downtown Half Moon Bay Main Street. Establishing a transit corridor for the coast should be non-negotiable; however, this cannot happen without a coordinated and engaged task force consisting of coast-side cities’ staff, councils and citizens. A good start would be to request that each coast-side city council adopt the Seamless Transit Principles. For more information about coordinating transit on the coast please email ricknahass@coastcommute.org or request information on the Seamless Bay Area website.


Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan and Responsible Planning (CPUP)
Author Summer Lee

Every Pacifican relies on the city for infrastructure like roads, sewage, and for services that are funded by taxpayer money. Every Pacifican relies on our decision-makers to oversee building and maintain developments while protecting the safety and health of its citizens. Every city has a General Plan —its “constitution” – to guide safe and sustainable decision-making. The General Plan is based on data and thorough analysis of the city’s current infrastructure and resources, as well as projections of future population and environmental changes so that current decisions don’t harm or bankrupt its citizens into the future. A General Plan must be internally consistent and up-to-date with state and county regulations.

Pacifica’s General Plan is currently a type-written document from 1980, with every element, except the 2015 Housing Element, legally out of date and as a result fatally inconsistent as a whole. It is possibly the oldest General Plan in the state.

Safety and Conservation are two elements of the General Plan that speak directly to the needs of our city in this era of unprecedented fires, extreme weather events, coastal erosion, and financial stress. Every day, Pacifica officials are making decisions that impact safety and land use without a current General Plan, not knowing if they are the right decisions because 1980 standards and data are from an era when the city, state, and country were concerned with issues that are completely inapplicable now. Indeed, some recent decisions violate the existing plan, inadequate as it is.

The Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan and Responsible Planning (CPUP) is a group of Pacificans who organized in response to a pattern of decision-making that lacks sound, thorough, and transparent analysis. CPUP is a broad coalition across Pacifica working to compel the City to adopt an updated General Plan that is based on current science and basic environmental standards, and is consistent with state law. The new plan will provide clear and consistent guidelines for development decisions that benefit all Pacificans, to create genuinely affordable housing for all, and protect the future generations who inherit the environmental impacts of those decisions.

If you are interested in staying up to date on CPUP’s work and how the city can better address the needs of all Pacificans, contact us and we will add you to our mailing list where you will receive occasional updates. Email us at cpuplan@gmail.com. If you do not have access to email, please call and we can connect you to others who share your concerns.

You can also donate and be a critical part of this important work. Your dollars will be spent towards supporting broad-based efforts to raise public awareness and participation in the update of the General Plan, as well as litigation challenging the City’s violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and General Plan law.

CPUP is a project of Pacifica’s Environmental Family, a 501(c)3 organization that supports environmental stewardship and education in the City of Pacifica. Any charitable donation made to CPUP is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

To donate:
Write a check to Pacifica’s Environmental Family and be sure to add “CPUP” on the subject line. Mail the check to:

PO Box 259
Pacifica, CA 94044

A receipt for tax deductible purposes will be mailed back to the address on the check, unless otherwise requested.

You may also donate online by clicking Donate Now and typing “CPUP” in the PayPal “Write a note” section (2nd or 3rd screen).


Equitable Recovery and COVID: Pacifica’s Goal Setting
Author Suzanne Moore.

I’d like to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau: “In the long run, we hit only what we aim at; therefore, … we had better aim at something great.”

The County of San Mateo has brought together many members of our Peninsula communities to discuss equitable recovery post COVID, and much will likely happen in 2021, regionally and locally: decisions on eviction and foreclosure moratoriums related to COVID, updates of housing/coastal/safety/and general plans, COVID vaccine dispensation, plans for small business support and recovery, decisions on infrastructure including addressing the digital divide, discussion of best practices for education and childcare support. These issues impact us all. The good work ahead will require all of us to learn and be engaged.

This quote is from the San Mateo County Recovery Initiative: “The effects of COVID-19 are amplifying inequities, but the recovery is an opportunity for a collective restart. To create an equitable community, systems, policies, and practices of oppression must be dismantled. Our new systems must eliminate disparities and provide access to opportunities and quality services for all unserved, underserved, under-resourced, and ineffectively-served individuals and families.”

This new year, Pacifica can be a part of this transformation. It is time to rebuild with systems that support us all, allow not only for recovery after the pandemic, but renewal.

Pacifica can commit to this effort in our annual goal setting.

  • End homelessness through collaborative efforts to provide a path, through outreach, safe parking, and case management, for stable, affordable housing.
  • Update the City’s safety plan to assure we build in areas free of flood, fire, seismic or geologic risks.
  • Find ways to create the affordable housing desperately needed by residents who are in very low to moderate-range incomes; and be open to creating supportive housing for those in need of assistance to stay as independent as possible.
  • Update our coastal plan based on current science, and listen to the concerns of Pacificans who worry about the impact on their properties.
  • Update our general plan with a goal to sustainably serve our entire community for the common good.

Our recent district elections confirmed the importance of a single vote. Equity requires diverse voices with a persistent message. We need to seek out their voices, invite them in, and listen.

Be ready for Pacifica’s goal-setting session. Let’s aim for something great. Happy new year.

What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines (Artículo en español)
Author Sarah Wright, Pacifica Tribune Staff Writer
Reprinted from Pacifica Tribune with permission of Editor Clay Lambert

With two approved vaccines and the first local residents getting their shots, the Review has compiled answers to some common vaccine questions.

When and how will I get the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a priority list for receiving the vaccine, which California and San Mateo County are following. That puts health care workers who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and long-term care facility residents at the top. They will be receiving their vaccinations at hospitals and congregate care facilities starting this month. Adults 75 and older and frontline essential workers are next in line, but it’s not clear yet how they will receive the vaccine or how they will prove their qualifying status. Other types of essential workers will go next. The general population is expected to gain access to vaccines by summer 2021. The vaccine is free, although insurance may be billed and there could be charges for doctors’ visits depending on how vaccines are given.

What do I do after I get the vaccine?

The CDC is recommending that patients stay for 15 minutes after their shot so they can be monitored for any immediate adverse effects. Patients will receive a vaccine card, which they should keep to remember which brand of vaccine they got and when they are due for the second dose, 21 days later for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days later for Moderna. Getting a second dose doubles your protection against COVID-19. You can track your reactions to the vaccine via V-safe, a smartphone app developed by the CDC. Even after getting vaccinated, you should continue practicing social distancing and mask wearing because no vaccine is 100 percent effective and because there is currently no evidence that the vaccine prevents asymptomatic infection or you from infecting others.

What is the difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

The Pfizer vaccine had an efficacy of 95 percent in trials, must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius and requires a second dose 21 days later. The Moderna vaccine had an efficacy of 94.1 percent, and requires minus 20 degrees Celcius storage and a second dose 28 days later. You are unlikely to be able to choose which vaccine to take, especially in the early phases of distribution.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

The most common side effects of both vaccines are arm soreness, fatigue, headache and muscle aches, which indicate that your immune system is responding. Some trial recipients reported a fever, especially in younger recipients and after the second dose. No one in clinical trials was hospitalized because of an adverse reaction due to the vaccine.

Should everyone get the vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 16 or older, while the Moderna vaccine is only for adults 18 and older. Because there is limited data so far on the vaccine’s effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women, the CDC and local health leaders say getting the vaccine will be a personal decision for those groups. The CDC is advising people who get severe allergic reactions to other vaccines or to any ingredients in their vaccine to not get vaccinated. The CDC says there is not enough information to decide whether people who have already had COVID-19 should get the vaccine.


Daly City 4 Black Lives Requests Upgraded Mental Health Pilot and Transparent Community-Minded Measure Q Spending

Investing in Mental Health in San Mateo County
Daly City 4 Black Lives (DC4BL)
Author Joanna Rosales

With the passing of Measure Q in Daly City, Daly City 4 Black Lives (DC4BL) is advocating for the city council to direct funds derived from Measure Q to address public safety at its root causes and to address policies that reduce the harm inflicted on Black and Brown communities in Daly City. This includes investing in early childhood and elementary education, COVID-19 health protections, and improving behavioral health emergency response. Daly City has the opportunity to have a transparent and community-minded Measure Q budgeting process and to upgrade its proposed mental health pilot with San Mateo County, but the city government needs to act.

The approval of the Measure Q sales tax is estimated to generate $6 million per year for city services that are touted as funding for emergency response, COVID relief, senior services, and homelessness. Though the aforementioned city services sound beneficial at face value, the reality is that Measure Q funds are not earmarked for any of these services, and are merely suggestions. Ultimately it is up to the city council to decide on allocations. On 1/19, DC4BL sent a letter to the City Council asking that they host a community stakeholders forum to hear from the community where Measure Q funds should go. DC4BL has yet to hear a response, and we suggest community members continue to ask for a city-held forum by making public comments at city council meetings.

In regards to improving behavioral health emergency response, San Mateo County’s forthcoming mental health pilot program is an opportunity for Daly City to set the pilot up for better success. Currently, the pilot program lacks the structural weight and balance to grow as a sustainable initiative. The pilot program intends to partner one mental health clinician per city with police officers responding to crisis calls in the cities of Daly City, South San Francisco, San Mateo, and Redwood City, totaling four mental health clinicians across the four largest cities in San Mateo County. Although it’s a step in the right direction, this approach is simply not strong enough.

Daly City has the chance to strengthen the pilot by implementing DC4BL’s recommendations:

  1. instead of hiring only one mental health clinician for a city of ~100,000, create a crisis response team composed solely of mental health clinicians and social workers and
  2. replace armed police with unarmed first responders who accompany mental health clinicians.


DC4BL shared our recommendations with City Manager Shawnna Maltbie and Police Chief Hensley in a recent letter, and we asked that they meet with DC4BL to better inform the pilot before Daly City Council votes on the program on 1/25. Ms. Maltbie declined and recommended the meeting happen after council votes. She also recommends we submit public comments at the 1/25 city council meeting. This is an opportunity to create a crisis response team composed solely of mental health clinicians, social workers, and emergency medical support that operate independently from the police department, and we hope Daly City listens to its Black and Brown constituents and implements these recommendations.

Studies show that the presence of an armed officer increases tension in a situation and becomes an escalating factor, and some people are even reluctant to call 911 at all due to possible use of force against them. Several other cities across the nation have launched response teams that do not include the police, as successful programs focus solely on emergency and preventative services and are fully funded to carry out their mission.

This is where Measure Q funds can be put towards creating a sustainable program that can last. Under a cost-sharing agreement, the four cities including Daly City, will contribute $408,388 each for the first year of the pilot program, which is scheduled to run for a duration of two years. By allocating funds from the Measure Q sales tax, Daly City can create a community-based, non-police response team that is experienced and fully trained to handle mental and behavioral health emergencies. Their education and training prepare them to de-escalate crisis situations and provide care and connection to further services for the person experiencing the crisis. Shifting the responsibilities of crisis response to mental health clinicians and social workers will ensure people will receive the care they need at the time they need it most.

A report by Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute concludes that community-based systems, independent from law enforcement, provides “preventative care by proactively engaging with vulnerable communities…diminishing the need for emergency relief and improving overall health and safety.” This would lead us to a method that has proven to be rewarding to communities across the nation and in other countries as well.

It seems San Mateo County, Daly City, and DC4BL are aligned in regards to improving overall health and safety. Together, we have the power to take a thoughtful approach and to give this pilot a chance by allocating funds from Measure Q to create a crisis response team composed solely of mental health clinicians, social workers, and emergency medical support. If we are truly investing in mental health as a county, we will look to programs that have been successful in addressing root problems within our system. We can always refine the program to fit our needs as a city or county, but we must start off on the right foot.

Instagram: @dc4blacklives


Calling for Embodied Social Justice
Submitted by Rae Costakis, Communications Director, Social Unity Project

Growing up in Pacifica as a mixed-race woman, Nicole Yarbrough, Social Unity Project’s founder and executive director, didn’t feel truly seen or understood by her predominantly white community. We Pacificans can sense, and see, the hateful underbelly of Pacifica culture, but none so well as our BIPOC community members. In June 2020, thousands of us joined together in protest against police brutality and racial injustice. For our BIPOC community members, it was a glimmer of hope that our collective sense of justice is shifting. We must follow through as a community to keep this hope alive.

Nicole was overwhelmed by the response of her community and the healing power of feeling truly supported. Inspired by this energy, Nicole began working on the Social Unity Project (SUP) to create supportive space for this shifting social energy and awareness. Nicole was soon joined by Xana Cook-Milligan AMFT, a trauma-informed psychotherapist and life-long Pacifica resident, who became SUP’s COO. The pair quickly began working towards their shared dream of a safer, more inclusive reality for their daughters and community. A month later, they invited Rae Costakis to join as SUP’s Communication Director and the three began organizing an educational platform focused on anti-racism as a vehicle for social change, growth and community wellbeing. In September 2020, SUP received 501c(3) status and since then the three-woman team has been working tirelessly.

As global outrage with police grew and then waned, SUP began to consider how to find a new path forward. A path that considers what has already been attempted and adjusts accordingly. Resmaa Menakem writes in My Grandmother’s Hands, “for the past three decades, we’ve earnestly tried to address white-body supremacy in America with reason, principles, and ideas- using dialogue, forums, discussions, education, and mental training. But the widespread destruction of Black bodies continues. And some of the ugliest destruction originates with our police.” Resmaa calls on BIPOC, white and uniformed bodies to address our multi-generational and genetically ingrained suffering through the body so we are able to process racial trauma as clean pain. At SUP, we are endeavoring to do just this, with embodied social justice, education, community and communication.

As a therapist, Xana understands that parts of self integrate and heal their stuck traumas when communication happens; the multiplicity of human consciousness remains stuck in suffering when communication is resisted. To create clean-pain that can be metabolized, we must talk to ourselves and to each other. As with the individual, society remains stuck in suffering when parts are unable to communicate. Such communication is not easy and not for everyone, but nothing will truly change without it.

For the sake of progress, SUP decided to engage with PPD Chief Steidle and two Captains, in regular talks. We are building this relationship intentionally, so that the concerns of the community can continue to be addressed. These conversations have not been easy, but they have been illuminating. We get the sense that our police leadership may mean well, but they are only beginning to learn about social justice and how to consciously connect to the community they are tasked to serve. SUP is offering to be the bridge, between those of us who are oppressed, frustrated, angry or hopeless and Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)’s. SUP is also preparing to bring anti-racist trainings to LEO’s and is leveraging our conversations with local police to do this.

The change will not happen as quickly as we would wish, and SUP is aware of the benefits of naps and patience. We are starting with honesty, speaking truth to power and compassion. Compassion is not nice. It is however kind. The difference being an awareness of boundaries and needs. The honest expression begins in moments such as when Xana said to Chief Steidle, “it’s difficult to talk with you, while I hold the knowledge that your profession began as being slave-catchers. What you do, is part of systemic oppression.” You could have heard a pin drop in that moment. With conversation and calling in, we moved through it. We moved through defenses and pain, and we hope to move towards open, honest and compassionate dialogue.

To continue in our work, SUP is interested in hearing from you. We are intersectional and would heartily welcome you in community. We want to hear your thoughts and we could use your help in the many projects we have begun.

SUP will be fundraising and writing grant applications to bring Pacifica, and beyond, a multicultural center (potentially with a soup kitchen and grocery cooperative), where we can hold community meetings, support groups, therapeutics, movement classes and DEI trainings that are truly anti-racist, not just a check box. If you are interested in helping with any of this, please reach out to get involved.

At the Social Unity Project, we Show Up, Speak Up and Act Up – that’s what’ SUP
learn more about us and connect at:

Facebook @CASocialUnityProject
Instagram @social.unity.project

Author Deeg Gold

On January 17 social justice activists held a demonstration denouncing white supremacy and fascism along Highway 1 in Pacifica.

Thousands of people heading down the Pacific Coast Sunday, January 17, were cheered to see people holding signs such as “White Silence = White Violence” and “I Hate Fascism.” Drivers, slowed by the weekend traffic waved, cheered and clapped.

“We thought it was important to be out in the public on the day that fascists had announced they would have armed marches in state capitols and DC to follow their rampage through Washington DC,” said one sign-waver. “White supremacists are not welcome here, or anywhere.”

The demonstration was organized by Pacifica Social Justice, a group which formed in January 2017. PSJ successfully campaigned for a strong sanctuary city ordinance in 2017, and has been involved in a number of social justice struggles including campaigns against police violence, and for tenants’ rights.

Other signs included “Queers Say No to Fascism and White Supremacy,” “Punch Nazis,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

“It’s not that we’re not afraid of these armed white marauders, it’s that we are determined to end racism and these fascists will not win,” said Tory who went along the socially distanced line with a speaker playing Rhiannon Giddens cover of Woody Guthrie’s “All You Fascists Bound to Lose.”


Beat Swords into Plowshares: A story of Conscientious Objectors and a Request for Emotional Support
This action request from Peace Action San Mateo is relayed by Pacifica Peace People in support of peace activists everywhere

On April 4, 2018, seven Catholic Plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, with the intention to, as the well-known biblical passage suggests, “beat swords into plowshares”. They chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism, and materialism.”

Carrying hammers and banners, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.The advocates hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons, by their mere existence and maintenance, kill every day.

Since 1979, Kings Bay Naval base has been the Navy’s Atlantic Ocean Trident port. Kings Bay is the largest nuclear submarine base in the world with six ballistic missile subs and two guided missile subs based on site.

The activists split up and went to three sites on the base: the administration building, the D5 Missile monument installation, and the nuclear weapons storage bunkers. Protesters used crime scene tape and hammers, and they hung banners reading:

“The ultimate logic of racism is genocide. -Dr. Martin Luther King”,
“The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide”,
“Nuclear weapons: illegal/immoral.”

All seven were arrested, and, in a trial in October 2019, convicted on a variety of charges. After more than a year of waiting, two of them, Carmen Trotta and Martha Hennessy, began their sentences on Monday, December 14 of this year, at two different Federal Correctional Institutions. The other five will be incarcerated in January.

There is a great risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus in such prisons, which have four times the case rate of the general community. Physicians for Social Responsibility and other organizations are calling for letters and postcards to the two brave women now imprisoned, to show support and encouragement. Write to:

Carmen Trotta #22561-021
FCI Otisville Federal Correctional Institution
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1000
Otisville, NY 10963

Martha Hennessy #22560-021
FCI Danbury
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811

Introducing World Day of Social Justice
Author Delia McGrath, Member of PPP and PSJ

Pacifica Peace People (PPP) and Pacifica Social Justice (PSJ) will co sponsor an event on Saturday, February 20, 2021 to celebrate World Day of Social Justice. We invite you to join us from 11:00 – 12:00 noon in front of Walgreens on West Manor Drive. There will be signs to share and you can bring your own signs, too.

The United Nations’ (UN) World Day of Social Justice, established on November 26, 2007, is annually observed on February 20. Its purpose is to focus attention on how social justice affects poverty eradication and promotes the goal of achieving full employment and support for social integration. Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. The pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of the UN’s global mission to promote development and human dignity.

Social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations. In turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security, or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. PPP and PSJ align with these basic principles. PSJ was successful in its campaign in 2017 when City Council passed an ordinance establishing Sanctuary City status in Pacifica. This was an important accomplishment to protect the human rights of immigrants.

Recently PSJ sponsored a demonstration on HWY 1 to oppose the insurrection at the nation’s Capitol on January 06, 2021. Members of PPP also participated in solidarity to uphold the civil and human rights of all of us and to oppose domestic terrorism which threatened the peace and security of our nation. PPP and PSJ oppose fascism and racism, the enemies of peace and social justice.

Pacifica Peace People: Peace Pole Project
Author Delia McGrath, Member Pacifica Peace People

Peace is always in style, ever in demand in our world, in our country and in our community. We are delighted to share with you the beautiful event we helped create on January 18, 2021, MLK Holiday. Members of Pacifica Peace People [PPP] joined St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church dedication of its peace pole. The words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in four languages — English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog — adorn the peace pole, planted firmly in the ground with all manner of painted rocks placed at the base.

Reverend Kathy Crary, St. Edmund’s Priest, and Linda Peebles, church member/PPP member offered inspiring words to those gathered on that brilliant sunshiny day. They emphasized the need for peace and social justice in our community. This is an important way for St. Edmund’s members to make real their commitment to integrate their Christian ethical principles of love and compassion with service and caring for others.

PPP is grateful to St. Edmund’s for wholeheartedly engaging in the planting and dedication of the peace pole at the church. A year ago, PPP sponsored the first peace pole planting at IBL Middle School. And in September, our second planting and dedication took place at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. We look forward to many more peace pole plantings in Pacifica — in both public and private spaces. For more information about joining this project, please contact: Kim Anderson kimnoreen@gmail.com