Supervisor Chan's Winter 2019 Newsletter


Supervisor Wilma Chan's District Newsletter

                                                                                                Winter 2019

In this issue:

Federal Shutdown Impacts in Alameda County

Eden MAC Update

Fighting for Housing for ALL

Preparing for the 2020 Census

County Update

Protecting Immigrant Families

Earn It! Keep It! Save It!

Supporting Secure Housing for ALL

Hesperian Streetscape Update

Supporting Services for Homeless Individuals in Alameda


Spreading Holiday Cheer at Hesperian Elementary School

Celebrating the Holidays in San Lorenzo

TRUTH Act Forum

Women Who Dare Awards

Empowering Mental Health in API Communities

Healthy Cooking in Alameda

Supporting the San Lorenzo Community

Supporting Community Health in San Leandro

Upcoming Events



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Email me:

County Seal

Oakland Office
1221 Oak Street, Suite 536
Oakland, CA 94612 (map)
Phone: 510.272.6693
Fax: 510.268.8004


District Office
15903 Hesperian Boulevard
San Lorenzo, CA 94580 (map)
Phone: 510.278.0367
Fax: 510.278.0467


Housing Information and Critical Health & Human Services

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to update you on the work I have been doing to make Alameda County an even better place to call home.

In this edition you can read about my work to address the federal shutdown impacts in Alameda County, prepare for the 2020 Census, and my annual toy drive. 

You can also learn more about the updates for the affordable housing bond programs, the Hesperian Streetscape project, and much more.

It is an honor to serve you.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, questions or concerns that you may have regarding the district or Alameda County.



Wilma Chan
Supervisor, Third District 

Federal Shutdown Impacts in Alameda County

In January, I held a press conference to discuss the impacts the longest federal government shutdown in history would have on Alameda County, focusing on the potential loss of funding for CalFresh – the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – and the impacts on furloughed federal workers. 

In response to this concern, I asked the Board of Supervisors to allocate up to $1 million from a county-created federal emergency impact fund to provide additional food for affected CalFresh recipients and federal workers. Even though the government re-opened, many families still struggled to make ends meet during the month of January as a result of lost paychecks and receiving CalFresh benefits early. I am proud the Board agreed to allocate these funds to support County residents in need.

Due to the shutdown, CalFresh recipients’ February benefits were disbursed early. Before the shutdown ended, food security advocates grew increasingly concerned the demand at our local food banks would skyrocket to meet the needs of CalFresh recipients and furloughed federal workers, putting a strain on this emergency resources.

Many thanks to the Alameda County Social Services Agency, the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB), and CalFresh recipients – Leroy Scroggins, Ronald Singleton, Claudia Ramey, and Jody Cava – for participating in the press conference. I would like to extend a special thank you to the CalFresh recipients for sharing their personal testimonies on how devastating the loss of these benefits would have been.

Eden MAC Update

In January, the Unincorporated Services Committee heard an updated presentation on the progress of the Eden Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), an appointed advisory body to the Board of Supervisors that will represent the unincorporated areas of San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, and Hayward Acres. Based on this new presentation, the Committee has recommended that the MAC advance to the Board’s Transportation and Planning Committee for further review this spring.

If the Transportation & Planning Committee approves the Eden MAC, it will then go before the full Board of Supervisors for a vote.  Once the Board approves the Eden MAC, the application process can begin for prospective members – we expect the application process to occur over the summer. Based on this tentative timeline, the MAC could begin holding monthly meetings as soon as October 2019.

Fighting for Housing for ALL

I am pleased to announce the launch of two new programs that are paid for by Measure A1, the $580 million affordable housing bond that I championed in 2016. The programs are:

Down Payment Assistance Program:
AC Boost, a $50 million countywide down payment assistance loan program, offers shared equity loans of up to $150,000 to first-time homebuyers who live, work, or have been displaced from Alameda County.  The program is administered by Hello Housing, a local affordable housing nonprofit organization, on behalf of Alameda County. For information about program guidelines and eligibility, please contact Hello Housing at 510-500-8840 or

Home Preservation Loan Program: 
Alameda County and Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley are launching Renew AC, a new home improvement loan assistance program for low-income homeowners. Funded through the 2016 Measure A1 Affordable Housing Bond and administered by Habitat for Humanity, Renew AC is designed to help low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and other low-income homeowners in Alameda County remain safely in their homes by providing rehabilitation and accessibility improvement services and loan financing to cover the associated costs. For more information, please contact Habitat for Humanity at 510-803-3388 or, or visit

Preparing for the 2020 Census

Every year, Alameda County receives billions of dollars for essential services like healthcare, education, and housing based on one set of data: the decennial Census. Counting every adult, child, and baby for Census 2020 will be harder than ever with the first-ever digital questionnaire, a rise in distrust in government, fear about a proposed citizenship question, and skepticism toward data security.

That’s why Alameda County is gearing up now for the 2020 Census, and we need your help to reach folks from every corner of our county. This spring we're hosting Census Solutions Workshops for organizations and leaders in twenty-one different categories -- affordable housing, education, seniors, immigrant community, unhoused residents, and more -- to brainstorm and collaborate on the best ways to reach our hard-to-count communities. We invite you to attend the workshop aligned with your work and spread the word to other partners who should add their voice to these important workshops. Our entire community benefits from an accurate count, so let's come together to count every body. Please contact Ben Ulrey at for more information.

County Update

County Update

I was excited to welcome over 60 community residents to my fifth County Update at the San Lorenzo Library this November. County Updates provide the community with important information on upcoming projects and initiatives in the unincorporated areas, and I look forward to continuing this semi-annual event in the future.

I would like to thank staff from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Alameda County Census 2020, the Community Development Agency’s Economic Development Department, Alameda County Public Works, and the Hayward Area Parks and Recreation District for taking the time to update the community.

Protecting Immigrant Families

Public Charge is a term used by immigration officials to refer to an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on government assistance to support their cost of day-to-day living. Today, officials look at a variety of factors in deciding whether a person is likely to become a “public charge," including the use of certain public benefits and other factors such as age, health, finances, etc. If a public charge determination is made, the government may deny the person entry into the United States or lawful permanent resident (LPR, also known as Green Card) status.

In 2017, Alameda County was the first county to formally oppose the proposed “public charge” rule, which will force immigrant families to make difficult choices between staying together and meeting their basic needs. The public comment period closed on December 10, 2018 – in total, 216,102 comments were submitted. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must now review and consider every unique comment submitted. Under normal circumstances, it would take at least six months and possibly a year or more for an agency to review and respond to comments on a rule this complicated. However, it is possible that the Trump Administration may try to rush the approval process and post a final rule more quickly.  It is also possible (though unlikely) that the administration will never issue a final rule.

The work is far from over.  Immigration advocates across the country are working on strategies to block the proposed changes to public charge from taking effect, as well as trying to lay out a positive policy agenda for immigrant families. Most importantly, Alameda County is continuing to work on public outreach and education to immigrant communities and immigrant-serving organizations. Our Social Services Agency has created an Immigration Resources webpage, where you can find FAQs on public charge and immigrants’ eligibility for certain public benefits in multiple languages. I encourage you to check it out and share it widely.

I am proud that many of the leaders working to oppose the proposed rule change are from Alameda County. This January, Sherry Hirota, a longtime friend and the CEO of Asian Health Services, was presented with the Health Equity Health Advocate of the Year award by Families USA for being a long-time champion of underserved communities and her role as a key leader in the fight against public charge through the OneNationAAPI Campaign. Her many contributions over the past year included this powerful New York Times editorial. Please join me in congratulating Sherry on the much-deserved recognition!

Earn It! Keep It! Save It!

For the past four years, I have been proud to host the Alameda County Social Services Agency’s VITA tax preparation program at my District Office in San Lorenzo. This valuable program provides free tax preparation services for low to moderate-income individuals and families in our community, helping them save thousands of dollars in state and federal taxes every year.

Appointments are required at all sites and can be made online. The San Lorenzo office hours are Wednesdays from 5:30 PM-8:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM. The program runs until April 17, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the VITA program directly at or 510-271-9141.

Supporting Secure Housing for ALL

I was proud to help secure funding for Centro Legal de La Raza’s new $3.5 million program to provide anti-displacement services for low-income homeowners and tenants. Alameda County Housing Secure provides legal services and financial assistance to those most at risk of displacement in Alameda County: low-income tenants and homeowners. Tenants’ vulnerability is reflected in the fact that approximately 5,000 unlawful eviction actions are filed in Alameda County each year. Currently, few tenants receive legal assistance, even in eviction cases that will affect their health, their job prospects, and their children’s education. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Centro de la Raza at (510) 437-1443 or visit

Hesperian Streetscape Update

Hesperian Streetscape Rendering

This spring, the long-awaited Hesperian Streetscape project – an initiative that will revitalize Hesperian Boulevard in San Lorenzo between I-880 and A Street through road and crosswalk upgrades, utility undergrounding and comprehensive beautification – will break ground in downtown San Lorenzo. The Alameda County Public Works Agency will begin the undergrounding of overhead wires at each end of Hesperian beginning in March and will conclude during the fall of 2019. The remainder of the Streetscape will begin construction in January of 2020.

The Public Works Agency and PG&E held a community forum in February to inform residents about the project schedule and provide information on the upcoming changes to Hesperian Boulevard. The Agency will continue to work with residents and area businesses throughout all phases of the project to ensure a smooth implementation of these upgrades over the next few years.

Supporting Services for
Homeless Individuals in Alameda 

In December, I was honored to join Alameda city officials, homeless providers, and community faith leaders to commemorate the opening of the Alameda Warming Shelter – a program designed to provide refuge for the City’s homeless population during the cold and rainy winter months. Located at Christ Episcopal Church on Santa Clara Avenue, the Shelter will be open from December 6, 2018 until April 14, 2019 on evenings when the weather is predicted to be under 40 degrees or a 50% or greater chance of rain. The Shelter can house up to 25 individuals who will be provided a full dinner, place to sleep, and grab-and-go breakfast the following morning. Residents will also be provided assistance locating housing and other essential services.

The result of a year-long collaboration between a diverse coalition of stakeholders, the Shelter is operated by nonprofit homeless provider Building Futures, funded by Alameda County and the City of Alameda, and hosted by Christ Episcopal Church. The Shelter’s services are supported by my office, the City of Alameda, and Alameda’s faith and business communities.


I was proud to have donated $50,000 of my office funds to the SAFE PARK CAR program of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC). The program is designed to help alleviate the safety concerns for homeless families who are living out of their cars in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland. Williams Chapel Baptist Church will provide its parking lot as a safe haven for those living in their cars.  Guests will be able to park for 12 hours, during non-peak times, providing enough time to rest, shower, use the restroom and be referred to an Alameda County Coordinated Entry center for programing, or, where possible, a direct referral to a specific need-based program such as jobs, health care, day care and counseling. The program will be supervised by Williams Chapel staff and monitored by private security to ensure safety for all those involved.

Spreading Holiday Cheer at
Hesperian Elementary School

Toy Drive

Every December, I partner with child care centers in my district to provide holiday gifts to low-income children. These child care centers provide valuable early education programs for families who may not otherwise be able to afford it, offering children an opportunity to be fully prepared for kindergarten.

This year, I had the pleasure of distributing toys to the Kidango classes at Hesperian Elementary School. In addition to the distribution, the students performed a couple of holiday songs. We were also able to donate toys and books to Lockwood Child Development Center and books to Lotus Bloom’s Family Resource Center at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland. Thanks to the community’s generosity, we were able to donate over 75 toys and nearly 120 books to children this holiday season.

Thank you to all of the community residents, commissioners, Holiday Celebration attendees, and Alameda County staff who graciously donated toys and books to my annual toy drive. Your generosity helped bring holiday cheer to many local families.

Celebrating the Holidays in San Lorenzo

Holiday Celebration

In December, over 30 community members attended my Annual Holiday Celebration at the San Lorenzo Library. I was excited to once again invite students from East Bay Arts Alliance to perform for attendees – it is always a delight to welcome these talented students at the holiday celebration. I would like to thank the San Lorenzo Library staff for their assistance in hosting another successful celebration!

I was also proud to once again support the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association’s (SLVHA) annual Christmas Party and provide a donation for raffle prizes. Community residents who attended the Christmas Party enjoyed seasonal refreshments, a visit from Santa, and meeting new neighbors. Congratulations to the SLVHA on another successful holiday event!

TRUTH Act Forum

As Board President, I planned and presided over the first TRUTH Act Community Forum in Alameda County in October. As required under the 2016 TRUTH Act, the County must hold an annual public forum if our law enforcement agencies have given Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to an individual in their custody during the previous year. The October 2018 forum provided the public with information on ICE access provided by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Alameda County Probation Department in 2017.

In addition to the presentation from County agencies, the Board of Supervisors also heard public comment and community concerns. As a result of concerns raised at the forum, the Board’s Public Protection Committee will be revisiting a 2012 policy where inmates’ release dates are allowed to be posted online. In today’s political climate, the benefits and risks of this policy have changed and the Public Protection Committee will reconsider posting inmates’ release dates online in partnership with key stakeholder groups.  

Women Who Dare Awards

Women Who Dare Awards

I was honored to be one of the recipients of this year’s Women Who Dare Awards from Girls Inc. of the Island City. I enjoyed giving an interview with the Best Foot Forward participants – a leadership and public speaking program for girls in grades 1-5 – who co-hosted the awards ceremony in February. I answered questions on a variety of topics ranging from my favorite emoji to what advice I would give young girls. Thank you to the Best Foot Forward participants for a delightful and engaging interview and introduction – I wish you success in all your future endeavors!

I would also like to thank Girls Inc. of the Island City for this honor and I commend you for inspiring girls to be strong (healthy), smart (educated), and bold (independent). 

Empowering Mental Health in API Communities

API Mental Health Conference

I was honored to deliver the opening remarks the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Department’s (BHCS) Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Mental Health Empowerment Conference in November. Alameda County is the most diverse county in California, and our API community is no exception – with over 500,000 API residents representing over 30 countries, the community is culturally and linguistically diverse. Members of the API community utilize mental health services at a disproportionately low rate, and the few who do seek services are more likely to drop out if the service does not make sense to them or is too difficult to access.

Over the course of the conference, mental health providers, consumers, advocates, policymakers, and researchers attended various workshops to develop next steps in advancing API mental health.  Participants addressed issues including destigmatizing mental health services, developing culturally sensitive programs for a diverse community, and ensuring mental health services resonate with members of the API community. The conference’s theme, “Unity in Resilience” served as an important reminder to leverage diversity to empower the entire API community. I would like to thank BHCS staff, the Planning Committee, and the conference speakers and facilitators for their hard work in putting on this valuable and timely convening.

Healthy Cooking in Alameda

Healthy Cooking Demo

At Island High School’s Community Listening Session for the ALL IN Alameda County mini-grants, students expressed a desire to learn more life skills, including how to cook. This feedback inspired my office to begin hosting healthy cooking demonstrations in the community, and I was excited to host one at Island High last November.

Over 20 Alameda residents learned food safety tips and easy and healthy recipes from the Alameda County Nutrition Services team. I would like to extend my appreciation to the Nutrition Services staff for participating in this informative community event.

Supporting the San Lorenzo Community

In October, I was glad to once again donate $500 to the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association’s (SLVHA) Annual Halloween Parade and Extravaganza. Over 700 community members participated in the parade, haunted hall, game booths, and BBQ lunch. Attendees also had the opportunity to showcase their creativity by participating in the annual Halloween costume contest. I commend the SLVHA on another fun and exciting community event!

Supporting Community Health in San Leandro

In December, I co-sponsored a community health fair at the San Leandro Senior Community Center with Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Nearly 200 community residents attended the event and received valuable information from health care service agencies and providers, community organizations, and government agencies. In addition, the Alameda County Community Food Bank provided a free food distribution for food insecure attendees. I would like to thank all the service providers from the Alameda County Public Health Department for taking the time to attend this beneficial community event.

Upcoming Events 

ACCYF Season for Nonviolence Speech Contest
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Middle School Contest: 10 AM-12 PM
High School Contest: 1 PM-3 PM
Alameda City Hall, Council Chambers
2263 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, CA

Alameda Career Fair
Thursday, March 21, 2019
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Encinal High School Gymnasium
210 Central Ave., Alameda, CA

SLVHA Earth Day
Saturday, April 20, 2019
San Lorenzo Village Homes Association
377 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo, CA

Advance Care Planning Panel
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
10 AM-11:30 AM
Asian Health Services Library
101-8th St., Oakland, CA
*Cantonese translation available*

County Update
Thursday, May 30, 2019
5:30 PM: Meet and Greet
6:00 PM: County Update
San Lorenzo Library Community Room
395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo, CA

Showtime in San Lorenzo
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Lorenzo Theater
16080 Hesperian Blvd., San Lorenzo, CA

Community Resources 

Boards and Commissions
Are you interested in serving Alameda County and District 3? There are currently several openings to become a District 3 representative. Learn more at Applications, including a cover letter and resume, can be submitted to

Healthy Homes
Lead poisoning, asthma triggers, and safety issues in the home are a serious threat to our children’s health. The Alameda County Healthy Homes Department has services to help low-income residents and property owners make homes safer for young childrenOther services include free lead paint repair and free trainings. For more information, visit

Project Leadership Series
Are you a parent of a child with special health needs? Family Voices of California is looking families who can be prepared and supported to advocate for improved healthcare. Family Voices will offer a Project Leadership training series, which will include a $250 stipend for participants who complete all seven sessions. Free on-site childcare and lunch will be offered. To apply to Project Leadership or for more information, contact Lilian Ansari at 510-547-7322 ext. 122 or, or visit

AAA Senior Resource Guide
Alameda County’s Area Agency on Aging website has elder service tips, news, and resources. Click here to visit the website and learn more about resources available to all seniors in Alameda County.

Alameda County Resource Guide
For information and referrals on Alameda County programs, check out our resource guide:

Starting a Local Business
Do you want to open a business in Alameda County but don’t know where to begin? Alameda County has two great guides that will help you get started:

-          Guide #1: Starting a Business in Alameda County

-          Guide #2: Starting a Business in Unincorporated Alameda County

  • (Ashland, Castlewood, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, Happy Valley, Hayward Acres, Hillcrest Knolls, San Lorenzo, and Sunol)

East Bay Connects
Are you connected? East Bay Connects provides access to low-cost broadband for as little as $10 a month. New broadband subscribers can receive a free home computer, free digital literacy training, a year of free tech support, and access to many resources to learn how to use broadband. For more information, call East Bay Connects at (886) 460-7439 or contact James Nixon at (510) 377-7224 or