April 16, 2020 Update from Supervisor Connolly

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Our collective actions are paying off, with encouraging results from our testing sites in Marin and strong indications that we are flattening the curve and saving lives.  At the same time, the impacts of the restrictions have been significant, causing strain on our small businesses, the loss or reduction of countless jobs, restrictions on our way of life, and impacts on our mental health.  Keep reading for some of the things we are doing at the County to support our physical health and safety, provide economic support, ensure public engagement in the civic process, and talk about mental health.  This week we started to hear discussions about how we are going to start easing restrictions in the weeks and months ahead, at both the State and County level.  It won’t be quick, and it won’t be easy, but I am happy to see some light in the tunnel.

San Rafael Small Business COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund is Live

I am pleased to announce that applications are available for the San Rafael Small Business Relief Fund. Applications are available on the San Rafael Chamber website, and are open through April 20th at 5pm.

On April 14th, I asked the Board of Supervisors to authorize the County to contribute $50,000 to the San Rafael Small Business Relief Fund, which will be considered by the Board on April 21st. To date, approximately $200,000 is available in the Relief Fund, when including City of San Rafael and County contributions of $50,000 each. Solicitations of charitable donations are ongoing. We are pleased that this community partnership has come together to provide a lifeline to our small businesses. We hope this can serve as a model for others. If you are interested in donating to the fund, please let me know.

Shelter in Place: When will things begin to change?

It’s too early to say exactly when we can stop sheltering in place. The current Shelter in Place Order goes through May 3rd. We anticipate an updated Order  with a framework on how we will move forward in easing restrictions. Dr. Matt Willis, Marin’s Public Health Officer, said there are several steps that must be taken before we can begin to ease some of the restrictions for Marin County. The state and our local health officials are looking at six factors to answer this question.

  1. The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed

  2. The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19

  3. The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges

  4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand

  5. The ability for businesses, schools, and childcare facilities to support physical distancing

  6. The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary

This week Dr. Willis has been explaining the data and testing . If you are not receiving those videos, I encourage you to subscribe.

Our regional public health officers have led the way in being first to issue a shelter in place order. We’re going to continue to work together to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all people in Marin. For more information on state level initiatives go to: https://www.gov.ca.gov/

Marin COVID-19 Fund Update

The Marin Community Foundation (MCF), in collaboration with the County of Marin, has determined that all donations from this point forward for the COVID-19 Fund of MCF will be dedicated to rental assistance for our most economically vulnerable residents.

MCF has agreed to increase their support of Health and Human Services emergency rental assistance providers from $500,000 to $1 million with the understanding that the County would match these additional funds. On April 21st the Board of Supervisors will consider accepting the additional $500,000 grant from MCF and allocating an additional $500,000 to increase the total amount available for rental assistance to $1.65 million. The new funding will be prioritized to provide emergency rental assistance to low income residents over the next eight weeks. This will help mitigate the effects of loss of income to both tenants and landlords as we continue to shelter in place. Those wishing to make a donation can do so by going to The Marin Community Foundation.

COVID Song and Radio Show for Youth and Radio Show in Spanish

Click on the photo below to check out these Marin residents and essential workers taking the shelter in place order in stride.

Our youth are at home, away from friends and much needed socialization. Multicultural Center of Marin’s Tay Radio Marin is offering information and resources in English for young adults every Friday at 4:00pm on
Tay Radio Marin

The Multicultural Center of Marin has been bringing people together through the air waves for years and now they’re talking about local resources for the Latinx community and youth. Tune in every Wednesday at 11:00am for Cuerpo Corazon Comunidad (Body Heart Community) a Spanish radio show focusing on the current health and economic crisis, answering questions on-air and providing regular updates. You can connect with them on Channel 26, MarinTV.org on KBBF 89.1 and KWMR 90.5. You can also go on facebook or online.

Marin Voice: Mental Health

As our lives change and we spend more time at home, we need new strategies and new approaches on how to stay healthy. On April 10th, I published an article in the Marin IJ with Dr. Jei Africa, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, on the importance of staying connected while fighting the coronavirus, please take a read in the Marin IJ.

Here are some tips from our behavioral health team on how to stay mentally healthy while staying at home:

  • Get some physical exercise. Whether a walk around the block, a bike ride, a hike in a nearby open space, or an online class from your favorite studio. Fresh air and exercise can reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

  • Maintain a schedule. Working from home provides the opportunity to wake up to work emails and go to bed with work emails. Take time for yourself before turning on your device, by breathing, reading and looking for silver linings.

  • Limit your intake of media. Get an update from trusted new sources, we recommend coronavirus.marinhhs.org for Marin County specific daily updates. Once you find your trusted source, limit the amount of time you are looking at online news. Focus only on the things you can control.

  • Be kind to yourself. Having compassion and lowering expectations for yourself is important during this time. If it feels insurmountable, ask for help. Accept help from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

New Board Aide: Gustavo Goncalves

We have been fortunate to have Susannah Clark in District 1 for many years, she has done so much to raise community voices and tackle community challenges. Susannah is now enjoying her retirement and we welcome a new team member. I want to introduce you to Gustavo Goncalves, our new Board Aide.

Gustavo Goncalves

Gustavo, a 20-year Marin County resident, began working with our community as an Outreach Coordinator through Buckelew’s Transitional Age Youth program. He has served on the Cultural Competence Advisory Board as a non-profit community partner, volunteer, and a county employee. Most recently as a Senior Program Coordinator in Behavioral Health, Gustavo worked hard to use technology to shed a light on client outcomes and contracts. He brings a great deal of enthusiasm, analytical problem-solving skills, and a drive for equity to his work. Gustavo is a partner in making government work for the people.

As a community member Gustavo enjoys the outdoors and volunteering with Big City Mountaineers and the Multicultural Center of Marin to give under-resourced youth an opportunity to backpack through the Sierras. We are excited to have Gustavo on the team . Gustavo can be reached at ggoncalves@marincounty.org or (415) 473-7342. Mary Sackett can be reached at msackett@marincounty.org or (415) 473-7354.

Board Meetings: How to Stay Civically Engaged

For the first time the Board of Supervisors held its meeting through videoconferencing and Facebook live. I want to make sure that as things change you have the information you need to voice your opinion and remain civically engaged. Board agendas are posted ahead of time and you can comment on agenda items using the new comment form online. You can see the details about online Board of Supervisor meetings in this News Release.

Damon serving on the BOS online

Let’s Keep Talking

Thank you to our healthcare workers who continue to show up, working hard for our community. Thank you to our first responders, grocery clerks, residential care staff, teachers, in-home workers, food banks, meal deliveries, and all of our essential workers. Thank you to Marin for showing the world how it’s done, by staying home and observing physical distancing and wearing a mask in public. Let’s all continue to be involved with our community and loved ones, reach out to friends, neighbors and anyone you haven't spoken to in a while. Our community is resilient, and we will continue to work together to address these new challenges. If you would like to chat, please let me know, and I will give you a call. Keep in touch, we will get through this together.




Marin County Board of Supervisors, District 1

3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903

Direct Tel: (415) 473-7331


Newsletter: https://www.marincounty.org/depts/bs/district-1/newsletters

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