November 6, 2020 Update from Supervisor Connolly

District 1 Supervisor Connelly Banner Image

In This Issue
  • Democracy at Work in Wisconsin

  • Mobile Crisis Team Expansion

  • COVID Update

  • The Grid: Public Safety Power Shutoffs and Webinar on Solar + Battery Storage

  • Marin Housing Element
    Input Opportunity

  • Memorial Path
  • Can Do Virtual 5K

Dear Friends,

I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to see democracy in action in a battleground state this past week. I served as a voter protection volunteer attorney in Milwaukee through the Wisconsin Democratic Party at two polling places during early voting and then at a third polling place on Election Day. It was a front row seat to voting in a pivotal state in this presidential election. Wisconsin has been center stage for protests and rioting under the Black Lives Matter movement, and Milwaukee is 30 minutes north of Kenosha. The polling places I worked at attracted a lot of media attention, including the New York Times and even a Swiss television crew!

The nation continues to await the final word on the presidential election, and many of us continue to bite our nails as we watch the final battleground states come into clearer focus. Biden is projected to win Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, although the outcome will not be certified until every vote is counted. Above all, I was impressed by the record number of people who decided to participate in our system and cast their votes either by mail, through early voting, or on election day. I saw dedicated poll workers from all walks of life who were willing to step up to ensure that the foundation of our democratic system functions well. I am pleased to report that I did not see anything out of the ordinary and did not make any reports of improper activities while relishing the opportunity to help with the process wherever I could. It was my impression that many people in Wisconsin, as was the case nationwide, voted by mail, and the weekend leading up to election day and election day itself were examples of peaceful civic engagement.

Locally, the Marin County Elections Department continues to count ballots. Turnout in Marin may exceed 90% of the county’s 175,220 registered voters once all ballots are tallied. You can find updated counts by looking at the Marin County election results dashboard. Visit the state election results website for statewide results. Congratulations to those elected locally; we have qualified and intelligent representatives.

Your Vote Your Voice 2

Milwaukee Polling Place Rust Belt Love

Mobile Crisis Expansion

Many Marin residents with behavioral health issues can be in an endless cycle between the street, the back of an ambulance or patrol car, and the jail. The Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Advisory Committee that I chair is tasked with breaking the revolving door. We facilitate cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary collaboration between the county, courts, and community-based organizations. This is not easy work, and there are no easy solutions, but we have committed staff and we continue to lean in on issues regarding COVID, social justice, the economy, and criminal justice and behavioral health.

Our Mobile Crisis Response Team provides an expert mental health response to residents in crisis. However, the hours of operation are not currently sufficient; crises do not limit themselves to 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Through a California Health Facilities Finance Authority grant focused on school-based youth we are expanding the services to cover school hours. The hours are Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday: 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm through June 2021, the grant end date. This is a welcome expansion, with more needed and underway.

Working with our partners, I’m exploring the possibility of additional crisis teams, improved geographic coverage, and expanded evening coverage. With strong partners at the table, we continue to unpack the central question of how do we best serve our community in response to a crisis and do it in a coordinated and cooperative fashion.

COVID-19 Update

Our goal as a county is to demonstrate sustained improvement and remain in the Orange Tier. Over the past months, we have progressed, endured great challenges, and persevered to the Orange Tier on October 27th. As cool temperatures and rain drive people inside, we need to remain vigilant, especially during the holidays. Students will return from college, families may travel and gather. Let’s stay in the Orange; keep wearing masks, physical distancing, and washing our hands to keep our case rates low and to keep Marin in the Orange Tier. 

As of November 4th, Marin’s adjusted case rate was 2.6%, with a positivity rate of 1.0% (decrease of 0.4% since last assessment), and a Health Equity Quartile Test Positivity Rate of 1.5% (decrease of 0.9%). I am really proud that we have made strides on the equity metric, ensuring that the most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not significantly lag behind our overall county test positivity rate. Our commitment continues, as proclaimed in our Board Resolution on Tuesday, recognizing efforts made and a commitment to keep going. There are new resources for parents and students and a dashboard showing cases among students and staff in Marin County schools that have in-person learning. As of November 6th, there are not any suspected in-school transmission cases in Marin County.

In early May, Supervisor Arnold and I began weekly meetings with civic and business leaders and chambers of commerce to steer the Marin Economic Recovery Task Force. We set goals to develop a long-term strategic plan for economic recovery and vitality, share vital information with stakeholders, and advocate at the state and federal level and support local efforts.

Working with the Marin Economic Forum, we applied for a federal Economic Development Administration grant to fund a strategic planning process. We are waiting to hear about our application. The Task Force has facilitated small business grants, worked to streamline outdoor dining and parking modifications, clarified state guidelines, set up pop-up testing for essential workers, and more. The group offers a two-way street between local business leaders and public health officials. We know that success in our recovery will depend on our ability to work together. As a glass half full person, I look forward to those conversations and partnerships.

We remain focused on our goals and are exploring short-term economic actions to stimulate local business and build on our early successes. We are now working to increase access to capital for small businesses, especially businesses in underserved communities. What we as a community can do, is spend our dollars in our community. Our local businesses are open, with safeguards in place. What businesses need most is customers. #ShopLocal

Marin Recovers 

The Grid: Public Safety Power Shutoffs and Webinar on Solar + Battery Storage

PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs continue to be significant threats and the source of disruptions. These events are serious, especially for residents dependent on electric medical equipment or refrigerated medicines. We must reduce the impact of de-energization events on our community. The County of Marin, along with a coalition of counties, continues to work to ensure county representation before the California Public Utilities Commission. This week the Board of Supervisors approved the extension of the legal service agreement securing representation to continue working through the PSPS Rulemaking decisions, focusing on how the utilities assess costs and benefits of PSPS events.

If you are interested in learning more about solar panels and battery backup, I encourage you to take advantage of two no-cost battery storage webinars. Solar alone will not provide you with power during a PSPS because the grid is down. A battery can provide power during a PSPS. The webinar will provide information on adding a battery to your solar panels. The majority of the time will be spent on battery storage, but home energy efficiency will be covered as well.

There are two dates and times available:

  • Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, December 9 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Visit the Eventbrite page to learn more and register for your preferred date. 

Home Battery Storage Webinar

Help Guide Marin’s 10 Year Housing Vision

The County’s Community Development Agency is currently recruiting participants for the Housing Element Stakeholder Committee to advise on the seventh Housing Element plan. The group will review draft documents and make recommendations to staff in preparation for the 2024-2030 Housing Element, a guiding document that shows Marin is working to meet existing and planned housing needs according to state law.

All towns, cities, and counties in California must deliver a Housing Element plan every eight years. Marin’s housing plans must show how a range of housing choices can be provided to accommodate the diversity of incomes, lifestyles, and workforce needs. The Housing Element identifies sites appropriately zoned for future housing development in unincorporated Marin, including emergency shelter and transitional units. The stakeholder committee will evaluate housing site selection guidelines, check compliance with the Countywide Plan, help develop new policies and programs, solicit ideas from outside groups and act as stewards in the community, and work with economic and planning consultants on final recommendations.

If you are interested in participating in this process, please read this press release, check out the housing element website, and fill out an online application.

Memorial Path

The Memorial Trail in Terra Linda is an extremely steep and erosive trail on the northern slopes of Terra Linda Preserve. Marin County Parks is exploring concepts to reduce its environmental impact and create a sustainable connection that improves access for all recreation groups, including bicyclists. I had the opportunity to engage with nearly 50 residents to discuss how the path is used and what is desired for the future pathway. More to come, including opportunities for community input!

Memorial Trail

Can Do-Run as One Virtual 5K

We are putting in some miles. Next week my Aides and I will be running a 5k in support of the Miller Creek School District, Can-Do “Run and One.” I have run this for the past couple of years and will miss seeing friends and neighbors. The Virtual Run As One lets you run or walk anytime, anywhere from November 7 – 15, inside (treadmill) or outside. Please join us in supporting Can Do!

Can Do 5K Virtual Race 2


Let's keep talking.  



Marin County Board of Supervisors, District 1
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7331

District Aide: Mary Sackett
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7354 

District Aide: Gustavo Goncalves
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7342