Happy New Year!
Although we are only four weeks into 2018 it’s already been very busy and productive for the Redwood City Council and for me.
At our first meeting in January, we passed a Transient Occupancy Tax for short-term rentals, like AirBnB, that will generate approximately $400,000 year which we voted to dedicate to our affordable housing fund.
At our second meeting, the most high profile discussion was the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Scoping session for the proposed Harbor View project east of 101. This was the opportunity for the Council and the public to provide input on what we want to see studied regarding potential environmental impacts of a project. Typically, such a scoping session would be conducted at the Planning Commission level, but given its significance we all provided input and heard from the public. In addition, we offered opinions on what we’d like to see in community benefits beyond the required community impact fees. My recommendations included childcare, an onsite park, and wetlands restoration. Several councilmembers also sought to have the jobs-housing impact of this project studied. Redwood City residents can still provide input online until February 12.
In addition, our community collaborative, Redwood City 2020, unanimously accepted my recommendation to seek funding for a coordinator position to pursue new childcare opportunities by working with all our partners and participants to expand local childcare options.
Minimum wage increase outreach was in full force with several community meetings and extensive business outreach by all council members and our city staff. I walked Sequoia Station talking to managers and employees and was almost unanimously met with agreement that raising the minimum wage for Redwood City would make a difference.
As a city councilmember I am also active with the League of California Cities, the association dedicated to advocating on behalf of cities statewide. Within the League I serve on a number of policy committees working on issues related to children, local parks, homelessness in our communities and the increasing impacts of rising pension costs and potential solutions that serve all stakeholders.
Finally, who attended the Women’s March? Like last year, it was inspiring to see so many people focused on raising our voices around a variety of issues important to women. Feel free to share any photos on my FB page (and like it if you haven’t already). I love to seeing everyone’s signs!
Please get in touch if you have any thoughts or concerns. Until the end of February…