News

Guest opinion: What the city of Mountain View and others can do to help during the health emergency

In this time of unprecedented crisis, our city must unite, and quickly move to support itself, for the short- and long-term well-being of our entire community. Thank you, City Council, for starting to take action.

Several actions our city, the county, the state, and other community partners, including large corporations, can support immediately to help our community include:

•Making sure all vulnerable populations have access to food, as the supply at food pantries dwindles, and getting food for many now requires standing in long lines and a subsequent lack of social distancing.

•Providing support for the families of children who are out of school, potentially through summer. Making sure children can access meals and online learning, with technology and internet access, and English as a second language and special needs accommodations. Finding ways to help all working families manage this challenge.

•Enacting a moratorium on utility shutoffs, including power, water, and internet services, until the crisis is over. Provisioning of free Wi-Fi via mobile hotspots, so people, now unable to use the internet at the library, senior center and other facilities, can stay informed and connected to others. Supporting mortgage and rent relief for those who lose jobs, including the $500,000 rent relief fund established this week.

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•Stabilizing the vulnerably housed by maintaining the new moratorium on oversized vehicle parking enforcement and affordable apartment demolitions, and prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent. Using vacant hotels to house the unsheltered.

•Providing emergency sanitation services to vehicle residents and other unstably housed people, since public facilities like park bathrooms, libraries, and churches, and private facilities, such as gyms, are now closed. Many of these residents are on the front line supporting us, working in restaurants and essential retail. Cities such as San Jose and Redwood City are doing this already. Providing sanitation services is a public health issue. Providing this service at Rengstorff Park is a great start.

•Opening our safe parking lots immediately and keeping them open 24/7, with sanitation stations, at Shoreline Amphitheatre and the VTA lot on Evelyn Street.

As we think of the slightly longer term, our city government must find ways to support our small businesses, which are so vital to the livability and character of our community, and support many families. We can't wait until later to do this. We must work in partnership with the county and state — and our chamber of commerce and other community partners — to enact emergency funding and loan programs to help businesses survive, and to pay employees. We need to consider a moratorium on small business evictions (like San Francisco), and look at tax and licensing relief, and find ways to drive demand in the future when businesses reopen. If we can bail out big business at the national level, we can support the businesses that are part of our daily lives, that are the lifeblood of our city.

While our government must step in, all of us must work together to take care of one another, and all of us should commit to checking in on seniors, the disabled, and others who may be having a very hard time right now. Kindness and patience, and the sudden appreciation that we are truly united at this moment, truly in this community together, will make this time bearable. We must pull together as a community, in true, old-fashioned Mountain View spirit, to take care of each other, and then be our best selves as we recover. Yes, this will require innovative thinking and swift action, new partnerships, crowdsourced solutions, and a renewed commitment to each other to try things we've never done before, and without lengthy studies and debate. With 85,000 amazing residents, hundreds of large companies, hundreds of small companies, and many great nonprofits and other community partners, we have what we need to do this. We can — we must — do this.

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We are greater than this crisis, and we will be greater for it.

IdaRose Sylvester is a Mountain View resident.

The Voice will publish guest opinions and editorials online every Sunday while the publication of our print edition is suspended. Submit signed op-eds of no more than 600 words to letters@mv-voice.com by Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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Guest opinion: What the city of Mountain View and others can do to help during the health emergency

by /

Uploaded: Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 8:39 am

In this time of unprecedented crisis, our city must unite, and quickly move to support itself, for the short- and long-term well-being of our entire community. Thank you, City Council, for starting to take action.

Several actions our city, the county, the state, and other community partners, including large corporations, can support immediately to help our community include:

•Making sure all vulnerable populations have access to food, as the supply at food pantries dwindles, and getting food for many now requires standing in long lines and a subsequent lack of social distancing.

•Providing support for the families of children who are out of school, potentially through summer. Making sure children can access meals and online learning, with technology and internet access, and English as a second language and special needs accommodations. Finding ways to help all working families manage this challenge.

•Enacting a moratorium on utility shutoffs, including power, water, and internet services, until the crisis is over. Provisioning of free Wi-Fi via mobile hotspots, so people, now unable to use the internet at the library, senior center and other facilities, can stay informed and connected to others. Supporting mortgage and rent relief for those who lose jobs, including the $500,000 rent relief fund established this week.

•Stabilizing the vulnerably housed by maintaining the new moratorium on oversized vehicle parking enforcement and affordable apartment demolitions, and prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent. Using vacant hotels to house the unsheltered.

•Providing emergency sanitation services to vehicle residents and other unstably housed people, since public facilities like park bathrooms, libraries, and churches, and private facilities, such as gyms, are now closed. Many of these residents are on the front line supporting us, working in restaurants and essential retail. Cities such as San Jose and Redwood City are doing this already. Providing sanitation services is a public health issue. Providing this service at Rengstorff Park is a great start.

•Opening our safe parking lots immediately and keeping them open 24/7, with sanitation stations, at Shoreline Amphitheatre and the VTA lot on Evelyn Street.

As we think of the slightly longer term, our city government must find ways to support our small businesses, which are so vital to the livability and character of our community, and support many families. We can't wait until later to do this. We must work in partnership with the county and state — and our chamber of commerce and other community partners — to enact emergency funding and loan programs to help businesses survive, and to pay employees. We need to consider a moratorium on small business evictions (like San Francisco), and look at tax and licensing relief, and find ways to drive demand in the future when businesses reopen. If we can bail out big business at the national level, we can support the businesses that are part of our daily lives, that are the lifeblood of our city.

While our government must step in, all of us must work together to take care of one another, and all of us should commit to checking in on seniors, the disabled, and others who may be having a very hard time right now. Kindness and patience, and the sudden appreciation that we are truly united at this moment, truly in this community together, will make this time bearable. We must pull together as a community, in true, old-fashioned Mountain View spirit, to take care of each other, and then be our best selves as we recover. Yes, this will require innovative thinking and swift action, new partnerships, crowdsourced solutions, and a renewed commitment to each other to try things we've never done before, and without lengthy studies and debate. With 85,000 amazing residents, hundreds of large companies, hundreds of small companies, and many great nonprofits and other community partners, we have what we need to do this. We can — we must — do this.

We are greater than this crisis, and we will be greater for it.

IdaRose Sylvester is a Mountain View resident.

Comments

Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:12 am
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:12 am
7 people like this

Restaurants can all provide take-out: ordering online. Too few have done so. What are the health protocalls for take-out operations?


Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 3:28 pm
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 3:28 pm
19 people like this

I am watching the President's news conference this Sunday afternoon. It included a group of corporate and political players who want to remain players. Some referred to President Trump's efforts as "incredible." It is one of Trump's favorite words. It means NOT CREDIBLE but has been hijacked in recent times to suggest something favorable. Another of Trump's favorite words is "unbelievable." Yes he is.


Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm
7 people like this

Did you catch the news conference? The new game is that, doing nothing, $2.2 million persons would have died from Covid-19 in America. So if fewer die, thank you President Trump?


Spade A. Spade
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Spade A. Spade, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm
46 people like this

No, Trump couldn't hide or twist the inevitable and now he's agreeing with those who had said at least April 30th for two weeks. He's consistently two weeks behind what the world and it's doctors are telling him.
He said states should do the best they could to prepare(No national plan) then tweeted about how some are "Hording"? How about a National response!? How about a plan?

Good lord, I'm Republican but this is undeniably horrible management of the crisis at the Federal level. Trump stood flat footed on this one and it has cost us dearly in lives and financials. The Republican Party deserves much better and the US deserves an actual leader...we have to stop pretending.


Moffett Joe
Old Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Moffett Joe, Old Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2020 at 5:59 pm
4 people like this

Do something about the drug dealers in the San Vernon apartments on Middlefield- up all night tweaking in the parking lot and revving engines speeding up and down the road and in the parking lot, they are gonna get someone hurt or killed


Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 8:24 pm
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 29, 2020 at 8:24 pm
4 people like this

You mean San Veron Apts? Are you suggesting the police should work a night shift? Sounds pretty demanding.


Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 30, 2020 at 12:41 am
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 30, 2020 at 12:41 am
4 people like this

Maybe the police could at least check to make sure that any late-night meth dealers operating in Mountain View have masks and gloves so they don't so easily spread Covid-19.


Restaurant take-out
Castro City
on Mar 30, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Restaurant take-out, Castro City
on Mar 30, 2020 at 6:08 pm
3 people like this

I may check out the crime scene at the Veron Apts on Middlefield tonight to see if the police did anything at all in response to the post above from "Moffett Joe." I would call "essential" travel to some all-night take-out. Give me one in the area. I will be driving a black van with darkened windows - or not.


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