August 2020

Dear Friends,

Important Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, 8/27/20 Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan Virtual Open House Launch here

Tuesday, 9/1/20 Virtual Q&A with Mayor Beach via Zoom or Phone, 5-6 PM: 

• Tuesday, 9/8/20 @ 7PM:  City Council Meeting with Minimum Wage discussion via Zoom.  Agenda posted here.

View our City Council meeting video recordings and review our agendas here to confirm the location, date, time, and detailed meeting content. 

As the summer transitions to fall, it seems like a lifetime ago when COVID-19 turned our world upside down -- and now  wildfires are raging in San Mateo County.  Although recent events have caused tremendous hardship, it has strengthened our community in other ways and reminded us how interconnected and accountable we are to one another.  I'm inspired by countless acts of generosity towards front-line workers and community members who are suffering the most.  Thank you, Burlingame, for appreciating our first-responders, checking on isolated neighbors, shopping locally,  minimizing social gatherings, and wearing face coverings wherever you go. 

Here in my August newsletter, I wanted to flag some important civic matters worthy of your attention:  

1) Accelerated Minimum Wage Ordinance Discussion on Tuesday, 9/8 at 7PM via Zoom: 
Join our City Council discussion as we vote on whether to join other cities throughout our region by increasing local minimum wage to $15/hour plus CPI on 1/1/21, in recognition of the high cost of living in the San Francisco Bay area.  The City of San Mateo led the County with a local minimum wage ordinance that accelerated the path to $15 starting on 1/1/17, and since then many other jurisdictions have followed (see below for rates as of 1/1/21.)  Currently, Burlingame follows state-wide minimum wage laws

During our City Council's study session on this matter back on February 3, 2020, we learned from the County of San Mateo Health System representatives that 25% of the County's workforce are low wage workers earning
 $15 or less per hour.  Nearly 75% of these low wage workers are between the ages of 25-64 years old, 45% of whom are raising children. Although many Burlingame businesses already pay their workforce $15/hour or more to be competitive, we learned others do not. The fundamental question for our community is whether or not we are willing to pay more for the goods, services, and restaurant meals we purchase in town so that our lowest wage workers (in car washes, retail, restaurants, drivers, and some childcare positions) earn more, and so that our small businesses don't bear the financial burden.   

Action request: wherever you stand on this matter, please click here to participate in our City-wide survey published in Burlingame's e-News last week to share your opinion. The survey closes on 9/1/20 so please act now.  We value everyone's opinions.  

I also invite everyone to join our City Council meeting on 9/8 at 7PM via Zoom when the decision will be made. You may also email your opinion privately (on the public record) to the entire City Council by writing [email protected].  If instead you email [email protected] the City Clerk will read your opinion out loud during the meeting.  Find meeting details and Zoom link information here.  

2) Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Virtual Open House launches TODAY through 9/17:  The City of Burlingame is updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the first time since 2004!  During past year, our staff and community have been hard at work studying ways to make walking and biking safer and more accessible here in Burlingame.  We're completing the final stages of the plan with draft recommendations, and we need your feedback. The site includes several "study corridors" where you can provide feedback on potential designs.  When you have 15 minutes or so to spare, please visit I strongly recommend watching the 4-minute YouTube tutorial before you begin because it provides a helpful overview.

3) The Burlingame Collaborative update: We all need some good news these days, so here is a bright spot.  This summer, a group of 60+ Burlingame community leaders representing 40+ Collaborative_logo.jpgorganizations convened (virtually) three times since June to discuss gaps in our community's COVID-19 response and how together we can make Burlingame more resilient.  It's been inspiring to see subcommittees comprised of leaders from local businesses, non-profits, service clubs, faith organizations, activists, education, labor, health care, seniors, parents, and government come together to strengthen relationships, communication, and tackle tough issues. We've prioritized isolation, health and safety messaging, business struggles, basic needs for our most vulnerable residents, and distance learning.  Tangible results are already happening.  For example, faith leaders and CALL Primrose food pantry developed a new process to eliminate barriers for our most vulnerable residents to access free groceries.  Another committee developed this COVID-19 Community Resource Guide that will be published in our City's upcoming Activity Guide mailed to every Burlingame residence. Even the simple (yet powerful) idea to publish our City's weekly e-News on Next Door originated here.  Other committees are exploring ways to raise funds for existing rental assistance programs and PPE grants for small businesses. Stay tuned in future newsletters for more information about how you can help. It takes a village to respond to COVID-19, and our village is stepping up in a big way. I'm so proud of our community.

4) Dr. Morrow's latest Health Officer Statement: On 8/6, Dr. Morrow published another statement to the community.  His final paragraph reads: "To get out of this situation depends on all of us. Our collective best course of action: No gatherings outside of immediate households, use facial coverings extensively, and social distancing."  Please take 5 minutes to read his full statement here.

5) Join me for my 14th virtual constituent Q&A during COVID-19 this Tuesday, 9/1 @ 5PM.  I strive to be accessible to you during these challenging times.  Visit my events page for instructions about how to dial-in by phone or join via Zoom video conference.  Bring your questions or comments about any City matter on your mind -- or feel free to just listen in.  Thanks for spreading the word by sharing this invitation to others who may not receive my newsletter. You can forward this email, or share the following URL link:

6) Please, wear those face coverings!  Remember, the law requires everyone aged 12 and older (who is able) to wear a face covering when we can't maintain six feet of social distance from others outside our household. That means even if you are exercising outside, you must have a face covering in your possession and put it on anytime you can't maintain a safe social distance. More information about face coverings can be found here:  Earlier this month, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance implementing warnings & fines against individuals who refuse to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth and businesses who allow violations in their establishments. If you observe violations at businesses or gatherings, you may report them to the Burlingame Police Department (non-emergency line) at 650-777-4100 so our officers can observe and respond.
As a reminder, here are some trusted primary sources of COVID-19 Information:

Be safe, be kind, and let’s continue finding ways to care for one another in the months ahead.  Thanks for reading and keep in touch. 

Warmest regards always,

Emily Beach 
Mayor, City of Burlingame 

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P.S.  If you seek more frequent updates, keep in touch with me via Q&A events via ZoomFacebook, Twitter, and my website.  If you send me an email message, I appreciate your patience with my reply during these busy times.