News and Initiatives from Around the County

Karen Header

New Library Cards


Wildfire Preparedness Plan

Residents Wildland Fire Guide_ County Version -- FINAL -- 7-16-19_Page_01

Beware of Unsafe Medication 


Create a Hygiene Kit for the Homeless 

Do you travel frequently?
Do you have lots of unopened travel-sized toiletries?'

Help us freshen up the lives of homeless residents by donating NEW, unopened travel-sized toiletries for our Homeless Hygiene Kits. Or create a hygiene kit yourself! Fill a gallon Ziploc bag with the following new, unopened items.
Shopping list for Hygiene Kits:
(all items must be new & unopened) 
Soap (boxed/wrapper)
Razors/shaving lotion
Mini shampoos/conditioner
Wet wipes / wash cloths
Band Aids
Lip Balm
Feminine hygiene products
*Please NO mouthwash
*Please NO food items.

*Men's & women's kits vary by product brands or feminine products.

To drop off of your donated Homeless Hygiene Kits or for more information on snack packs please call: 925-521-5060.

2020 Census Jobs

The Census Bureau will be opening an office in Contra Costa County. 

Are you interested in a U.S. Census Bureau Job? The Census Bureau is looking for Contra Costa County residents for supervisory and non-supervisory jobs.
$25 - $27.50 per hour

Apply Online:

For more information or help applying, please call 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020)
Federal Relay Services 1-800-877-8339 TTY/ACSII

Catch a free BART ride to your next Discover & Go Excursion!

The Contra Costa County Library is once again offering free BART tickets for use with Discover & Go reservations from July through October. County residents who are 18 or older can submit a request for BART tickets by clicking on the banner ad on their Discover & Go pass starting July 1st.

To sign-up for BART tickets, view your July - October reservation on your Discover & Go account:
1) Click the "Print/Download" button
2) Click on the 511 banner on your Discover & Go pass to request your BART tickets. The banner will look like this: 511 Discover And Go

BART tickets will be mailed to cardholders' homes approximately five business days prior to their museum visit. The offer is limited to one request per household (for up to two $15 BART tickets) and is available while supplies last. This promotion is a partnership between 511 Contra Costa and the Library, and is intended to encourage the use of public transportation to visit museums.

Since its inception in 2011, Discover & Go has met Contra Costa County Library's goal of providing access to culture inside and outside the library by partnering with over 90 northern California cultural destinations, and making over 1,000,000 visits possible for library cardholders.

511 Contra Costa is a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that promotes transportation alternatives to the single occupant vehicle and encourages "green commutes". For more information, visit

The following venues are valid destinations for the BART ticket promotion. Try 511-Contra Costa's Trip Planner feature to plan your Discover & Go trip.

Asian Art Museum | Beat Museum | California Academy of Sciences California Historical Society | Children's Creativity Museum Chinese Historical Society of America Museum | Contemporary Jewish Museum de Young Museum | Exploratorium | Habitot Children's Museum International Art Museum | Lawrence Hall of Science | Madame Tussauds San Francisco McConaghy House (Hayward Area Historical Society) | Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment Museum of the African Diaspora | Oakland Museum of California | Ripley's Believe it or Not! San Francisco Dungeon | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive | Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

For more information about the program, please contact the Contra Costa County Library at or (800) 984-4636. 

Bay Area Air Quality Management District: 
More than $50 Million Available for Clean Air Projects

The Air District has more than $50 million available for projects to upgrade or replace on-road vehicles, school buses, off-road and agricultural equipment, marine equipment, and locomotives. Apply online today.

The Air District is accepting applications for grant funding for projects that reduce toxic air emissions and ozone-forming pollutants from older, polluting diesel engines. Eligible equipment includes medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses, mobile construction and industrial equipment, marine vessels, locomotives, and school buses.

Applications are currently being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for all equipment categories. Eligible project types include:
  • Equipment/vehicle replacement - replace older heavy-duty equipment/vehicles with newer and cleaner emission-certified equipment
  • Engine repower - replace older engines with newer, emission-certified engines
  • Power system conversions - convert existing equipment to operate on electric or hybrid power
  • CNG tank replacement - replace on-board compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel tanks on school buses
  • Infrastructure - as part of an eligible equipment project, install alternative fuel or battery charging stations to support new vehicles or equipment 
Authorized by AB 617, the Air District is working with local community residents through the Community Health Protection Grant Program to employ proven and innovative strategies to improve community health by reducing exposure to air pollutants in neighborhoods most impacted by air pollution. The Air District is offering over $50 million in grant funding from the  Community Health Protection Grant Program and Carl Moyer Program to help improve air quality in the Bay Area.

The Air District will prioritize applications for projects that reduce emissions in the following communities:
  • West Oakland
  • Richmond-San Pablo
  • East Oakland/San Leandro
  • Eastern San Francisco
  • Pittsburg-Bay Point area
  • San Jose
  • Tri-Valley area
  • Vallejo
Visit the Air District website to apply online and to get more information about available funds and equipment eligible for funding:

If you would like more information about the grants, you can call (415) 749-4994 or email

\If you would like more information about the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, please call (415) 749-500 or visit 

Canine Influenza in the East Bay 

Sad Puppy Opens in new window

There have been confirmed cases of canine influenza in the East Bay. Though Contra Costa Animal Services has not experienced any cases of the virus, they are strongly urging dog owners in the county to take precautions. Please view their informational flyer about canine influenza and consider speaking with your veterinarian about precautions you can take, including vaccinating your dog for canine influenza. 

Veterans' Voices to Explore Changes to VA Benefits with County Veterans Service Officers

Veterans Service Officers Discuss Changes to VA Benefits on "Veterans' Voices" local, live talk show produced by Veterans for the community. On Monday, June 17th, 2019 from 7pm to 8pm, we will hear from several County Veterans Service Officers about updates and changes to Veterans Affairs policies.   

The Veterans' Voices monthly program can be seen  live online on the County's website and Facebook @Veteransvoices1. The show will broadcast live and re-run multiple times on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) at CCTV can be found on Comcast Channel 27, Astound Channel 32, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 throughout Contra Costa County.
We will cover topics ranging from Agent Orange Blue Water Navy Service, Pension Changes, The Mission Act, and Appeals Modernization Act.  We'll also learn about the work done by the County Veterans Service Officers statewide, hear their personal stories, and why they continue to serve Veterans.
County Veteran Service Offices (CVSO) are the key agencies in providing California's veterans with assistance and connection to benefits and services in local communities throughout the state.  CVSOs are a critical component in the state's efforts to work directly with individual Veterans and their families to ensure our Veterans receive benefits they earned through their service to our Nation. CVSOs are on the front lines for this important mission and play a key role in ensuring that Veterans and their families are aware of their benefits, and in fact apply for and receive them.
Viewers can contribute to the show by asking a question through Facebook @Veteransvoices 1 or email
For more information about the program, show topic or to arrange interviews, including many veterans who volunteer to work on this locally produced talk show for veterans, contact County Veterans Service Officer, Nathan Johnson at or (925) 313-1481.

Weed Abatement Time is Here! 

Defensible Space Flyer

Starting this week, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District will be enforcing Weed Abatement Minimum Standards. 

"Weeds" means all wild plants growing on streets or private property in this jurisdiction. These include sagebrush, chaparral (chamise, coyote brush, greasewood, broom brush, buckwheat), dry grass, stubble, brush, and litter, or other flammable materials which are capable of being ignited and endangering the public safety by creating a fire hazard.
Property owners are ultimately responsible for managing their vegetation to meet fire district requirements. The Minimum Standards can be found here

In addition, wildfire safety is EVERYONE's responsibility. You can learn more about weed abatement and wildfire readiness including an informative video about creating defensible space around your home and a Ready-Set-Go plan for protecting your family at
East Bay Regional Parks Survey 

EBRP 85th Survey

Area Agency on Aging Launches Survey to Help Seniors and Caregiver

Senior Survey Flyer

Contra Costa County's Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has announced its 2019 Needs Assessment Survey of residents who are 60 years or more. The survey's purpose is to gather valuable data on the service needs of older adults and their caregivers residing within the county's 19 cities.  

The AAA is encouraging all seniors and caregivers to respond to the survey so the agency can collect accurate data for implementing services for the community. The Needs Assessment Survey is available online at:

 Seniors and their caregivers may take the survey from May through September 2019. AAA will tabulate the results during the fall and winter months, and present at the agency's public meeting in March 2020.

The AAA Needs Assessment Survey is key to the entire planning and service delivery process. The survey will inform the development and implementation of the Contra Costa Four-year Area Plan on Aging. The goal of the Four-year Area Plan on Aging is to provide a comprehensive view of how local services will address the need(s) the survey identifies, and demonstrate integration into the community service network.

 Contra Costa County's AAA mission is to provide leadership in addressing issues that relate to older Californians, to develop community-based systems of care that provide services which support independence within California's interdependent society, protect the quality of life of older adults and persons with functional impairments, and promote citizen involvement in the planning and delivery of service. 

Cooling Tips for Summer Heat 

Stay Hydrated

Contra Costa County Elections: 

Get Your Ballot by Mail

Contra costa county elections flyer

ConFire's 10,000 High School Students  Hands-Only CPR Initiative

As the 911 emergency ambulance provider for most of our county, Contra Costa County Fire EMS, with support from the ambulance transport Alliance partner, AMR, is launching an ambitious initiative this fall to train every high school student in the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District to save lives in our communities using simple Hands-Only CPR.

The justification is simple, too - every minute a sudden cardiac arrest victim goes without care, their chance of survival drops by eight to ten percent. Other communities have doubled their citizens' survival rates, in part, because high school students are trained as part of their standard academic curriculum.

The goal is to save lives by training more than 10,000 Contra Costa County high school students during the 2019-20 academic year.

Perhaps the best news for administrators, faculty, students, and the community is Hands-Only CPR training, based on the American Heart Association standard (, can be accomplished in an interactive and fun 10-minute class.

Training is being scheduled beginning with the start of the 2019-2020 academic year and will be conducted by uniformed Con Fire firefighters and AMR paramedics. The non-certification training includes a fun and age-appropriate video, a hands-on-mannequin practical portion, and a leave-behind reminder card - all designed for the high school student. Training can be hosted during assemblies, physical education classes, or lunch periods. The video can be found here.

On Tuesday, May 21st, I along with the rest of the Board of Supervisors became CPR Hands-Only Certified. 

Karen learning CPRKaren with CPR certification

Books at the Pleasant Hill Library

The Pleasant Hill Library was opened in 1961. The physical size of the library and its adjacency to the former Library Administration reflected the then-library organization as a large central library with satellite branches. The intent of the central library was to support patrons with in-depth reference or collection needs while also serving as a repository of special collections. In 2006, Contra Costa County Library made the strategic decision to transition from a central library organization to a peer library system, where a full range of library services are intended to be delivered at the first point of contact rather than referring the patron to a central library location. This meant that the Pleasant Hill Library was no longer considered the central library; and in fact, there is no central library in Contra Costa County. Instead, each library is focused on the needs of the local community. 
The peer library model has continued to develop since 2006. Patrons are able to place holds on library items in any County library or online and have those items shipped to the patron's preferred library for pick up. The County Library system also participates in Link+ which allows patrons to request items from libraries throughout California and Nevada for a temporary loan. Since the advent of the Internet, the County Library system has sought to make a variety of resources available including Rosetta Stone, Discover and Go, eBooks, audiobooks and much more. 
The County Library system operates 26 community libraries throughout the County. While each peer library houses popular browsing collections, items are purchased and circulated for everyone in the county to enjoy. 
The Library applies industry standards to assess materials in the collection by regularly conducting collection maintenance in an effort to keep the collection current, in good physical shape and consistently utilized. With continued maintenance, patrons are able to easily locate materials and discover new items. This maintenance is done in accordance with the Contra Costa County Library Collection Development Plan. The Plan includes guidelines for deselection of materials as follows:

Deselection is an evaluation of resources intended to remove items that are no longer useful from the collection. When libraries do not deselect regularly or consistently, customers have trouble finding interesting and relevant materials. Removing outdated or worn-out items makes the collection more visually attractive and more inviting to users. It helps assure patrons that the library supplies up-to-date information that is easy to find. Library staff may deselect items if they are obsolete, little used, in unusable condition, superseded, or replaced by a new edition or a better title on the subject. 
Deselection can help staff identify the gaps in collection areas and creates much needed space for new materials. Deselection also increases circulation by drawing attention to materials that had previously been overlooked. 

I understand that the deselection of books may be alarming, but this common practice yields higher circulation rates, better access and insures that the entire county collection is current. This applies to the circulation collection and does not affect the Historical Collections, which are part of a Grand Jury Report that the Board of Supervisors will be responding to in July.

Deselected books from all 26 libraries will be added to the Annual Book Giveaway this summer. This plan is available to the public and can be found on the library website at under Library Policies - Collection Development Plan.

Making Travel Plans? Make Sure You're Immunized Against Measles 

People planning international travel should ensure they have already received the recommended two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Nationwide, confirmed measles cases in 2019 total 704, the highest since 1994. Nearly all these cases have been linked back to international travel by unvaccinated people and subsequent spread in unvaccinated populations in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two doses of MMR vaccine for everyone: the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. Adults traveling internationally should get vaccinated for measles if they did not receive the two doses as children. Vaccination is the best protection against measles.

Talk to your doctor about travel immunizations at least four to six weeks before traveling. For those travelling internationally with a baby older than 6 months but younger than 12 months, the CDC recommends that the baby receive an early dose of MMR vaccine.
Infants and young children who contract measles are at risk of serious complications. More information about recommended vaccines for travelers is located on the CDC website:

Measles is still common in many parts of the world in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, South America, and Africa, including the Philippines, Israel, India, and the Ukraine. If you are planning a trip, protect yourself against diseases that are more common in the country you are visiting.

Measles immunizations are available at your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, or health clinic. Locate a place that offers the measles vaccine at

While no measles cases have been identified in Contra Costa County this year, Contra Costa Health Services is taking steps to increase public awareness about MMR vaccination and the spread of the disease and has increased the hours of its Travel Immunization Clinic on Fridays in Martinez.

MMR vaccine is available at the clinic upon request, including for babies as young as 6 months who are preparing to travel internationally. Visit for more information and the immunization fee schedule. Call 925-313-6488 to make an appointment.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. A person with measles can spread the disease to others even before they have any symptoms. A person develops measles from 7 to 21 days after being exposed to someone who is contagious with measles. Common symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash.

If you are unsure of your immunization status or may have had contact with someone with measles, consult with your doctor. It is very important to call ahead to any medical facility before going there and tell them that you may have been exposed to measles, so that the facility can take measures to protect other patients and visitors.

For more information about measles, visit Information for clinicians and providers is available at

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District 

Annual 2018 Report

undefined Opens in new window

The Annual Report includes general leadership and district structure information, response times statistics and summaries of important events and benchmarks from 2018. To read the full report, please visit: 
For more information about ConFire, please visit:

Contra Costa County Administration 

Building Update - Move in April 2020

Document (2)

From left to right: Supervisors John Gioia, Candace Andersen, me, Federal Glover and County Administrator David Twa after we signed our beam

Topping out ceremony

Document (5)

Document (1)

The County is updating its General Plan, Climate Action Plan and Zoning Code - a project called "Envision Contra Costa 2040" - setting a path for the future of conservation and development in the unincorporated county for the next twenty years. 

The County is hosting a series of Community Meetings to listen to your ideas about the future of our community and issues that need to be addressed, and to help everyone understand the role and importance of these plans and the update process.

To sign up for updates or to learn more about Envision Contra Costa 2040, please visit, call (925) 674-7791, or