“It’s not World War I or World War II, but it is in that order of magnitude as a negative shock to the system” - Bill Gates on the impact of COVID-19
First we need to stop the spread here locally
So far the city council has left that important work up to the county. That is irresponsible. Our community has special needs and resources to stop the spread in Mountain View that do not apply to the larger Santa Clara County region of two million people.
What can the city be doing?
The Mountain View Police Department did one or two small mask distributions, but there is no reason that the city of Mountain View cannot be making masks widely available on an ongoing basis. Mask distribution is something my campaign has played a leading role in.
Set Up Daily Testing Sites
We have had a handful of days when testing was available locally in downtown Mountain View. We need to make sure that testing is available for everyone that needs a test in Mountain View, every day. This is critical for people who do not have access to a car to be able to get to tests when they need one.
Ensure Best Practices Are Followed
Over the last few months, we have learned a lot about how to stop the spread of the virus. We should be deploying city staff to ensure that local businesses and individuals across our community understand how to help best stop the spread.
In March, the city started a weekly newsletter to communicate about the pandemic. It required a desktop computer. We need to communicate how and where people are today -- across email, social media, and video. We need to ensure that city communications work on phones as well as desktop computers and we need to ensure everyone has access to the important information.
Mental Health Support
We should be offering socially distanced outdoor recreation activities so that citizens can get outside, stay healthy, and relieve stress.
After COVID is contained the city can do a lot to help our city recover and build back better. Some specific programs that will help recovery:
Speed up approval processes
Small businesses in our community will likely need to adapt their buildings to new realities after the virus has stopped spreading. Months and months of delays by City Hall will only hurt our community even more.
Temporarily suspend some inspections
Building inspections that did not happen during a period of shutdown will all need to happen around the same time when things fully reopen. Temporarily suspending some inspections will help increase the speed with which we can get back to normal.
This period of disruption means that we should not plow forward with the policy plans and ideas we had before the virus hit. We must take a step back and make sure that they still make sense going forward and that our priorities still match community needs.
Our city has a large balance sheet and can borrow very cheaply. We should be providing loans to small businesses and individuals that are in need to help them through this exceptional period.
“Coronavirus Debt Isn’t as Scary as Government Bungling”
- Noah Smith