A few days ago, I went with my friend to the Department of Social Services (aka: the Welfare, Medi-Cal, Food Stamps and General Assistance office) located in the County of San Mateo. I was totally amazed and blown away by how many people were waiting in line to get help and assistance for probably themselves and/or their families. These were people of very low-income and living in a low-income close to poverty part of the County of San Mateo, how shall I put this delicately, lets just say the complete opposite of people living in Hillsborough, Portola Valley and/or Atherton. I saw one woman sign up and ask for Medi-Cal benefits for her and her young children that was her number one priority to see a Doctor and just have the Medi-Cal benefits just in case something happens. Another person was just asking for General Assistance and Food Stamps to help both pay his rent and get something to eat at the same time. My friend was there just to drop off their monthly income report needed to continue receiving his Food Stamps and Medi-Cal benefits, someone told me that the State of California as well as all the counties were getting much more people requesting and/or asking for help and assistance with not only the loss of jobs and income but with the high deficit that we are encountering. I am personally very happy to see that the State of California does not neglect and abandon there constituents and their residents and that they can go to their Department of Social Services (Human Services Agency) in any county (i.e. County of San Mateo) to get help and assistance with Food Stamps, Medi-Cal, General Assistance as well as other help and information like Family Planning and Family Budgeting. I do understand that the State of California would prefer to see all these people finding steady and full-time jobs and working instead of being unemployed and receiving help and assistance but until more jobs are available all these very low-income people just do not have a choice and if they have a family with young children to help and support their need is more urgent and dior than anyone else.
As the month of January and the new year of 2012 is in full swing, after all the holiday parties and New Years Day celebrations that we endured and enjoyed and are now behind us, we need to start to concentrate on the year 2012 but seriously. We have two important events that our country, first the United States is facing the 2012 Presidential Election, right now is the time to start and begin communicating with everybody including friends, family, loved-ones, co-workers and just about any and every stranger that is of legal voting age and start campaigning for the 2012 Republican Party and/or GOP candidate whoever it might be. I will be honest, I thought Mitt Romney was going to automatically run away with it because that is the only name that everybody mentions then comes the Iowa Caucuses the first real test for all the Republican candidates and Romney only wins the Iowa Caucus by a mere eight votes, Rick Santorum gets much needed momentum and believe it or not pulls into second place now making it a brand new race for the White House. The Republican Party and/or GOP has shown that they are divided by the final results in the Iowa Caucuses and the Democratic Party loves and enjoys when the GOP is divided because they can move, convince and/or sway good GOP voters for their candidates and especially in the upcoming 2012 Presidential election that is just too big of a risk to take because we can end up with the same unfortunate and terrible results as the 2008 Presidential election where Barack Obama won and the people of the United States were not happy with the ultimate selection. So as members of the Republican Party, we need to work very hard and start to be united and/or unified to the choice we are going for President of the United States including for upcoming Primaries and Caucuses and push the candidate as much as you can so we can bring the United States back to its proper place and return the United States Constitution as our legal system and our ways of government the way our founding fathers wanted to begin with, remember the old saying “united we stand, divided we fall” there is no further proof of real evidence than a Presidential election where as always each and every vote counts. Second the large deficit that we are facing both for the State of California and for the United States, we need to also work hard and tighten our spending belts and not waste any money if possible the deficit was not made in one day but if we all work hard by making cutbacks and reductions year after year we can lower the deficit sooner than you know it. Lets make the year 2012 a positive year as well as a financially productive year and get our country the United States moving and going towards the right direction with the right person for President of the United States.
A few days ago, I was walking in downtown Redwood City, California and I was noticing a lot of places that use to have businesses for example; coffee shops, restaurants, specialty stores, even a photography studio are now empty and are either up for lease and/or up for sale. I thought to myself why is this happening in Redwood City where we just finished building and opening a brand new movie theater complex with several small stores, restaurants, and office space along side to keep the local city ecomony strong and flouirishing. I kept walking along and even at the new movie theater complex there were a couple of spaces that use to have a business there but is now empty and the usual for lease sign. Then at a spur of the moment, a friend of mine and I were discussing how expensive it is to live here in Redwood City, now do not get me wrong I love Redwood City and the San Francisco Bay Area in general but in my opinion it is getting very expensive not only to live here but it is even more expensive to work and/or start a business here in Redwood City with all the fees, requirements, monthly lease, and other costs that make prospective business owners, propietors, and even future homeowners nervous, scared, and decide to go somewhere else to start their American dream as well as help the financial economy of another city instead of Redwood City that is not a good idea in my eyes or in other citizens of Redwood City that see more financial opportunity and prosperity disappearing because of the financial obstacles that can be fixed. What we need to do here in Redwood City as well as the entire San Mateo County, we need to help lower the prices of business spaces that are available for sale and/or for lease and at the same see if the city of Redwood City will help and cooperate by lowering just a little bit the fees, costs, and requirements to start up and/or open up a new business that in the long run will ultimately help Redwood City financially. In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed almost 4 or 5 spaces that are empty and available for new businesses and entrepreneurs to start up but I guess not only the monthly rental fee is a liitle bit to high but the city business permit requirements are also very high as well. I do not even want to start about the property taxes that are charged by San Mateo County not only to current business but of course to homeowners as well they are completely out of control that could be another factor why prospective businesses and owners are looking at other cities to go to. My point is the city of Redwood City needs to start thinking about the future and start to look at how they can lower the cost(s) and requirement(s) so that prospective businesses and owners will want to come here to Redwood City and make our future brighter. Because if we do not act now, more people and businesses will leave Redwood City and we might end up as a neglected and deserted place.
I was just reading a newspaper article that the CalTrain, which is the commuter train that travels from San Francisco all the way down to Morgan Hill/Gilroy in the South Bay passing through San Jose on the Peninsula in both San Mateo County and Santa Clara County. I read that they are losing about $53 million dollars per year and at this moment are in a real serious financial deficit. Now I do understand that the entire State of California is in a financial crisis but CalTrain will all the commuters and/or passengers that travel on that system everyday including weekends and let us not forget when the San Francisco Giants and/or the San Jose Sharks play at home the trains are even more fully loaded with true die-hard and loyal fans that would like to save some gas and money in regards to getting to the game(s). Even after all this, CalTrain is still in financial troubles, maybe it is because of the price of taking the CalTrain which is I believe about $10.00 per zone and/or area as they are called but I could be wrong. Lowering the ticket prices just a little bit can help in these tough financial situations because not only do hard-working Californians have to pay high taxes and high prices on food, gas, and other necessities, but to also have to pay a high price on commuting to work can be a heavy burden and can take its toll on anyone. The funny part about that news article is that one of the ideas and suggestions that the Board of Directors made was just to use one train for the entire day which in my opinion would not be a smart idea especially to people that are trying to get to work or to a specific place in a certain and specific time. Let’s see if there are any other suggestions and/or ideas to help solve CalTrain financial problems.