Legislature to Vote on More Than $12 Million in Peninsula Investments Proposed by Senator Josh Becker

UPDATE: June 30, 2022 -- The Legislature approved more than $12 million in Peninsula investments proposed by Senator Josh Becker in the package of trailer bills that were passed on June 29 and sent to Governor Newsom, who signed them June 30. 

Approval will help fund municipal electrification, city parks creation, job training, fostering entrepreneurship and small business, and more

SACRAMENTO – More than $12 million in Peninsula investments proposed by Senator Josh Becker will be voted on by the Legislature this week. Both houses convene Wednesday night, June 29, to tackle bills that build on the framework of the $300 billion placeholder budget Governor Newsom signed on Monday.

“This funding will help improve the lives of Peninsula residents while strongly contributing to a healthier environment, strengthening pathways to skilled, good-paying jobs, fostering entrepreneurship and local business, and creating parklets in our county seat for all to enjoy,” said state Senator Josh Becker, D-Peninsula.

Here are the proposed allocations by Senator Becker that are included in the legislation:

Electrifying Homes and Buildings in Menlo Park

The city of Menlo Park is to receive $4.5 million to help fund its innovative municipal electrification program. The city is partnering with the tech company BlocPower, a B Corporation that prioritizes social and environmental performance, to make decarbonizing homes and buildings – by replacing appliances and heating, ventilation and cooling systems that run on fossil fuels with those that run on electricity – accessible to those who could not otherwise afford it.

The city’s Climate Action Plan sets a 2030 goal of carbon neutrality. With fossil fuel use in structures accounting for 41% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, building electrification is key to Menlo Park reaching its goal. The city’s new partnership is intended to help Menlo Park get there. It also includes a job-training component for people who are under-represented in the workforce that retrofits homes and buildings to become climate friendly. The program will first focus on Menlo Park’s Belle Haven district.

“Building electrification must be accessible to everyone and we must unlock financing to make that possible,” said Senator Becker, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on the Clean Energy Future and serves on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Climate Change policies.

Converting Parking Lots to Parks in Redwood City

The city of Redwood City is to receive $4.45 million to help fund its plan to convert two public parking lots into downtown park space, including a plaza, a children’s play space, public art, lawn and a garden.

The city also envisions creating the Redwood Creek trail to provide downtown connectivity to the Bay with boardwalks and pathways. Funding would also help Redwood City replace the synthetic turf fields at Fair Oaks School and Hawes Park. Both fields are in underserved neighborhoods without ready access to parks.

Replacing the Newell Road Bridge over San Francisquito Creek

The city of Palo Alto is to receive $2 million to replace the Newell Road Bridge over San Francisquito Creek. Replacing the Newell Road Bridge would improve safety for all modes of transportation, provide a designated crosswalk for pedestrians, improve the bicycle connection between the new East Palo Alto Pedestrian Overcrossing over Highway 101, and enable the creek channel to convey more creek flow and minimize the risk of flooding to Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto.

Caltrans has deemed the Newell Road Bridge functionally obsolete. Its replacement would then allow the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Water District to replace a nearby bridge, the Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge. That bridge has a low-flow capacity and cannot be replaced before the Newell Road Bridge is replaced because doing so would transfer further risk of flooding to downstream communities.

Fostering Entrepreneurship, Local Business and Job Training in North San Mateo County

The city of South San Francisco is to receive $1 million for programs serving North San Mateo County that foster entrepreneurship and encourage people to start their own businesses, help existing small businesses, and provide job training for underemployed or unemployed people.

“Supporting economic advancement benefits the entire community in addition to improving the lives and livelihoods of the people who access these services,” Senator Becker said.

Strengthening Pathways to Trade Apprenticeships

The San Mateo County Union Community Alliance is to receive $500,000 – an allocation sought by Senator Becker and Assemblymember Kevin Mullin – to help fund the Trades Introduction Program the alliance offers in partnership with the Local Registered Apprenticeship Programs. The 20-week program focuses on serving women, BIPOC individuals and other underrepresented populations and provides an introduction to green construction jobs as well as the crafts associated with them. Participants learn how to identify the crafts best suited to them, understand the job expectations they would be expected to meet or exceed, and navigate the application process for the trade they choose. The program also provides supportive services to participants, including help with transportation and childcare.

The trailer bill containing the district allocations must be approved by the Senate and the Assembly before heading to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.


Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, Leslie.Guevarra@sen.ca.gov, 415-298-3404