For the last 12 years, I have been fortunate to call Millbrae my home. I enjoy all that the City has to offer for its citizens. However, I think there are areas in which Millbrae can be better. I believe Millbrae can be a great city.
I am beginning a series of articles to hopefully start a conversation about what it takes to make Millbrae a great affordable and sustainable city to live, work, and play. My intention is not to proselytize, criticize, or persuade. I don’t have an agenda. Having said that I do have an opinion based upon statistics, empirical facts, and personal observation that I would like to put forward to start the conversation.
As I share my opinion, I encourage all those who read them to share your opinions. Feel free to agree or disagree. The idea is to open an honest discussion. The more thoughts, opinions, or personal experiences shared the greater chance of ideas and solutions to make Millbrae a great city. Hopefully, some of you may be inspired to get involved with local community organizations that are charted to make positive changes to San Mateo county communities.
Earlier I used the words Affordable and Sustainable to define a great city. What does it mean to say that a City is affordable and sustainable? Let me begin the discussion by defining what sustainable and affordable means to me.
Sustainability is a short-hand term for viewing the relationship between what actions we do today and their effects on the future. Sustainable planning recognizes the interconnections between the environment, economy, and society.
Many people believe that sustainability is solely based on environmental issues. While environmental issues are important, sustainability recognizes a broader definition that includes the Economy and whether a community provides services that are affordable and available for all its citizens.
Affordability therefore encompasses city goods and services; housing that is attainable for all income segments; and employment opportunities that generate wages sufficient to live in Millbrae.
A great city is judged by whether it fosters and provides sound businesses and good jobs, and whether a society provides ALL residents with affordable housing options, good schools, and basic services.
This definition of a great city is the yardstick that I would like to apply to the City of Millbrae in regards to its community services; housing; and transportation. Over the next few months I will present indicators or trends which display the particular condition is heading.
Indicators measure whether a community is getting better or worse at providing all of its members with a productive, enjoyable life now and in the future. Hopefully, these indicators can be used by community members to advocate for change and influence City Planners and Policy Makers to set goals, measure progress toward achieving them.