Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs (AOT)
Addressing mental health is just as complex and varied as the challenges and illnesses that impact our mental health, and we also need to take action to help one another. AOT, commonly known as Laura’s Law, has already been implemented or approved in 20 different Counties in California. These latest adoptions of AOT by Counties are due in part to the passage AB 1976 in 2020 by the California Legislature. AB 1976 made AOT an opt-out rather than opt-in program to be decided by July 1, 2021.
We fully recognize the necessity for a sympathetic and inclusive approach to mental health. AOT offers that needed humane approach to helping the most severely mentally ill individuals get treatment, rather than ending up in the carceral system as they so often do. AOT is specifically designed for a small, select portion of the mentally ill population who are not able to seek out treatment because of their mental illness. AOT is a way to outreach to these communities to help bring them the resources and treatments that they need.
As noted during the BOS meeting by the community, staff and myself, AOT is not a panacea to the issues we face. I do feel it will help us prioritize the most vulnerable and in need of immediate care in our communities. This is why I asked my colleagues to include three additional requests for off-agenda reports on funding sources and substance abuse services, and to ensure we are connecting with local veterans organizations for our veterans to receive support as well. My requests were included and AOT passed unanimously
. For more information about AOT and our D3 Focus On Mental Health, please click here
RV Park Considerations and Open Space Preservation
We also voted unanimously in support of agenda item 9 on RV Park General Plan and Zoning Ordinance Amendments
. Based on the 1994 RV Park Design Development RVs were allowed in General Use, Hillsides, Rural Residential, and Roadside Services zoning districts. However, under these zoning guidelines, the RVs were creating disastrous environmental impacts to local ecosystems and waterways. The adoption of the new RV ordinance will abolish the 1994 RV Guidelines and allow for RVs in only Roadside Services in compliance with State laws and regulations under the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
We are hopeful this effort will be a positive change as this will give our neighbors who travel in or reside in RVs to have a designated location for their vehicles. This will ensure that they are able to access all of the resources that they need for their safety and wellness. Additionally, specific zoning areas for RVs ensures the protections of our natural and green areas and their ecosystems and waterways. This RV ordinance will provide our neighbors with what they need and keep our natural areas green.
Expanding Black Infant Health and Prenatal Equity Initiative
In America, Black mothers and infants are at significantly greater risk of suffering from complications from birth compared to white mothers and infants. Our unanimous support for more funding will help us eliminate these racial disparities in our health care system to ensure that all of our residents are provided with the health and wellness resources that they need
Expanding this program will bring much needed resources and funds to ensure that our black mothers and infants receive quality care before, during and after birth. The County is looking to work with local community stakeholders to ensure that all of these mothers' and infants' needs are met.
Immigration Reform Update
The BOS also received an update from staff on federal immigration reform's impacts for Santa Clara County
. While movement in Washington, D.C. is slow, I am thankful for staff and the community for preparing us for this.
We also closed the meeting in honor of Natalia Smüt Lopez
. You can read more about her life in a recent San José Spotlight article