From episode: Ken Carlson - Supervisor, Contra Costa County - EPISODE 11 - with Jared Asch
Let's dive into some things that are happening in Contra Costa County. One of the big ones is a few years ago, the County passed Measure X, which is an additional sales tax that the residents agreed to do. What are the benefits that people are getting in Measure X? What is the success?
This blog post was generated from an AI-derived transcript from the podcast and contains errors.
From Supervisor Carlson - "It's interesting, we were just in a Family and Human Services Committee meeting, and something that was pointed out is when 2020 voters approved Measure X, the board created a citizen advisory body to look at the county priorities and where the needs were. A lot of money has been allocated over the last three years now. However, not every department has seen the results of that money being expended because it truly actually hasn't. There's a process to go through. Once the money starts coming in, there is a process of where we want to prioritize that spending, then it goes into the RFP process that goes into the contract process. So we're just now starting to see some of those dollars go to work for us. Money has been allocated to our healthcare system to improve access to our hospitals. Money has gone out to our community benefit organizations to improve services. We've looked at creating the A3 program, which is the Anytime, Anyone, Anywhere program, to change how we respond to mental health emergencies and crises. Those programs are just becoming operational and those people are experiencing it, how they can do it without law enforcement necessarily being involved. Just so many different things are going on, and we're continuing to make those allocations.
Measure X is a huge change for us at the County. It lets us do some innovative things in our delivery models and greater services to our county residents and those who need it most, some of our most marginalized population. Homelessness is a big focus on where we're spending our Measure X dollars. Housing and affordable housing are a big part of that as well.
From Jared Asch "That's great. And you touched base briefly on the A3 program, but can you dive a little bit more into that for a minute to let people know who aren't familiar with that?: Supervisor Carlson responded "Yeah, it is the Miles Hall Call Center. We're creating a call center to handle mental health emergencies. Those who are experiencing a mental health crisis can call that line and they don't necessarily have to have a law enforcement response to get their needs. There are mental health crisis workers who can, respond to or manage those conversations over the phone, and refer for resources. It's a change in the model delivery used to be, and with my background almost 30 years in law enforcement. It used to be if you call 911 with a mental health crisis, the police are going to respond. That's not the best model because nothing is calming about an officer showing up in a uniform with a gun and a badge. Now we have somebody with professional skills in dealing with mental illness and behavioral issues who is much, much more effective, much calmer, and puts the client in a safer place. So we're getting we're moving forward on rolling that out or developing the A3 Center in Concord, and that'll kind of be the hub for those services.