Roland Esquivias - Hercules City Council

Roland Esquivias - Hercules City Council Roland Esquivias is the first LGBTQ Councilor-Elect at the Hercules City Council. Roland Esquivias was born and raised in Manila, Philippines.
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He finished his Bachelors of Science in General and Bachelors of Science in Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas. He has been working with the State of California for the past 20+ years and currently working with the California Public Utilities Commission as a regulatory analyst. Roland found out that there are 3 positions opened in the council and considered this as a sign on what to do ne

He finished his Bachelors of Science in General and Bachelors of Science in Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas. He has been working with the State of California for the past 20+ years and currently working with the California Public Utilities Commission as a regulatory analyst. Roland found out that there are 3 positions opened in the council and considered this as a sign on what to do ne

12/12/2020

Many good things were accomplished during my four-years on City Council, and I am going to focus on what I believe are some of the key highlights from my last year as your Mayor:

We have thus far successfully navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our Hercules City Hall is the only City Hall in the County which never closed and I want to again thank our employees for making that possible.

We have engaged with the Community on policing and social justice issues and I am proud of our efforts including the City Council having asked our City Manager and Police Chief to conduct two facilitated Town Hall meetings, which went extraordinarily well, and for the Council having dedicated a special meeting to the concerns.

The more than three year expansion and upgrade of the joint Pinole/Hercules Wastewater Treatment plant was completed in 2020.

Resurfacing of the Refugio Park tennis courts was completed.

Streetlight replacement was completed in the Hercules by the Bay and Refugio Heights neighborhoods.

A major energy retrofit project including solar with a company called Engie for a variety of City facilities was approved and is now underway.

The development of the City’s first Hazard Mitigation Plan and General Plan Safety Element update was started and is now nearing completion.

The first phase of the Bayfront mixed-use transit-oriented Bayfront project was completed with the 172-unit Exchange opening with the second phase to be completed in May, 2021, and a third phase to start in 2021.

Entitlements were approved for the nearly 600 unit Hilltown community.

Construction started on the Willow Avenue Auto Service Center and Self-storage project.

The new Safeway and related retail center will just miss their planned 2020 opening and will open in mid-January.

The City refinanced bonds in July related to the Library and those savings were front-loaded in the first two years to assist the City in navigating the unknown impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council also responded to new State mandates and adopted ordinances addressing street vending and Accessary Dwelling Units to bring us into compliance with State law.

The Council has also continued to be committed to ensuring that the City of Hercules lives within its means and that we are fiscally prudent, meeting base service needs, and also investing in capital, key designations of funds to meet future needs, and to growing our reserves.

So while 2020 was a much more challenging year than anyone could have imagined, and we will continue to be challenged into 2021, we have seen a tremendous amount of resiliency and commitment from the community demonstrated time and time again.

As such, it has been a great pleasure to have served as Mayor during a particularly trying time, and I would like to, once again, thank everyone who supported me in this role, and I wish the new City Council and the community all the best as I leave office!

STAY SAFE & STAY STRONG

12/05/2020

Due to the unprecedented surge in community spread of COVID-19 and the significant increase in hospitalizations and ICU bed usage, Bay Area Health Officers (including Contra Costa) announced today that the State's new Stay Home Order will be implemented this weekend.

Contra Costa's order is effective this Sunday at 10 p.m.

Only 20% of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospital beds in Contra Costa County are now available, down from 30% one month ago. 122 individuals are hospitalized for COVID-19 in Contra Costa hospitals, up from 40 one month ago.

These are alarming numbers and do not reflect the increase we expect from Thanksgiving Day gatherings. With more holidays coming up, it is vital we take action now to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

While 10% to 30% of COVID-19 patients require intensive care, ICU beds are also needed for anyone needing critical care due to a heart attack, stroke, accident or other conditions.

In the State's new Stay Home Order, announced by Governor Newsom yesterday, individuals living in those regions of the State where less than 15% of ICU beds are available should stay home except when engaged in an essential activity. While Bay Area counties haven't quite reached that level yet, Health Officers strongly believe aggressive action is necessary to slow the surge and protect hospital capacity.

Our County Health Services is ensuring that surge plans are in place to convert non-ICU beds to ICU beds if necessary, and to move non COVID-19 patients to temporary hospital facilities, including the alternate care site at the Craneway in Richmond, which isn't occupied yet, but is ready if needed.

Please stay home, stay safe, and stay strong!

In 2016, I ran for the Hercules City Council because I made a promise of giving back.  I did not know that it was going ...
10/02/2020

In 2016, I ran for the Hercules City Council because I made a promise of giving back. I did not know that it was going to be a great journey. Thank you to my co-council members who I admire and respect. I learned so much from all of you. Thank you to our City Hall staff whose unwavering dedication made our city hall open even through this difficult time. And to all of you, whose love and support carried me through these past 4 years, I give you my utmost gratitude from the bottom of my heart.
I believe that my colleagues will be moving this city forward with my shared vision of making Hercules a prime destination in the Bay Area.
And I am so excited for the new council member who will come on board because it is a blessing to be given the opportunity to make a difference.
I am also looking forward to a new chapter in my life pursuing higher learning and the academe.

08/18/2020

Please visit 2020Census. gov and be counted! Please remember that we need to have access to 6B for funding our infrastructure, schools and other essential services.

07/17/2020

School classrooms in most California counties won’t open due to coronavirus surge
Schools will remain closed in 32 counties on California’s COVID-19 monitoring list where many facilities have again had to close their doors.
Most California public and private school campuses will not reopen when the academic year begins under statewide rules announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, shifting instead toward full-time distance learning in response to the summer surge in coronavirus cases.
Schools will remain closed in 32 counties on the state's COVID-19 monitoring list. Public health conditions in those communities led state officials last week to require a variety of facilities to close, including gyms, shopping malls, hair and nail salons and places of worship. The counties are home to 35.5 million Californians.
At schools that can open, state officials will require all staff and students in grades 3-12 to wear masks. Younger students will be encouraged to wear masks and school officials said they have been told they can ask students who are unwilling or unable to comply to switch to remote learning.
"We all prefer in-classroom instructions for all the obvious reasons — social, and emotional foundationally. But only, only if it can be done safely," Newsom said.
The new directives represent state government's most far-reaching effort to direct the operations of more than 10,500 schools across California during the pandemic. But for as many as one-quarter of the state's 6 million schoolchildren, the mandate only reinforces plans already announced by local officials.
On Monday, leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District announced distance learning for all students returning for the coming year. Other large districts in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento also voluntarily agreed to forgo classroom learning due to current health conditions.
While the practical effect of the Newsom administration's new mandate is simple, some of the policy's details are complex. Schools in the counties being monitored for coronavirus spread would not be able to reopen until those counties see at least 14 consecutive days of declining coronavirus cases and are therefore removed from the state's watch list.
The threshold for closing additional schools is dependent on testing for COVID-19. If a teacher or student in a classroom tests positive, the state will suggest that the class be sent home to self-quarantine. If multiple classrooms are closed, the state will instruct school officials to work with local public health agencies and consider closing the campus. School districts will be asked to close all campuses if 25% of their locations had enough coronavirus cases to require a shutdown.
Newsom said schools that are allowed to open must, in addition to requiring masks, maintain six feet of physical distancing between students and adults as well as other health precautions.
"We believe that school days should start with symptom checks, meaning temperature checks," the governor said. "We have robust expectations around hand-washing stations, sanitation, deep sanitation. Deep disinfection efforts."
Some education leaders briefed on the proposal questioned whether it is realistic to impose rules that depend on testing when many communities are already facing a shortage of test kits. The new guidelines also ask for periodic COVID-19 testing at schools, though the rules are flexible given limits on testing capacity across the state.
Newsom's decision to impose a strict statewide standard comes four days after he suggested the state had already provided ample guidance for schools — a stance that even some of his longtime allies suggested would put students, teachers and school employees at risk while leaving parents and families unsure of what would happen and when.
Last week, the powerful California Teachers Assn. wrote Newsom to say that many schools could not safely reopen under current conditions, including the lack of sufficient coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment.
Low-income communities, many disproportionately comprising Black and Latino students, are still facing major challenges with distance learning that state and local education officials need to address, community advocates said.
“Things are harder than they were March 16 for our communities ... with the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic and the increase of the spread," said Maria Brenes, executive director of the East L.A. community organizing nonprofit InnerCity Struggle, and an L.A. Unified parent.
“We’re talking about the essential, the frontline workers that keep our economy going and this is their children and we’re doing such a grave injustice to them," she said, noting there are still students without access to devices, reliable internet service or a quiet space to study.
Students with disabilities are also facing challenges with distance learning, said Elmer Roldan, executive director of the nonprofit Communities in Schools of Los Angeles, which provides support and case management for about 1,000 L.A. families. Schools need to engage to provide services for students with special needs through distance learning and must address the existing needs of families who are at a disadvantage with at-home schooling, such as those with parents who speak a different language.
“What do we do to address connectivity issues? Whether it’s the students having a device or having internet that works or having the space where they can do homework? And then what happens when a student needs support that a parent is unable to provide because a parent may need to work or the parent may be unable to comprehend the lessons that the students are learning?" Roldan said.
The state also updated its guidance Friday for daycare centers, which will be allowed to remain open but must investigate whether work-related factors could have contributed to any outbreaks and implement preventative measures accordingly. The Friday guidance requires daycare centers to provide training for staff and families on personal hygiene and the "proper use, removal and washing of face coverings."
The rules are similar to the previous June 5 guidance, which called for face coverings for staff and for children 2 and older, and health screenings of children and staff before they enter a facility.
Whether school districts are able to fully cover the costs of expanded distance learning — much of that related to the technology needed for students with limited or no access to computers and broadband service — remains unclear. The state budget signed by Newsom last month commits $5.3 billion for school needs linked to the pandemic, most of that from the federal relief package enacted in the spring. More than half the money will be allocated to schools based on the number of children who are English learners or come from low-income families.
Even so, K-12 schools will find their resources stretched in the coming year. The state budget spreads out the payment of some $13 billion in school funding obligations, to be covered in the short term by local cash reserves or by the school districts borrowing money. Districts have also worried about language tucked into the final budget that seems to require some level of in-person schooling, though lawmakers later insisted that would not prevent public health requirements from completely closing campuses.
Prior to Friday's announcement, the new school year seemed to be starting much as the last one had ended — with local officials making their own decisions, on their own timetables, about how to respond to the coronavirus crisis. Despite calls for statewide action, Newsom and state education officials avoided a blanket policy dictating when to close schools as the virus spread throughout the state in the early spring.
The governor, who has four young children, chose instead to approach the issue as a parent, telling reporters in mid-March that he told his daughter that schools probably wouldn't reopen at the time — framing the comment as a reality check, not a directive from his office.

Philippine Independence Day Celebration!
06/23/2020

Philippine Independence Day Celebration!

Thank you to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom and democracy we truly ...
05/26/2020

Thank you to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom and democracy we truly uphold! Happy Memorial Day everyone! 🇺🇸

We held our regular council meeting tonight, April 28, 2020 at 7 pm, wearing masks at our council chambers. It is in con...
04/29/2020

We held our regular council meeting tonight, April 28, 2020 at 7 pm, wearing masks at our council chambers. It is in conformance with the County Health order which requires face coverings. The other council members participated via Zoom. We recognize the difficulty all of our residents face during this public health emergency and we encourage everyone to check our website for updated information at www.ci.hercules.ca.us

Contra Costa Health Officer Issues New "Cover Your Face" Order A new health order in Contra Costa County requires anyone...
04/22/2020
Contra Costa Health Services :: CCHS main page :: Contra Costa Health Services

Contra Costa Health Officer Issues New "Cover Your Face" Order

A new health order in Contra Costa County requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, such as a grocery store or gas station, to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The order, effective Wednesday, April 22, also requires public transit and government workers to wear masks when they come close to others, or where the public is likely to be present.

Members of the public must mask when they:

· work at an essential business
· are inside an essential business, such as a grocery store
· visit a healthcare provider or facility
· wait in line for or ride public transportation

Businesses must take reasonable measures, such as posting signs, to remind visitors about masking, and not serve customers who do not observe the order. Workers do not need to mask if they are alone in a personal office but must put them on when others enter.

“We now know that a significant number of people with COVID-19 lack symptoms, or become infectious before they start showing symptoms,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer. “That is why we all need to start wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where it’s sometimes hard to maintain physical distancing, such as standing in line at the store.”

The new order does not extend to people driving in personal vehicles alone or with members of their households. Contra Costa residents are encouraged to continue to observe safe physical distancing when they go out to exercise or for recreation.

When outside, everyone must carry masks or face coverings and use them whenever they come near six feet of others outside their own households.

People engaged in more strenuous exercise, such as running or bicycling, should stay further apart from others while breathing heavily and take steps to avoid breathing on others, such as moving to the other side of the road to avoid pedestrians and wearing a mask if possible.

The new order does not replace the county’s stay-at-home health order or the need to maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes – all fundamental to reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“Stay in place, maintain your space, cover your face,” Dr. Farnitano said. “One key way the COVID-19 virus spreads is through respiratory droplets that people expel when they breathe or sneeze. By masking and observing physical distancing, we can help protect everyone in the community.”

The order does not require children 12 and younger to wear masks. Children 2 years old or younger must not wear them because of the risk of suffocation.

Face coverings can be anything made of cloth, fabric or other permeable material that covers the nose and mouth and the lower part of the face. Medical-grade masks are not required – a T-shirt or bandana works fine, Dr. Farnitano said.

Masks with one-way valves for easy breathing do not qualify as face coverings under the order because they can release respiratory droplets into the surrounding air.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the order or for more information about COVID-19. Visit the Centers for Disease and Control at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html for video instructions to make and use cloth face coverings.

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Contra Costa Health Services | cchealth.org
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Dear Mayor - I'm reaching out to ask you to help us save our Principal, Dr. Merza at Lupine Hills!. We've tried everything we can but the school board and Superintendent Duffy are preceding to replace her without any community input. We've attended school board meetings, made calls, email to no avail. We need more leaders like Dr. Merza in our community. Our school grades have vastly improved in just ONE YEAR; this is because of the hard work and dedication she has brought to our school. PLEASE PLEASE HELP US bring stability to Lupine Hills and our community!
Mayor Esquivias we would love it if you could help by sharing our PPE drive? Thank you
Likha Music Ministry joins in today’s Coastal Clean Up Day😇 Thanks Roland!