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Support for Tenant Relocation Assistance

From: domainremoved <Nuriel>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2019 11:58:12 -0800

Council members,

My name is Nuriel Moghavem and I'm a resident physician at Stanford in
neurology. I spoke at one of the Housing Commission community meetings on
September 12th 2018 in favor of the tenant relocation assistance ordinance.
I lived in Menlo Park from 2012-2018 and moved this last year due to rising
rent prices; a large number of my patients are Menlo Park residents, and I
largely speak on their behalf.

I'm not going to be able to make the city council meeting this evening as
I'll be working until about midnight, but I hoped that this email could be
submitted as pubic comment in favor of the ordinance.

To summarize my thoughts on the measure, the main concern I have with
the *status
quo* is that families often have to make abrupt moves which are disruptive
to their lives and to their health. Many of the individuals and families
that would benefit from this policy are long-time residents of Menlo Park
who can no longer afford to live here: they have established roots in local
schools, community groups, and (most relevant to me) medical
clinics/pharmacies. When these residents need to relocate without the funds
to do so deliberately and without adequate time for planning, there can be
life-threatening disruptions in their medical care, in their childrens'
educations, and sometimes in their ability to obtain adequate food and
shelter.

On the first point about disruptions in care, I don't think I need to
explain just how complex our medical system can be, and how there are about
a million ways that an abrupt move to a new community can lead to a
disruption in timely care and in pharmacy prescriptions. I regularly have
to negotiate with insurance companies and pharmacies to get a patient's
prescription changed to a new pharmacy, especially if the medicine is a
controlled substance (like some anti-seizure medicines are). I'm not always
successful. It's also very hard to establish care with a new doctor in a
new community, with long wait times especially for specialty care like
neurology. This leads to very real risks to health and increased ER visits
and hospitalizations.

On the latter points about disruptions to the lives of children -- in
schooling, in adequate food and shelter -- I also don't need to delve into
why these disruptions are undesirable. There are rich data evaluating how
these adverse childhood events can lead to long-term challenges in life
including increased risk of disease, mental illness, etc. The
recently-appointed Surgeon General of California is specifically an expert
in this research and improving the stability of children's lives is set to
be a priority of our new Governor's administration. It should also be a
priority for our community here.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and consideration of my
comments. I'm always available by email at this address if there are
questions and am happy to meet for coffee sometime if there is more
interest in discussing.

All the best,

Nuriel Moghavem, MD
Received on Tue Jan 29 2019 - 11:55:16 PST

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