Roundup of Our August 27th Kickoff

One San Mateo has arrived and is ready to make a difference.

I’m pleased to say that One San Mateo’s kickoff was a success! An abundance of good people were in attendance, and I genuinely believe new connections were made across a variety of lines. Thank you to everyone who came, braved the record-breaking heat, and made the event possible!


We started the evening by informally gathering and feasting on the excellent potluck offerings organized by our always hospitable Chair of Outreach, Gloria Moreno. So let me also thank everyone who brought food. It was even better than we expected!

John screencap crop

Our Chair, John Fyfe, opened the formal program at 5:30 and shepherded us for the next hour and a half as our master of ceremonies.

Karyl Eldridge, Vice Chair of One San Mateo, had the task of introducing our group to the San Mateo scene and reminding people of our dream of One San Mateo—a city of, by, and for all its people.

Video of Karyl Eldridge’s introduction of One San Mateo.

Pastor Penny Nixon of the Congregational Church of One San Mateo was our keynote speaker, and we were lucky to have her. She used her uniquely engaging oratory to inspire people with the idea of a community that cares about all and not just about each person’s own self-interest.

Video Pastor Penny Nixon’s speech on the power of an engaged community.

IMG_9263Justin Alley, Secretary of Communications of One San Mateo, spoke about the power of stories in shaping the political imagination. This lead into a communal storytelling activity in which everyone broke into smaller groups and shared stories with each other. It was amazing to see everyone intently sharing and listening to stories. Following this, several storytellers related their moving stories to the whole assembly. If time had not been a constraint, I think there were even more stories we might have gotten to. We encourage people to connect with our San Mateo Housing Stories Project.

Video of Justin’s talk on the importance of stories; and video of the storytellers’ presentations.

Lastly, and I’m sure by this time everyone wanting to go beyond words and into action, Noelia Corzo, a candidate for the San Mateo-Foster City School Board, went through a number of essential ways for people to get involved. You can find a list of those here. Most of all, it’s crucial that all of the people who came to the kickoff also come to our candidate forum on October 1st. Now that we have shown where we stand to each other, it is time to show where we stand to those who would be our political leaders.

Video of Noelia Corzo’s discussion of how you can get involved.


In wrapping things up, John Fyfe brought all the speakers back on stage, and we joined Gloria Moreno in solidarity as she gave us one final “kick-in-the-butt” reflection about how only people power can right the wrongs which people themselves create. You can read that reflection here.

Video of Gloria’s Closing Reflection (with Some Closing Remarks from John Fyfe).

It was a wonderful evening—and just the beginning. Thank you to everyone involved, to everyone who helped organize the event, and to everyone who gave some of their time to come and help find ways to create a more perfect San Mateo. I hope we have shown people that we intend to be a force for change in San Mateo.

Onward together!


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