On November 7, voters in San Mateo will decide who should fill three out of five seats on the City Council. The stakes are high. Will these seats be filled by people who will work hard to address our city’s critical housing problems? Will these council members be leaders in our community who will listen and respond to the needs of all residents of San Mateo? After conducting a thorough review of each of the seven candidates, One San Mateo believes that Rick Bonilla, Chelsea Bonini, and Charlie Drechsler are best equipped to provide the leadership our city needs.
In his position on the council, Rick Bonilla has worked to rectify some of the worst housing abuses we have seen in our community, and we believe he is willing to push for solutions to these and other injustices facing underrepresented populations in our city.
Similarly, Chelsea Bonini has stood alongside us in unequivocally supporting necessary tenants’ protections and, while President of the San Mateo-Foster City School Board, has been a stalwart voice for equity throughout the community.
Finally, Charlie Drechsler, as well as bringing in-depth knowledge of land use and the functioning of city government from his work on the San Mateo City Planning Commission, has made it a tent post of his campaign to call out the powerful economic interests which are trying to reshape San Mateo for the benefit of the few rather than the many.
A Note About Our Process & Criteria:
To arrive at our decision, One San Mateo carefully examined the qualifications and commitments of each candidate. We conducted interviews with six out of the seven candidates (Eric Rodriguez declined to meet with us), in order to understand their positions on housing-related issues and their level of commitment to working pro-actively to find meaningful solutions. We also reviewed financial contributions made to their campaigns and considered positions they have taken in previous roles. Finally, on October 1, in partnership with Faith in Action and the Working Families Alliance, we hosted a forum during which six out of the seven candidates (Mark dePaula did not attend) answered questions about our city’s housing crisis in front of an audience of over 100 people.
During this process, we were looking for candidates who exhibited a willingness to pursue across-the-board approaches to our current housing crisis, including policies that will bring renters’ housing costs a measure of affordability, predictability, and stability. One San Mateo acknowledges that housing is not the only issue before our community at this time, but we believe it is the most important one. Not only is the well-being of families at stake, the diversity of our community and the preservation of its workforce are on the line. Furthermore, we firmly believe that the candidates’ stance on the plight of renters provides a strong indication of how they will act in other important areas affecting those trying to make a life for themselves in San Mateo.