Dear friends and allies,
In recent months the community has risen up in a deeply felt reaction to the nearly unimaginable cruelty that has taken place at our southern borders. The sheer extremity of the things we have witnessed—families being separated, children being warehoused, asylum seekers being denied any prospect of hope—has laid glaringly bare the nature of the conditions our immigrant neighbors wake up to every day.
Two years ago, One San Mateo was born of the desire to create greater housing security for renters under pressure from brutal market forces in San Mateo. Many of the people who have been on the front lines of this housing work are the very community members who now find themselves living under siege from immigration authorities. In the interest of creating a more humane housing market, these immigrant neighbors of ours have collected signatures, knocked on doors, given testimony at City Council meetings, distributed renters’ ballots, and worked to get out the vote.
One San Mateo stands in full solidarity with all of our immigrant neighbors, adding our support to efforts led by the faith community to shield them from harassment and persecution. Most recently we joined a successful campaign to persuade the Board of Supervisors to allocate funds for badly needed deportation defense. At a time when our immigrant neighbors are being made to feel that they do not belong, we want to be part of the effort to assure them that they do.
All the while, One San Mateo has continued its advocacy for solutions to the problem of evictions and outsized rent increases—the other persistent pressure that threatens to uproot people from their homes. Many in the immigrant community have come to refer to this as “the other deportation,” given its potential for engendering fear, upending lives, and forcing families from their homes.
Our advocacy has progressed. In the coming months, the San Mateo City Council will consider a number of proposals that One San Mateo and other community allies have put forth to protect renters and help keep them in their homes. In future communications, we will describe these proposals and let you know what you can do to further their chances of being adopted. Considering the interests that will line up in opposition, the success of these proposals will require the applied energy of us all.
We appreciate your past support and hope you will continue to be part of the effort to prevent community members from being forced from their homes.