[EVENT] 2020 One San Mateo City Council Candidates’ Forum

What: Candidates’ forum for San Mateo City Council
When: Tuesday, September 15 from 7 to 8:15 p.m.
Where: Virtually by Zoom (link provided to those who register)

Three candidates are vying for two available seats. The voters must decide.

Which of the candidates will enable the city to meet its urgent affordability needs? Which will commit to prioritizing the interests of inclusion and racial equity?  Which will position the city to meet the challenges that lie ahead?

To help voters decide, One San Mateo, in conjunction with the People’s Alliance of San Mateo County, will conduct a candidates’ forum on Tuesday, September 15.  All three candidates—Diane Papan, Amourence Lee, and Lisa Diaz Nash—will be present.

To register for the forum, please click here.

The Candidates

Diane Papan

Bio (from dianepapan.com):

Former Mayor and San Mateo City Councilmember Diane Papan provides San Mateo families with the experienced, effective leadership we rely on in extraordinarily challenging times.

A recognized regional and local leader, Diane champions San Mateo’s interests on regional boards including the City & County Association of Governments, Council of Cities, 101 Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority, and Flood & Sea Level Rise Resiliency Board – where she advocates for regional emergency preparedness, traffic relief, and conservation for our safety and quality of life.

As your Councilmember, Diane has promoted efforts to effectively respond to the health crisis locally, while continuing to address traffic reduction, affordable housing, and public safety.

Diane has experience not only in the public sector but in the private and non-profit sectors. She has her own law practice, specializing in commercial law, representing individual and small family businesses. She runs a non-profit providing new clothes to in-need school-aged kids and a scholarship program that provides unique scholarships to special ed students and “late bloomers” many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Prior to being elected to the Council, she held positions of leadership in her daughter’s public school and in her neighborhood.

A graduate of UCLA undergrad and Hastings Law School, Diane, her husband Dan, their teen-aged daughter who attends Aragon High School and their dog Juno live in the Baywood neighborhood.

Amourence Lee

Bio (from amourencelee.com):

“11 years ago, we found our forever home and started our family in San Mateo. It was truly the first place I felt an instant sense of belonging. At the time, I couldn’t have known all the things I’d come to love about San Mateo, but I did feel it. There’s the beautiful tapestry of Art Deco, Craftsman, and Spanish Revival architecture – not to mention 200 acres of open space. Authentic bratwurst, empanadas, Irish brew, Taiwanese stinky tofu — all on a single downtown block. I felt a kinesthetic sense of familiarity and, on my first visit, the decision was made that this is where we’d make our life.

​As your Councilwoman, I am working every day to build a future for all of us, without sacrificing what makes our City so special. We face generational social and economic challenges. Too many San Mateans are being left behind, priced out and excluded from our governance. In this moment more than ever, we need experienced leadership with proven ability to bring people together at City Hall to protect the safety, vibrancy and diversity of our community.

​As a mother, nonprofit executive, and successful businesswoman, I have dedicated my life to creating healthy communities and families. I have extensive training in public policy and public health from Columbia University, combined with a 15+ year career building strong organizations and communities. Since 2019, I have had the privilege and honor to serve on the City Council representing you and championing our values of inclusivity, prosperity and resilience.

​When I was appointed to the City Council, San Mateans coalesced around the promise and hope for our future. I received a broad-base of community support from all neighborhoods and across all of the traditional divides in our community, and the “people’s choice” could not be ignored. We all shared one thing, a desire for a new generation of leadership with a fresh perspective, a track-record of meaningful community service, and the courage to be an independent voice for all San Mateans.

​In the community and in City Hall I have demonstrated integrity and impact. I stand on my record and our community stands with me because I am always on the side of San Mateo. I humbly ask for your vote this November, together we can build bridges that will bring us together and forward!”

Lisa Diaz Nash

Bio (from lisaforsanmateo.com):

“Our family has lived in San Mateo County for nearly 30 years. After our two daughters grew up, my husband and I moved near downtown San Mateo, drawn to its beauty and unique neighborhoods.

I was eager to serve my community. I applied and was appointed Vice President of the San Mateo Library Board and Chair of the Measure S Citizens’ Oversight Committee, where I serve today. I also currently am a Director of San Mateo’s Neighborhood Watch Board and my Baywood homeowners’ association. Finally, I am Co-Captain of the Peninsula Chapter of Sister District Project, working to engage voters in state legislative races across the country.

I have a rich and diverse heritage. My mother’s family were pioneers who settled Michigan in the 1830’s. My father’s family were first generation immigrants from Italy and Spain, by way of Cuba. I grew up in New Jersey and Peoria, Illinois.

After college, I studied Mandarin Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan and worked in China. I stayed in Asia nine years as an Asia-wide marketing executive with American Express. My husband and I lived in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Sydney, Australia, where the first of our two daughters were born.

Upon returning to the States, we were recruited to VISA in San Mateo. I went on to help launch international online trading for Charles Schwab, manage all customer relationships at E*TRADE, lead marketing for the millions of customers on the Yahoo! website and guide Bay Area start-ups.

​In 2005, I overcame a near-death PG&E accident that made me stronger and taught me deep empathy for people struggling with serious life challenges. That experience reinforced my commitment to working with my community to improve the lives of others, and to act with a sense of urgency to achieve my goals.

​After my accident, acting on my passion for the environment and women’s empowerment, I led a global clean water and sanitation nonprofit. Over the next eight years, I’m proud to have helped enable health care, clean water and economic opportunities for over two million people, the majority of whom were women and girls. I continued to be deeply involved in local and national progressive, environmental and women’s issues in order to contribute to my larger community.

As a San Mateo City Council Member, I will tap into my 30+ years of experience as a successful business executive, nonprofit CEO and San Mateo civic advocate. I will use what I have learned from San Mateo residents to deliver a better tomorrow for all San Mateans.

I welcome your input and look forward to being on this exciting journey together!”


To register for the forum, please click here.

One San Mateo, a community group working for a more fair and inclusive San Mateo with a focus on issues of housing affordability, and the People’s Alliance of San Mateo County (PASMC), an alliance of organizations in San Mateo County whose mission is to support candidates and policies that enhance equity in the areas of housing, immigration, criminal justice, education, and the environment, are cosponsors of this event.


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