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We are One San Mateo. Our dream is one San Mateo—a city of, by, and for all its people.

Who We Are

We are a community coalition working for a fair & inclusive San Mateo.

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The San Mateo Housing Stories Project

Giving a voice to the voiceless in the conversations around housing.

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An alternative but reliable source for news you can use.

Information & Resources

A place to learn and find answers.



Change Language / Cambiar Idioma / 改變語言 / …

Giving a voice to the voiceless in the conversations around housing.

The San Mateo Housing Stories Project is an ongoing project of One San Mateo.

Far too often, those affected most by changes in our communities are those who leaset have a voice in the matter. They lack a voice in the media, and they lack a voice in politics, one feeding the other in a vicious cycle.

Again and again, we hear powerful interests say that we lack the data to take action on housing. But then when we push for government to collect the relevant data, those very same powerful interests do an about-face and cynically stand in the way of the collection of data.

Only government can collect the necessary data on the full extent and nature of the housing problems we are suffering from. However, we will not standby and allow those affected by housing to be silenced by the inaction of others.

The San Mateo Housing Stories Project is aimed at gathering stories from and providing a forum for those being impacted by the continuing housing crisis. You are not alone. By raising our voices together we have power.

Share your story.



7 p.m. Wednesday
April 24


The Congregational Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave.

This is to remind you that we will have a regular meeting of One San Mateo this coming Wednesday, April 24.  We will meet at the Congregational Church of San Mateo (225 Tilton Avenue) from 7 to 8:45 pm.

We will start fleshing out our plan for outreach to renters in San Mateo.  We will also hear updates on our advocacy with the Peninsula Health Care District, get a report on the status of state legislation, and share some interesting 2020 election updates.

We hope you can join us!

This Monday at 5:30 is the City of San Mateo’s study session on its anti-slumlord ordinance. Unfortunately, the usual bad actors have been up to their dirty tricks to try to prevent anything that might help renters. But we’re not going to allow them to keep dragging the conversation into the gutter. And we’re not going to allow them to protect slumlords who bring unsafe and unsanitary housing into our community. So, if like us you believe that the San Mateo City Council has a duty to uphold basic standards of honesty and decency for our city, then write them to encourage them not to cave to the worst of the worst landlords. Here are the City Council’s emails:
Finally, make sure to come out Monday night to help us demonstrate to this City Council that no renter should have to live under conditions which are degrading to their humanity.


Study Session on City of San Mateo’s Anti-Slumlord Ordinance


5:30 p.m.
April 1


San Mateo City Council Chambers

We need to keep raising our voices for the fundamental value of affordable housing on public land.


Town hall on the Peninsula Health Care District’s proposal for a large parcel of public land


Monday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m.


Lane Room at the Burlingame Main Library
480 Primrose Rd., Burlingame, CA 94010

We hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us!


7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13


The Congregational Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave. San Mateo

Please join us tomorrow evening (Wednesday, March 13) for our regular meeting of One San Mateo.  We will meet in the upstairs library at the Congregational Church of San Mateo (CCSM), located at 225 Tilton Ave. from 7 to 8:45 p.m.

We will hear a vivid account of the renters’ rally that was held last evening in Redwood City, which included the extensive presence of press, a grand piano masterfully played on the sidewalk in front of City Hall, and some truly outstanding testimony.  This rally has relevance for our future work here in San Mateo, and we will talk about why.

Other agenda items will include preparations for the upcoming study session on the red tag ordinance, our ongoing work around the planned use of the old hospital site in Burlingame, and an exciting outreach training we are invited to attend at the end of March. We will also begin making plans for the Richard Rothstein event, which is now confirmed for October 3.

We hope to see many of you tomorrow night as we continue enlarging our impact in the community and further our New Year’s resolution to “disrupt with love.”

One San Mateo sends its heartfelt congratulations to Pastor Penny Nixon for being named Assembly District 22’s Woman of the Year! Those who know Pastor Nixon know how much she gives of herself to so many different causes, from LGBTIQ rights to immigration and housing justice. Indeed, Pastor Nixon has been a strong ally with One San Mateo in our efforts to shape a more just and equitable housing environment. We are ever grateful to her for having gifted us with some of her much in demand time and moral leadership. So we can tell you from firsthand experience that there could hardly be anyone more deserving of this recognition. Three cheers for Pastor Nixon!

From Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin:

On Monday March 4th, I was honored to recognize Reverend Dr. Penny Nixon, Senior Pastor of Congregational Church of San Mateo United Church of Christ as District 22’s Woman of the Year. Penny has been the Senior Minister of the Congregational Church of San Mateo, United Church of Christ since 2007 and does her work in partnership across faith traditions. Her work as a pastor in the Bay Area has included helping the poor and homeless, ministering to those afflicted with AIDS and starting a food program.

Penny is the convener of the Peninsula Solidarity Network. The newly founded network of congregations, schools, businesses, families, and individuals was created to help defend victims of social and economic injustice; to fight human rights violations; and to protect the safety and well-being of immigrants, those facing racism, and any others who might be harmed by new federal policies and attitudes. The hope of the Peninsula Solidarity Network is to join together to stand with, speak up, and take action to support and protect our neighbors. She is on the front lines of women’s and justice issues every day! #SanMateoCounty #WOY

Tomorrow’s Menlo Park City Council discussion of relocation assistance is actually supposed to start at 5:45 p.m., not the previously reported 7 p.m. Get there early if you can and help us demonstrate solidarity with our Menlo Park peers as they attempt to move the ball forward on much-needed protections for tenants.


6 p.m.
Sunday, February 24


The Congregational Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave. San Mateo

This is just to remind people that due to an excess of meetings next week, One San Mateo’s usual Wednesday meeting has been moved forward to this Sunday at 6 p.m.

Preceding our regular meeting will be a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. in which Cesar Gonzalez will debrief us on Diana Reddy’s successful city council campaign in Redwood City.

And, finally, some of the other meetings going on next week that folks might want to consider attending are:

  • Menlo Park City Council discussion of proposed relocation assistance ordinance
    Tuesday, February 26 at 7 p.m. CORRECTION: The meeting is actually supposed to start at 5:45 p.m. Get there early if you can!
    Menlo Park City Hall 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park
  • General Plan Subcommittee meeting to discuss the revised draft vision statement
    Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
    Main Library (Oak Room) at 55 West 3rd Avenue
  • Peninsula Health Care District board meeting
    Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m .
    Millbrae City Hall 621 Magnolia Ave., Millbrae

We hope to see some of you at one or more of these meetings over the next week!

San Mateo, California — At its meeting on Tuesday, February 19, the City Council of San Mateo will consider adoption of an ordinance designed to ensure habitability of San Mateo apartments and to make provision for tenants who are forced to move as a result of extreme conditions threatening their health and safety. The idea for this ordinance was brought to the city by One San Mateo, a community group advocating for affordable housing solutions and a more fair and inclusive San Mateo.

In August of 2017, tenants living in an apartment building at 314 E. Poplar made city officials aware of an alarming set of conditions present in many of the 17 units there. These conditions included bedbugs, cockroaches, rats, mold, holes in the ceiling, irregular plumbing and electrical, and a number of other problems. Furthermore, it became known that the owner of the building was a previous mayor of a nearby city. 

In the wake of these discoveries at 314 E. Poplar, One San Mateo made the City Council aware of an ordinance adopted by the County of San Mateo to address egregious violations of this nature. The County ordinance was designed to build on existing state law, enhancing its provisions and filling in significant gaps. The gaps in state law included an absence of provision for temporary move-out and the lack of an enforcement mechanism to ensure that violating landlords would be sufficiently penalized.

For the County of San Mateo, Mike Callagy—then Assistant County Manager and now County Manager—took a lead role in shepherding the ordinance through to adoption. A strong advocate of the ordinance, Callagy has always stressed its deterrent value. Explaining his thinking behind the ordinance, Callagy says, “No resident should have to make a decision between safety and keeping a roof over their head. This ordinance sends a clear message to unscrupulous landlords that they will no longer be able to take advantage of renters because of the housing crisis many face in San Mateo County.”

The ordinance for the City of San Mateo imports most of the provisions of the County ordinance, incorporating only a few minor changes. The proposed ordinance provides that in the event of permanent move-out, tenants are to receive the equivalent of three-months’ market rent, plus moving costs of up to $1,000. In the event of repairs taking less than 90 days, tenants are to be provided with housing in San Mateo or an adjacent city and assured the right to return. If landlords refuse to comply with the ordinance, they can be penalized hundreds of dollars a day. Tenants are also eligible for treble damages in the context of court action. 

To provide for enforcement, the City of San Mateo intends to set up a fund of $50,000. This money can be used to advance to tenants if the landlord fails to comply with the ordinance. The city would then be able to recover the funds by placing a lien on the landlord’s property.   

“The penalty and enforcement provisions are important for giving teeth to the ordinance,” says Karyl Eldridge of One San Mateo. “When the Board of Supervisors made the County ordinance permanent in early 2018, the Supervisors defended the stiff penalties by saying that this ordinance was targeting ‘the worst of the worst’ landlords. Thankfully, the members of the San Mateo City Council seem to feel the same way and are giving their ordinance similar teeth.”

On February 19th, the San Mateo City Council will have a further discussion of the ordinance. One San Mateo and other tenant advocates are hopeful that the meeting will result in a decision to vote the ordinance into law.

“The apartment building at 314 E. Poplar was the beginning of our advocacy,” says Jordan Grimes, also a member of One San Mateo. “But there was yet another horrifying instance this past fall at a building on Casa de Campo in San Mateo. The behavior of these slumlords is an assault on our sense of decency, and this ordinance sends a message that there is no place for their behavior here. As a community, we cannot and will not tolerate it.”

Are you looking to buy your first home in San Mateo County? Join HEART and Meriwest Mortgage for a First-Time Homebuyer Workshop in Menlo Park on March 7! For more details and to register, please click here or view the attached flyer.


March 7, 2019
6:00 – 7:00pm


Menlo Park City Council Chambers
701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025


7 P.M. Wednesday
February 13


The Congregational Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave. San Mateo

This is to remind you that One San Mateo will be meeting tomorrow evening (Wednesday, February 13) at the Congregational Church of San Mateo at 225 Tilton Avenue. As usual, we will meet from 7 to 8:45 pm.

Among other things, we will continue planning our advocacy around the use of the hospital site that is owned and controlled by the Peninsula Health Care District, prepare for the discussion of the red tag ordinance at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 19, and hear from Justin about some thinking done by a few members of the Steering Committee recently about OSM strategies and priorities. We look forward to Claudia’s reflection and to John Ebneter’s skillful fulfillment of his role as meeting chair.

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