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


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One San Mateo Home

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.

What You Can Do

Join us. Learn. Contribute.

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.


Help shape the decision-making around a rare and value parcel of public land.

HUNDREDS OF UNITS OF HOUSING will be built on a large parcel of publicly owned land at the north end of Burlingame. Who will be served by this housing? Your presence on June 24 will help decide.

Please come to ensure that in planning for the site, the Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD) prioritizes housing affordable to those whose lives are being crushed by high rents—health care workers, people with disabilities, and seniors on fixed incomes who have lived here all their lives and have helped make our community what it is today.

A broad coalition has come together to advocate for affordable housing on this land. Please join us at a Town Hall being convened by the PHCD and show support for a plan that makes a priority of affordable housing—not expensive market-rate!


A town hall on the PHCD’s plans for the former Peninsula Hospital site


Monday, June 24 at 7:00 pm


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

In case you have yet to hear the news, the red tag ordinance, which many of us have come to refer to as the “anti-slumlord ordinance,” has at last been passed into law.

By way of reminder, the idea of enacting such an ordinance was introduced to the Council by One San Mateo shortly after the horrendous conditions at 314 E. Poplar came to light in the Fall of 2017. The ordinance expands on the benefits provided by state law and creates penalties and enforcement mechanisms that give the requirements real teeth.

The Daily Journal has a convenient write-up on the law and its passage here:


Kudos to everyone who helped sustain the advocacy required to get this ordinance across the finish line. At our regular One San Mateo meeting last Wednesday evening, we celebrated the red tag victory by toasting with red punch. Cheers!

On another positive front, we have heard rumblings suggesting that our advocacy with the Peninsula Health Care District may finally be cracking the resistance of the thus far highly intransigent PHCD board. The chair of the board has given indication that the original developer for the project has now been instructed to reach out to affordable housing developers to explore the idea of partnering with them. What this will amount to is still to be determined, so we need to keep applying pressure to show that the community insists that this land should be used not for market-rate housing but rather to address our urgent affordable housing need.

Both of these developments are salve to the souls of all of us who care so deeply about creating a society that is just and humane. The work involved can be enormous, but with persistence we can achieve progress.

Can you help us protect the right of tenants to organize without fear?

See the image below for what you can do right now!



7 p.m. Wednesday
May 8


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, May 8. We will meet in the upstairs library at the Congregational Church of San Mateo (225 Tilton Avenue) from 7 to 8:45 pm.

We write this letter as clergy in San Mateo County in relation to your role as custodians of a precious parcel of publicly owned land. Your vision is that all residents of the district enjoy optimal health and ongoing well-being at every age and stage of life. As faith leaders, we share that vision with you.

Every day we are engaged with our elderly congregants who are all too often experiencing deep pain as a result of a lack of fairness around housing in our county. We all know that housing has everything to do with health and well-being. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that vital conditions for well-being are available to all in society.

In that spirit we are asking you to reconsider your vision for the use of the Trousdale land. This publicly owned parcel represents an opportunity — even more so one that carries with it a moral responsibility — to provide as many seniors as possible an affordable place to live.

We call upon you to immediately pause and consider options that will enable more affordable rental apartments to be built on the land. Alternatives to market rate housing are possible — they must be vigorously explored — and we all share a responsibility in doing what we can to provide quality of life for our seniors who call this home.

We pray that you will answer our collective call and take all of the steps necessary to provide as much affordable housing as possible on this sacred piece of public land. We look forward to working with you to help bring our hope to fruition.

The Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon
Congregational Church of San Mateo

Rabbi Marvin Goodman
Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Foster City

Pastor Holly Hillman
Burlingame United Methodist Church

The above three clergy were among the 28 who signed the letter as members of the San Mateo County Faith Leaders’ Solidarity Cohort.


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

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