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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.

News You Can Use

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.


This Monday night, the San Mateo City Council will discuss an emergency ordinance very similar to the ones passed unanimously in Redwood City and Daly City. This emergency ordinance would make the provisions of AB 1482—the rent cap and ban on unjust evictions—effective immediately. This way landlords cannot continue to take advantage of the time between now and January 1st (when AB 1482 goes into effect throughout the state) to hit tenants will extreme rent increases and unjust evictions.

It’s very important that we show up Monday night to make sure that the Council does what is in their power to smooth the road forward for tenants.


San Mateo City Council Meeting on Emergency Ordinance to Protect Tenants


7 P.M.
Monday, November 4th


San Mateo City Council Chambers
330 W 20th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403

If you haven’t yet done so, please consider writing the San Mateo City Council to encourage them to do the right thing and protect tenants today!


(Due to Maureen Freschet’s recent retirement from city government, we will need a unanimous vote of all 4 currently seated council members.)

No more rent gouging! No more evictions without cause!

Share your experiences as a renter and learn about new laws protecting you.


October 27th @ 4 P.M.


The Congregational Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave. San Mateo, CA 94403

Food, childcare, and translation services will be available.


Comparta sus experiencias como inquilino y conozca las nuevas leyes que lo protegen.


27 de octubre a las 4 P.M.


La Iglesia Congregacional de San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave. San Mateo, CA 94403

Comida, cuidado de niños y servicios de traducción estarán disponibles.


Thank you to the approximately 400 people who came to October 3rd’s presentation by Professor Richard Rothstein. It was a truly powerful evening, one that we believe brought greater light to the minds of both the not yet informed and the already somewhat informed alike.


In case you weren’t able to make it, or you would otherwise like to revisit some of what you heard, you can scroll down to find an audio recording of the evening’s proceedings.


CCRMap_FINAL-1One San Mateo and other event co-sponsors also shared materials at the event highlighting the role of racially restrictive housing practices in San Mateo County. One poster, prepared by researcher Brandon Wofford-Asuncion on behalf of event co-sponsors, highlights examples of homes whose deeds still contain restrictive clauses today. 

[PDF of poster]

BrandonWofford_Oct3_2019 (3)

Let us thank once more the event’s financial sponsors—the Working Families Alliance and the San Mateo County Faith Leaders’ Solidarity Network—without whose support October 3rd would have been a paltry affair indeed. A round of applause for all the co-sponsors—One San Mateo, Housing Leadership Council, San Mateo NAACP, Housing For All Burlingame, DSA, Peninsula For Everyone, Peninsula Young Democrats, Menlo Together, Faith in Action Bay Area, Tech Equity Collaborative, and Palo Alto Forward—who demonstrated the value of deep collaboration in bringing to life the multiple facets of the event. A hearty thank you to Assembly Member Kevin Mullin for introducing Professor Rothstein. Overflowing gratitude to San Mateo County Democratic Party Chair Nicole Fernandez for the difficult task of shepherding the evening through its different phases. Awe and admiration for Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon for her stirring call to action. And last but not least, a tremendous thank you to Professor Rothstein for his boundless commitment to spreading the story of enforced housing discrimination. Let it never be forgotten again.


Today, housing discrimination based on race or ethnicity is against the law. In recent history, it was required.

Please join us for a riveting presentation by Richard Rothstein—renowned author of The Color of Law and Thurgood Marshall Fellow of the NAACP—as he explores how federal, state, and local governments systematically and intentionally imposed residential segregation in American cities from Boston to San Francisco. The hidden history of this officially sanctioned and mandated discrimination in housing has direct implications for how we address the racial and other divisions pulling at our communities today.

Introduced by California State Assembly Member Kevin Mullin.

Moderated by Nicole Fernandez, Chair, San Mateo County Democrats.

A Q&A and reception to follow the talk.

Translation services will be available./
Los servicios de traducción estarán disponibles.


Thursday, October 3rd, 7 – 9 P.M.


The Congregation Church of San Mateo
225 Tilton Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401

An RSVP through the below Eventbrite link is greatly appreciated:


Financial Sponsors

The Working Families Alliance and the San Mateo County Faith Leaders’ Solidarity Network.

Other Sponsors

One San Mateo, Housing Leadership Council, San Mateo NAACP, Housing For All Burlingame, DSA, Peninsula For Everyone, Peninsula Young Democrats, Menlo Together, Faith in Action Bay Area, Tech Equity Collaborative, and Palo Alto Forward.


A good read from Randy Shaw of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic on the merits of AB 1482: “Will California protect tenants?

In 2019, Oregon’s legislature reversed its rent control and just cause ban and passed a statewide rent cap and just cause eviction law. New York’s legislature greatly strengthened New York City’s rent control law and shifted control of the law from the state to the city.

California, the state with the worst affordability and the bluest state legislature, needs to follow this path. With a Democratic Governor backing AB 1482 and a Democratic super-majority in the Legislature, a California Democrat Party that walked the talk on economic fairness would pass the bill in a heartbeat.

But the California real estate industry has the same vice grip over California Democratic legislatures that the NRA has over GOP U.S. Senators. In both cases the actual merits of legislation are not important; instead, it’s all about sticking to the real estate/NRA line.

–Randy Shaw, “Will California protect tenants?

Every call and email counts.



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.

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