We believe in inclusivity and transparency. So for those who would like to know more about how we function as an organization, the following is our official charter.


Charter of One San Mateo

version 2.5


I. Preamble

We are One San Mateo. Our dream is one San Mateo—of, by, and for all its people. We seek to bring about just, equitable, and across-the-board housing solutions for all people—including lower-income people, working people, people of color, older people, people with disabilities, and other often marginalized populations—while also paying attention to the increased pressures which have been placed upon the middle class.

We believe that housing—by which we mean quality shelter a person can call her or his own—is as necessary to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as clean air, clear water, nourishing food, and personal self-determination. Housing is a fundamental human need, and  all people should be free from having a home unduly or unfairly barred from them.

We are committed to making One San Mateo a safe, open, and respectful organization of as diverse an array of people as possible. We are also committed to building One San Mateo into a potent and effective political force that assembles an alliance among interests in the community to achieve real change.  

Finally, though housing is our focus, we remain responsive to the fact that all issues are interconnected. In everything we might pursue, we steadfastly strive for a society that affords the fullest possible flourishing of every person’s human potential.

II. Organizational Structure

One San Mateo is formally comprised of the Steering Committee, the Policy Committee, and the Outreach Committee, as well as all committee-unaligned Members in Good Standing.

The main duties of the Steering Committee are: 1) To provide direction for the whole of the organization; 2) To make sure that both equal halves of the organization, the Policy Committee and the Outreach Committee, are working together; 3) To bureaucratically oversee all operations; and 4) To initiate or coordinate any proposals or activities not specifically enumerated by this charter.

The Steering Committee may meet in front of the whole group at such time as it would normally deliver the Steering Committee Report; or it may meet outside of normal meeting times. It may also carry out its business electronically. But if it has carried out any significant business outside of normal meeting times, it must report on such during the Steering Committee Report.

The Steering Committee is comprised of 7 members: 1) the Chair of the Steering Committee & President of One San Mateo; 2) the Vice Chair of the Steering Committee & Vice President of One San Mateo; 3) the Secretary of Communications; 4) the Secretary of Records; 5) the Treasurer; 6) the Chair of the Policy Committee; and 7) the Chair of the Outreach Committee.

The Chair of the Steering Committee’s duties are: 1) To enact this charter; 2) To provide direction for the organization; 3) To cancel or reschedule any meetings; 4) To select a Meeting Facilitatorfor each meeting; and 5) To select whom to speak on behalf  of the Steering Committee during the Steering Committee Report.

The Vice Chair of the Steering Committee’s main duties are: 1) To assist the President; 2) To fill in for the President when she or he is unavailable; and 3) To act as Vote Teller.

The Secretary of Communications’ main duties are: 1) To coordinate intra-organizationalcommunications, such as handling email lists and sending out notifications; and 2) To manage One San Mateo’s social media presence.

The Secretary of Records’ main duties are: 1) To keep and post record(ing)s of meetings; and 2) To control the sign-in sheet.

The Treasurer’s main duties are: 1) To take charge of fundraised moneys; 2) To budget and keep a leger of funds and expenditures; and 3) To disburse funds for activities pertaining to One San Mateo.

The Chair of the Policy Committee’s main duties are: 1) To oversee and coordinate the work of the Policy Committee; and 2) To conduct Policy Committee meetings, as well as by designating a Committee Facilitator to do so.

The Chair of the Outreach Committee’s main duties are to: 1) To oversee and coordinate the work of the Outreach Committee; and 2) To conduct Outreach Committee meetings, as well as by designating a Committee Facilitator to do so.

The Policy Committee’s main duties are: 1) To research, discuss, and draft policy proposals; 2) To communicate with elected officials, which includes setting up any processes for vetting or rating candidates and elected officials; 3) To research best practices from other organized bodies; 4) To compile statistics and reports; 5) To clearly explain issues to any interested parties; 6) To build a primer (such as a newsletter) on housing issues in San Mateo; and 7) To participate in or assist with the holding of Information Sessions.

The Outreach Committee’s main duties are: 1) To interface with the public at large; 2) To spread our message to and bring in as wide and diverse a population as possible; 3) To craft our public messaging; 4) To mobilize for actions; 5) To integrate and retain new members; 6) To elicit input from affected communities about what issues need attention; 7) To document and publicize people’s stories; 8) To connect people in the community with resources; 9) To form alliances with other organizations; and 10) To hold Information Sessions.

Also guiding our work is the Council of Renters. The Council of Renters is made up only of those who are currently renters. The number of people who may be members of the Council of Renters is unlimited.

The Council of Renters is headed by the Representative of the Council of Renters. The main duties of the Representative are to: 1) Keep an ear out for the concerns of renters; 2) To submit agenda items on behalf of the Council of Renters; and 3) Speak on behalf of renters wherever else is necessary.

As with all the roles listed above, terms last one calendar year, starting at the beginning of January and ending at the end of December. There is no limit on the number of terms a person may serve.

III. Meetings

Meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and, unless cancelled or rescheduled, will be held on second and fourth Wednesdays.

The Meeting Facilitator will keep the meeting on schedule by “gaveling in” the start and the stop of different portions of the meeting and by calling upon or, if necessary, overriding speakers. Facilitators of all types will  change as frequently as possible.

Meetings will be broken down roughly as follows:

7:00-7:10: Informal pre-meeting gathering.

7:10-7:13: The Meeting Facilitator will gavel in the meeting by welcoming people to a meeting of One San Mateo, briefly stating who we are as an organization, and then asking attendees to introduce themselves.

7:13-7:16: The Meeting Facilitator or a person of her or his choosing may give a brief reflection.

7:16-7:30: The Steering Committee Report is delivered; alternately, the Steering Committee may use this time to meet among themselves in front of the group.

7:30-8:10: The Policy and Outreach Committee Meetings will be simultaneously and separately held; the form and content of these meetings is the prerogative of the Chair and/or her or his designated Committee Facilitator.

8:10: The sign-in sheet is made available.

8:10-8:25: The Policy/Outreach Committee Report (the order in which they report alternating from meeting-to-meeting) will be given by 1-2 members of that committee.

8:25-8:40: The Outreach/Policy Committee Report will be given by 1-2 members of that committee.

8:40-8:55: General Open Discussion.

8:55-8:59: The Meeting Facilitator may make any closing comments, highlighting what we hope to see happen by the next meeting, and may give or select someone to give a closing reflection.

8:59-9:00: The meeting is officially adjourned.

Any agenda items may be dropped, rearranged, or extended by a Motion for Consent to do so; and any time unused by one item is automatically added to start of the next item.

You can also learn about who we are in terms of our officers and some of our membership here.