Social Justice Subject of San Mateo Candidates Forum

Ross Weir of SFOP-PIA introduced the candidates running for the San Mateo City Council. Photo: Bradley Cleveland

Ross Weir of SFOP-PIA introduced the candidates running for the San Mateo City Council. Photo: Bradley Cleveland

St. Saint Bart’s Social Justice Committee and SFOP-PIA sponsored an election forum on September 28th, for the five candidates vying for three seats on the San Mateo City Council.

Incumbent Rick Bonilla emphasized the need to build affordable housing near jobs and transit lines to serve the city’s seniors and diverse workforce. He supports efforts to hike the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, and raise job standards and establish local hiring of trained apprentices for new developments.

Diane Papan spoke of the need to add housing and improve city infrastructure to handle the area’s growing population. “We want to be a community that houses its teachers and nurses.” She also supports a $15 minimum wage, and efforts to raise wages and job standards for development projects within the city.

As mayor Maureen Freschett has convened a task force to address the city’s housing crisis; “our diverse community is in peril” due to rising rents and evictions. She too supports a city minimum wage ordinance, and strategies to ensure that local residents benefit from new development through impact fees and community benefits agreements.

Challengers Thomas Royal Morgan II and Karen Schmidt also attended the forum.

This year’s election will be conducted through a mail ballot. The county’s Office of Elections will mail ballots to all registered voters in early October. The mailing will include instructions for returning the completed ballot. For more information, contact the Office of Elections.

If you are not registered to vote at your current address, you can register online. Deadline to register to vote is October 19, 2015.

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