For decades, I’ve fought for affordable housing. While in Congress, I voted for federal funding to prevent homelessness by helping renters stay in their apartments. I also voted for grants to purchase hotels and apartments to house unhoused residents. In the legislature, I voted to put state housing bonds on the ballot and in both Congress and the legislature I worked with local nonprofits to preserve key federal tax benefits that support the construction of affordable housing.

Due to years of collective efforts between elected leadership and housing advocates, and with ongoing support from the County Affordable Housing fund, there are over 4,500 affordable units completed or in the housing pipeline today.1 I will support ongoing Measure K funding for the Affordable Housing Fund.

It costs a lot to rent in San Mateo County and people are often pushed over the edge by one simple misfortune. Parents and children living in cars, RV’s, and storage units is not acceptable. They can’t wait for a newly-constructed affordable unit to become available. A former elementary school teacher recounted to me how she was forced to live in her car after illness ended her career. The county purchased a vacant hotel, and she secured a unit that she can afford on her very low income.

That is why I support the full range of housing solutions being undertaken in San Mateo County from preventing homelessness, to assisting our unhoused residents and developing more affordable housing units.

We also know that keeping people housed saves public funds and provides stability to household incomes. Having a larger emergency fund to pay for short-term rental shortfalls before homelessness happens can prevent homelessness.

Through community nonprofits designated to handle applications for assistance, over $15 million in emergency financial aid for rent and utilities has been distributed to low-income county residents.

To connect with people living on the street and to encourage them to enter a housing program, the county awarded over $2 million in grants to cities and nonprofit agencies.2 To create more housing, six hotels were purchased and a 240 bed one-of-a-kind navigation center recently opened in Redwood City. All the new housing facilities offer individual units, and a variety of services. All this was accomplished quickly, with the county and state community partners taking on new responsibilities, expanding staff, and providing new services. We should work with city councils and community leaders to provide housing solutions in a sensitive and appropriate manner. In the past two adopted budgets, the county has allocated over $250 million for homelessness programs and facilities, and we have created a population of “formerly homeless.”3

To ensure the county investments in ending homelessness are effective, I want to convene all the community partners and county staff to review the data, talk together about what’s working well, discuss what could be improved and what needs to be changed. By looking closely at the outcome data, assessing current systems and providers and working closely with community partners, we will create better, more cost-effective housing and support programs for our homeless residents.

In addition, I support expansion of the county rental voucher program to create more affordable units. I also support inventorying public lands that could be sites for affordable housing and optioning private land for future construction of affordable units. The county should further commit to supporting school districts and churches interested in constructing affordable housing on available land. The county should contribute funding and expertise in housing development to projects to house first responders, teachers, public employees, emancipated foster youth, low-income residents, childcare providers, and others who live and contribute to our communities but can’t afford market rents.

1 DOH Dashboards | County of San Mateo, CA (
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The pandemic taught us how important it is to ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive medical and mental health care.  Because the County of San Mateo provides health care or health insurance to about 20% of our 740,000 residents, we must continue to strengthen our County Health System by ensuring we have adequate numbers of skilled health care educators and providers in the community and in our state-of-the-art facilities.  Here is what we can do to achieve that goal.

  • To continue to provide quality health care, the County of San Mateo and other employers should jointly sponsor paid healthcare internships for students 16 and older to engage them early in medical careers. My goal is to make healthcare a common career goal for high school students and young adults in San Mateo County.  
  • I also support expanding partnerships between the county and private medical practices, and health care aides to strengthen the ability of seniors to age in place.  One of the innovative ways to keep seniors safe at home as they age is to ensure they have qualified and affordable home health assistance.  I will work with our medical providers, hospital districts and job training providers to create a pipeline of caring and capable home health aides.  We should also improve outreach to people who are eligible for free or affordable coverage through Covered California, but not enrolled, with special attention to populations difficult to reach due to barriers in language or geography.
  • Mental health is a core responsibility of the County of San Mateo.  While in Congress, I negotiated with the federal government for Medicaid funding for county patients in the Cordilleras facility, which is being redeveloped.  After the new facility opens, the county will receive 50% of patient funding from the federal government. To expand community capacity for mental health services, the county should work with private mental health providers, our community colleges and regional state universities to offer a significant number of new internships and pathways into mental health careers in San Mateo County.  It makes sense to develop providers from amongst our own population.  Our motto should be: LIVE HERE, WORK HERE. We should also reduce or eliminate the costs of training in mental health specialties through extended public service commitments by our residents.
  • I support the county’s plan to build a new north county health clinic. The new clinic will be built at the existing north county court site.  The remainder of the property should be dedicated to public benefit purposes. 
  • COVID made us keenly aware of how many people don’t know how to get immunized or to find medical and other services that they might need.  San Mateo County should develop a county-operated version of Ameri-CORPS.  Young people and residents seeking new careers should be offered the chance to become ambassadors to their community, explaining to residents with shared backgrounds the range of county programs from healthcare to mental health to food and housing assistance.   “County-CORPS” employees would be ambassadors, sharing information in culturally appropriate ways in the preferred languages of their communities and providing ongoing feedback on existing programs and services.  Over time, County-CORPS members would be prepared to fill future leadership roles with the County and in their communities.   Through partnerships and in alliance with the career development office of the County Office of Education, we should also work with key employers, such as healthcare providers and biotechnology companies, to ensure County-CORPS members are exposed to private sector and other public sector jobs over time.  The County-CORPS would be a pipeline assisting all local employers who struggle to find qualified applicants.


The cost of living in San Mateo County is especially challenging for our seniors living on fixed incomes. That is why I support more affordable housing for our seniors, improvements to our food assistance programs, and increasing resources and staff to help seniors safely and comfortably age in place.   

I am concerned about safe mobility for our seniors within the home and around the community.  To expand mobility support, I will work with the Health Districts, the county Commission on Aging, the county Aging and Adult Services staff and other community partners to increase support for affordable home safety improvements and community transportation options for seniors.  I also want to reinstate the Seniors on the Move Conference, an educational event that has, for 35 years, allowed seniors to learn about health, exercise, living independently, fraud against seniors, and other important subjects.  The conference also connects seniors with many nonprofits and resources available in our communities.

Our county hospital includes the Ron Robinson Senior Care Clinic, an outstanding facility focused on geriatric care.  I will continue to support this special public resource knowing that thousands rely upon it for care that empowers seniors to live a life of health and dignity. 

Childcare and Youth Programs

The county recently conducted listening sessions to get community feedback on priorities. Expanding access to affordable and culturally sensitive childcare and youth enrichment programs was one of the top seven priorities.

There are two challenges to increasing affordable childcare in San Mateo County: (1) there aren’t enough early education teachers to fully staff the currently-open facilities; (2) family daycare providers, the most affordable care option for children under 2 years of age, are retiring, leaving the area or closing their businesses. To address these challenges, I support the ongoing collaboration between the County Office of Education, the Community College District and the childcare community to promote childcare as a profession, support students during their training and assist them in establishing their own childcare businesses. If the initial work is successful, I will support additional funding to help meet the ongoing need for affordable childcare.

In addition, today’s childcare worker could be tomorrow’s classroom teacher. The county should find ways to attract our residents into childcare as part of a larger career development path that will sustain residents through many years. Long-term development of our childcare workforce will help families at every income level.

We should also find innovative ways to help childcare providers reduce their costs of doing business. For example, we should explore the possible role of the county in organizing purchasing and leasing pools for facilities to help reduce the costs of establishing a childcare facility.

I have committed to addressing child poverty in our county and have worked with the county, philanthropists and others to develop the Baby Bonus program. The county will give Medicaid eligible newborns and their families $300/month for years 0-3, a time when critical brain development is occurring. An NIH study has found that the extra support is correlated with higher brain wave activity.

With Federal Recovery funds, the county provided $5.5 million in grants to expand summer and school year enrichment programs in the lowest income school districts.1 An outside evaluation of the 2022/23 school year program found that the $2.5 million in grants to 41 programs served 2,548 new children and generated positive benefits for the whole family.2 For the children, the programs provided homework and academic support coordinated with classroom teachers, STEAM enrichment, art and crafts and sports activities. Programs also focused on developing social and emotional skills.

The evaluators found that 85% of parents returned to school, attended training or used the time their children were in enrichment programs to obtain better paying jobs. The enrichment program directors invested in expanded facilities, mental health training, and employed 99 new staff. There’s no further funding for the enrichment program expansion. But because expanding access to youth enrichment programs is a key community priority, and the evaluation results were consistently positive over two review periods, I support ongoing funding for these programs that advance equity and create opportunities for our lowest income children and families.

Throughout my career, I have developed robust internship and youth leadership programs. I intend to reinstate them if elected to the board.

Foster youth age out of foster care between 18 and 21. The county has developed an ambitious program to provide 60 foster youth a basic income, housing and educational support. I applaud their efforts and will support more ways to help these young people succeed.

Tweens and teens deserve to have safe places to congregate. Some cities have developed them and I will look for opportunities to support their expansion.

I also want to reinvigorate a civics program in our schools and work with teachers to develop this program.

1 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding | County of San Mateo, CA (
2 Harder and Company San Mateo County Out-of-School Enrichment 2023 Program Evaluation Data Overview


The First Supervisorial District contains much of the county’s shoreline that will be most impacted by sea level rise — the shores of Burlingame/Millbrae/San Bruno/South San Francisco/San Francisco International Airport. We must coordinate countywide to obtain federal and state resources, combined with local funds, to restore and protect these vulnerable areas. We must also work closely with local governments to ensure that vulnerable households are offered relief from flooding. I have worked with Supervisor Dave Pine and other local leaders to create Oneshoreline (also known as the San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District) to develop large-scale projects that are more competitive for federal and state funding.

I believe that climate change is real and that human activity is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions warming the planet. I voted for the nation’s greatest investment to date in fighting global climate change: President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act providing $369 billion over 10 years, a measure deemed “transformational” by the Environmental Defense Fund. 1

San Mateo County’s Community Climate Action Plan commits the county to a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040 within the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.2 I am committed to these goals through reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings through improved energy efficiency and electrification, and through reducing waste and transportation related emissions.

I also support evaluating the residence locations and commute patterns of current and future employees to determine if the county could establish remote work sites. These sites may serve the dual purpose of reducing the commute emissions of employees while still providing the benefits of collegiality that comes from in-office work. We also need to examine the role of working from home to both improve the environment and to retain and recruit employees.

Through the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the Bay Area is helping the bay adapt as sea levels rise, through habitat restoration and protection. Peninsula Clean Energy provides San Mateo County residents with clean electricity and rebate programs to spur conservation and production. Oneshoreline, created in part through my advocacy, positions San Mateo County’s restoration and protection efforts to adapt to climate change. I strongly support all of these tools to allow San Mateo County to adapt to climate change.

Wildfire Prevention and Preparation

The county learned a lot about emergency response during the pandemic and has taken steps to be better prepared for the next emergency, whether it’s a wildfire, earthquake, flooding or another type of emergency. But in addition to being better prepared to respond, the county should work harder to prevent emergencies. That is why we need to establish closer partnerships with the largest landowners in our county, including the City and County of San Francisco, state and federal agencies and nonprofits. We need to work together with CalFire and other fire agencies to reduce wildfire risk. Broadened efforts at vegetation management will reduce the spread of wildfire, maintain safe exit routes for residents and enable fire personnel to respond more quickly and effectively when fires do break out. This work has started, but much more needs to be done.