Thursday, April 27, 2017
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
725 Monte Diablo Avenue
6:30 – 6:45 PM Greetings
6:45 – 7:30 PM Rick Bonilla, Deputy Mayor of San Mateo
7:30 – 8:00 PM Jennifer Martinez, Executive Director, Faith in Action
8:00 – 8:30 PM Police Report: Todd Mefford, Area Lieutenant & Susan Manheimer, Chief of Police of San Mateo
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 by Tracey Kobayashi. 28 were in attendance. Alex Greer, King Center, asked the attendees if they could complete a survey that King Center was conducting. He left the forms and picked them up at the end of the meeting. Amourence Lee spoke about the new website.
Rick Bonilla, Deputy Mayor of San Mateo, spoke about various issues that San Mateo is currently facing. These include the need for green space, the Peninsula/101 interchange and Poplar/101 exit, public transportation, including AC Transit bus across the San Mateo Bridge, Plan Bay Area 2040 and the disparity between new jobs and new housing (between 2011 and 2015, there were 53,000 new jobs but only 2,300 new housing units.
In response to development, Joanne Bennett talked about the movie “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,” an inspiring and thought provoking documentary about writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs as she fights to save historic NYC during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960’s. She said that it should be on everyone’s “must watch” list.
Another action discussed was the “Welcoming City” resolution, just passed by City Council. Chief Manheimer distributed copies. The Welcoming City resolution states that San Mateo embraces all immigrant populations and respects all residents. The resolution will be available on the City’s website. The City cannot stop the federal agents from coming to the City, but the Police Department already has three pages of policy concerning their policy. They do not ask about someone about their immigration status.
Jennifer Martinez, Executive Director of Faith in Action, spoke specifically about their work with immigrants. They generally work to increase access to health care, improve public schools, make neighborhoods safer, build affordable housing, redevelop communities and revitalize democracy. In reaction to federal immigration action, they have created a Rapid Response Network to help when there is Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) action. They have trained about 2000 volunteers in San Franciso and 600 in San Mateo County. The telephone number is 203-666-4472 (203-NOMIGRA). When called a volunteer will be sent to verify if it is an ICE action. Many are not. If verified, the network is alerted for the volunteer to take note of the action. They are instructed not to interfere. They do the following 1. film the event, 2. write down and narrate what is happening, 3. Interact with the ICE agent, 4. communicate with the community, and 4. film the other four people. The volunteers are trained in the rights from 4th Amendment (e secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized) and 5th Amendment (restrictions on the government’s prosecution of persons accused of crimes. Prohibition of self-incrimination and double jeopardy and mandate due process of law). No verified events have taken place in San Mateo County as of that date. Volunteers do not need to be bilingual. SB 54, California Values Act, defines the State’s action with ICE, e.g. not sharing the State database with ICE.
Todd Mefford, the Area Lieutenant for North Central, spoke about general items of interest. The Patrol Team has 40 officers in B Team. Parking is a big issue in San Mateo, especially in North Central. A car should not be parked for more than 72 hours. Oversized vehicles should not be parked in residential neighborhoods. It is illegal to park on the sidewalk. Thefts from vehicles has increased. Gang activity, e.g. tagging (graffiti) has decreased, but prostitution has increased, often coming from the East Bay and using hotels along the highway. Narcotics has also increased. Loud noise was also discussed, including calling the traffic hotline when noise is coming from a vehicle. Lt. Mefford’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Manheimer spoke about the Welcoming City resolution. The policy of the Police Department is value all equally and not to hold and detain. She expressed concern about people being frightened to open their doors even when there is a legitimate, non-immigration reason for the police to come to a home. The Police Department would like to talk with the immigrant community to combat any hysteria that may be happening and is looking for places to speak. They would like to speak at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.