North Central is the oldest neighborhood in the City of San Mateo, and by far the most ethnically diverse area in San Mateo with many waves of immigrants from Portugal, Japan, Italy, China, and Central America. Our community is a historical treasure. We are home to the multiple schools, businesses, and one of the oldest African American churches as well as 15+ places of worship of all different faiths.
Just days after we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the world grieves news about the terror attack in New Zealand, and the 50 mass shootings in the U.S. that occurred in just the first two months of 2019 . In these moments, it’s important to reaffirm our mission and values.
HANCSM is a volunteer-run neighborhood association for all of us – including North Central home-owners, renters, property and business owners.
Our mission is to build an informed, engaged and connected community in North Central. We work together to advocate on behalf of our North Central neighbors to create a safe, healthy and vibrant community.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Community Center opened almost one year following the assassination of Dr. King, and the story of how the Center got its name is quite remarkable. It was an important moment in our history when community voices prevailed, affirming the teachings of Dr. King.
For me, the King Center is a real symbol of our City’s values of diversity, inclusion and equality. I’ll never forget the time I wandered in and was greeted by former director, Angela Miller. She was the first to really welcome me to the neighborhood, she said, “This is the King Center, your community center. We’re here for you.” She was the first face of the City and the bridge to all the resources and activities that my family enjoys. Like many in the neighborhood, my kids learned to swim at the pool and go to summer camp there. It’s where HANCSM organized the Love North Central neighborhood cleanup campaign, it’s where my neighbor gets his flu shot, and my niece attends preschool, where we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Black History Month. The King Center is our place to gather, play and learn together, and we are so much stronger for it.
The 50th celebration marked the ways that Dr. King’s legacy continues to shape our lives in North Central. Dr. King taught us that the most powerful response to hate and violence is to stand up for love by channeling positivity into our own community. On Saturday, April 13th hundreds of neighbors will come together to clean up our streets for the Love North Central Cleanup Day. This is a day to show your love for North Central through an act of service. Please join us, RSVP: https://hancsm.wordpress.com/love
Amourence Lee has lived in North Central in a fixer-upper with her husband, 2 kids, chicken, cat, lizard and snake since 2010. She joined the HANCSM board three years ago and spearheaded the Love North Central campaign. Amourence also serves on the City Parks & Recreation Commission and General Plan Update Subcommittee.