• Councilwoman Lee

Bruised not broken


Cowardice came to our doorstep yesterday when a masked man broke our window with a rock in broad daylight. This was not random vandalism - video indicates our home was clearly targeted, and I believe this was a hate crime. Hate in our community is real. This act of violence was meant to instill fear. We might never know the true motivation behind this attack, but it was a message of hate and it was directed at me - the only woman of color on the San Mateo City Council and the first Asian woman to hold the seat.


Permission for racism, cowardice, and cruelty flows from the very top of our federal government and we cannot lose ground on the social justice that is hard fought and hard won. As your local leader, I am standing up for a better future for ALL of us and I will continue to be an outspoken champion for our values of inclusivity, prosperity and resilience. I refuse to lower myself or shrink back. Serving on the council is my greatest honor, and yes it is a labor of love that requires very real sacrifices. I stand resolute behind my track-record of service:

  • Proudly organizing the first Pride Flag raising at City Hall

  • In solidarity with Coalition Z, the NAACP and our faith leaders to support the Black Lives Matter movement and the rally at City Hall today at 5PM.

  • Supporting common-sense gun control including the Safe Gun Storage Ordinance.

As an API sister, as a person who was raised by my black god-mother, as public official who is privileged to have a voice at the table and driven to lift all voices - we must be able to say #BlackLivesMatter and fight for justice with all of our passion, rage and pain - and we also must seek truth and solutions by listening and learning. I hope we all will care enough to be open and to hold each other's humanity. In my moment of vulnerability, I called 9-1-1 and Officer Alba was there in a matter of minutes protecting and serving with honor, compassion and professionalism. Our family is grateful for the steadfast work of our San Mateo Police Department and I call on our community to check our own prejudices and reject the demonization of police.


Tonight I will be standing alongside my fellow San Mateans in front of City Hall. But tonight cannot be the end of our collective action-- it must be the beginning if we want to see real change. I'll see you tonight and also I want to see you at our next city council meeting. I want to see you on our boards and commissions, in our neighborhood associations, and Neighborhood Watch groups. I do not believe that this hateful incident represents our community or values. I choose to focus on the outpouring of generosity and love that has shone through in this moment. My family and I cannot be more grateful for all of you for the chocolate cookies, pecan pie, impromptu visits, and donations.


The resounding message is our solidarity to continue the work of justice and democracy together. This is a long march, it is a test of our values and stamina - thank you for being with me, in it for the long haul. Let's get to work!

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