Dear all,

I hope this finds you safe in the aftermath of the fires which have wreaked havoc in our County and beyond. According to CAL FIRE, the CZU Lightning Complex is now 86,102 acres and just over 50 % contained. No doubt that the road to recovery will be a hard and long one. This is yet another warning for us to take a deeper look at the intersection of sustainability, resilience and risk management. Check the San Mateo Wildfire Response here, including information about where to donate.

This month was busy for SSMC! In addition to approving a Racial Equality Proclamation (see the full text below), the Board also endorsed Measure RR (Caltrain Sales Tax Ballot Measure), which will appear on the November ballot. It proposes a 1/8 cent sales tax in San Mateo County for 30 years, effective 1/1/23, and is expected to raise $108 million a year. The measure is described in detail here. In addition, we have continued to work on our website overhaul thanks to a grant from the Sand Hill Foundation, held roundtables with subject matter experts to vet sustainability solutions researched for our Sustainability Ideas Bank to accelerate sustainability adoption on the ground, and worked on our 2020 Indicators Report, including our October 6 launch with keynote speaker State Senate candidate Josh Becker. Please save the date, more information coming up soon! We hope that many of you will be able to attend our online event. These are but a sample of our activities. 

We can always use more help and welcome anyone who is committed to help us achieve our vision: "A sustainable future for everyone in San Mateo County". Whether you love event planning, are passionate about data and research, are a seasoned grant writer, a well-connected fundraiser or someone with an interest in databases or more - we want to hear from you!

With my thanks for your continued support,
Christine Kohl-Zaugg, Executive Director, SSMC

NB: With a heat wave coming to the Bay Area over the Labor Day week-end and its accompanying strains on the grid, please conserve energy where you can to avoid power outages and a worsening of the air quality. A Statewide Flex Alert has been issued between Sept. 5-7, learn more about what you can do to help here
SSMC's Racial Equality Proclamation 
(adopted unanimously by the Board at its August meeting)

We believe:
  • Racism is deeply embedded in American society
  • Racism is systemic, has many facets and is difficult to end

We commit to:
  • Working collaboratively with communities of color on promoting racial equality
  • Actively recruiting a diversity of people for the Board
  • Utilizing ways to measure racism and tracking progress on achieving racial equity with our Indicators Reports
  • Working toward finding solutions that eliminate racism
SAVE THE DATE - Annual Indicators Report Launch: October 6th

Mark your calendar!
Our annual Indicators Report Launch is coming up soon!

Join us on October 6th, from 11AM-12PM, for a webinar with State Senate Candidate Josh Becker as our keynote speaker.

In addition, the event will feature an overview of this year's Indicators Report (IR) by IR Program Manager Akansha Yadav, as well as a panel of experts discussing year's key topic: "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency"

Stay tuned for more information soon. 

Note: the event will be free but pre-registration will be required.

Interested in sponsoring? Contact us at: with "Sponsor IR" in the subject line or call us at: 650-918-1992.

About The Indicators Report Program:
Indicators for a Sustainable San Mateo County provides fact-based information on local trends impacting our economy, environment, and society. Propelled by the philosophy "what gets measured, gets managed," the Report presents indicators that raise awareness of sustainability in the county and improve our ability to make sound decisions for the benefit of future generations. Each year, we focus on a different area. For 2020, our focus is on "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency".
Free or Low-Cost Backup Batteries for Medical Devices through Power On Peninsula Program

Do you use a medical device at home? Live in a coastal or hilly area impacted by power shutoffs in San Mateo County?
You may be able to access free or low-cost batteries to keep your essential medical device(s) going during a power shutoff.

* Solar and backup batteries installed on your home
* Portable backup batteries for renters

Learn more about Power On Peninsula and sign up at
Or call Senior Coastsiders at (650) 726-9056

Help us spread the work! Talk to your neighbors and co-workers who might be eligible about the program!  

Para informaciĆ³n en espaƱol, llama a Puente de la Costa Sur en (650) 879-1691


About Peninsula Clean Energy:
Peninsula Clean Energy launched in October 2016 as California's fifth Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program and is the official local electricity provider for San Mateo County. Peninsula Clean Energy has the goal of providing 100 percent greenhouse gas-free power by 2021. Find out more at
Outdoor Vacation in the Covid-19 Era

The great outdoors are here for all to enjoy
With Labor Day week-end coming up and its expected, accompanying surge of visitors to our parks and great outdoors, it is good to remember proper etiquette. 

Read what SSMC's Vice Chair Georgi LaBerge has to say to this topic here.
Virtual Happy Hour Spotlight: 
August Happy Hour - Sustainable Investing

Make your money reflect your values
On August 27, Rev. Kirsten Snow Spalding of Ceres gave us an overview of the key trends shaping sustainable investing:
  • Fossil fuel divestment 
  • Engaging with heavy-emitting companies to move them to become more sustainable 
  • Focus on private equity
Missed it? You can read a summary of the event here.

SSMC has been holding monthly Virtual Happy Hours since April. Come join us next time! The Happy Hour format allows people interested in sustainability issues to learn and share, have lively discussions, make new connections and brainstorm new, actionable ideas. 

Ideas about topics and or speakers? Contact us! 
email: with "Happy Hour" in the subject line.
Stay tuned for information about our September Happy Hour - coming up soon!
Upcoming Events

Check our e-calendar here for a full list of upcoming events! 
Always check back with the organizer for the latest status. 

Some Highlights:

Coastal Cleanup 2020: You can help by picking up litter in your neighborhood with your household or social bubble. Learn more and register here
When? All Saturdays in September. 
RSVP with a City Site Captain. Make a difference where you live!
  • Sept 9, 10:30AM-12:00PM: Nonprofits and the County's COVID-19 Recovery Plan: A Stakeholder Engagement Session. By Thrive. More information here.
  • Sept. 9, 10:30AM-11:30AM: Let's go EV! 
    Learn about the benefits of being an EV owner and discover the many rebate programs and other financial perks that make EVs cheaper to own than gas-powered cars. 
    By Acterra, in partnership with the South San Francisco Public Library. Sponsored by Peninsula Clean Energy. More information and registration here.
  • Sept. 10, 3PM-4PM: Returns on Sustainability Investments: NYU Center for Sustainable Business. More information and registration here.
  • Sept. 16, 7PM-8PM: "Living Locally: How Strengthening Connections to Place Is Better for You, Your Community and the Planet". Online event, with Matt Biggar, Ph.D., a network strategy consultant and researcher who will offer guidance and invite discussion on the importance of vital connections. By Citizens Environmental Council (CEC). More information and registration here
  • Sept. 26, 10:00AM-11:30AM: "How to Protect Our Homes and Communities from Wildfires". Learn the steps to "harden" homes, strategically reduce fuel loads, how to develop a wildfire risk assessment of your home or your clients' homes, and make our communities more fire resilient. By Cabrillo College Extension. More information here.
  • Oct. 1, 6:30PM-8:30PM: San Carlos Climate Action Workshop 2. Join for an opportunity to provide feedback around the City's new Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (CMAP) around goal setting, identifying greenhouse gas reduction measures, and adapting to the threats of climate change. Register here.
  • October 6, 11AM-noon: SSMC Indicators Report Launch event. More information soon!
Don't see your event and want it publicized? Contact Nicole today at:

SSMC is a public charity nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status, so your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Our special thanks this month go to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which awarded us an operational support grant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


We also would like to sincerely thank the Cities which have already contributed their support to help underwrite our 2020 Indicators Report and other programs:

 Platinum: County of San Mateo; City of San Carlos; City of San Mateo; City of South San Francisco

GoldCity of Belmont; City of Foster City; City of Redwood City

Silver: Town of Atherton; City of Burlingame; City of Daly City; City of Half Moon Bay; City of Millbrae

Check out our 2019 Impact Report HERE