I read the 4/1 article, “San Mateo Begins Housing Discussion” with interest and amazement. It described a “discussion” I would have liked to attend. Wait a minute! I did participate in Let’s Talk Housing’s online meeting. My experience was not even close to what the article described. Everyone lost 20 minutes due to technical problems. Many who registered were unable to log in. We also lost an essential poll of attendees. Residents? Workers here? Property owners? It might have supported my observation that many attendees did not live here.

It became clear that this was like a written “open mike.” People began posting random ideas, suggestions, beliefs, on the “chat” feature, even as the presentations were going on. The same happened with the 64 attendees in the San Mateo breakout. Rather than a discussion or opinion sharing, this became akin to flinging pasta at the wall to see what sticks. At two points, some of those ideas (often out of context) were pulled into “word clouds” of what people cared about — with zero sense of the writers’ intent. The chat became a free for all, people posting whatever they believed about anything, trying to “talk” over each other. Writers expressed conflicting ideas, challenging each other. One of the moderators finally pulled down the chat because the 180 degree back and forth was getting so out of hand.

The city should view this meeting’s results to be as questionable as residents who attended know them to be. If this is supposed to be what a productive workshop and discussion of housing looks like, we might as well stop right now.

Karen Herrel

San Mateo

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading. To continue, please log in, or sign up for a new account.

We offer one free story view per month. If you register for an account, you will get two additional story views. After those three total views, we ask that you support us with a subscription.

A subscription to our digital content is so much more than just access to our valuable content. It means you’re helping to support a local community institution that has, from its very start, supported the betterment of our society. Thank you very much!