About us

Fixin’ San Mateo County is a grassroots group made up of local residents. Our Board of Directors is 71% BIPOC, and 71% female. Our membership covers areas from East Palo Alto to South San Francisco, and from Foster City to Half Moon Bay. We are proud to have earned the support of dozens of elected officials representing one third of county residents and community organizations representing more than 5,000 people.

Less than two years after our public launch, Fixin’ SMC’s tireless work to garner support for civilian oversight helped bring about the historic Board of Supervisors’ vote  to support oversight which took place on November 1, 2022, and their vote to create a civilian commission in December 2023.

Incorporation of Fixin’ SMC: November 2021
In May 2021 a handful of county residents decided to take action for more transparency and accountability from our county Sheriff’s Office. We began meeting to explore establishing independent oversight of the Sheriff’s Office, like 220 other cities and counties in the country have done. Fixin’ San Mateo County formally incorporated as a 501(c)4 nonprofit in November 2021.

Public Launch on March 26, 2022
Fixin’ SMC held a public event to officially launch itself as the only organization focused on civilian oversight in San Mateo County.

Votes by the Board of Supervisors

September 13, 2022
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create an ad hoc committee to study oversight of the Sheriff’s Office.

November 1, 2022
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support oversight of the Sheriff’s Office, specifically directing their staff and ad hoc committee to bring forward a proposal for both a civilian oversight board and an Office of the Inspector General.

December 12, 2023
The Board of Supervisors took a historic first step, voting unanimously to adopt a resolution to create an Independent Civilian Advisory Commission on the Sheriff’s Office, although without clear duties and authority and lacking an Inspector General. We want the new Commission to be successful and will continue to work with the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Office, and the community to make it as effective as possible. Being effective will require that the Commission be given specific powers and authority. We will advocate for whatever helps it succeed in bringing transparency and accountability to our Sheriff’s Office.

We have hosted 62 events and made 38 presentations to community organizations, faith-based groups, and political clubs, and built a coalition of more than 35 groups in favor of oversight as well as six city/town councils which together represent one-third of San Mateo County residents.

We gained the endorsement of 46 elected officials, including state and federal representatives, mayors, and city council members.

25 cities, towns, and organizations wrote to the Board of Supervisors to ask for civilian oversight at our request.

Goals for 2024

  • Continue to educate the public about the value and importance of independent civilian oversight
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the new Commission in setting a goals, adopting a workplan, and developing a communication protocol with the Sheriff’s Office
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen oversight, including establishing duties and authority of the Commission and a regular and ongoing Inspector General function

Our Scope

Within ScopeOutside of Scope
AgenciesSheriff’s Office
District Attorney’s Office
Board of Supervisors
City Police Departments
City Councils
ActionsCreation of a civilian oversight board and Inspector General, both with subpoena powerOversight of city police departments