Nonprofits and Housing

What To Know and What To Do

Thursday, September 8, 9:00 - 11:00 am, In Person

Every city and town in San Mateo County—and the county itself—is currently drafting housing plans for
the next eight years, work that will impact every nonprofit in the county and its clients. Called a Housing Element, this planning blueprint will determine in January 2023 how much housing each city will commit to building by 2031.

In a process that started in Sacramento, every jurisdiction is assigned how many housing units they must build at varying income levels, starting with very low income. The availability of affordable housing for the rest of the decade, an issue of huge importance to nonprofits and their clients, is being determined now.

Learn how nonprofits can affect the housing supply. Join the Thrive and housing advocate Yimby Action
for an informative, action-oriented session. The panel will feature Jordan Grimes of Greenbelt Alliance, Jeremy Levine of Housing Leadership Council, Christine Padilla of Build Up SMC, and Kalisha Webster of Housing Choices. This panel will be moderated by Alex Melendrez, Peninsula and South Bay Organizing Manager at YIMBY Action.

Thank you to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for the support of our Nonprofit Connection Series.

This event is in person. We will provide a zoom link for those unable to attend but participation will be limited. This event will be held at the CZI Community Space in Redwood City. COVID-19 vaccines and masks are required for all guests. Learn about policies here.


Register Here



Alex Melendrez, YIMBY Action, Peninsula and South Bay Organizing Manager

Alex Melendrez is the Organizing Manager of YIMBY Action for San Mateo County and Santa Clara County. YIMBY Action is a nationwide, membership-based non-profit focused on housing advocacy and making communities more inclusive, sustainable & affordable for all. He covers three YIMBY Action Chapters - Peninsula For Everyone, South Bay YIMBY, and Mountain View YIMBY. Alex has spent his career working in government and nonprofits, focusing on housing and organizing. Before working for YIMBY Action, Alex worked at the Housing Leadership Council and the County of San Mateo. 



Jordan Grimes, Greenbelt Alliance, Resilience Manager

Born and raised on the San Francisco peninsula, Jordan brings a background of grassroots housing advocacy experience and policy and local knowledge to the Resilience Manager role. He is passionate about housing and environmental justice. He is excited to help communities pursue smart, equitable land-use policy choices that will both right historical wrongs and help secure a climate-resilient Bay Area that everyone can call home.

When not engaged in land-use sustainability or climate resilience work, you can find Jordan competing in bar trivia nights, enjoying live music, solo traveling, and exploring the many wonderful open spaces that the Bay Area offers.


Jeremy Levine
Jeremy Levine, Housing Leadership Council (HLC), Policy Manager

Jeremy Levine was hired as HLC's Policy Manager in March 2022 to help the organization track housing laws across San Mateo County. Born and raised in Lafayette, California, Jeremy has dedicated his career to promoting equitable government policy. Before joining HLC, Jeremy studied economic development with UC Santa Barbara's Economic Forecast Project. He also spent almost three years with the California Center for Public Policy, studying how tax policy can be used to reduce inequality. After nearly five years working in economic research, Jeremy founded a nonprofit, Inclusive Lafayette, in his hometown, dedicated to promoting affordable housing development. He is excited to continue supporting affordable housing with HLC!


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Jennifer Martinez, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Director, Housing Affordability

Dr. Jennifer Martinez is the Policy Director for Housing Affordability at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). Prior to joining CZI, Jennifer was a community organizer for 17 years and worked on campaigns for housing justice, immigrant rights, restorative justice, and quality education. From 2017 to 2021, Jennifer served as the Chief Strategy Officer for PICO California, the largest faith-based community organizing network in California, where she helped lead several statewide and regional campaigns for affordable housing, tenant rights, and tax reform. Jennifer has a BA from Stanford University and an MA and PhD from the University of Nottingham, England. Jennifer lives in San Mateo and, with her neighbors, is a local advocate for affordable housing and tenant rights



Christine Padilla, Build Up SMC, Director

Christine Padilla, born and raised in San Mateo County, has spent her career at the intersection of service and government. She knows how to work with and within the system to improve children's and families lives. She is currently the Director of Build Up San Mateo County, an initiative that preserves, expands, and enhances the supply of childcare facilities. In her position, she is dedicated to making high-quality early care and learning accessible and affordable for working families while supporting and advocating for those who teach and care for children. As the mother of a young daughter, she is committed to working to ensure San Mateo County is an equitable, diverse, and inclusive place.



Kalisha Webster, Housing Choices, Senior Housing Advocate

Kalisha Webster joined the Housing Choices team in 2020 as a Housing Coordinator, helping people with developmental disabilities living in San Mateo County to find and retain affordable housing. She now serves as Senior Housing Advocate across five counties at Housing Choices, training self-advocates to educate local elected officials, city and county housing staff, housing developers, and the community about their housing needs and opportunities to plan for and include people with developmental and other disabilities in their local housing plans. Her advocacy has focused on getting cities to adopt more inclusive housing policies as part of their Housing Elements and advocating for specific opportunities to establish new Partner Properties with units set aside for people with developmental disabilities who require affordable housing paired with supportive services. Kalisha has also worked in partnership with BIPOC self-advocates with disabilities to create a series of workshops on disparities in housing access for people with intersectional identities.



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