A picture of Representative Jackie Speier
Jackie S.
Democrat CA 14

About Rep. Jackie
  • In Recognition of John ``Jack’’ Matthews

    by Representative Jackie Speier

    Posted on 2015-12-08

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    SPEIER of california in the house of representatives Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor John ``Jack'' Matthews for his twelve years of service on the San Mateo City Council--two terms as Mayor--and his many contributions to our community.

    Councilman Matthews served on the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust (HEART), C/CAG, the Emergency Services Council, and the Local Policy Maker Group for Caltrain Electrification and High Speed Rail. These names with obscure meanings mask organizations of enormous importance to our community. Fortune smiled on us when Jack Matthews agreed to these assignments.

    Jack also served on the Grand Boulevard Initiative, the Civic Arts Committee and the homeless outreach team. One of his proudest moments was the 40th anniversary celebration of San Mateo's relationship with the 101st Airborne Division during Memorial Day Weekend in 2012 when the city also hosted its sister city Toyanaka, Japan.

    During his tenure on the council, he has been a voice of reason. In subtle contrast to his otherwise quiet nature he has been insistent about the issue of equal opportunity for all. This core value of Jack Matthews is best demonstrated by the very active role he played in the development of affordable housing in San Mateo. Jack and his council colleagues have helped create Peninsula Station, an affordable development for 60 families, as well as Delaware Pacific, housing 120 low income families at the former site of the police station. Rather than wring its hands over the problem of homelessness, San Mateo, in large part through Jack's leadership, grappled with the problem and developed a solution--buying and redeveloping the Hotel Vendome. Upon opening, one new resident remarked to a reporter that she had taken her first shower in many years. Jack and his enlightened colleagues on the San Mateo City Council offered that woman more than a shower. She regained her dignity.

    Jack also supported construction of an award-winning, beautiful new library, a Transit Center, the creation of Draeger's Market, a new downtown cinema, a new police station, the emergence of Bay Meadows as a regional transit and housing hub, and new transit-oriented development at the Hayward Park Caltrain station. He also supported historic changes to the organization of the fire department. Some councilmembers serve and never witness any of these types of changes. Jack helped shepherd all of them.

    Mr. Matthews is an architect and has his own firm, John Matthews Architects, located in downtown San Mateo since 1986. His firm is responsible for the design and significant storefront improvements at the St. Matthew Hotel, Kaffee Haus, Tomatina, AcquaPazza Ristorante, Vault 164, M is for Mystery Bookstore and others. In 1992, he served as president of the American Institute of Architects for San Mateo County and from 1994 to 1996 he was a board member of the AIA California Council.

    Community service is in Jack's DNA. A long-time volunteer with the Boy Scouts, he has additionally served on the Board of Directors of H.I.P. Housing, a non-profit providing housing to over 1,000 people.

    Born in San Francisco, Jack grew up in San Carlos and attended Carlmont High School. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in architecture in 1972. Two years later, he and his wife of 45 years, Patricia, moved to San Mateo and raised their four children, Domenic, Anthony, Benjamin and Desiree. Today they have four grandchildren, Delphine, Tessa, Stephen and Lorenzo. After his retirement from the city council, Jack is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing his passion for the outdoors including hiking, backpacking and fly fishing.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise with me to honor my good friend and colleague Jack Matthews for his dedicated service to the residents of his city. His outstanding work has helped make San Mateo a more beautiful and livable community. He has demonstrated by personal example that San Mateo has an enormous heart. We are losing a local leader who will soon become a man with additional time for leisure. There is no doubt that Jack will, even during times of quiet repose, be dreaming big dreams for his extended family--the people of the City of San Mateo.


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