Candidate Profile: Kate Colin For San Rafael Mayor

·6 min read

Municipal office


Kate Colin

Age (as of Election Day)


Town/City of Residence

San Rafael

Office Sought

Municipal office, Mayor

Party affiliation (not needed in non-partisan races, including county, city and school offices)



Spouse Jeff, daughter Jessie 25 and son Jared 23. Moved here when Jessie was 1 and raised our family in San Rafael.

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?



BA, Dartmouth College; MBA Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University


City Councilmember 2013 - present

Campaign website

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

Councilmember, City of San Rafael (2013 - present); Planning Commissioner, City of San Rafael (2005 - 2012)

The single most pressing issue facing our (state, district, community, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Addressing the economic impact of covid-19 on our city budget and local businesses. I will continue doing what I've done since April - work with Marin County and surrounding jurisdictions to share best practices and look for opportunities to share services. Within San Rafael, I will oversee the creation of an Economic Strategic Plan that will help guide our decisions to retain, expand and attract businesses in San Rafael.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I have proven during my 7 years on the Council that I know how to collaborate effectively with our community to create and implement effective and sustainable solutions to tough issues. With the pandemic's impact, our city will benefit from my expertise, experience and deep connections with our neighborhoods and local businesses. My credentials are confirmed by the fact I've received every single endorsement in the Mayoral race that has been offered to both candidates (including the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, Marin Professional Firefighters, Northbay Leadership Council and the Marin Democratic Party). In addition to these organizations which reflect folks who live and work in San Rafael, the community member endorsements underscore that I am the right person at the right time to lead San Rafael as its first female Mayor (our City incorporated 147 years ago!).

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)

The current Mayor is not running so there is not an incumbent in this race.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform

Key issues on which to engage with our community are: addressing the economic impact of Covid-19, homelessness/housing, climate change (especially wildfire prevention and sea level rise) and racial justice.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

I know how to roll up my sleeves and get things done.

  • Homelessness - Through my leadership, the Community Homeless Fund was created as is funded by every city/town in Marin County - $180k/year for the past 5 years. It is currently funding the Mobile Showers which literally drive throughout Marin providing showers and a way for unhoused people to connect with our local system of care (and ultimately housing).

  • Resident engagement - When the pandemic hit, with the input and help from neighborhood leaders, we created the Neighbor to Neighbor Toolkit which provided tools and guidance for neighbors to support and connect with each other during the pandemic. I personally handed off the kits via zoom to over 75% of our local neighborhood associations.

  • Sea Level Rise - I was part of the original leaders who created a cross-jurisdictional committee to address the local issues of SLR (the other two elected officials are from Mill Valley and Belvedere). This group continues to meet and I'm now on the Marin County BayWAVE task force which is working towards solutions in regards to adaptation and mitigation measures for Marin County.

  • Aging - Working with the support and leadership of local volunteers and the Aging Action Initiative, I helped lead San Rafael's process of becoming an Age Friendly City that ensures our policies reflect our older community members.

  • Resiliency - I won't ask our community to do something that I haven't myself so I have participated in our neighborhood becoming a Resilient Neighborhood through their program. Now my neighbors and I are in the process of an additional program of becoming a Firewise Community. Both of these programs build community resiliency and neighborhood connection.

  • Racial Justice - I am the only elected official in Marin County who has graduated from BARHII's Leadership for Equity and Opportunity program in 2020 which looks at personal, community and system values to address inequality.

In addition, in 2017, I started the Latino Civic Leadership Initiative to figure out how to increased the diversity and composition of our local boards and commissions. I am grateful to the community members who worked with me and because of our collective efforts, San Rafael now has the most diverse Planning Commission it has ever had. Our work has just started though and with the trust and collaboration that I've already built, I know we'll continue to tackle other issues around racial justice.

I have more examples but I think I'll stop there!

If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?

Economic recovery of our local businesses. Progress on racial justice issues. Increased diversity on city boards and commissions. Successfully managing the city's fiscal constraints that are ahead.

Why should voters trust you?

Because I lead with my head and my heart. And I recognize that hearing from and working with our residents is the only way to determine the best, most sustainable and effective solutions to our city's complex issues.

What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?

As Mayor, in partnership with the City's Finance team and local community leaders, we will create and offer "Finance 101" virtual meetings whereby residents can learn about the fiscal trade-offs our community must make. By building up the fiscal muscle of our community, we will ensure that our budget decisions reflects our values.

Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?


The best advice ever shared with me was ...

Don't believe everything you think.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I have been honored to serve San Rafael since 1999 when I joined my first San Rafael civic board. My campaign platform isn't something that I've created over the past few months to win the Mayor role; rather, it's reflective of the work I've done and the deep commitment I've demonstrated to San Rafael over the past 21 years.

This article originally appeared on the San Rafael Patch

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting