John Clinton, former editor and publisher of the San Mateo Times, moved with his wife, Nina, to the Coastside nine years ago. He was an exemplary citizen who cared deeply about the people who lived and worked in San Mateo County.
Quickly John became a Coastside hero helping our community in his quiet, no fanfare manner. Most people know him as the president of the boards of the Peninsula Community Foundation, San Mateo County Historical Society, Caminar, and Rotary. Most people don’t know that, for years, he volunteered in the men’s county jail every Sunday, dropped off food packages for the homeless in Half Moon Bay every week, or had diapers delivered every week for local families. He was a tireless advocate for services for mental health, homelessness, essential workers and farmworkers — feeling that we have systems that created this poverty and have failed in taking responsibility to find solutions.
However, he will be remembered for more than writing a check, delivering services or advocating for changes. It was the dignity, respect and time that he spent with each person he met to listen to their story, acknowledge their hardship and give them words of encouragement. Although he passed away a week ago, his memory will live on through the hundreds of people to whom he gave hope.
Half Moon Bay
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