DALY CITY – Raised in Daly City and Millbrae, Diane Papan is a product of northern San Mateo County with deep roots in the local communities.
The youngest daughter of legendary Assemblyman Lou Papan, who served as both a Daly City Councilmember and long-time member of the State Assembly, Papan has emerged as a local leader in her own right, currently serving her second term on the San Mateo City Council as the Deputy Mayor.
As a councilmember, Papan has distinguished herself by serving in many regional capacities including on the City and County Association of Governments Board, the Resource Management Climate Protection Subcommittee and as chair of the Council of Cities. Moreover, Papan helped to create the One Shoreline Board for Sea Level Rise, the county’s first dedicated flood district supporting local cities planning and implementation of flood protection projects. This work has never been more urgent with rising seas and increased intensity of storms due to climate change. Protecting homes, businesses and infrastructure will be critical to San Mateo County’s future.
“San Mateo County is the most at risk to flooding of any county in California,” said Papan. “We must prepare now for the challenges ahead. I have helped to do that locally but as a member of the Assembly I will obtain the necessary resources and support from the state to get the work done as fast as possible.”
Papan, a Capuchino High School grad who attended UCLA for her undergraduate work and gained a law degree from UC Hastings, has worked as an attorney locally for most of her career focusing on representing small businesses.
In addition to her work as an attorney, Papan is also the executive director of a clothing bank for children started by her mother Irene in honor of her late brother John Papan. The clothing bank, operating out of Ben Franklin Middle School in Broadmoor, has provided free, new clothing to thousands of children in need from northern San Mateo County for decades. Papan, works closely with local schools and social service agencies to help connect local families with needed clothing. Unlike many service agencies, however, what distinguishes John’s Closet is that the clothing provided is new, not used. The explicit intent of Papan’s mother Irene who started the clothing bank was to provide kids with clothing to support their self-esteem, not just simply cloth them.
“We all understand the social pressures that kids are under and what clothes they wear shouldn’t be added to that list,” said Papan. “We provide new, quality clothing to kids in need so they can just go to school and focus on their academic career without another distraction or feeling self-conscious.”
As a daughter of Daly City and through her nonprofit work, Papan has deep ties to the Filipino community and that is largely why she has gained the support of local leaders such as icon Perla Ibarrientos, Daly City Vice Mayor Ray Buenaventura and Councilmember Juslyn Manalo.
“Diane Papan is a great friend to our community. She has consistently supported northern San Mateo County as a San Mateo City Councilmember, nonprofit executive, and neighbor. I look forward to continuing to work with her next position in the Assembly,” said Manalo.
Papan’s deep ties to the local community are what she states will inform her work in the state Legislature.
“I am running for the Assembly because I know I can make a difference. I am a homegrown daughter of this district. Its residents are family, friends, and neighbors,” said Papan. “I know the struggles that exist here, and I have a demonstrated track record of successfully working to improve our communities.”
Papan is married to her husband Dan with whom she has a daughter now attending public school locally.