Charles is a San Mateo County native who moved to Belmont with his wife Jessica and daughter Sophia in 2004. In 2005, they celebrated the arrival of their second daughter, Sara. Like many busy parents balancing careers and family, Charles didn't think he had time to get involved with his local community. However, as Sophia began kindergarten at Nesbit (Go, Pumas!) there was a call for parent library volunteers. Charles' father had volunteered in the local school library when he was a child and Charles felt compelled to continue the family tradition. It was the right thing to do for both his family and his community. Starting school also meant the beginning of local youth sports. Soon, Charles was taking a coaching class through Belmont Redwood Shores American Youth Soccer Organization (BRS-AYSO) and coaching an under-six (U6) softball team. Little did he realize he’d end up coaching/umpiring/refereeing soccer, basketball, and softball for the next seven years. For Charles, coaching was a labor of love. It took a lot of time, but it was the right thing to do.
In 2009, Jessica and Charles found a larger home in Belmont to accommodate their growing family and his elderly parents. When Sophia entered Cipriani Elementary (Cipriani Wildcats Roar with Pride!) Charles became an in-class volunteer and Jessica got involved with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the “Art in Action” program. They came to realize that the fabric of the Belmont community was woven by dedicated volunteers and their hard work. As Charles learned more about the school district and civic governance, he got more involved. Despite two demanding jobs and the challenges of caring for their kids and elderly parents, Charles and Jessica knew that “giving back” was the right thing to do.
In 2010, Charles began volunteering with SchoolForce and in 2012, joined its board as Endowment Chair. He became part of a fundraising campaign that raised $2MM - a first for the Belmont Redwood Shores School District.
While satisfied with the school district and its leadership, Charles felt that Belmont’s city leadership could be improved. He was concerned about zoning laws that made it difficult for growing families to make reasonable changes to their homes. He saw a strained relationship between the City Council and the school district. He was frustrated when Notre Dame De Namur (NDNU) did not receive adequate support for increasing the use of their soccer field. He was disappointed when Crystal Springs Uplands School’s request to establish a Belmont campus was denied by the city council. A stifled economy and decaying infrastructure spurred concern about Belmont’s future.
In 2013, Charles began to disagree with decisions made by the city council and the way those decisions were made. There seemed to be too much acrimony and not enough collaboration, compromise and collegiality. Something had to change, and Charles was approached by several community leaders asking him to run for office. A grassroots effort was mounted and Charles was elected to the Belmont City Council in 2013. He’ll never forget that campaign for the hundreds of residents who pitched in and the community leaders who offered advice and guidance.
Throughout his first term, Charles has been honored to work with colleagues like Eric Reed, Warren Lieberman, David Braunstein, Cathy Wright, Douglas Kim, Davina Hurt, and Julia Mates. Together they have moved Belmont forward, and today our economy is thriving and our development projects are sensible and well underway.
While our council, city staff, and community have accomplished a lot, there's still much to do! Let’s continue our good work and enjoy the benefits of our wonderful city by re-electing Charles Stone to Belmont City Council.