I’m running for City Council with the number one priority of improving the lives of District 2 residents. My experience, energy, and enthusiasm prepare me to be a strong and effective voice for District 2.
For the past four years I have served the Berkeley community as the representative to the Peralta Community College District. When I ran for office, I made a commitment to carry out the promise of building a permanent home for Vista Community College. With wonderful support from the Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville communities, we are realizing that promise.
As a council candidate, I look forward to building an enthusiastic and organized constituency to address these basic issues:
Fiscal Responsibility: My 18 years as a municipal budget analyst, along with a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, make me ideally suited to tackle the substantial fiscal challenges of our city. I will work toward a more transparent budget process that encourages greater input from Berkeley residents and businesses. Berkeley taxpayers have been incredibly generous in supporting city programs, and we need our council representatives to provide tough oversight to ensure that the city’s fiscal dilemmas don’t result in excessive taxes especially on those with fixed and low incomes. I will evaluate city programs to ensure they are reaching their target populations and to avoid duplication of effort. I am committed to fiscal responsibility, including making sure UCB pays its fair share! While property owners are required to pay taxes for the city’s storm drain system and streetlights, as well as other city services, the university contributes little or nothing toward these essential infrastructure needs.
Safety: Southwest Berkeley residents deserve to live in neighborhoods free of crime, drug dealers, and prostitution. I am proposing that the City Council form a Public Safety Committee to address the critical issues around public safety in our district and throughout the city. If elected; I will be the first to volunteer to serve on such a committee. Public safety should always be our top priority. We need to enhance community policing, especially along San Pablo, Sacramento, and lower University. I look forward to working with neighborhood groups to support their efforts as the eyes and ears of our community.
Youth Services: I will work to build a youth center in either South or West Berkeley to provide needed opportunities for our youth. This center could offer tutoring, computer and job skills, classes on nutrition, and serve as a resource link to city, county, and state programs.
Economic Development: I will encourage businesses along San Pablo, Sacramento, and University that enhance the quality of life for communities in South and West Berkeley. In District 2 we need fewer liquor stores and more bookstores, grocery stores, and cafes. We also need to maintain commercial space for our artisans and crafts people.
Affordable Housing: In order to maintain diversity and to make sure the librarians, schoolteachers, and clerks who work in our city can afford to live here, we need to provide affordable housing. In particular, I will encourage the development of affordable housing with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate the needs of families. I also believe that the development of affordable condominiums would produce “pride of ownership” and promote stable communities.
Measure Q: If passed, Measure Q would make prostitution the lowest priority for the Berkeley Police Department. It would have a particularly negative impact on Southwest Berkeley, opening the floodgates for pimps and street prostitutes from around the East Bay to descend on San Pablo, Sacramento and University. Measure Q would do nothing to decrease the crime, violence, drugs, alcohol, and sexually transmitted diseases that are associated with pimps and street prostitutes. This simplistic measure would only make it easier for pimps to exploit and abuse women. I am proud to be fighting to defeat this misguided measure, and I encourage all registered voters in Berkeley to join me in voting no on Measure Q.
My campaign is endorsed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Supervisor Keith Carson, Mayor Tom Bates, Pastor Marvis Peoples, the Sierra Club, Green Party of Alameda County, SEIU (all locals), Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and Central Labor Council, Local One, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, Berkeley Citizens Action, Berkeley Democratic Club, League of Conservation Voters, John George Democratic Club, East Bay Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club, Black Elected Officials of the East Bay, and Councilmembers Maio, Breland, Spring, Hawley, Worthington, and Wozniak.
Together we can activate and organize the immense untapped human resources of District 2. Together we can work as a forward-looking, inclusive, and open community to enhance the quality of life throughout our district and city. I greatly appreciate your support and vote on Nov. 2.
District 2 City Council candidate