District 3 City Council Candidate Statements, Max Anderson

Tuesday October 12, 2004

South Berkeley needs and wants a strong, active, thoughtful and experienced voice advocating for us to get affordable housing, transportation, public safety, and economic development improvements. I will continue to be an activist, focused on practical effective work. My City Council office will take leadership in advocating for the needs of individuals and groups in our district and our city. 

My eight years of service on the Planning Commission reinforced my belief that a city can adopt policies that help the little people, and even a city as small as Berkeley can counteract some of the callous corporate mentality masquerading as national policy. 

My 11 years of service on the League of Conservation Voters underscores my love of nature and the importance of environmental issues. I reject the notion that unions and environmentalists must oppose each other, because I am both an environmentalist and a trade unionist. I know the importance of fighting for living wage jobs and protecting the environment. I have for 12 years been an active volunteer, right here in Berkeley, creating a successful school-to-work program to get young people in well-paying career opportunities. 

My professional work as registered nurse led me to become involved in working to address the health disparities that people of color and low income residents face right here in South and West Berkeley. As a co-founder of a neighborhood association I understand the importance of the nuts and bolts of issues that effect day-to-day life. I will go to neighborhood meeting, respond to calls from neighbors promptly, and ensure real public input on new development. I will help low income neighbors fight crime by providing funds to help organize neighborhood watch groups, and support alternatives for our youth, which reflects a lifelong commitment to address the underlying issues that drive crime in our community. 

I have always felt passionately about the importance of helping senior citizens live life fully and enjoy their retirement after many long years of contributing to the betterment of our society. Especially in Berkeley many of our seniors have contributed their full-time jobs and also volunteered thousands of hours to community service. I see seniors facing reduced services on a local, state and national level. As a City Councilmember I will rededicate myself to protecting Berkeley’s excellent services for seniors and resisting shortsighted proposals to reduce senior services.  

Our disabled residents face an enormous struggle just to survive. Today they face a battle for transportation to get to their vital doctor’s appointments and basic services. I will work with disabled community advocacy groups to make paratransit and/or some other service help them get where they need to go in a timely way. 

While I strongly support keeping Berkeley in the forefront of providing services, I also understand the need for fiscal responsibility and I will closely scrutinize budgets and tax proposals in order to minimize increases to homeowners. We must address the imbalance where millionaires get tax cuts and commercial real estate uses Prop. 13 to evade taxes while homeowners pay more. 

Most of my activism in the past 20 years has been right here in Berkeley. I joined others and fought long and hard for a full-service supermarket in our community. The result was the present successful Berkeley Bowl. I also understand the importance of being involved at the county, state and national levels. I serve on the California Consumer Health Council. My activities on numerous state and national issues include a wide range of human rights, disabled, senior, consumer and peace and social justice causes. Like many Berkeley residents I have trekked to Sacramento to lobby for affordable housing, healthcare and education legislation and funding. 

I am pleased to be endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party, Green Party, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Berkeley Citizen’s Action, East Bay Lesbian Gay Democratic Club, SEIU, Wellstone Democratic Club, AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Mayor Tom Bates, Peralta Trustee Darryl Moore, City Council Members Linda Maio, Dona Spring, and Kriss Worthington. 

My many years of community service in a wide range of groups, my love of Berkeley, my graduate training in public health and city planning, and my appreciation of our diversity have well prepared me for extending that service to the City Council. 

I appreciate the complexities of trying to balance the many competing interests. I understand the need for calm, persistent, but respectful manner of advocacy on the part of elected officials. I believe I can provide the strong, active, reasonable, thoughtful and experienced voice that South Berkeley needs. 


—Max Anderson 

District 3 City Council candidate