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Inaugurating the Maudelle Shirek Building

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 23, 2007

Maudelle Shirek, 96, an eight-term Berkeley city councilmember who served until 2004, was joined by dozens of friends and supporters at the ceremony Thursday afternoon changing name of Old City Hall to the Maudelle Shirek Building. 

Shirek, above, flanked by former aide Michael Berkowitz and niece Deborah McQueen, not only fought for peace and social justice, she fought for senior centers and workers’ rights, said Mayor Tom Bates.  

City Councilmember Max Anderson called Shirek “an uncompromising advocate for the poor and working class” and reminded people that Shirek had been a “midwife” to the political life of Mayor Ron Dellums and Rep. Barbara Lee.  

“I want to invite you back when we dedicate the mural,” Shirek said of a mural being painted by Daniel Galvez to be installed inside the building in April. “That will be about more than just the struggles of a poor girl from Arkansas. That will be the story of the struggle to make this a better place.”