It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Southwest Berkeley community for the last four years on the Berkeley City Council. I have been accessible and active in District 2, working to improve residents’ quality of life.
Southwest Berkeleyans deserve to live in a community in which they feel safe. Over the last four years, I have been actively working with neighborhood groups to organize around both crime and disaster preparedness. While cohesive communities are the first and best step to prepare for both of these, neighbors cannot do it by themselves. This is why I fought hard for Southwest Berkeley to receive more attention when the City was concentrating police resources to other parts of the city and have been pushing hard for more disaster preparedness resources to be allocated to the flatlands. I have also improved the safety of our streets by implementing sensible traffic strategies.
I have worked to reduce the disparities that are prevalent in Southwest Berkeley. Disparities in health, housing accessibility, and education are at the root of many of the social issues that we are currently experiencing. To help address the health disparities in our community, I worked hard to secure the Berkeley Bowl, a neighborhood-serving grocery store that will offer healthy food. I have helped to address housing inequities and access to affordable housing by supporting the affordable housing developments along transit corridors. I have also worked to develop 2020 Vision, a comprehensive plan to eliminate the academic achievement gap in our schools by the year 2020. Each year, I renew my commitment to academic success by welcoming incoming Rosa Parks Elementary students with backpacks and school supplies, so that they are ready to learn.
I am proud of the work I have done to restore our community’s infrastructure by efficiently managing the use of the City’s resources; I lobbied my Council colleagues to keep sewer rates from increasing over the last four years, locating existing funds and allocating them for emergency storm drain work to prevent flooding of businesses and homes in West Berkeley. To address long-term flooding concerns in West Berkeley, I not only am working to increase the capacity of our storm water system, but am also working to reduce watershed runoff by implementing innovative green infrastructure into our public right-of-ways.
During these difficult economic times, I understand the importance of supporting small local businesses. This is why I helped secure funds to host the popular International Food Festival, celebrating the diversity of West Berkeley while promoting small local businesses. I have also worked to attract green businesses to Berkeley, which will help to establish the East Bay Green Corridor and provide good paying jobs for people of all education levels. However bringing green businesses to our community is not enough, we must equip our residents with the proper skills to stay competitive in the job market. To prepare our Berkeley residents for the new Green economy, I will work to create sufficient job training opportunities, while already having expanded youth employment and opportunities in the City.
Besides maintaining and improving these fundamental aspects of residents’ quality of life, safety, equality, infrastructure and the economy, I have also worked hard to make life in Southwest Berkeley more pleasant. I have helped develop a comprehensive alcohol policy to not only protect neighbors from drunk drivers, but also to reduce the impacts on the community in areas that have high concentrations of alcohol outlets. To ensure that District 2 residents have access to quality open space, I secured $1.2 million in improvements to San Pablo Park. In order to keep Southwest Berkeley an attractive place to live and work, I helped usher forward public art projects including, the AmTrak railstop and Transit Plaza Upgrades, decorative gates on the Corporation Yard, and the mural at Frances Albrier Center. I have also found a tool that will help continue to improve the quality of life for Southwest Berkeley residents, the West Berkeley Improvement District. This district will general $600,000 to tackle some of the most difficult social challenges in Southwest Berkeley including crime, graffiti, illegal dumping, chronic homelessness, and traffic congestion.
I am proud of the considerable progress I have made by working together to make our neighborhoods safer, reduce our community’s health and housing disparities, improve our City’s infrastructure, and develop our workforce and economy. There is still much to be done. I ask for your support so that I can continue my work on these important issues. By building upon the work that I have done during my first term, together we can build a healthier Southwest Berkeley community. Beyond District 2, please join me in supporting Barack Obama, voting Yes on Measures FF (Library Bond) and GG (Public Safety Measure), and No on Propositions 4 (Protect Teen Safety) and 8 (Don’t Eliminate Marriage for Anyone), to ensure the quality of life for everyone. For more information, please visit my website at www.moorefordistrict2.com.