The City of Berkeley has neglected West Berkeley's roads for decades. COVID-related service reductions to transit will impact many transit-dependent essential workers and community members with medical needs. Berkeley also must remain on track to eliminate carbon emissions from our transportation sector.
District 2 is a historically working-class African American, Latinx, and immigrant community. West Berkeley is a frontline community abutting Interstate-80 and bisected by State Routes 13 and 123, and houses the City's old manufacturing sector. Moreover, subterranean fossil fuel and gas lines, ground soil saturation, deteriorating road and hydrology infrastructure, and climate-fueled sea-level threaten District 2.
Many of the City's high injury streets fall in Southwest Berkeley, while Black and Latinx neighborhoods are disproportionately policed. Additionally, working-class families of color continue to be displaced from our District as Bay Area jobs/housing imbalance pushes families further away from job centers.
Together this campaign will build a cross-cultural, multiracial coalition of labor, faith communities, environmentalists, grassroots organizers, artists, teachers, knowledge workers, housing justice advocates, and mobility activists to fight for economic, racial, social, and environmental justice for all.
Community Safety & Disaster Resilience
Public safety in Berkeley must be data-driven, respectful of privacy rights, and cognizant of implicit bias. Safe neighborhoods require robust community oversight of law enforcement as well as vigilance and deterrence against theft and gun violence. That being said, our police officers are not social workers or mental health specialists and thus cannot be expected to fulfill those roles in the community. Additionally, the capacity and workforce of our Fire Dept haven't kept pace with the City's population and construction growth. Berkeley's neighborhoods must be resilient and prepared in the face of an earthquake, and climate-driven flood and wildfire.
- Promote firefighter training and retention and maintain robust wildfire prevention and hazard mitigation programs.
- Work with community & public safety leaders, regional & state crime prevention experts & neighborhoods to address & prevent gun violence.
- Advocate for increased oversight capacity for the Police Review Commission and the establishment of a Police Accountability Board to oversee use of force policy and handle citizen complaints.
- Push for the separation of BPD from responsibilities unrelated to violent crime and collaborate in the establishment of a Berkeley Department of Transportation tasked with traffic and parking enforcement.
- Advance rigorous de-escalation and bias training, restorative justice, and community-based violence prevention programs.
- Improving street lighting to promote security in pubic safety and ensure that the use of security cameras and other surveillance tools fully complies with the City's Surveillance Ordinance and upholds our privacy rights standards.
- Reallocate resources away from police militarization and invest in community health, housing, and education programs.
- Reinvest in our Fire Dept ensuring the maintenance of the highest quality equipment, vehicles, emergency dispatch service, and fire prevention programs to optimize our community's disaster resilience.
Berkeley faces a projected budget shortfall of $28.5 Million. Much of UC Berkeley's student population will not be returning in the fall. A record-breaking number of Berkeley residents rely on unemployment and the need for childcare burdens families working from home. Berkeley's ability to keep its community working will define the City's future. West Berkeley is home to an eclectic, innovative mix of artists, makers, small businesses, grocery markets, community gardens, biomedical campuses, restaurants, studios, galleries, performance venues, and nightlife. As Berkeley continues opening its economy, we must prioritize the safety of all of Berkeley's workers and ensure that small business owners have the resources to protect their employees and patrons. As our City bounces back, we must ensure that Berkeley's residents of all ages have access skills to keep with the changing economy of the East Bay. Berkeley's young people and elders alike deserve lifelong skills building, career pathways, entrepreneurial opportunities, and access to good union jobs.
Moreover, Berkeley's Opportunity Zones fall partially in District 2 and historically the City has under-represented West Berkeley businesses. I am deeply proud of the gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity of West Berkeley's small business community however it cannot be denied that many of Berkeley's Black-owned businesses have disappeared over the years. COVID-19 threatens the further displacement of West Berkeley's beautiful economic ecosystem created by the West Berkeley Plan.
Given the number of grocery stores, retail, hotels, manufacturing, and medical cannabis facilities in District 2, the City and its Councilmembers should support workers in their efforts to unionize. For new construction, I support card-check during the development agreement phase of the project to give leverage to Unions if the project is approved. Should there be an existing facility with an ongoing Union campaign, I plan on using my network and platform to motivate the local community to help create pressure on the business. Organized labor alongside community advocates, environmentalists, faith leaders, and local merchants should be at the table as we plan our recovery.
- Advance equity-driven educational and professional development programs serving Berkeley's youth in partnership with Berkeley Unified, The Peralta Community College District, and UC Berkeley.
- Champion the just transition from fossil fuel dependency to a green economy in active partnership with Labor.
- Fight for equal pay, a living wage, and affordable childcare for all working families.
- Promote workforce housing to retain Berkeley's artists, cultural workers, makers, teachers, innovators, artisans, and knowledge workers.
- Advocate for West Berkeley's and San Pablo Avenue's merchant community ensuring that our local businesses, workers, and community members have safe, accessible, thriving public, and commercial spaces.
- Support community investment and entrepreneurial programs serving women, LGBTQ, and people of color business leaders.
- Eliminate blight by allowing for an artist studio, gallery, and venue live/workspace in commercial ground-floors.
- Assembly the broad coalition that created the West Berkeley Plan to determine long-range land-use policies to guide the equitable and sustainable growth of our economic ecosystem.
- Spearhead a robust, collaborative community process to create a commercial and residential plan for San Pablo Avenue sensitive to the surrounded residential, mixed-use, and light-industrial neighborhoods.
- Fight to increase the number of labor unions, support labor campaigns, advocate for workers right, and promote workers' cooperatives.
Green Transportation & A Fossil Fuel Free-Berkeley
60% of Berkeley's carbon emissions originate in our transportation sector. The Bay Area leads the nation in the number of super-commuters. District 2 abuts I-80 and contains portions of California State Routes 13 and 123. Some of Berkeley's streets with the highest rates for bicycle and pedestrian auto-related injury fall in West Berkeley. Despite this, District 2 has access to Amtrak, bicycle routes, and AC Transit with connections to North Berkeley and Ashby BART. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically damaged our transit agencies, with drivers and operators severely impacted on the frontlines. Meanwhile, low ridership has put local transit agencies in fiscal jeopardy with potential service reduction posing the greatest threat to marginalized transit-dependent commuters.
- Work with regional allies to bolster the capacity of our transit agencies to protect workers, riders, and maintain robust route service.
- Champion Berkeley's Vision Zero initiative to eliminate auto-related pedestrian and cyclist injuries.
- Implement an integrated network of continuous protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes.
- Expand Residential Preferred Parking to West Berkeley neighbors.
- Collaborate with Council colleagues and community partners to bring ferry service to the Berkeley Marina and launch a fare-free electric shuttle service for youth, seniors, and commuters.
- Fight for road improvements and upgrades in West Berkeley.
- Work with Caltrans to improve the maintenance of Ashby and San Pablo, and increase the number of trees.
Climate Resilience & A Berkeley Green New Deal
To recover economically from COVID and remain on track for our climate goals, our City will need massive infrastructural overhauls to mitigate climate-fueled flood wildfire risk. We need a green stimulus to create jobs, bolster our infrastructure against climate-driven flood hazards, and prepare our roads for modal shift. Moreover, I am adamant in the belief that access to green space is a recreational and public health necessity. Berkeley's creeks, watershed, and Bay shore are sacred. Our public parks are meant for public use. Strawberry Creek Park and Aquatic Park are the singular gems of the Poets Corner and West Berkeley Communities and are economic and ecological assets. As such deserve an ironclad defense from pollution, contamination, and the threat of climate-driven flood risk. The Berkeley Santa Fe right-of-way represents a treasured part of our City's history and an opportunity to activate a public asset.
- Build a broad, intersectional coalition to craft a Berkeley Green New Deal creating good union jobs and reinvesting in West Berkeley's roads, stormwater, and sewage systems.
- Defend Berkeley's creeks, waterfront, and Bay Shore ecologies from contamination.
- Forge community partnerships with and regional alliances to upgrade and fortify Aquatic Park and the Marina against sea-level rise.
- Advance urban forestry, green infrastructure, and deep green building programs.
- Collaborate with resident homeowners, small businesses, and building and construction trades workers to continue phasing out natural gas and catalyze the development of wind and solar.
- Fight for the remediation of West Berkeley ground toxicity and the decarbonization of buildings.
- Implement a robust community stakeholder engagement process inclusive of environmentalists, bicycle and pedestrian advocacy, families with children, and dog enthusiasts to determine the future of the Sante Fe ROW.
Affordable Housing for All
I have experienced our City's housing crisis painfully from multiple perspectives. My working mother raised my sister and me in low-income housing. My partner and I lost our rent-controlled apartment in Southside Telegraph weeks before our wedding. Due to the high cost of housing in Berkeley and my needing to provide bedside elder care for my mother, I now live separately from my spouse who lives with roommates in Richmond. One of my grandmothers is a homeowner in South Berkeley, and my other grandmother sold her home in West Berkeley. Keeping families in our community requires a serious commitment to the production, preservation, and protection of affordable homes—and evidence-based strategies for reducing the cost of housing for a wide range of incomes.
The beauty of Berkeley's neighborhoods rests in the communal exchange of tenants and local homeowners. We must keep tenants and small landlords on an even field in order to preserve our local community and prevent corporate ownership of our City. I am committed to keeping Berkeley's households in their homes, protecting tenants' rights, and defending family equity.
Protect households from displacement:
- Push for eviction moratoria to prevent households from being displaced due to COVID
- Support tenant protection and anti-displacement initiatives
- Enforce the City's ban on income discrimination
- Support programs to assist small landlords and low-income homeowners in the upkeep of their homes.
- Fight to ensure that our communities are not displaced by new housing production.
- Promote pathways to homeownership and support small landlords looking to expand their homes or open up units for rental housing.
- Advocate for the rehabilitation of older housing stock ensuring long-term habitability.
Increase the production of homes for middle and low-income households:
- Streamline and secure funding for climate-friendly affordable housing that provides high-paying union construction jobs.
- Collaborate with the City and regional partners to provide permanent supportive housing, locate sites for safe overnight RV parking, sanctioned encampments, and tiny home villages for our unhoused populations.
- Support the City’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative to eliminate exclusionary zoning and allow for more housing across income levels in Berkeley's neighborhoods.
Produce more housing to meet people's needs for shelter rather than purely private profit.
- Empower housing cooperatives and community land trusts.
- Invest in municipally owned, democratically controlled, and decarbonized social housing.
- I will protect intergenerational households by ensuring that homeowners have the resources they need to build more dwelling space on their property. I will also support single-family homeowners looking to convert their homes into multifamily housing.
Community Health & Saving Alta Bates
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep fractures in our healthcare systems. Socio-economic disparity and the social determinants of health have come to the forefront of our mounting public health crises. Berkeley is in danger of losing our hospital, which has served not only the people of Berkeley for generations but also our neighbors in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The closure of Alta Bates would disproportionately impact Berkeley's Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, elderly, and unhoused populations and people who are dependent on transit. The closing of the hospital would also put immense strain on the resources of our Fire Dept.
- Expand the capacity of West Berkeley's clinics and medical professional community.
- Collaborate with community health partners to ensure that the people of District 2 and the City of Berkeley have access to the highest quality care regardless of income and employment status.
- Promote programs that serve women, families of color, folks with diverse abilities, queer and trans people, young families, and elders.
- Increase mental health access for communities of color.
- Advance community medicine programs serving low-income families and unhoused.
- Promote mental health crisis intervention, and substance use rehabilitation services
- Fight for and mobilize in solidarity with health workers.
- Fight tooth and nail to keep Alta Bates Summit Medical Center open.
Commissions and Appointments
As your City Council representative, my sole endeavor will be to represent, serve, and empower you. I present myself for public consideration for the sole purpose of elevating the members of my community and amplifying their voices. Berkeley's Commissions serve to advise Council in areas of policy and municipal governance. Neither loyalism nor ideological litmus tests shall determine whom I appoint. I will choose Commissioners based on their commitment to public service and expertise, experience, and relevant skillset. I will prioritize appointments that reflect the cultural and intellectual diversity of District 2 and the City of Berkeley and elevate the voices of those willing to collaborate in the building of Berkeley's future.
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