My policy platform

As your Councilmember for District 8, I’m proud of the work I have done to move our city forward. I have a record of creating more affordable housing; advocating for safe streets, and leading the effort to save Alta Bates hospital.

Click on any of the issues below to learn about my vision for Berkeley.

Housing affordability

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

Berkeley is a beacon of hope for many people. I grew up enamored by Berkeley and its reputation for inclusivity, progressive politics, and tolerance. When I moved to Berkeley over 20 years ago, I knew I would raise my family here. Berkeley’s uniqueness, neighborhoods, and spirit amaze me. I want to continue Berkeley’s legacy and make sure that our community can retain its quirkiness, diversity, and incredible residents while welcoming those seeking refuge and sanctuary. These ideas drive my work on the Council every day. Over time, I’ve seen my friends and colleagues priced out of Berkeley. These are Berkeley’s teachers, first responders, artists, and children. We have a moral obligation to address housing costs which are directly related to homelessness, income inequality, and displacement.

As a policy maker and professor in public policy, I rely on data-driven, evidence-based strategies to guide my vision for a more affordable and equitable Berkeley. My work advocating for housing affordability has earned national attention. That’s why many of the region’s leading experts in housing affordability and displacement support my campaign. Cal Professor and gentrification and displacement expert Karen Chapple, Barack Obama’s assistant secretary for Housing and Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy, Carol Galante, Cal Professor and Deputy Director for Cities and Schools Jeff Vincent, and affordable housing scholar and professor Michael Lens endorse my vision and record in combatting displacement and working toward affordability. I want to continue my work on these issues by removing barriers and improving the planning process for affordable housing, workforce housing, and backyard cottages.

As your councilmember, I’ve proposed and passed several pieces of legislation to improve housing affordability and ensure that people can remain in Berkeley, including:

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are a way to increase Berkeley’s housing stock and encourage aging in place. Also known as backyard cottages, ADUs provide residents an opportunity to house family members, caretakers, or downsize while remaining in our neighborhoods. I’ve championed policies to streamline regulations around ADUs so they can built quickly and efficiently. I’ve also held community workshops to educate neighbors about how an ADU could benefit them. I will continue to work with the ADU Taskforce and state officials to help introduce legislation to make it even easier to build ADUs.

Workforce and Affordable Housing Streamlining: People who work in Berkeley should be able to afford Berkeley. We also need affordable housing today not five years from now. I passed legislation to both help house teachers and others who may not qualify for subsidized affordable units in new buildings and speed up the process to create affordable housing in Berkeley. I’m currently working with the Mayor and experts in the field to further streamline housing for our city workers, teachers, and first responders.

Affordable Housing Streamlining  Berkeley’s Significant Community Benefits Package I brokered a compromise agreement to ensure that as tall buildings are developed in our downtown, their developers provide community benefits including investments in affordable housing, the arts, environment, and well-paying jobs.

Neighborhood Preference Program I wrote legislation to allow evicted tenants and residents of Berkeley to have first dibs in accessing affordable units in new projects across Berkeley so they won’t be displaced from our City.

Addressing Homelessness

ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS

Early in my career, I worked for a homeless nonprofit agency where I assisted homeless individuals trying to reenter the workforce and attend school. I believe that we have an obligation to help homeless people get back on their feet by providing opportunities for housing and work. We also need to provide mental health services to those who need support. I want to continue my work on these important issues by implementing cost-effective measures (like modular housing) to help people off the street and into housing and services.

We must keep our shelters and services running, and we must provide pathways to housing. At the same time, I recognize that Berkeley invests significant dollars into homeless services, and we need to make sure we spend those dollars effectively. We also need to support our local businesses and residents who feel the impacts of anti-social street behavior on a regular basis. Having compassion for Berkeley’s homeless population and expecting our commercial sidewalks and parks to be clean, safe, and welcoming are not mutually exclusive.

Finally, we need to address this problem regionally. Berkeley can’t do it alone. My long-standing relationships with regional leaders who support my re-election– County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and the mayors of all Berkeley-adjacent cities–are critical. Political collaboration is incredibly important, especially because we need to produce regional solutions to important issues like homelessness, housing.

As your Councilmember, I have:

Led investments in permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals, including modular housing, step-up housing and the Berkeley Way project.

Supported court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for mentally ill individuals on our streets.

Mandated biannual comprehensive homeless services reports so we can track the funding and effectiveness of our homeless services, shelters, and programs. We need to a) know how much money we are spending and b) spend it the best way to help homeless individuals get into homes or treatment.

Consistently supported navigation centers and shelters to provide Berkeley’s unhoused residents a place to access respite, laundry, food and services.

Passed legislation to utilize mobile bathroom and shower facilities to better address the health and safety needs of our homeless population and broader community.

Safe communities

SAFE COMMUNITIES

Making sure our community feels safe–both in terms of public safety and as a pedestrian or bicyclist on our streets–is a priority of mine. As a parent of young children, I understand how critical pedestrian safety is. I walk and bike my children to school often, and I know there are ways to improve our streets to ensure their safety.

I also know how important crime prevention is to our community. A key aspect of addressing crime is to ensure that we have a responsibly-staffed police force that is well connected to our communities. I have been a leader in advocating for robust recruitment and retention efforts and will continue to do so in my next term. We need to embrace a community policing model–foot patrols, bike cops, and traffic enforcement units. Because of my support for effective safety policy, Berkeley’s first responders solely endorse me for reelection to City Council. We also need to embrace fair and impartial policing and ensure that our police continue to undergo rigorous implicit bias training.

We also need to work to save community hospitals. Senator Nancy Skinner and I are working together to craft legislation to address the potential loss of community hospitals like Alta Bates. Two years ago, her legislation made it all the way to the Governor’s desk before he vetoed it. We have a real opportunity to make changes with our new governor. Senator Skinner has promised me a seat at the table.

As your Councilmember, I have:

Secured over $300,000 for traffic calming measures for our neighborhood. In the next year, I will ensure that the City installs the crosswalk and flashing pedestrian lights on Claremont Avenue in front of John Muir Elementary School. In addition, traffic improvements and crosswalks along Ashby Avenue/Tunnel Road are nearing completion.

Authored and passed Berkeley’s Vision Zero initiative, a multi-city campaign to entirely eliminate pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities through effective traffic management policies. My colleagues on City Council rated my proposal their number #1 priority this year. If re-elected, I will be able to continue to lead on this important initiative.

Worked closely with our BPD Area Coordinator to organize neighborhood meetings with Berkeley Police to discuss steps residents can take to deter crime. I have held countless neighborhood meetings to help residents address crime in their neighborhood. I have also been a vocal proponent of increasing staffing so we can bolster our traffic division, foot patrols, and bike cops to align with an interpersonal community policing model.

Supported fire and police training and de-escalation. Our first responders need to participate in regional exercises in order to prepare our community for natural and human-made disasters. If we want peaceful outcomes, we also have to allow our police to participate and practice de-escalation techniques. I’m the only candidate in this race that supports this type of free regional training for all of our first responders.

Authored Berkeley’s initial 2015 sidewalk ordinance, and supported the subsequent 2018 ordinance to address encampments and other obstructions on our sidewalks. I believe that our sidewalks should be for everyone, including people with disabilities, families with children, etc.

 

 

 

Promote economic vitality & investment

ECONOMIC VITALITY

I walk through the Elmwood commercial district every day, and over the past several years I’ve seen the changes and turnover in some of our retail stores. Our commercial areas are what make Berkeley neighborhoods unique; in today’s retail environment they are facing more challenges than ever. We’ve made great progress supporting small businesses, but it’s clear that we still have more work to do.

To help our small businesses, I have:

Created the City Council Subcommittee on Small Businesses to better understand the obstacles they face and propose solutions to those problems. As a member of that subcommittee, I make sure that Elmwood merchants are heard and well represented. That is why many of the owners of our most cherished small businesses on College Avenue support my re-election campaign.

Allowed more a wider variety of shops to open in the Elmwood commercial district. Acknowledging that the retail sector is constantly changing, we need to be open to new forms of retail to minimize vacant storefronts.

Helped the rapid re-opening of Baker and Commons to keep the corner at Russell and College vibrant.

Worked with merchants and city staff to beautify our commercial district by organizing cleanup projects, removing old, blighted newstands, etc.

To continue to support small business and improve our Elmwood neighborhood, I am currently:

Leading efforts through the Small Business subcommittee and our Office of Economic Development to allow business owners a quick and efficient planning and permitting process to open up new stores.

Working with local merchants to host events like the upcoming Elmwood Wine Walk.

Meeting with brokers and prospective tenants for vacant Elmwood commercial spaces.

I’m running for re-election because we still have work to do to support our community. With your help, we can keep moving Berkeley forward—will you join me?

My policy platform

As your Councilmember for District 8, I’m proud of the work I have done to move our city forward. I have a record of creating more affordable housing; advocating for safe streets, and leading the effort to save Alta Bates hospital.

Click on any of the issues below to learn about my vision for Berkeley.

Housing affordability

As a policy maker and professor in public policy, I rely on data-driven, evidence-based strategies to guide my vision for a more affordable and equitable Berkeley. My work advocating for housing affordability has earned national attention. That’s why many of the region’s leading experts in housing affordability and displacement support my campaign. Cal Professor and gentrification and displacement expert Karen Chapple, Barack Obama’s assistant secretary for Housing and Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy, Carol Galante, Cal Professor and Deputy Director for Cities and Schools Jeff Vincent, and affordable housing scholar and professor Michael Lens endorse my vision and record in combating displacement and working toward affordability. As your councilmember, I’ve proposed and passed several pieces of legislation to improve housing affordability and ensure that people can remain in Berkeley, including:

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are a way to increase Berkeley’s housing stock and encourage aging in place. Also known as backyard cottages, ADUs provide residents an opportunity to house family members, caretakers, or downsize while remaining in our neighborhoods. I’ve championed policies to streamline regulations around ADUs so they can built quickly and efficiently. I’ve also held community workshops to educate neighbors about how an ADU could benefit them. I will continue to work with the ADU Taskforce and state officials to help introduce legislation to make it even easier to build ADUs.

Workforce and Affordable Housing Streamlining: People who work in Berkeley should be able to afford Berkeley. We also need affordable housing today not five years from now. I passed legislation to both help house teachers and others who may not qualify for subsidized affordable units in new buildings and speed up the process to create affordable housing in Berkeley. I’m currently working with the Mayor and experts in the field to further streamline housing for our city workers, teachers, and first responders.

Affordable Housing Streamlining  Berkeley’s Significant Community Benefits Package I brokered a compromise agreement to ensure that as tall buildings are developed in our downtown, their developers provide community benefits including investments in affordable housing, the arts, environment, and well-paying jobs.

Neighborhood Preference Program I wrote legislation to allow evicted tenants and residents of Berkeley to have first dibs in accessing affordable units in new projects across Berkeley so they won’t be displaced from our City.

Addressing Homelessness

Early in my career, I worked for a homeless nonprofit agency where I assisted homeless individuals trying to reenter the workforce and attend school. I believe that we have an obligation to help homeless people get back on their feet by providing opportunities for housing and work. We also need to provide mental health services to those who need support.

We must keep our shelters and services running, and we must provide pathways to housing. At the same time, I recognize that Berkeley invests significant dollars into homeless services, and we need to make sure we spend those dollars effectively. We also need to support our local businesses and residents who feel the impacts of anti-social street behavior on a regular basis. Having compassion for Berkeley’s homeless population and expecting our commercial sidewalks and parks to be clean, safe, and welcoming are not mutually exclusive.

Finally, we need to address this problem regionally. Berkeley can’t do it alone. My long-standing relationships with regional leaders who support my re-election– County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and the mayors of all Berkeley-adjacent cities–are critical. Political collaboration is incredibly important, especially because we need to produce regional solutions to important issues like homelessness, housing.

As your Councilmember, I have:

Led investments in permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals, including modular housing, step-up housing and the Berkeley Way project.

Supported court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for mentally ill individuals on our streets.

Mandated biannual comprehensive homeless services reports so we can track the funding and effectiveness of our homeless services, shelters, and programs. We need to a) know how much money we are spending and b) spend it the best way to help homeless individuals get into homes or treatment.

Consistently supported navigation centers and shelters to provide Berkeley’s unhoused residents a place to access respite, laundry, food and services.

Passed legislation to utilize mobile bathroom and shower facilities to better address the health and safety needs of our homeless population and broader community.

Safe communities

Making sure our community feels safe–both in terms of public safety and as a pedestrian or bicyclist on our streets–is a priority of mine. As a parent of young children, I understand how critical pedestrian safety is. I walk and bike my children to school often, and I know there are ways to improve our streets to ensure their safety.

I also know how important crime prevention is to our community. A key aspect of addressing crime is to ensure that we have a responsibly-staffed police force that is well connected to our communities. We need to embrace a community policing model–foot patrols, bike cops, and traffic enforcement units. Because of my support for effective safety policy, Berkeley’s first responders solely endorse me for reelection to City Council. We also need to embrace fair and impartial policing and ensure that our police continue to undergo rigorous implicit bias training.

We also need to work to save community hospitals. Senator Nancy Skinner and I are working together to craft legislation to address the potential loss of community hospitals like Alta Bates. Two years ago, her legislation made it all the way to the Governor’s desk before he vetoed it. We have a real opportunity to make changes with our new governor. Senator Skinner has promised me a seat at the table.

As your Councilmember, I have:

Secured over $300,000 for traffic calming measures for our neighborhood. In the next year, I will ensure that the City installs the crosswalk and flashing pedestrian lights on Claremont Avenue in front of John Muir Elementary School. In addition, traffic improvements and crosswalks along Ashby Avenue/Tunnel Road are nearing completion.

Authored and passed Berkeley’s Vision Zero initiative, a multi-city campaign to entirely eliminate pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities through effective traffic management policies. My colleagues on City Council rated my proposal their number #1 priority this year. If re-elected, I will be able to continue to lead on this important initiative.

Worked closely with our BPD Area Coordinator to organize neighborhood meetings with Berkeley Police to discuss steps residents can take to deter crime. I have held countless neighborhood meetings to help residents address crime in their neighborhood. I have also been a vocal proponent of increasing staffing so we can bolster our traffic division, foot patrols, and bike cops to align with an interpersonal community policing model.

Supported fire and police training and de-escalation. Our first responders need to participate in regional exercises in order to prepare our community for natural and human-made disasters. If we want peaceful outcomes, we also have to allow our police to participate and practice de-escalation techniques. I’m the only candidate in this race that supports this type of free regional training for all of our first responders.

Authored Berkeley’s initial 2015 sidewalk ordinance, and supported the subsequent 2018 ordinance to address encampments and other obstructions on our sidewalks. I believe that our sidewalks should be for everyone, including people with disabilities, families with children, etc.

 

Promote economic vitality & investment

I walk through the Elmwood commercial district every day, and over the past several years I’ve seen the changes and turnover in some of our retail stores. Our commercial areas are what make Berkeley neighborhoods unique; in today’s retail environment they are facing more challenges than ever. We’ve made great progress supporting small businesses, but it’s clear that we still have more work to do.

To help our small businesses, I have:

Created the City Council Subcommittee on Small Businesses to better understand the obstacles they face and propose solutions to those problems. As a member of that subcommittee, I make sure that Elmwood merchants are heard and well represented. That is why many of the owners of our most cherished small businesses on College Avenue support my re-election campaign.

Allowed more a wider variety of shops to open in the Elmwood commercial district. Acknowledging that the retail sector is constantly changing, we need to be open to new forms of retail to minimize vacant storefronts.

Helped the rapid re-opening of Baker and Commons to keep the corner at Russell and College vibrant.

Worked with merchants and city staff to beautify our commercial district by organizing cleanup projects, removing old, blighted newstands, etc.

To continue to support small business and improve our Elmwood neighborhood, I am currently:

Leading efforts through the Small Business subcommittee and our Office of Economic Development to allow business owners a quick and efficient planning and permitting process to open up new stores.

Working with local merchants to host events like the upcoming Elmwood Wine Walk.

Meeting with brokers and prospective tenants for vacant Elmwood commercial spaces.

I’m running for re-election because we still have work to do to support our community. With your help, we can keep moving Berkeley forward—will you join me?