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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
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City Council, District 5Berkeley City CouncilNovember 8, 2016California General Election

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November 8, 2016California General Election

Berkeley City CouncilCity Council, District 5

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (17/17).

About this office

Members of the city council draft and vote on city laws and appoint certain municipal officers and employees.
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Who’s Running?

This office uses ranked-choice voting, or “instant run-off voting.” When marking your ballot, instead of voting for just one candidate, rank up to three candidates in order of your preference.See the Voting info section for more.
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Zoning Board Commissioner
5,821 votes (62.4%)Winning
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  • Address the Affordable Housing, Displacement and Homeless crises by preserving, protecting and expanding affordable and workforce housing and implementing a Housing First model with supportive services for the Homeless
  • Revitalizing our Downtown and Civic Center as a lively, attractive, arts-centric heart for the community. Transforming Solano Avenue into a vibrant "Main Street" for North Berkeley. Supporting our small and independent businesses.
  • Continuing my work to achieve Berkeley's Climate Action Goals, by enacting impactful measures to address climate change.
Profession:City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board Member
Senior board member, City of Berkeley, Zoning Adjustments Board — Appointed position (2009current)
Member, Solano Avenue Business Improvement District Board — Appointed position (2016current)
Chair, City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women — Appointed position (20092011)
Chair, School Governance Council, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School — Elected position (20082010)
Partner & Co-CEO, Signia Fine Papers (19962002)
Stanford Law School JD, Law (1988)
UC Berkeley BA, History with Honors, High Distinction & Phi Beta Kappa (1983)
Member, Executive Committee, Sierra Club Northern Alameda County Group (2013current)
Co-Chair, 15th CA Assembly District Environmental Task Force (2014current)
PTA President, Martin Luther King Jr Middle School (20062012)
Chair, North Branch Capital Campaign Committee and Member, Board of Dir's, Berkeley Public Library Foundation (20052012)
Member, Board of Directors, Planned Parenthood Shasta-Diablo (20022008)

My parents moved to Berkeley from a neighboring town when I was a young girl. Berkeley citizens had just voted to integrate the public schools, and my parents wanted our family to be part of what was then a groundbreaking movement.  Attending “experimental” programs, I was steeped in Free SpeechCivil Rights and the Farmworkers’ struggle, participating in marches, protests and boycotts. Thus began my life as an activist in Berkeley - and beyond. My commitment to this community, and to our shared values, has been expressed through continuous leadership, advocacy and service since that time.

I had the privilege of attending Cragmont, Columbus (now Rosa Parks), King, West Campus and Berkeley High School.  My Berkeley public education continued at UC Berkeley, where I received a BA in American History, focusing on civil rights and labor.  Making a slight detour across the bay, I received a JD from Stanford Law School, where I was Co-Chair of the Women of Stanford Law and participated in immigration and human rights law clinics.  I went on to practice law for several years in New York City, where I also studied organizational behavior and labor relations at Rutgers University.

My husband Eric, raised in Norway, works for a company developing therapies to treat cancer.  Our three children, Emil, Simon and Sarah, have all attended Berkeley Public Schools, and have embraced the unique education and experiences Berkeley provides. 

My mother Ellen, the daughter of Ellis Island immigrants, still lives in the home I grew up in on Santa Barbara Road.  A classical singer who is passionate about music, she has been active in many local organizations, serving as President of the Berkeley Piano Club and UC Section Club, and on the Board of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.

My father, born in Paris, was a refugee whose family fled the Nazi occupation and settled in New York.  A devoted academic, he taught the History of Science for 50 years as a Professor at UC Berkeley, researching, writing and teaching about the intersection between science, religion and politics, and mentoring hundreds of students. 

I was raised to give back to the community that has provided so much for our family, and to champion equity, participation and opportunity for all.

 

  • The Sierra Club
  • California Nurses Association
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte
  • Berkeley Citizens Action (BCA)
  • Berkeley Democratic Caucus (BDC)
  • Cal Berkeley Democrats
  • East Bay Young Democrats
  • Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5
  • American Postal Workers Union, East Bay Area Local
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • Alameda Labor Council
  • The Green Party of Alameda
  • Toby McLeod, Project Director, Sacred Land Film Project
  • Yannick Phillips, Co-organizer, Sustainable Food and Agriculture Caucus, CA Democratic Party
  • Henry Gutman, Architect
  • Bill Roller, Film Maker
  • CindyLou Johnson, Writer
  • Kath Delaney, Founder & Principal, Madera Group
  • Rochelle Pardue, Nurse
  • Eric Bjerkholt, Healthcare Executive
  • Janet Farina, Owner, Freshly Cut
  • Maddy Dychtwald, Author; Co-Founder, Age Wave
  • Dan Knapp, Founder and Owner, Urban Ore
  • David Socholitzky, Psychologist
  • Donald Arbitblit, Attorney
  • Martin Jay, Professor Emeritus, History, UC Berkeley
  • Erich Gruen, Professor Emeritus, History, UC Berkeley
  • Donald MacDonald, Architect
  • Bonnie Hughes, Director, Berkeley Arts Festival
  • Robert Oliver, Professor Emeritus, Engineering, UC Berkeley
  • Karen Huster, Attorney
  • Bob Archibald, Boardmember, The Hillside Club
  • Michael Katz, Writer
  • Dawn Morris, Nurse
  • Mary Stapleton, Financial Manager, UC Berkeley
  • Janice Thomas, Clinical Psychologist, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency
  • Edwin M. Epstein, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
  • Janet Sluis, Neighborhood Advocate
  • Jack Sawyer PhD, President, Parker Street Foundation
  • Mark van Krieken, BHS PTA President
  • Tim Brice, Co-Founder, Clarify
  • Judith Gordon, UC Section Club
  • Brigette Hunley, Chair, Solano County Democratic Party Central Committee,
  • Anna Molander, Chair, Democratic Party of Sacramento County
  • Constance Sobczak, Co-Founder, The Body Positive
  • Richard Schwartz, Writer & Historian
  • Timothy Hansen, President, The Berkeley Hillside Club
  • Jennifer Chatman, Director, Haas School of Business PhD Program; Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management,
  • Adolfo Cabral, West Berkeley Project Area Commissioner
  • Jenn Rader, Student Health Center Director
  • David Reiley, Principal Scientist, Pandora Media, Inc.
  • Sue Britson, Early Childhood Educator
  • Dorothée M. Mitrani, Owner, La Note Restaurant; Secretary, Downtown Berkeley Association
  • Willow Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director, City Slicker Farms; Author, The Essential Urban Farmer
  • Jacque Ensign, First President, Berkeley Path Wanderers Association
  • Patricia Wall, Executive Director, Homeless Action Center; Attorney
  • Genevieve Wilson, Chair, Berkeley Homeless Task Force
  • boona cheema, Executive Director, Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (BOSS)
  • Arlene Blum PhD, Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
  • Margot Smith, Co-Convener, Berkeley East Bay Gray Panthers; Doctor of Public Health
  • Cynthia Papermaster, President, Berkeley PTA Council; Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Board; BFUU Social Justice Committee
  • Katie Rickliefs, Planned Parenthood Northern California, Board Chair
  • Melinda Robinson Mendelson, Planned Parenthood Northern California, Board Chair; President, Berkeley School Board
  • Frances Townes, Homeless Youth Advocate
  • Cindy Fulton, Senior Editor, University of California Press
  • Norman LaForce, Chair, Sierra Club East Bay Public Lands Committee
  • Christian Mammen, J.D.; D.Phil; Attorney
  • Betsy Bigelow Teller, Co-President, Berkeley High School Development Group
  • Karen Middleton, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, President, Emerge America
  • Vincent Casalaina, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club Coordinating Committee member; N. Vice Chair, Progressive Caucus CD
  • Alla Efimova, Director, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley
  • Linda Schacht, Boardmember, Berkeley Public Library Foundation; Chair, Branch Librarires Capital Campaign
  • Beth Feingold, Boardmember Emeritus, North East Berkeley Association (NEBA)
  • Thomas G. Kelly, JD, Executive Director, KyotoUSA
  • Janet Maestre, Vice President, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Board
  • Jane Tierney, President, Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association (TONA)
  • Isabelle Gaston, President, North East Berkeley Association (NEBA)
  • Leonard Pitt, Author & Mime
  • Alice Waters, Owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant and Founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project
  • Lisa Stephens, Chair, Berkeley Rent Board; Chair, Berkeley Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Jacquelyn McCormick, Berkeley Loan Administration Boardmember; President, Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association
  • Wendy Bloom, Chair, Berkeley Commission on Labor, RN
  • John Hitchen, Zero Waste Commissioner; East Bay Regional Parks Supervisor
  • Karen Kiyo Lowhurst, Berkeley Police Review Commissioner
  • Linda Franklin, Community Health Commissioner
  • Phoebe Sorgen, Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commissioner
  • Caitlin Lempres Brostrom, Berkeley Parks and Recreation Commissioner
  • Kate Harrison, Berkeley Parks and Waterfront Commissioner, International Justice Consultant
  • Arlene Silk, Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission
  • Carrie Olson, Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission; President, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA); M
  • Austene Hall, Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission; President, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA); B
  • Nancy Carleton, Chair, Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board; Vice Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission; President & Found
  • Shoshana O'Keefe, Zoning Adjustments Board Commissioner; Vice-Chair, Children, Youth and Recreation Commission
  • Anna De Leon, President, Berkeley School Board; Small Business Owner
  • Rob Wrenn, Chair, Berkeley Planning Commission
  • Ben Bartlett, Berkeley Planning Commissioner
  • Patrick Sheahan, Berkeley Planning Commissioner
  • Zelda Bronstein, Chair, Planning Commission; President, Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association (TONA)
  • Winston Burton, Berkeley Library Board Trustee
  • Judy Shelton, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • Pamela Webster, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • Asa Dodsworth, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • Paola Laverde-Levine, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • James Chang, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • John Selawsky, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner, Berkeley School Board President
  • Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner
  • Katherine Harr, Berkeley Rent Board Vice Chair
  • Jesse Townley, Berkeley Rent Board Chair
  • Pamela Drake, Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Member
  • Michael Barnett, Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Member
  • Gabe Quinto, El Cerrito City Councilmember
  • Vinnie Bacon, City of Fremont Councilmember
  • Corina Lopez, Councilmember, City of San Leandro
  • Jim Prola, Councilmember, City of San Leandro
  • Diana Prola, Trustee, San Leandro Unified School District
  • Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Trustee, Peralta Community College Board
  • Lateefah Simon, California State University Trustee
  • Maxwell Anderson, Berkeley City Councilmember
  • Madeline Kellner, Novato Mayor and Councilmember
  • Dan Kalb, Oakland City Councilmember
  • Jane Kim, San Francisco Supervisor
  • Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor (and native of Berkeley District 5)
  • Dianne Martinez, Emeryville Mayor
  • Ying Lee, Berkeley City Councilmember, District Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee
  • Carole Kennerly, Berkeley Vice Mayor & Councilmember
  • Shirley Dean, Berkeley Mayor and District 5 Councilmember
  • Sheila Jordan, Superintendent of Schools (Alameda County, Emerita)
  • L. Karen Monroe, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools
  • Tony Thurmond, California State Assemblymember, 15th District
  • Isadore Hall, California State Senator & Black Caucus Chair
  • Delaine Eastin, CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Betty Yee, California State Controller
  • Mike Honda, US Congressman, 17th Dist CA
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Sophie Hahn:

I grew up in District 5, and have raised my own family here.  A product of Berkeley’s public schools, I am deeply committed to Berkeley’s core values of equity, diversity, opportunity, education and environmental action. I have spent my life working for civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, labor, the environment, choice, and more.  Passionate about all that makes Berkeley unique, I am running to forge a dynamic future that embodies our progressive values. I wish to take my talents, experience and love for this community to an office that will allow me to solve problems to achieve the broadest positive impact for Berkeley. 

The affordability and displacement crisis threaten to change the character of Berkeley forever.  I am running to ensure that Berkeley’s citizens are lifted up, not pushed out.  Affordable Housing and housing for families and long-term residents – as well as for our homeless citizens - must be the drivers of Berkeley’s housing policies.   We must ensure that our teachers, firefighters, city workers, nurses, police officers, artists, seniors, and single parent families are able to make their homes in Berkeley.

Sustainability, resilience and environmental concerns are equally pressing issues.  I am running to put sustainability at the center of everything we do in Berkeley.   I am co-Chair of Assemblymember Thurmond’s 15th District Environmental Task Force and have been endorsed by the Sierra Club for my environmental leadership. I have spent many years advocating for the greenest possible standards for Berkeley buildings and infrastructure, and I will continue to do so as on the City Council.  I am a leader in bringing Community Choice energy to Alameda County and Berkeley, the single most important thing we can do to reduce our GHG emissions and meet our Climate Action Goals.  I will continue to champion green buildings, clean energy, urban agriculture and environmental justice. 

In 2010, Berkeley citizens approved a Downtown Plan that promised tree-lined streets, parks and plazas, preservation of historic resources, green buildings, dynamic streetscapes, culture, arts, and transit-oriented housing for all income levels and family sizes.  I am running to ensure that all elements of Berkeley’s visionary Downtown Plan are implemented.  Our housing and development policies must put affordable housing – as well as housing for families and for the homeless - at the center of our efforts, not as an afterthought. 

 

Berkeley’s schools, libraries, parks, shopping districts and historic civic center require investment to become the dynamic, inviting, community-serving commons they should be.  I am running to ensure that our public spaces and institutions are enhanced and enlivened, and that Berkeley as a Place is as dynamic and engaging as the people who live here.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

No answer provided.
3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Sophie Hahn:

To address potential parking and traffic/congestion concerns, new development must be paired with additional investment in public and alternative transit.  I am committed to moving Berkeley forward with safe and complete bike infrastructure, to help us transition from a “car first” community to a “bike and pedestrian first” community.  Shuttles, improved AC transit service and other innovative transit options can also help.  I support implementing the Transit Impact Fee on newly constructed units, so that developments play their fair share to improve transit.  

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Sophie Hahn:

I urge voters to vote yes on the $100M infrastructure bond on the November ballot, Measure T1.  Berkeley has over a half billion dollars in identified infrastructure needs, and these monies will get us started on a variety of critically important projects. 

One critical need is for upgrades to our stormwater system.  Runoff from storm drains routinely floods South West Berkeley, especially when drain outlets are filled with bay water at high tides.  In addition to flooding streets, the back-up fills Aquatic Park with polluted runoff, changing the salinity levels of the water and affecting wildlife and vegetation. Reducing non-permeable surfaces, restoring creek habitats and implementing green stormwater management practices are key to reducing runoff and ensuring less polluted water flowing to the Bay. Pumps should be installed to push excess water into the Bay, as is done in many Bay Area communities. We should avoid using Aquatic Park as back-up for stormwater overflows which occur when discharge pipes are backed up with seawater.  The current drainage system is both inadequate to protect residents from flooding, and compromises the Aquatic Park basin.  Alameda County’s Clean Water Program provides excellent resources for homeowners and businesses and the many measures highlighted on this website should be more actively promoted by the City and put to use in the Community.

Clean air is also a high priority.  West Berkeley in particular has bad air quality, due to the freeway and Pacific Steel Casting.  Trees are the lungs of the community, and we should continually increase the number of trees planted.  I have been a member of the Sierra Club Tree Team and will continue my work to ensure that communities most impacted by air pollution are greened.  We must also continue working with PSC to further limit toxic emissions, and transition away from vehicles powered by fossil fuels and towards clean energy vehicles.

The United States has seen enormous growth in wealth and GDP over the last 30 years – so clearly something is working.   Few of us would say that we aren’t better off with many of the new technologies we all enjoy.   

The main problem has been the failure to distribute the huge benefits of this growth equitably, through higher wages and benefits, progressive taxation and public investment in schools, infrastructure, healthcare (including mental health), affordable housing and other public goods.

As a result, we have a shameful, widening gap between rich and poor, and an erosion of the middle class, coupled with the inordinate and dangerous concentration of wealth and power among a very few individuals.

In Berkeley, we often think that our DESIRE to see a more equitable world shields our community from the reality of an unequitable world – a world we know exists elsewhere, but magically hope does not exist here. 

Unfortunately, Berkeley has the widest income gap and educational achievement gap of any community in California, and gaps in health, mortality and other indicators of inequality – that fall along economic as well as racial lines.   

These are issues of great concern to me nationally, regionally, and right here at home. 

While my job on the Council is to make sure our City is addressing the day to day, local needs of District 5 and of all Berkeley citizens, this basic worldview informs my work and aspirations for our community.

Addressing the Housing, Displacement and Homeless crises

Summary

For the past ten years, the conversation about housing in Berkeley has been dominated by for-profit developers, who have successfully changed our zoning laws and policies to support the development of market rate and luxury units, with affordable housing as an afterthought.  As a result, Berkeley has permitted or built over 200% of ABAG’s (Association of Bay Area Governments) market rate housing target, but less than 15% of our target for affordable housing. I will work to put affordable housing at the center of our housing and development policies, and ensure that Berkeley retains its economic, racial and cultural diversity. 

Addressing the affordability and displacement crisis will be my top priority on the City Council.  For the past ten years, the conversation about housing in Berkeley has been dominated by for-profit developers, who have successfully changed our zoning laws and policies to support the development of market rate and luxury units, with affordable housing as an afterthought.  As a result, Berkeley has permitted or built over 200% of ABAG’s (Association of Bay Area Governments) market rate housing target, but less than 15% of our target for affordable housing. 

It’s time to bring the affordable housing experts to the table, and turn our focus to the important task of building housing for the majority of people in Berkeley and the Bay Area, who simply cannot afford apartments renting for over $6,000 for a three bedroom and $3,000 for a tiny studio.  I will work to put affordable housing at the center of our housing and development policies, and ensure that Berkeley retains its economic, racial and cultural diversity.  A report by Just Cause/Causa Justa, entitled Development Without Displacement, outlines proven strategies to develop housing without displacing existing communities.  I will fight to ensure that Berkeley remains a place that teachers, nurses, public safety workers, artists, activists and other working families can call home. 

As a member of the Zoning Adjustments Board, I have approved over 2,500 units of housing in Berkeley. I always push for the highest Green building and transit standards, as much affordable housing as possible, and accommodations for residents of a diversity of life stages and abilities.  I will continue to champion the creation of additional housing, with an emphasis on finding solutions to support affordable, green and accessible housing.    

There is no single, simple solution to increasing affordable housing in Berkeley.  In addition to focusing on affordable housing in all development and housing policy considerations, I support all of the following measures, and more, to increase affordable housing and housing for the homeless in Berkeley:

  • I strongly support the Alameda County housing bond (Measure A1 – please vote YES), and would happily take the lead on the creation of a Berkeley-based housing bond in the future;

  • I have long supported adopting the highest Affordable Housing mitigation fee recommended by a current Nexus Study, and believe Nexus studies should be redone, and fees reconsidered, on a regular basis, so that the City does not miss out on any feasible fees. 

  • I support requiring at least 20% affordable housing in all large developments in Berkeley, as an alternative to payment of the Mitigation Fee.  The “Green Pathway” permitting scheme that currently exists requires 30%, but no developer has elected to permit under this scheme.  It is possible that 25% might be feasible, or more, on certain projects.

  • I support Measure U1, the Landlord Windfall profits tax, as proposed by the Community/City Council, that will result in increased funding flowing into our Affordable Housing fund. I oppose the deceptive, landlord-sponsored Measure DD, which would raise less money for Affordable Housing.

  • I will consider adoption of an alternative local Density Bonus scheme, similar to legislation adopted in Emeryville, to further incentivize the production of affordable housing. 

  • Other features of our Zoning Code may tend to hinder the building of affordable projects, and so we must be open to refining our zoning code to better support the building of affordable housing. 

  • I will seek to create a regional commercial linkage fee that results in a pool of affordable housing monies available to all Bay Area cities

  • I will approach technology and other industries that have expanded in the past several years and inadvertently contributed to this housing crisis.  I welcome the new jobs and prosperity for our region, but believe local companies that are experiencing rapid growth and soaring profits should help mitigate the “unintended consequence” of extreme housing shortages, displacement, and overextended transit systems.  

An Arts Focused Vision for Downtown Berkeley

Summary

Berkeley residents have significant buying power and want to shop, dine and be entertained in Berkeley.  They yearn for an engaging, accessible, aesthetically pleasing and community-serving downtown, with public transit connecting them to their neighborhoods and parking for those times when public transit, walking or biking are not feasible.

Berkeley residents have significant buying power and want to shop, dine and be entertained in Berkeley.  They yearn for an engaging, accessible, aesthetically pleasing and community-serving downtown, with public transit connecting them to their neighborhoods and parking for those times when public transit, walking or biking are not feasible. 

Growing up in Berkeley I used to shop with my mother downtown.  She would run into friends from other parts of town, and was able to find products and services that met our family’s needs.  Remaking our downtown into a place that invites and unites all of Berkeley requires vision and sustained action on behalf of the City, in partnership with all stakeholders.  Our downtown can and must be a place that serves all of Berkeley and draws us together as one community – not a place that pushes us towards separate neighborhoods and out to bordering communities.  This is the vision I will work for!

This year, the Berkeley Cultural Trust asked Candidates to fill out a questionnaire outlining their vision for the Arts in Berkeley.  This was my reply (edited for brevity – to see full questionnaire click here):

Every community needs to decide what it wants to be, and to pursue that vision with clarity and commitment, implementing supportive zoning, policies, funding and other initiatives consistently over time. 

My choice for Berkeley, and my vision for the Downtown, is for Berkeley to be the Bay Area’s multicultural center for the arts, intellect and creativity, with an emphasis on celebration, innovation, experimentation and inclusiveness.  Underlying and driving the entire concept should be Berkeley’s progressive values of diversity, equity and multiculturalism. 

This may sound ambitious, but Berkeley already has many of the elements necessary to make this vision a reality.  We are home to thousands of arts organizations, artists, authors, chefs, thinkers, innovators and visionaries.  We have an increasing number of fairs, forums and events and many cultural and arts opportunities every week of the year.  The next step is to clarify, articulate, plan for and realize this vision in a more comprehensive manner, and ensure that our policies, investments, funding, marketing and all other factors are in alignment. 

I am very proud to have co-authored the zoning overlay for Berkeley’s Historic Civic Center that reserves our Old City Hall, Veterans Building, Post Office and other buildings in the Civic Center for civic- and public-serving uses including museums, nonprofit cultural and arts, libraries and live performance venues.  This legislation was put forward when Berkeley’s Historic Downtown Post Office was threatened with sale for commercial development.  At the time, developers were eyeing the property for a potential high-rise apartment building or a shopping mall, and the Old City Hall building had been discussed as a possible hotel.

The award winning Addison Arts District is another example of how polices to support the arts in a concentrated manner, through zoning and investments, can yield a critical mass that turns a regular street into a destination.  The new University Art Museum, the Book Fair, Berkeleyside’s “Uncharted” Festival of Ideas, the Shotgun Players, Chez Panisse, Berkeley Art Center and the Cheese Board to the North, our revitalized Main Library,  the Black Repertory Group to the South, the new Habitot (which provides creative play-space for our youngest citizens), and many more destinations create an arts “spine” that reaches across Berkeley, encompassing the entire downtown and also reaching towards northern and southern neighborhoods. The task is to connect these in a meaningful manner.  Enhancing our streetscapes and public spaces is key to creating a lively and inviting arts corridor. Berkeley’s Streets and Open Spaces Improvement Plan for the downtown (SOSIP) includes many elements that will enhance the public experience of our downtown. I would like to update the plan with a focus on creating public spaces for art and performance, and consider how we can extend an arts corridor that will connect us across the City.

Walnut Creek’s downtown is a good example of a community “deciding what it wants to be” and pursing that vision over time.  Walnut Creek wanted to be a shopping destination, and adapted its land use and other incentives to achieve that goal, expanding over many years to become a regional destination.  While Walnut Creek’s vision is far from what I would ever advocate for Berkeley, their model of transformation proves that a community can remake itself around a central theme.  Downtown Berkeley should more clearly, holistically and intentionally embrace its special place as a destination for culture, arts, creativity and learning, and align all necessary resources to elevate, coordinate and fully realize that vision. 

If we don’t decide up front who we want to be and invest in that vision, we will find ourselves looking back twenty years from now, asking “what have we become?”    

Supporting Small Businesses in Berkeley

Summary

Small and local businesses are what make Berkeley unique, give our shopping districts character, provide neighborhood services, and build community through personal relationships with shop owners and employees.  They are the antidote to generic big box, fast food and chain stores that our community has rightly sought to limit.

Small and local businesses are what make Berkeley unique, give our shopping districts character, provide neighborhood services, and build community through personal relationships with shop owners and employees.  They are the antidote to generic big box, fast food and chain stores that our community has rightly sought to limit.  As the former co-owner of a small manufacturing and wholesale business that was built from the ground up, I know that owning and operating a small business isn’t easy.  Owners invest their money, vision and energy to create and maintain the businesses we treasure, and they need our City and citizens’ support. 

Addressing the needs of Berkeley’s small business is one of my top priorities for Berkeley. The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ISLR), an organization with excellent resources to support thriving local commerce, has done research that confirms what we all know intuitively:  “places that are home to numerous locally owned businesses are more prosperous, sustainable, and resilient than those in which much of the economy is controlled by a few big corporations.”  The ISLR, an important resource, helps communities with innovative strategies, models and information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. 

Serving on the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District Board, I have spoken with many small business owners – including former owners who have chosen to close or move away - and am aware of the many challenges they face.  I will work to create a Small Business Service Center for Berkeley: San Francisco has its own small business agency – a model we should study and consider.  Working with the City, small merchants, customers, residents, property owners and existing business associations, I will undertake an audit of barriers to the establishment and success of small businesses in Berkeley, and propose comprehensive solutions.

Buy-Local preferences are also an important tool to encourage patronage of local businesses.  UC Berkeley, in its Settlement Agreement with the City of Berkeley, agreed to implement a local-purchasing program “for prioritizing the purchase of goods and services in Berkeley.”  I will work with UC Berkeley to ensure that its local-purchasing program is in full force, and urge the City to reach out to organizations of all sizes to and encourage them to prioritize sourcing and purchasing from within Berkeley. The City of Berkeley itself has a Buy-Local preference that was established many years ago.  We must review and strengthen this preference to ensure that the City’s local purchasing is robust, and that the funds we provide to the City in the form of taxes and fees are reinvested in our local economy. Finally, I will encourage the City to actively support Buy Local Berkeley and similar groups that encourage residents to Shop Local.

Family Justice Advocate
3,502 votes (37.5%)
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  • Business sustainability is the engine of economic growth. I’ll work to create economically lively neighborhoods with city support for small business viability.
  • To address our critical housing shortage, I’ll work for denser green development as smart growth in transit corridors and create environmental benefits by enabling residents to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • I propose a compassionate, holistic, long-term regional system to address the core issues that cause homelessness, one that follows a "housing-first model" that's case-management focused, and also increased city funding for more resources.
Profession:Associate Director County Agency; Attorney
Associate Director, Alameda County Family Justice Center, (2015current)
Adjunct Professor of Ethics and Domestic Violence Law, University of San Francisco School of Law (2013current)
Chair, Berkeley Planning Commission — Appointed position (2013current)
Commissioner, former Vice Chair, Berkeley's Commission on the Status of Women — Appointed position (2011current)
Development, Capital Campaign Of The Berkeley Food And Housing Project
 — Elected position (2015current)
Board Member, Where Little Acorns Grow (Committee to save Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue in Berkeley) — Appointed position (2015current)
Managing Partner and founder, MVTC Law, LLC (20032015)
Chair, Alameda County Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee
 — Elected position (20102011)
Housing Attorney defending unlawful detainer evictions, Bay Area Legal Aid (20022003)
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO SCHOOL OF LAW Juris Doctorate, Public Interest Law Award from University of San Francisco (2001)
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY Bachelors Degree Honors, , Double Major in Religious Studies and History; NCAA Full Four Year Baseball Scholarship (1995)
Board Member, The Berkeley Democratic Club (2013current)
Development, Capital Campaign, Berkeley Food & Housing Proj
ect, tasked with raising $3Million to provide housing and services to Berkeley's homeless population (2015current)
Board Member, Where Little Acorns Grow (Committee to save Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue in Berkeley) (2015current)
Chair, ALAMEDA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION FAMILY LAW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. (20102011)
  • Vice Mayor And District 1 Councilmember Linda Maio
  • George Perezvelez, Chair Police Review Commission
  • Erin Rhoades, Executive Director, Berkeley Public Schools Fund
  • State Senator Loni Hancock
  • State Assembly Member Nancy Skinner
  • District 5 Councilmember Laurie Capitelli
  • Mayor Tom Bates
  • Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, President, Berkeley School Board
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – Local 595
  • The United Brotherhood of Carpenters – Local 713
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • The Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO
  • The Berkeley Police Association
  • The Berkeley Fire Fighters Assocation
  • League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay
  • The Berkeley Democratic Club
  • The Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County
  • The Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County
  • BART Board Director Rebecca Saltzman
  • Judy Appel, Berkeley School Board
  • Josh Daniels, Berkeley School Board
  • Karen Hemphill, Berkeley School Board
  • District 2 Councilmember Darryl Moore
  • District 8 Councilmember Lori Droste
  • District 6 Councilmember Susan Wengraf
  • Carole Norris, Berkeley Housing Authority Chair
  • Susie Medak, Berkeley Rep Managing Director
  • Barry Fike
  • John Fike
  • Carole Norris, Berkeley Housing Authority Chair
  • Harry Pollack, Former President, Congregation Beth El
  • Dmitry Veligurov
  • Duffy Ross
  • Mara Melandry
  • Carlos Babij
  • Sabina Aurilio
  • Ethan Cheng
  • Chris Hudson
  • Michael Alvarez-Cohen
  • Sheila Ring
  • Denis Ring
  • Judy Gonzalez-Massih
  • Tom Linder
  • Tom Curran
  • Dmitry Veligurov
  • Caresse Fernandez
  • Herb Behrstock
  • John McGuire
  • Phong Tran
  • Christian Marsh
  • Robert Cady
  • Marie Newton
  • Paul Murphy
  • Nga Hoang
  • Janet Hagopian
  • Renee Revolorio Keith
  • Michael Sedloff
  • Lucy Sundelson
  • Dale Freeman
  • James Whitty
  • Matt Lefer
  • Jennifer Cronin
  • Lisa Locke
  • Debbie Sanderson
  • Nancy Rader
  • Jim Samuels
  • Steven Donaldson
  • Greg Lunkes
  • Karen Borst-Rothe
  • Tom Fike
  • Matt Seuferer
  • Linda Della
  • Rafael Maldonado
  • Marianne (Wilma) Wyss
  • David Snippen
  • Michael Smart
  • Jack Kurzweil
  • Evelyn Larsen
  • John Spitzer
  • Graham Chilsholm
  • Denise Jackson
  • Fred Schecter
  • Lessly Field
  • Alex Maldonado
  • Robert Collier
  • John Smith
  • Robert Smith
  • Thao Dang
  • Dinh Bui
  • Nguyet Tran
  • Anh Dinh
  • Junichi Miyazaki
  • Nancy Thomas
  • Bill Springer
  • Nick Gross
  • Elisabeth Jewel
  • Steven Goldin
  • Colin Elbasani
  • Leah Kirsch
  • Ryan Lau
  • Mavis Delacroix
  • Cynthia Chapman
  • Mary Willet
  • Steve Solnit
  • Maryann Sargent
  • Greg Magofna
  • Ali Kashani
  • Peggy Lee Scott
  • Radha Seshagiri
  • Alan Meier, Scientist
  • Sharon Rudnick
  • Jaimie Levin
  • Ann Slobod
  • Anand Maharati, Dentist
  • Ann Slobod, Business Manager
  • Charles Kahn, Architect
  • David Ritvo, Physician
  • Ryen Bani-Hashemi, UC Berkeley Student
  • David Trachtenberg, Architect
  • Joe DeCredico, Architect 
  • Joe DeCredico, Architect 
  • Timothy Gray, Career Placement, UC Berkeley
  • Pamela Gray, Goodwill Director of Donations
  • Mark Rhoades, Planner
  • Isaiah Roter, Attorney
  • Kathrina Ostrander
  • Cherri Allison
  • Megha Rajput, Director of Operations, Clinton Reilly Holdings
  • Loan Vu, Office Manager
  • Giao Vu, Medical Doctor/OBGYN
  • Laura Murphy, School Teacher
  • Jennifer Powell, Accountant
  • Amanda Monchamp, Attorney
  • Dave Borders, Attorney
  • Paul Schwartz, Attorney
  • Lory Ishii, Attorney
  • Dara Lahav, Attorney
  • Dmitri Belser, Executive Director, Center for Accessible Technology
  • Wasan Romsaitong, PG&E Engineer
  • Sarah Nguyen, Marketing Communications Manager
  • Justin K. Nguyen, Medical Resident
  • Chris King, Cleantech Entrepreneur
  • Thien Huong Tran Le, Account Tehnician
  • Tim Bui, Architect
  • Tram Nguyen, Social Worker
  • Emily Borders, Highwire PR Principal
  • Joe DeCredico, Architect
  • Emily Borders, Highwire PR Principal
  • Monalisa Vu, USF Associate Professor
  • Geoffrey Lomax
  • Kava Massih, Principal Architect
  • Tom Beil, Architect
  • Ban A. Vu, Medical Doctor
  • Katie Gladstein, Consultant
  • Anna Bellomo, Real Estate Agent
  • George Ishii, Start-Up Advisor
  • Long Giao Vu, Resident, MD
  • Raymond Williams, University of California Accountant
  • Kim Williams
  • Kim Williams
  • David Shiver, Principal, BAE Urban Economics, Inc.
  • Hongvilay Thongsamouth, Partner at MVTC Family Law, LLP
  • Trina Chatterjee, Partner at MVTC Family Law, LLP
  • Somnath Chatterjee, Partner at Morrison Foerster, LLP
  • Thuy S. Nguen, Providence Engineers Adminstrator
  • Tim Q. Nguyen, Environmental Engineer
  • Laverne Lovell, Lovell's Flowers Owner
  • George Lovell, Lovell's Flowers Owner
  • Tan D. Au, Verizon Consultant
  • Jonathan Stern, Berkeley Resident
  • Nancy Yep
  • Ray Yep
  • Karen Rice
  • Clay Shentrup
  • Kad Smith
  • George Perezvelez, Chair Police Review Commission
  • Peter Jan Honigsberg, Law Professor, USF School of Law
  • Karen Bowen, Tax Attorney
  • Christian Marsh, Attorney
  • Phong Tran, Attorney
  • Joe Lahav, Attorney
  • Lynn Murphy, Attorney
  • Christopher Newton, Attorney
  • Christopher Murphy, News Reporter
  • Peter Levitt, Owner Saul's Restaurant
  • Elizabeth Echols, Former State Assemby Candidate
  • Noah Alper, Noah's Bagels
  • Roberta Brooks, Former Aid to Barbara Lee and Ron Dellums
  • Richard Thomason, Former Transportation and Community Health Commissioner
  • Pamela Doolan, Former Berkeley School Board President
  • Karen Chapple, City & Regional Planning Professor U.C. Berkeley
  • Sachu Constantine, Director of Policy, Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Harry Pollack, Former President, Congregation Beth El
  • Jim Novosel, Vice Chair Board of Library Trustees
  • Julie Holcomb, President, Board of Library Trustees
  • Michele Lawrence, Former Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent
  • Julie Sinai, Former Berkeley School Board Member
  • Chip Harley, Berkeley Resident and Small Businessowner
  • Piero Martinucci, Neighborhood Activist
  • Jill Martinucci, Neighborhood Activist
  • Laurie Furstenfeld
  • Barbara Marienthal
  • Lisa Adlao
  • Cynthia Brantley-Price
  • James Gould, General Planner
  • Steven Ross, City Planner and Environmental Consultant
  • Teresa Clark, Affordable Housing Developer
  • Heidi Goldstein, Commissioner BUSD Personnel Commission
  • Lura Dolas, Senior Lecturer, UC Berkeley
  • Dorothy Walker, Former Assistant Vice Chancellor
  • Rufus Pichler, Partner at Morrison Foerster
  • Karen Weinstein, Candidate Board of Trustees, Peralta Colleges
  • Mim Hawley, Former District 5 Councilmember
  • Julie Holcomb, President, Board of Library Trustees
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Stephen Murphy:

As a City Councilmember, I will work to create a civil atmosphere at public meetings and in City government. Civility is what will help us reach compromises that are good for our community and will help us confront the complex struggles of our changing city with sensitivity and compassion.

I’ll work to provide resources to improve infrastructure in Berkeley, including parks, streets, and walkways. Solano Avenue and many other Berkeley neighborhoods are suffering from a lack of small businesses. I will work to:

·       Lower economic and regulatory barriers to business entry.

·       Move the Downtown Area Plan forward in significant ways. I’ll advocate for a vibrant downtown with sustainable growth, a green economy, and more housing along transit corridors.

·       Consider vacancy tax for long-empty sites to finance redevelopment (e.g. lower economic barriers to business entry).

·       Continue my focus on attracting a tenant to the Oaks Theatre site and work to preserve it as a community space.

·       Limit Big Box businesses on Solano by fostering a favorable investment environment for small business.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Stephen Murphy:

 

My life’s commitment is to live in a diverse community where people have choices for affordable housing and legal aid for the needy, for good jobs and small business ownership, and for excellent public schools. I want Berkeley to remain a city fashioned by all and for all, a community where middle and working class families can establish a home and strong roots.

This means addressing our housing and affordability crisis. I support developments of affordable housing and believe the City of Berkeley should encourage such developments. As a middle-class professional with a family, I also recognize the need for housing that is affordable for people who don’t qualify for deeply affordable housing. I believe in development of housing that is available to a diverse population, especially the middle class.

I want to improve public safety and resources for the homeless. Many of the people I work with at the Alameda County Family Justice Center are or have been homeless, and I have seen firsthand how difficult it is to escape homelessness. My work has helped me understand that the vast majority of people who are homeless have been victims of many layers of abuse over the course of a long period of time. These people need a vast network of resources in order to truly get help. This requires a long-term, regional plan, and a collective, housing first, case management focused model. Realistically, the problem can’t be fixed right away, but we must work together to make progress. I believe that basic rules coupled with reliably available resources is an important strategy in order to tackle this issue.

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Stephen Murphy:

I support Berkeley's award winning Downtown Area Plan which aligns with the ABAG/MTC goals and is also balanced with the needs of locals. Many of Berkeley's current races revolve around whether or not a candidate supports the Downtown Area Plan outlined below. Those who are for or against this plan tend to line up with the factions who were for or against Measure R in 2014. I led the effort to defeat Measure R in 2014; 80% of District 5 voters agreed with me and voted “no."

It is my intention and goal to: 

      Build consensus on City Council for sound, reasonable, progressive policies.

      Support the Downtown Area Plan, created after hundreds of public meetings and passed overwhelmingly by voters.

      Work for a vibrant downtown with sustainable growth and a green economy.

      Support a bikable and walkable downtown featuring great shopping and entertainment venues to foster compact and convenient residential life.

      Work for denser “green” development as smart growth in transit corridors to address our critical housing shortage and create environmental benefits by enabling new residents to reduce their carbon footprint. 

A green downtown with transit corridors will create:

      A more favorable business environment for local business,

      Hundreds of affordable units,

      Funding for affordable housing through fees paid by developers,

      New buildings with high, yet feasible environmental standards,

      Housing close to public transportation, reducing the need for driving,

      Millions of dollars for public art,

      Thousands of union jobs,

      Increased car share and bike parking,

      Street and public space improvements,

      Millions of dollars worth of economic development and assessments going toward our general fund.

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Stephen Murphy:

With regard to air pollution and green house gas emissions, I support quality high-density housing around transit corridors. Residents can more readily walk, utilize clean public transit and shrink their carbon footprint.

I am also very interested in studying how public spaces, such as buildings and thoroughfares might be utilized to supplement residential solar installation. Residential rooftop solar is a wonderful source of clean energy. However, many residents have poor sun exposure or excess shading. One alternative could be enabling residents to invest their solar dollars in community installations whereby solar uses public space but is financed with private dollars. For example, parking spaces at BART could be covered with solar panels. Such installations could reduce lifecycle costs of the system because they are more economical to install and maintain, and they perform more efficiently.

As for clean water discharge into the Bay, deteriorating sewer connections are a major focus for CWA compliance. Since October 2006, property owners have been required to obtain a Sewer Lateral Certificate of Compliance (SLC) prior to transfer or sale of property, or before obtaining a building permit for major construction projects such as remodels. Berkeley also offers a loan program to assist low-income property owners to comply with requirements for private sewer laterals. I support these mechanisms because they allow homeowners to amortize cost over time and there are assistance programs for low-income residents.

We can use all of these ideas to re-imagine other solutions to ever more complex and interrelated issues in a world where global climate change is perhaps our greatest environmental challenge.

 

 

Homelessness and Housing

Summary

My personal and professional work with underserved communiities, how I propose to deal with Berkeley's challenges to address homelessness and my comitment to ease the city's affordable housing shortage.

As Associate Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, I work daily with disenfranchised people who are survivors of assault, abuse, and trafficking. Many are homeless. This helps me understand that the vast majority of homeless people have suffered abuse or neglect over time, creating a ripple effect not only on those individuals and families but on the community at large.

To deal compassionately with people living on our streets. I propose:

      Developing a holistic long-term regional system to address core issues causing homelessness, a system that follows a “housing-first model” that’s case management-focused.

      Increasing city funding for more housing and services.

      Engaging other cities and counties to jointly create a system of regional resources, based on Berkeley’s model, The Hub, a coordinated entry point for homeless to receive housing and other resources in one place.

      Funding more resources, including intensive case management for the most vulnerable with more housing and beds for homeless individuals and families.

I favor the Community Sidewalk Ordinance -- my opponent opposes it -- the ordinance is compassionate and fair. It sets limits on inappropriate behavior and also provides important services, such as more public bathrooms.

      Homelessness is different than dangerous and unhealthy street behavior.

      It is reasonable to prohibit public urination or defecation and limit the amount of space a person can take up on the sidewalk.

As a member of the Berkeley Food and Housing Project's Capital Campaign, I'm working to realistically address the City's increasing homelessness problem. This topic is personal for me. I work with homeless individuals every day, and I recognize the different sides of the story. I’m committed to finding compassionate and sustainable solutions.

Housing affordability is a challenge. People should be able to afford to live and retire here. As Chair of the Planning Commission, I’ve worked extensively to ease the affordable housing shortage and will continue identifying effective alternatives.

      Housing in the Downtown Plan creates more density along transit corridors so residents will have easy transit access without needing cars.

      Financing low cost and more affordable housing can be done through Berkeley’s Housing Trust Fund, established from fees imposed on developers ($10.5 million slated as a Harold Way project requirement).

      We can use those funds to support development of affordable housing; the City of Berkeley should encourage such projects.

      Housing must also be affordable for people who don’t qualify for low cost housing including teachers and other public service professionals. I advocate for extending housing subsidies to working families.

      I support alternatives like Accessory Dwelling Units (or “granny flats”). I was instrumental in making it easier to legalize and create ADUs in Berkeley as a source of low-cost housing -- much less expensive than building a traditional infill unit.

Economic Development, Financial Management and my Plans for Downtown and our Commercial districts

Summary

We need leaders who envision a city that works - financially, environmentally, and commercially - and who have rock solid, tangible plans for how to bring this about. If our city works, we can address problems of homelessness and housing more effectively. And if we elect leaders who know how to work together cooperatively and collaboratively, we can move Berkeley forward together.

 

My goals are to create an economically lively downtown, a reinvigorated Solano Ave., a bustling Gourmet Ghetto, and a delicious Hopkins/Monterey neighborhood.

      Support small business viability in our neighborhoods and downtown. Business sustainability is the engine of economic growth.

      Examine and fix Berkeley’s commercial regulations to foster, not hinder, a viable economy. Identify barriers that slow or increase the cost of developing commercial enterprises with the aim of eliminating them.

The Challenges:

      Our City’s significant unfunded liabilities associated with pension obligations and infrastructure costs.

      Our City budget -- a majority goes towards public safety costs.

The Solutions:

      Be fiscally responsible in spending our money.

      I support the infrastructure bond – Measure T1.

      Remain focused on economic development to increase city revenue.

 

I fully support our Downtown revitalization because it will increase revenue. As Chair of the Planning Commission, as the person who led the ground campaign to defeat Measure R in 2014.  I have a proven track record of supporting economic development.

Downtown

      Build consensus on City Council for sound, reasonable, progressive policies.

      Support award-winning Downtown Area Plan, created after hundreds of public meetings and passed overwhelmingly by voters.

      Measure R in 2014, tried to upend it and it lost by a 3-to-1 margin. 

      I led the effort to reject Measure R; 80% of District 5 voters agreed with me and voted NO.

      Work for a vibrant downtown with sustainable growth, a green economy.

      Support a bikeable and walkable downtown featuring great shopping and entertainment venues to foster compact and convenient residential life.

      Work for denser “green” development as smart growth in transit corridors to address our critical housing shortage and create environment benefits by enabling new residents to reduce their carbon footprint.

A green downtown with transit corridors will create:

      A more favorable business environment for local business,

      Hundreds of affordable units,

      Funding for affordable housing through fees paid by developers,

      New buildings with high, yet feasible environmental standards,

      Housing close to public transportation, reducing the need for driving,

      Millions of dollars for public art,

      Thousands of union jobs,

      Increased car share and bike parking,

      Street and public space improvements,

      Millions of dollars worth of economic development and assessments going toward our general fund.

Specifically in District 5

Provide resources to improve infrastructure in District 5, including parks, streets, and walkways. Solano Avenue is suffering from a lack of small businesses. 

      Lower economic and regulatory barriers to business entry. Let's consider an online one-stop shop where new small businesses can start the permit process and recieve faster service. 

      Continue my focus on attracting a tenant to the Oaks Theatre site.

      Consider vacancy tax for long-empty sites to finance redevelopment (e.g. lower economic barriers to business entry).

      Work to preserve the Oaks Theatre as a community space.

      Limit Big Box businesses on Solano by fostering a favorable investment environment for small business.

Berkeley At its Best

Summary

Quality of Life Includes Art, Public Safety, Education Excellence and Equity, and Building Community. Berkeley is famous for education but part of the lifestyle that goes with that is having a culturally vibrant community that celebrates diversity and values human interaction. It can all hang together, supported by a solid economic base, with a feeling of safety and security, if our public services serve us all well.

 

Education and Youth

Berkeley public schools are among of the best in the country, and I’m immensely proud to be able to send my children to them. I will work to:

      Ensure excellence in our public schools so all our children can receive a quality education.

      Support our teachers by placing a priority on finding ways to increase the number of classroom aides.

      Continue to invest in public education through BSEP (Measure E1 on this year’s ballot).

      Work with our state Legislative officials to advocate funding for universal Pre-School to narrow the achievement gap, a persistent problem through high school.

      My work at the Alameda Family Justice Center focused on children who endured trauma. I know how important it is to provide these resources for vulnerable children.

      I’ve witnessed cost savings in keeping these children out of foster care, hospitals, out of a life of crime. We get great social returns.

      Support our teenagers by ensuring full funding for the city-run mental health center inside Berkeley High to support kids facing trauma from trouble at home or bullying and harassment at school.

      Continue the work I began as Vice Chair on the Commission on the Status of Women, working with Karen Weinstein, Heidi Goldstein, and students in BHS Stop Harassing.

Public Safety

Public Safety is a high priority in District 5. I walk down Cedar Street every day with my three young children. and I engage with police and public safety officers every day in my work with domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

      Right now there is only one patrol assigned to all of Districts 5 & 6, and that is not enough. I’ll work to ensure District 5 has the patrols and services we need to reduce crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.

      Planning priorities must include pedestrian safety with walkable streets and more bike paths to ease traffic congestion (and to make biking safer and more fun).

      We should align the needs of bicyclists and drivers with street repair and road design.

      I’ll improve both police presence and engagement in our community through neighborhood meetings to address fears about crime and to improve community coordination for earthquake preparation.

I am honored that both the Berkeley Police Association and the Berkeley Firefighters Association (who even walked precincts with me!) have endorsed my campaign. They put their lives on the line for us every day as first responders, and I'll make sure that public safety is a top priority in District 5. This strong trust relationship with our police and fire professionals makes me uniquely qualified to work with them to identify pragmatic solutions.

 Quality of Life, Art, and Building Community

Today, Berkeley residents are grappling with the realities of

      Increasing inequalities in wealth,

      Diminishing affordability, and

      Arguments about how our public spaces should look and feel.

I believe that:

      Art offers an important channel to address these factors,

      Artists can help identify solutions. They can think of ways to make public spaces that are beautiful and captivating for a diverse population, and, perhaps most importantly, they can help us think about how the city’s aesthetics affect our collective state of mind and sense of community.

      We must facilitate opportunities to bring artists into the conversation as often as possible.

 I helped lead the charge for the 1% for Art project, I’m proud it is law, and I’m excited to see the results.

      The program mandates developers of large new developments in commercial districts to incorporate an art piece worth 1% of construction costs or pay an in-lieu fee to the Cultural Trust Fund.

      The program means that local artists will have the chance to make their mark across the city, and that our public spaces will be as compelling as possible. The program will create new buildings that people love to come to, which will drive economic growth and a stronger sense of community.

      The in-lieu fees for the Cultural Trust Fund also offer an incredible opportunity to increase artists’ presence around the city. The funds can be use to finance more projects for public and community spaces.

Events

Videos

Candidate Forum for Berkeley City Council District 5 — October 2, 2016 League of Women Voters—Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville

Forum for the candidates for Berkeley City Council District 5 (combined with District 6 on video), hosted by the League of Women Voters

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

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