A West Berkeley rental property owner, I am running to return as a Commissioner on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. Elected by city residents in 2012, I served a four year term as a Rent Board Commissioner. While Commissioner, I was a Chairperson of the Eviction Section 8 Foreclosure Committee. The rent board needs balanced representation of tenants, landlords and property owners. Reasonable policy development requires the input and viewpoints of various housing stakeholders.
My birthplace is the island community of Alameda, California. My family has roots in Berkeley, California over 60 years. For kindergarten and the first grade, I attended Franklin Elementary School, which is now the Berkeley Adult Education School campus. I graduated from the Anna Head School for Girls in Oakland (now Head Royce School) and Pepperdine College in Los Angeles; earned my graduate degree in administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. After working as a non-profit executive with international organizations in New York, and public health in New Jersey, I returned home to the Bay Area in 2002.
As a Head Start consultant in Cleveland, Ohio I worked to improve poor housing and environmental health conditions that impacted the health, education and well-being of children, youth, families and elders. While working at a community mental health center, I developed and managed licensed group homes for the long-term mentally ill. The program was recognized as a model of service delivery, training and professional development for the sponsors who provided stable therapeutic home environments. Senior adults also asked me to support their advocacy efforts for housing options that preserved their dignity and independence.
My political involvement began in Ohio working with city, county and state officials on community issues and ballot measures. While in graduate school I joined the NAACP and did research about subsidized and low income housing. In Englewood, New Jersey I was a member of the Democratic Club. As a participant with the Alameda County Leadership Academy in 2004-2005, I learned about various opportunities for public service. Appointed by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, I served as a Commissioner with the Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging from 2006 to 2010. Appointed by the Berkeley City Council in 2017, I currently serve as a Trustee with the Berkeley Board of Library Trustees.
My community service includes: working as a poll worker with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (2007 – present); consultant and trainer with the West Oakland Senior Center Advisory Board; NAACP member (national); recipient of the 2017 Mary Hingman Community Service Award from Berkeley Property Owners Association; and a former Alumni Council Member at Head Royce School (2005 – 2018).
To learn more about why I am running as a Rent Board candidate this year, read my May 31, 2018 Opinion in Berkeleyside.