AVOICE OF REASON
WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR ME
I have thought deeply about our housing shortages, rent affordability, gentrification and displacement of some long-term Berkeley residents and the best way to spend tax-payer dollars.
Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (BRSB) is responsible for making recommendations to the Berkeley City government on matters related to rental housing. I believe BRSB has a responsibility to adopt and recommend evidence based policies that expand housing units, policies that encourage more ADU builds, encourage desegregation policies that support low income families to move to high opportunity areas, focus on strengthening policies to help families receive housing vouchers and use them most effectively. Instead I find the BRSB hyper focused on protecting the limited number of rent control units and the lucky few who are locked into these rent control units.
An example of a data driven recommendation would be the research by Raj Chetty, recipient of MacArthur Genius Fellowship, that providing additional service support to housing voucher recipients allowed 54% of the families to move to high-opportunity areas with rich community resources. These efforts are likely to reduce the persistence of poverty across generations.
Link to Berkeleyside Article October 2020
Excerpt from an Article in Daily Californian - Aug 2020
A Voice of Reason
What are your ideas to begin to solve some of the issues faced?
Change rent board priorities away from failed, punitive policies towards homeowners and housing providers, and instead focus on encouraging increase in quality and quantity of housing available for rent. Make decisions based on evidence of which policies are effective. I believe that rent control in its current form is failing to solve the problem of affordability since it only benefits those who are currently locked into a rental unit but not for all those who are actually economically disadvantaged. Therefore, I support the Biden plan for housing which is based on economic need. The idea of providing resources in addition to housing vouchers that allow people to move from high poverty, racially segregated neighborhoods, to more integrated neighborhoods is supported by UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging’s program.
A 2012 Alameda County Grand Jury inquiry into the BRSB concluded that it operates with little accountability. The report found that “the board is not providing strong enough oversight, not holding the agency accountable - not scrutinizing personnel hiring, not questioning compensation, not balancing both landlord and tenant interests, not trying to constrain increases in registration fees.” My focus will be to provide transparency and streamline bureaucracy.
Why should voters choose you over the incumbent?
Berkeley rent board policies have failed spectacularly. We have a shortage of rental housing and growing homelessness, while spending 80% of the BRSB budget (for 2020 is $6,000,000) on salaries and office rent. According to Transparent California, the 2019 salary of the head of Berkeley Rent Board was $249,000 plus benefits, while the salary of Gavin Newsom, was around $197,000. Spending almost $4,800,000 of tax payer money on administering this bureaucracy is not right and must change. I am willing to try. Will you join me in this journey?
Currently all board members claim to represent only renters and are not interested in proportional representation.
I will represent both renters and housing providers and focus on improving the situation through incentives rather than failed punitive measures. I will advocate for desegregation policies that support low income families to move to high opportunity areas.