While here in Berkeley we like to put our candidates in one or the other camp, Kate is something special - independent in thought and action, which is why I support her for Berkeley City Council District 4.
~ Karen Weinstein, Former Trustee, Peralta Community College District
Berkeley’s diversity – of income, race and culture – is core to its identity. People at income levels below the area median income are spending far too much of their income on housing, becoming unhoused or being forced to relocate far from their community. Vice Mayor Harrison prioritizes building and protecting affordable housing, easing creation of alternative forms of housing (like tiny homes) and compassionate approaches to helping unhoused neighbors get back on their feet.
Vice Mayor Harrison strongly believes we need to allow our sworn officers to focus on serious crime while ensuring that the mental and physical health and homelessness challenges on our streets are effectively and compassionately managed. Over the past five years, she has worked with her colleagues, the Police Department, the ACLU, NAACP, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Fair and Impartial Policing to help Berkeley take important steps in bringing about fair policing and reimagining public safety.
Since her first election, Vice Mayor Harrison has approached environmental issues, particularly climate change, with a laser focus. She also knows that equity in tackling climate change has to include everyone, especially low-income residents and workers, and has negotiated millions of dollars going to our most impacted communities.
Our economy is only as strong as our work force. Vice Mayor Harrison is a committed and fierce advocate for workers and small businesses by proposing and getting passed paid parental leave, predictive scheduling, commercial eviction protections and promoting small businesses throughout the District.
Vice Mayor Harrison’s work centers those most impacted by barriers of access, inequality, and poverty. These barriers were laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked to implement accessible testing and vaccination efforts, protect seniors and the disabled and distribute masks to homeless providers. She has also organized with healthcare workers to keep Alta Bates in Berkeley, spearheaded adding mental health and crisis services and proposed community service alternatives to fines for infractions.
Vice Mayor Harrison passed Berkeley’s first lobbyist registration law, reducing the influence of special interests. Every day, she ensures that the Council and the public have access to the information they need to make informed decisions. She asks the hard questions of staff. She has proposed reforms to our budget like funding roads and the City’s reserves upfront and giving the waterfront the funding it needs. This year, she has requested an independent review of staff’s revenue estimates.
We need to make Berkeley accessible for everyone, regardless of how they move through the City. Kate is working to create transportation alternatives to the combustion engine that are both good for the earth and efficient, functional, and affordable for our residents. She has passed initiatives ensuring that our roadbuilding and infrastructure prioritizes the worst streets first and the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. She believes we need to take some of the 30% of Berkeley’s land absorbed by asphalt for streets and parking, a danger to the health of the planet and ourselves and a waste of resources, and convert it to green space and housing.