Name: Christina Murphy
Job: Housing coordinator
What office are you are running for? Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, 2016
What is the main reason you are running? I am the housing coordinator at a South Berkeley non-profit which provides supportive services to chronically under-served, homeless and at risk individuals, many of whom have mental health challenges. I was asked by my community to be the voice for voiceless and I was selected to run for the Berkeley Rent Board by the Berkeley Tenants convention attended by almost 400 Berkeley tenants and homeowners.
Why are you qualified for the position? I have strong support in my community, South Berkeley. I work tirelessly and every day to help Berkeley residents find housing, I convince landlords to accept housing vouchers and work to keep tenants in their homes. I am determined to stay involved in processes that create affordable housing for everyone.
What sets you apart from other candidates? I am unique among the candidates for the Berkeley Rent Board because I live in a rent controlled unit and have experienced the stresses of housing in Berkeley. I am a survivor of gentrification, I am an African American long time native Berkeley community member.
How did you end up in Berkeley? I was born in North Berkeley and have lived here my whole life except for a brief time in 2010 when I was forced to out of Berkeley because I couldn’t afford the rent. Last year I was able to move back into a rent controlled unit in South Berkeley.
What are the three biggest challenges Berkeley faces in the near future? I believe the most urgent issues are those of gentrification and displacement, housing affordability, availability and habitability. We need permanent funding for the 80 social service agencies in Berkeley which provide supportive services around housing.
What are your ideas to solve them? Rent control is the single most effective way to keep our community diverse in every way. Habitability of rent controlled units is the responsibility of the Rent Board. There are a number of ways Berkeley could expand affordable housing now – building on city owned or controlled properties, buying and retrofitting abandoned or uninhabited housing. I will continue to advocate for these community concerns as well as fighting to strengthen the Rent Board;. We need to develop strategies to make sure that low-income, disabled residents, senior citizens and students are not charged or evicted unfairly.
What is your most inspired/unique idea for Berkeley? My ideal Berkeley would have stable housing for every homeless and at risk resident in Berkeley. Housing for everyone — housing that we all can afford.
How will you be accessible to constituents? I am out in the community. I do tabling providing housing resources and information for the clients of the Suit Case Clinic, I attend City Council meetings expressing the concerns of the community. I always respond to phone calls, texts, email and on social media. “We are who we serve. Nothing about us without us.”
How much money do you expect to spend on your campaign? $8,000
A final thought? HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
See complete 2016 election coverage on Berkeleyside.