Tag Archives: Berkeley

Aidan Hill Seeks Solutions To Berkeley Housing Crisis

Aidan Hill, Berkeley, CA 2020 Mayoral candidate

Former City Council candidate eyes Berkeley, CA Mayoral run

(BERKELEY, CA – June 12th, 2019)

Nestled on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley, California is a place that many would consider almost paradise. However, mild weather, bay-side views and swaying palms equate to skyrocketing housing costs, and those costs have put the city in a serious housing crisis. The lack of affordable housing in Berkeley has left struggling residents of the city with no place to call home.

The homelessness crisis in Berkeley is growing. As of April of this year, the city now estimates its homeless population to be around 2,000 individuals. Although the city’s median income has increased dramatically over the last decade, much of the job market resides in the management and professional sectors. Housing units are available, but these homes are generally out of reach for those suffering on the streets of the city. According to Census figures, 3,000 of the city’s 50,000 housing units are currently left unoccupied.

Non-binary Berkeley resident and Green Party member Aidan Hill is earnest about tackling the issue of homelessness in their community. Recently, Hill was appointed to the Berkeley Homeless Commission, seeking to address the situation assertively and develop real solutions for the dispossessed among the city’s population.

Hill feels that he can make a difference in resolving the homeless issues the city faces. “I believe and take great attention to the perspectives and needs of those who are marginalized and disproportionately affected, above all else,” they said.

Becoming a member of the commission has given the young upstart an opportunity to get hands-on in the process and work directly to affect policy and outcomes.

“As a member of the Homeless Commission, I’ve had the opportunity to work with staff in providing infrastructure that will help our most vulnerable residents. We have been working on projects such as installing port-a-potties, increasing sanitation services, increasing transportation options and developing guidelines to support existing homeless encampments in the city,” they remarked.

Concerned about proposed development in People’s Park, Hill points out that they want to guarantee a space for the homeless population will remain accessible.

“The only open space in one of our council districts which provides a recovery zone for an emergency or natural disaster is at risk of being built upon for development as dormitories, intended for student housing.” Hill stated. “This will displace the existing homeless population as well as increase costs for the Berkeley community.”

Following his 2018 run for a Berkeley City Council seat, the youthful politician is prepared to take on an even bigger challenge – planning to run for mayor of the city.

Hill displays an unassuming confidence in his readiness to handle the tough work of administrating the municipal operations of the city, saying, “The preparedness comes because I firmly believe that if we do not act now, in the future, we will not have the opportunity to fight against corporate interests who are putting profit ahead of the people.”

As Mayor, Hill would seek big changes in the way the city currently operates. Involving residents in decision-making is high on his list of priorities for the city.

“I will be in a unique position to leverage my platform to give others access to media and other channels of communication such as town halls and public forums” they said. “A mayor needs to make sure public forums are fair and that every item on the agenda is seen transparent to the public.”

Management of public funding is another priority for the young candidate. “I will plan to introduce participatory budgeting into Berkeley politics—creating a strategy for community members to have greater say in how public funds are spent in efficient and tangible ways.” Hill stated.

As a candidate for public office, Hill has found that building community has been one of the highlights of his experience.

”The most enriching experience of my political career is becoming a part of my community” they remarked. “Regardless of whether or not I win public office, I have had the opportunity to brighten people’s days—give them hope, inform them about their civil and political rights as well as enhance their economic, social and cultural experience in this city.”

Hill looks toward the future and remains committed to finding alternative solutions that will abate the city’s current housing crisis, saying, “As the next mayor of Berkeley, I will build a pathway to public and alternative housing accommodations that are rent-controlled and will lead to all people having agency and a direct say in their shelter accommodations.”

With caring leaders such as Hill working to solve problems in the community, hope remains for the city’s many desperate homeless residents.