I have been organizing in my community since I cofounded the School of Social Justice and Community Development as a highschool student in Oakland. After graduating from Tougaloo College I organized within the healthcare system and with local community organizations. I returned home in April of 2019 to discover that in my absence my family had been displaced and, while I was college educated and fully employed, I could not find permanent housing for myself and two children. Together with several other black mothers I co-founded Moms 4 Housing to bring attention to the shocking number of homeless families while hundreds of corporate owned homes lay empty. We started a movement to claim those homes for the community.
Berkeley must urgently protect the most vulnerable tenants. Amid this pandemic we must keep families safe in their homes. My experience navigating homelessness, and as an advocate, tenant, and organizer gives me the knowledge of changes that need to be implemented to make housing both accessible and affordable to all.