She’s bold. She’s principled. She’s exactly what we want for District 2. Nanci Armstrong-Temple’s history as an educator, entrepreneur and activist, along with her detailed understanding of city policies and practices, makes her particularly well-suited to serve on Berkeley City Council.
During an interview with The Daily Californian’s Senior Editorial Board, Armstrong-Temple championed a seemingly unprecedented level of community engagement and emphasized the idea that a community’s problems can best be solved from within the community itself.
A spate of shootings have occurred in District 2 in recent months, and while incumbent Darryl Moore emphasized the need for an increased police force, Armstrong-Temple illustrated that her first priority would be to set up community meetings with residents to assess their specific concerns or needs. In fact, she pledged that she would plan and host a community meeting within 72 hours of any shooting in her district.
Berkeley desperately needs City Council members so willing to engage with the communities they serve. These kinds of meetings could very well result in the community voicing a desire for a greater police presence, as Moore recommended. Or they might not, as Armstrong-Temple and candidate Cheryl Davila suggested. In any case, giving the community more space to make its specific concerns heard could only help everybody, and Armstrong-Temple promises to provide that.
All three candidates have stressed a desire to think outside the box when it comes to homelessness in Berkeley. But more than anybody else, Armstrong-Temple offers proposals — such as tiny homes and more permanent tent cities — that come directly from Berkeley’s homeless communities.
The candidates differ when it comes to housing as well. Moore, for example, wants to increase the affordable housing percentage of all new developments from 20 percent to 35 percent. Armstrong-Temple toyed with the idea of one-to-one affordable-to-market-rate housing. Berkeley doesn’t need incremental, cautious steps. We need fearless, meaningful action, and Armstrong-Temple seems poised to provide just that.
Moore’s commitment to and work on the council over the past 12 years has been commendable, and the fact that his foray into Berkeley politics began in Councilmember Kriss Worthington’s internship program proves his long-time commitment to the city. While so many of his proposed solutions sound great, however, the fact is that Moore has served on council for years and had ample opportunity to implement his ideas in the past.
It’s time to pass the torch, and Nanci Armstrong-Temple should get it.
Endorsements represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.