UC Berkeley sophomore Regina Kim announced her independent candidacy Sunday evening for ASUC Senate in the upcoming spring 2018 elections.
Kim, a political science major, is running on one platform — basic needs security. She said she chose such a broad platform because it has many different facets that can be delved into, including crisis response, food security and mental health and wellness.
For crisis response, Kim wants to establish a protocol for housing, financial and food assistance by advocating for the creation of a student crisis response director, who will be tasked with having knowledge of crises on campus and addressing the needs of students.
“A big part of what I’m trying to do is take off some of the burden on (the) UC Berkeley Basic Needs Committee,” Kim said. “If we create this kind of designated director that is paid, it would lead to better efficacy overall.”
Kim also said she wants to institute a supplemental program to cover nonfood purchases, including soap, tampons and clothing. Under California policy, electronic benefit transfer generally only covers food purchases.
For food security, Kim said she will provide community support for the food pantry that already exists, host food drives and publicize the resources that are already available.
Kim added that she decided to run for senate because her work in basic needs spaces made her realize the urgency of institutional needs. She has worked as the basic needs security director under Senator Taehan Lee, has interned with the Global Food Initiative and was the associate consultant at Food, Equity, Entrepreneurship, and Development, or FEED, at Berkeley, a campus consulting club.
“The passion for the platform she’s running on is unusual to see and very encouraging,” said Katie Chiou, Kim’s campaign manager. “(Other) people burn out and give up. It’s nice to see that she’s really passionate about the issues.”
Voting in the ASUC elections is scheduled for April 9-11.