Margo Schueler, a recently retired construction and maintenance superintendent for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, filed to run for Berkeley City Council’s District 1 seat — currently held by Linda Maio — on April 20.
Schueler said her platform is focused on issues of infrastructure in Berkeley and how environmentally conscious infrastructure can comprehensively address the housing crisis and issues regarding homelessness. Schueler has spent her professional career working in infrastructure, beginning as a welder in a shipyard and ending as a superintendent for the East Bay Municipal Utility District.
“What I bring to the table is a lot of experience with these core public works functions that so dramatically affect our quality of life,” Schueler said.
The city infrastructure in Berkeley is 80 to 100 years old and is poorly maintained, according to Schueler. She said her goal is to recreate civic spaces with innovative technologies and green infrastructure to provide more housing opportunities. Schueler cited the need to define this shift in infrastructure, “so as we build housing and densify our city, we will assume open space.”
Schueler said that with the rapid growth of technology, it is possible to re-envision what the city’s streets should look like. One of her goals as a City Council member, she said, would be to build specific projects from City Council plans, such as the Climate Action Plan, to increase urban landscaping through the use of green infrastructure.
“We have all these plans, but what we don’t have is actionable projects to bring into the community,” Schueler said.
As a resident of Berkeley and member of the Public Works Commission for more than two decades, Schueler has been involved in public service and advocacy for workers in the city of Berkeley. She said people doing the work in our communities need to feel “worthy and empowered to innovate.”
Schueler added that this experience brings a lot of depth to her understanding of how the city works and what she can accomplish for the citizens of Berkeley.
“The City Council’s job is to bring the community together and address challenges like climate change, wealth disparity and housing insecurity,” Schueler said. “I’d like to work on the council with the community to address problems and growing inequities in the city to provide a safe, healthy and diverse environment.”
Igor Tregub, a City Council candidate for District 1 running against Schueler, said he has worked closely with Schueler on various issues regarding Berkeley’s infrastructure, specifically to ensure that their work is done in an environmentally sustainable way.
“The district is fortunate to have a variety of candidates in this race,” Tregub said. “I welcome Margo into this race, and I’m looking forward to an exchange of ideas and visions for a District 1 we can all call home.”