Carole Marasovic, a lifelong advocate for disabled and disadvantaged people, is running to be a commissioner on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.
As a rent board commissioner, Marasovic would take a pro-tenant stance. She believes that the rent board needs to better educate tenants about the laws, regulations and their rights. She also wants to bring increased outreach and information to both tenants and landlords.
“I would take a balanced approach considering the concerns of both tenants and small landlords so that those interests could be reconciled whenever possible,” Marasovic said in an email.
Marasovic, who has a degree in law and a master’s in community mental health, integrates “empathy and communication skills” into her legal knowledge.
She has experience serving on the Berkeley Homeless Commission and as an attorney to a bipartisan legislative committee.
“As an eighteen year Berkeley tenant, I know the challenges a tenant faces identifying and maintaining affordable rental housing,” Marasovic said in the email. “I have frequently found myself advising friends and neighbors of their rights as tenants and assisting them in navigating the system.”
A member of the Berkeley Homeless Commission who has served as chair and vice chair, Marasovic has recommended housing policy to the City Council.
Some of the issues addressed in her recommendations include expanding affordable housing to extremely low-income individuals in the Adeline Corridor in South Berkeley, studying a potential expansion of the affordable housing mitigation fee and developing a way to enforce California’s source-of-income discrimination law for Berkeley residents.
On a policy level, Marasovic has drafted legislative recommendations to provide legal protections to those with disabilities who have been impacted by domestic violence.
She said she thinks her legal skills make her qualified to review regulations and laws fairly, just as rent board commissioners are often required to do.
Marasovic also said she thinks affordable housing is necessary in order to make progress on preventing homelessness.
“To preserve the character of Berkeley as a diverse city, we must have equity for all,” Marasovic said in the email.
She also said she thinks it is important to ensure that people of all racial and socioeconomic groups have access to housing, including the working class, older adults and individuals with jobs in community service who do not have a large income.
“With my commitment to the Berkeley community, knowledge of the local political processes, needed attention to detail, willingness and ability to collaborate with a wide range of people, some with differing perspectives, I will serve the Berkeley community well as a Rent Stabilization Board commissioner,” Marasovic said in the email.
A previous version of this article may have implied that Carole Marasovic recommended that the City Council study a potential expansion of the affordable housing mitigation fee for increased support to the city’s Housing Trust Fund. In fact, Marasovic made the recommendation to increase access to affordable housing for low-income people.