Independent candidate Gabrielle Sharp runs for ASUC Senate

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Gabrielle Sharp, a UC Berkeley sophomore, is running independently for ASUC Senate on a platform focused on reinvesting in the community, bridging the divide between campus and city residents and serving the queer and transgender people of color community.

Sharp has been strongly involved in various campus organizations related to her platform, including the Black Student Union and the Black Recruitment and Retention Center. A passionate community organizer, Sharp hopes to uplift students’ progressive voices if elected.

“I believe that running for ASUC senate* gives a students a platform,” Sharp said in an email. “I want to use that platform to uplift not only the student communities I belong to as a queer Black woman, but also to uplift the greater community in berkeley.”

It was through her time organizing at People’s Park that Sharp said she realized it was time to shift the narrative surrounding the property to focus more on students and the homeless community.

Sharp hopes to support students and address anti-homeless rhetoric by giving campus and city members alike a platform to share their thoughts.

“As someone who has experience in community organizing, I can ensure that student voices, especially in the most marginalized communities, are heard and uplifted,” Sharp said in the email.

To fulfill her platform’s core tenets, Sharp hopes to work with service programs, including the People’s Park Committee and the Suitcase Clinic in order to better serve the community.

Her reinvestment plan involves reducing the UCPD budget while allocating the additional funds towards student services and creating emergency grants for students who are struggling financially due to the ongoing pandemic.

Beyond community outreach and partnership, a major part of Sharp’s platform is devoted to serving the queer and trans people of color community in Berkeley. If elected, she aims to ensure accessibility of resources and to promote UC Berkeley’s Counseling and Psychological Services for queer and transgender students.

“I want to leverage the institutional power of the ASUC to serve the most marginalized within underserved communities,” Sharp said in the email.

Endorsed by members of both the Black and queer communities, Sharp said her decision to run as an independent is rooted in prioritizing the interests of her communities over those of a party.

In an effort to maintain transparency and accountability, Sharp encourages students to come to her with any suggestions or criticisms that would allow her to better serve.

“I do not know how to separate myself from issues that harm the most marginalized of us, because my various intersectionalities put me also at the forefront of institutional harm,” Sharp said in the email. “I will fight for those issues tooth and nail.”

ASUC elections will be held virtually from April 5 to April 7.

Samantha Lim is a race and diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sssamanthalim.