FIGHTING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Berkeley is facing an affordable housing crisis, and far too many students and residents alike are suffering as a result. To make matters worse, increased student enrollment is pushing the gentrifying force of campus farther and farther into the surrounding community, displacing residents who have lived in Berkeley for decades.

Rigel believes we need to build more student housing right next to campus, right now. As a City Councilmember, he’ll push for zoning requirements that allow for taller, denser buildings around campus, while fighting for more units that are affordable. Rigel is proud to endorse Measures O & P, as well as Proposition 10, because he believes we need to protect our vulnerable tenants today while we build a more affordable tomorrow.

REPRESENTING DISTRICT 7 RESIDENTS

The residents of District 7 deserve an accessible, accountable, and responsive Councilmember. That’s why Rigel will engage the community in the democratic process by hosting open office hours, distributing a regular and thorough newsletter, and attending community meetings to ensure that every resident of the district is heard. He’ll also push the city to do its part when it comes to fixing potholes and torn up sidewalks, and promoting development on vacant or abandoned lots.

In addition, Rigel will engage with the Associated Students of the University of California and other student groups to better integrate students into the decision-making process, and ensure that student activity — such as move in/move out — isn’t too disruptive to residents.

KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE

Too many students and residents don’t feel safe walking home at night in Berkeley. As City Councilmember, Rigel will push to better illuminate Southside and expand late-night transit options.

But Rigel also understands that keeping our residents safe means ensuring that local police officers are more accountable to their community — especially when the Center for Policing Equity found that Black people are six times more likely than white people to be subjected to use of force by a police officer in Berkeley. That’s why Rigel is a supporter of strengthening the Police Review Commission and ensuring that the commission can see relevant BPD data confidentially, and why he’ll continue those efforts as a City Councilmember.

DECRIMINALIZING HOMELESSNESS

Today, roughly 1,000 Berkeley residents are homeless — and they deserve assistance, not criminalization. While our ultimate goal should be permanent supportive housing, achieving that for all of our homeless neighbors will take time.

That’s why Rigel supports establishing a sanctioned encampment, where residents who are homeless can live without constant uprooting and disruption. This will also facilitate the delivery of vital services, such as health and wellness resources, and will improve the quality of life for all Berkeley residents — homeless and housed alike.

COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE

Berkeley has a long tradition of environmental leadership, but we have a long way to go to be truly environmentally sustainable. As a young person, Rigel understands that climate change poses a substantial threat to our futures.

On City Council, Rigel will work to incentivize renewable energy use in Southside residences and apartments — including requiring the installation of rooftop solar panels on new buildings — and ensure that the businesses and residents of Southside are doing their part to move the city toward our Zero Waste goals.

REVITALIZING TELEGRAPH AVENUE

Telegraph Avenue has been a center of activity for Southside and the campus community for generations — but it can, and should, be better. Too many small businesses go into bankruptcy, and too many commercial spaces are left vacant.

As a City Councilmember, Rigel will push for local ordinances that would incentivize worker-owned cooperatives, recruit more small businesses to open shop on Telegraph, and protect our small businesses from being threatened by large corporations.