Advocating for tenant-friendly policies, Nathan Mizell was announced as the fifth member on the Berkeley Rent Board’s convention planning committee slate.
The Berkeley Rent Board Convention Planning Committee has announced that Nathan Mizell will be the fifth member on its “progressive and pro-tenant” slate for the city’s Rent Stabilization Board elections next November.
Mizell was elected to the slate by “hundreds of Berkeleyans” registered at the Berkeley Tenant Convention in 2022. To vote, residents had to be at least 13 years old. The vote included students, undocumented residents and homeless residents, according to a press release from the convention.
“I believe housing is a human right and our policies should reflect that in the most concrete way possible,” Mizell said. “We must work to increase the accessibility of housing.”
The vote took place after a candidate was removed from the convention slate for allegedly not residing in Berkeley, according to the press release. Mizell joins the list with the four remaining candidates: Negeene Mosaed, Soli Alpert, Ida Martinac and Vanessa Danielle Marrero.
According to Berkeley Tenants’ Union President Paola Laverde, the Berkeley Tenants’ Union has endorsed Mizell, who served as vice chairman of the city’s police accountability board and chair of the task force on reinventing the public safety alongside the rest of the list. Mizell added that he is also a 2022 grad from UC Berkeley.
However, Laverde noted in an email that Mizell is not only qualified because of his positions, but also for his advocacy of tenant-friendly policies.
“What makes him qualified is that he uses these positions as a platform to advocate for progressive policies to improve people’s lives,” Laverde said in the email.
According to Mizell, one of the biggest issues plaguing Berkeley tenants is affordability. He attributed the problem to the city’s “market-based housing system,” which Mizell says is not equipped to meet the needs of city residents.
Alpert, who is running on the slate as outgoing Vice President of the Rent Stabilization Board, added that the instability and unpredictability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation rights have also contributed. to the housing crisis in Berkeley. Alpert noted that the council had made progress but was stalled by city bureaucracy and state law.
“Berkeley is more than a tenant majority — it’s a super-majority,” Alpert said. “Sometimes there’s a culture of not protecting tenants because if they’re not landlords, their interests aren’t critical. I think that’s really a problem.
According to Alpert, the convention slate represents a diverse coalition of organizations, with candidates who have backgrounds in areas such as health care, public education and police reform.
Mizell said in the coming months the list will discuss how to campaign for the November election. He noted that the slate emphasizes meeting members of the Berkeley community.
“Electing us goes way beyond us as a slate,” Mizell said. “It’s about the priorities of ensuring affordable housing for people in this city, making sure people with regular incomes can live here, and making sure that once they have that housing, they are suitable for habitation.”
Kavya Gupta is associate editor. Contact her at [email protected]and follow her on Twitter at @kavyaguptta.