Name: Al Murray
Job: Retired from US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 3
What is the main reason you are running? There are three theme in which I am running for office:
1. Resiliency to implement low to Moderate Housing Strategy for the City of Berkeley. Change the General Plan making housing an Emergency for the City with implementation of all Councilmembers and Developers.
2. Stability of policies and actions for safe neighborhoods and parks, Establish the Climate Action Plan and Fair and Impartial Policing.
3. Ability to do the job and recruit and hire effective City Personnel that are responsive to the needs of their District and the City of Berkeley.
Why are you qualified for the position? I am chair of the Berkeley Personnel Board appointed by Mayor Bates; vice-chair (7/1/2016) commissioner, Fair Campaign Practice Commission and Open Government; commissioner and former chair, Energy Commission (2014-15); commissioner, Commission on Disability — all four by Councilmember Max Anderson.
I am chair and represent the city of Berkeley on the Alameda County Measure A Oversight Committee, which deals with health care, appointed by Mayor Bates. I served and represented the city of Berkeley for two years on the Alameda County Citizen Advisory Committee (2012-14) which deals with transportation, appointed by Councilmember Laurie Capitelli.
What sets you apart from other candidates? I have spent my life as a public servant and understand how all governmental agencies operate and achieve its objectives. In 2001, I was Chief of Staff to a Oakland City Council member representing District 6. I have been an Poll Inspector for Alameda County for 18 years in Oakland and Berkeley. I have worked in various Departments with the State of California for 25 years and retired in 1999. In 1975-76, I was a Special Assistant of Governor Jerry Brown in Community Relations. In 1975, I was a Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies and Planning at CSU, Sonoma. I worked from 2004 to 2014 with the Federal Government in the US Environmental Protection Agency and retired in 2014.
How did you end up in Berkeley? I lived in Oakland and came to Berkeley in 2004 to be 1 of 3 Care Provider for my Father who had numerous health issues and needed 24 hour care. He had been a resident for 50 years. He died in April 2016. Before he died, he encouraged me to run for City Council in an Open Seat because of my various experiences and work on City Commission(s) and Board. The run for public office is my commitment to my father before he passed.
What are the three biggest challenges Berkeley faces in the near future?
1. The crisis with housing and the inability of citizens to afford to live and work in the city.
2. Failure to implement the city’s Climate Action Plan.
3. The city’s failure to address unfunded liabilities, obligations and Employee Pensions.
What are your ideas to solve them?
1. To develop a City Action Plan which will observe open spaces and blighted home(s) with all council members and developers to progressively build and develop a economic range of homes and apartments that are affordable are reasonable to individuals, families, seniors and those with disabilities to live within the city limits.
2. The city has an Climate Action Plan developed. The city must start to implement in stages of the plan progressively and immediately.
3. Any surpluses in the General Fund budget must start immediately to place those funds towards unfunded liabilities. The continuation to pass the financial bucks and not deal will those issues will eventually lead the ruin and bankruptcy.
What is your most inspired/unique idea for Berkeley? My ultimate goal is to win the hearts and minds of the voters in my District asking and being worthy of their vote and support to elect me to represent them on the City Council with accountability.
How will you be accessible to constituents? I am committed to work full time for the citizens of District 3 and the City of Berkeley. My life is a reflection of a Public Servant who is concern and dedication to do the best of my ability to represent and get things done. The citizens deserve results from their elected officials. The only way to prove my ability to do the job is to demonstrate by my actions not promises. I want the voters to hold me accountable not by what I say with empty promises but by what I have done with actions and results for them.
How much money do you expect to spend on your campaign? $20,000
A final thought? I never expected to run for public office. This is the first time I have decided to seek a political position. I have always been supportive of staff. But there comes a time and opportunity whereby you have objectives and goals you feel could be beneficial to the City. I know that I don’t have all the answers and issues. However, I want to serve and be held accountable to the citizens who elect me to do everything that I can to solve problems and come up with solutions to make this a model city for the state and nation.
Website: None provided
See past Berkeleyside coverage related to Al Murray. See complete 2016 election coverage on Berkeleyside.