Photo: Courtesy of Nate Wollman
Photo: Courtesy of Nate Wollman

Name: Nate Wollman

Age: 38

Job: Property manager

What office are you are running for? Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner

What is the main reason you are running? I am a renter as well as a property manager, so my perspective is both unique and sympathetic to those who must find and sustain housing with the prices and demand here in the Bay Area.

I am running for rent board because I have the passion to do the following!

Advocate For All Berkeley Tenant’s Rights!
Advocate For Property Owners Rights!
Bring years of real world experience to the Rent Stabilization Board!
Help Families & Students Maintain Quality Housing In Berkeley !
Represent Tenants & Landlords With Fair Consideration For Both Parties!
Establish Transparent Communication!
Less Politics & More Real World Solutions!

Why are you qualified for the position? I have years of experience as a property manager and housing provider. All the regulations that the rent board has set to protect tenants and to encourage sustainable housing are all items which I myself am familiar in my 9-5 job. I am a hard working individual and I believe that having an understanding of how the housing industry works is imperative to being a commissioner. I know this experience will make my position invaluable to the general public and on the rent board. I bring a practical real world experience that is hands on and well developed. I love Berkeley, my community and honor and value what makes this city such a wonderful place.

What sets you apart from other candidates? Many of the competing members of the CALI slate are career political candidates who are vetting for any positions they can get their hands on. They operate under the a broad range of emotionally charged ideals. They define themselves as “”progressive”” as a tactic to align themselves with endorsements.

My opposing candidates lack a background in the housing industry and lack hands on experience managing the day to day needs of tenants in apartments. I bring my perspective as a renter and as a property manager to the table, I understand the issues that tenants face with habitability and increasing rents. I help run the maintenance department at my office as well as the leasing department. I have helped countless numbers of students and numerous families secure housing here in Berkeley. The CALI slate puts a wedge out there calling me pro landlord. I am pro transparency, I seek to represent the interests of both tenants and landlords. It’s not us versus them, it’s about who serves the public the best. I propose the definition of progressive should be a rent board commissioner who can understand the challenges both housing providers and renters endure and serve both equally.

How did you end up in Berkeley? I grew up here in Berkeley, at 1622 Belvedere St. to be exact. I have family in town to this day. I hope to continue the tradition for the next generation!

What are the three biggest challenges Berkeley faces in the near future? 

Berkeley is the small town that has become the biggest little city in the bay area. Lack of Housing is the big issue, lack of affordability is a big issue. The biggest challenge Berkeley faces is the fact that there’s so much red tape and obstacles in getting things done in this town. But that’s not news is it?

There’s a lot of hopeless debate on what’s the best way to get items done, how to make buildings green, how to help the homeless, how to create more housing how to create more jobs, better pay and higher minimum wages. We have politicians who say they want to develop Berkeley’s infrastructure and at the same time are pointing fingers at those who want to build here. We are just now getting more housing built, where was this effort 10-15 years ago? We waited to build and now apartments are in demand and supply is down. The population is going to increase, that means we need to focus on infrastructure. That costs money and that takes time! Spending time on the political nature of implementing these goals puts the projects we need done today down the road 5-10-15 years.

What are your ideas to solve them? 

We need to take a hand on approach to making Berkeley a city that can accommodate the population increase. We can do this in a tactful way that respects green building policies, energy efficient buildings and to allow home owners to put in in law units and expand properties to include good quality additional housing units. Berkeley is historically a very hard place to get things done in, trust this opinion from someone who grew up here. We have a lot of so called progressives that harp on the ideals of making this city more inclusive, more affordable, more accessible to students and low income renters and then go an protest at zoning board meetings about proposed developments. This is not a way to mend this over populated city. It sounds cliche but working together in creative ways is the answer. I can’t give you a nice packaged politically correct answer about solving Berkeley’s problems other than to say that we have to spend less time considering solutions and more time making them happen!

What is your most inspired/unique idea for Berkeley? I think we should take a hint from Japan! Yes that’s right, Japanese micro efficiency apartments are a really great idea. Berkeley would benefit from spaces that provide compact ultra modern and hopefully affordable units!

How will you be accessible to constituents? I’m here by personal meeting, phone, email, text and good old fashion pen and paper letters. Reach out to me and you will get a response. I enjoy meeting my community, you will get a reply if you need me.

How much money do you expect to spend on your campaign? $3,000+

A final thought? Vote Nathan Wollman & Judy Hunt on the FAIR Berkeley Slate this November 8th. The candidates you can trust.

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