The Incumbent's Record:

Disappointment and Broken Promises


Elected in a special mail-in-only election with record low turnout, District 4's incumbent councilmember has been a disappointment to our community. Neighbors, first responders, and policy experts agree that she's the wrong choice for our District. Here are a few of the instances where she's been on the wrong side of the issues, broken promises made on the campaign trail, and misled voters about her record:


On the Wrong Side of the Issues

Voted against affordable housing

When a 52-unit project was proposed at 2902 Adeline, just blocks from the Ashby BART station, it would have included 10 affordable units - 4 very-low income, 4 low-income, and 2 moderate-income, while paying $136,000 in fees for affordable housing. However, when it came up for a vote before City Council, the incumbent abstained, allowing the project to fail, and only supporting it once it was reduced to 50 units, with only 9 affordable units, providing only $68,000 for affordable housing.


Failed to support student affordable housing

The incumbent abstained when it came to supporting a letter to the State Legislature supporting Sen. Skinner's bill, SB 1227, to create affordable student housing.


Advocated against streamlining affordable housing

When Councilmember Lori Droste propsoed streamlining affordable housing, the incumbent advocated against the streamlining element.


Appointed commissioners who regularly vote against housing

The incumbent's representantive on the Zoning Board regularly votes against new proposed apartment buildings. In one example, she opposed a building proposed for an empty lot because it would create "too much open space"; in another, she opposed replacing a gas station with a building with merely 6 parking spots, a block from BART, because it would create "too much traffic".


Supported landmarking efforts to prevent new homes from being built near BART

The incumbent's appointed commissioner, Steve Finacom, led the charge to landmark the view from Campanile Way in an effort to prevent new housing from being built in Downtown - twice. When the matter came up before city council, the incumbent voted in support of the landmarking.


Proposed requiring trees on-site prior to renovating or expanding homes

The incumbent wrote legislation that would require property owners to maintain a certain number of trees per parcel, based upon parcel size and number of units.


Advocated for the creation of a homeless tent encampment with "minimum health and safety standards"

As a candidate in 2017, the incumbent pledged to establish a location for an authorized encampment. In November 2017, the councilmember advocated for sanctioned encampments on the dais, and in a recent questionnaire, the incumbent pledged to push for sanctioned encampments with minimum health and safety standards.


Misled the Voters

Inaccurately claimed credit for doubling affordable housing

In an early mailer, the incumbent claimed she was "Doubling the number of affordable units". Obviously, the number of affordable units in Berkeley has not doubled. Presumably, this was intended to refer to policies passed to increase the amount of affordable housing built on-site - but those policies were actually passed back in April 2016, almost a year before the incumbent took office. Other policies passed that adjusted the percentage did not come close to doubling the amount of affordable housing.


Incumbent Councilmember Kate Harrison
The Incumbent Councilmember
"We've been deeply disappointed by [the incumbent]. She has sought to portray herself as progressive and pro-affordable housing, but she has supported policies that make affordable housing much tougher to build, and she has embraced NIMBYs in Berkeley…" - The East Bay Express

A broken promise:

"Bring diverse and younger people onto city commissions "

As of August 2018, 85% of her appointed commissioners were white, with a median age of over 50. The ten shown below are a demographically representative sample of the incumbent's appointed Commissioners, accurately reflecting generation, race, gender, and student status.


Highlights of some of their policies and advocacy have been selected to show why The East Bay Express said the incumbent Councilmember has "sought to portray herself as progressive and pro-affordable housing, but she has… embraced NIMBYs in Berkeley"

Commissioner Carry Olson
Zoning Board member Olson has repeatedly voted against new homes, denying nearly $2 million in funding for the affordable housing trust fund.
Commissioner Steve Finacom
Commissioner Finacom has attempted to illegally landmark the view from Campanile Way - twice - in clear efforts to prevent new homes from being built in Downtown Berkeley.
Commissioner Patrick Sheahan
Commissioner Sheahan serves as the incumbent Councilmember's Alternate Commissioner, with the flexibility to serve on any commission at any time. As Councilmember Davila's regular appointee to the Zoning Adjustments Board, Sheahan is one of the only board members who votes against housing more often than Olson.
Commissioner Mary Kay Lacey
"I am not a NIMBY" - Commissioner Lacey.

Planning Commissioner Lacey has advocated for limiting enrollment at UC Berkeley - a proposal that would deny young people in California opportunities for upward mobility and a high-quality, affordable higher education.
Commissioner Dean Metzger
Commissioner Metzger advocated against student housing on Southside prior to being appointed by Councilmember Harrison.
Comissioner Leah Simon-Weisberg
In a candidate forum in 2016, Commissioner Simon-Weisberg explained she does not believe that supply and demand affect the housing market.
Commissioner Wendy Bloom
Commissioner Bloom serves on the Commission on Labor.
Commissioner Luis Amezcua
Commissioner Amezcua serves on the Housing Advisory Commission.
Commissioner Ana Whitney
Commissioner Whitney is one of only three current students appointed by the incumbent to serve on commissions.
Commissioner Smart
Commissioner Smart serves on the Community Health Commission.