Deborah Matthews for Berkeley City Council District 3

Meet Deborah Matthews

Candidate for District 3, South Berkeley

Deborah Gets It Done!

A vote for Deborah Matthews is a vote for:

Leadership advancing reforms that will uplift all South Berkeley residents. Build mixed-income housing at the Ashby Bart station. Bring new jobs to our local community, provide training certification for the formerly incarcerated and anyone ready to work for new opportunities and a better wage. I demand all non-profit organizations be held 100% transparent and provide on-going fiscal accountability and measurable goals achieved for funding allocations received from the City of Berkeley. We must re-establish the most effective ways to serve the residents of Berkeley in these changing times.

Experience in creating opportunities for Berkeley entrepreneurs and small, locally owned businesses. Re-established the West Berkeley International Marketplace Community Organization (30 + businesses serving the needs of West Berkeley residents), I championed major clean-up revitalization projects along the San Pablo Corridor to rid the streets, sidewalk, and bus stop of trash and debris making the area safe and enjoyable for all pedestrians and shoppers.

Compassion for South Berkeley residents experiencing disrespect and community disinvestment. I will deliver new housing that will guarantee the first right of refusal for very low and affordable housing to former South Berkeley residents, with an emphasis on addressing and protecting the needs of the African American community who have been denied housing and displaced here in Berkeley.

Vision of a South Berkeley that works for everyone and tackles the tough issues. We must implement immediate reform to systemic racism, social and economic injustice, and the lack of inclusive leadership, with equitable policies and an action plan with goals and timelines that will realize this vision. South Berkeley is the community of historical diversity that gave to the City of Berkeley one of it's most valued national hallmarks, Berkeley, the city of Diversity & Inclusion. However, Berkeley has not lived up to that name by honoring, protecting, and providing for South Berkeley. The community of South Berkeley has experienced disinvestment for more than 50 years. I call for an investment of one-hundred-million dollars in the community of South Berkeley, over the next 10 years to support; education, equitable small business development, homeownership opportunities, infrastructure needs, local job training, and certification programs, along with targeted technological support for our most underserved children. Direct access to broadband internet through collaboration with non-profit housing organizations. Resources and computer tools provided to every student to embrace their brilliance and educational goals. Provide protections to our long-term community elders on fixed incomes with property tax waivers to safeguard them from skyrocketing increases of property tax.

Campaign Endorsers

  • Elaine Brown

    Author and Activist; former Black Panther Party leader; CEO of the nonprofit Oakland & the World Enterprises, launching businesses for ownership by formerly incarcerated and other marginalized people and building 100% affordable housing projects. “I support Deborah for City Council because I know she is dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing for all, a human right, while creating a sustainable economy for the people of South Berkeley and beyond.”

  • Markos Moulitsas

    Founder, Daily Kos News Community Action. "I support Deborah's leadership and acuity for economic inclusion and vitality, housing for everyone, and fiscal responsibility. We deserve a thriving equitable community in South Berkeley".

  • Debra Sanderson

    former Planning Manager, City of Berkeley current Co-Chair, ADU Task Force (East Bay) "I wholeheartedly endorse Deborah Matthews for District 3 Council Member! She is very smart, compassionate, and makes things happen! I've never met anyone who so readily takes initiative to help improve the lives of those in need, especially in South Berkeley. She's a poster-woman for the phrase, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good!" She follows through, committed to some success rather perfection, never being stymied by bureaucracy, politics, or lack of funds. I encourage you and your friends to support Deborah for District 3 Council Member".

  • Teresa Clarke

    Affordable Housing Developer & Co-Founder South Berkeley Now! , Deborah is passionate in her dedication to south Berkeley and we desperately need her leadership on the City Council! She is someone we can trust to follow through with more than just talk. Her advocacy for housing, local businesses, and our community is never-wavering. She served on the Housing Advisory Commission tirelessly advocating for more low-income housing and on the Zoning Adjustments Board working to bring neighbors and developers together in the often contentious hearings. She does not shy away from controversy but handles it with grace and works to bring people together so we can solve real problems. I urge you to support her now!

  • Gigi & Gezu Mengistu

    Owner, LeMat Ethiopian Restaurant, South Berkeley. “We had the pleasure of meeting Deborah when we were first starting our business in South Berkeley. She helped us navigate the city planning process to get our doors open! Deborah embodies a leadership that thinks in terms of we. She is passionate about bringing commerce and business development opportunities to our district so that residents and their families can enjoy and thrive. We credit her spirit of service and leadership for leaving an indelible first impression of the Lorin District and its pro-business atmosphere."

  • January Downey-Reclosado

    Manager, Umphred Furniture, Berkeley. "I would like to acknowledge Deborah's professionalism and tenacity. She is a community leader, Deborah has always been responsive to Berkeley's small businesses and neighborhood needs, thorough and detailed. Her civic experience will be beneficial in helping to solve the issues we face here in Berkeley."

  • Eleanor Moses

    Democratic Political Activist. “I’m delighted to support Deborah Matthews for Berkeley City Council. As someone who’s both served as a member and Chair of the City’s Planning Commission-Deborah brings an unrivaled level of expertise that will be critical as we move forward to find innovative local and regional solutions to the current housing and homelessness crisis."

  • Rochelle Lefkowitz

    President, Pro Media Communications, Berkeley. “Deborah Matthews would be a real gift to Berkeley’s City Council and all of Berkeley. Her experience, vision, listening and strategic skills are just right for right now!"

  • Amir Razavi

    Owner, Middle Eastern Market, Berkeley. "It is vital to support a candidate who has shared values. For me, Deborah Matthews is that person. I am a small business owner in West Berkeley. Deborah offers her thoughtful insight to everyone who works with her. I appreciate her vision, direction and hard work she has offered to improvements for West Berkeley International Market Place. I looked out my store window on a Saturday morning, and there she was leading a Special Community Project Clean-Up Day with a crew of 40 volunteers! The Clean-Up gave WBIM a new sparkle. I thought, "what an amazing woman, she walks her talk!"

  • Ariella Granett

    Architect, Co-Founder South Berkeley Now!. "Deborah serves our community with love, smart leadership, a listening ear and courage to make positive change." Thank you for everything"!

  • Marcia Freedman

    Author, American-Israeli Activist, South Berkely. "As a long-time resident of South Berkeley, I would be proud to have Deborah Matthews represent me. She has a long history of effective leadership in our community and beyond and stands for the values that I hold dear.”

  • Jim Smith

    "I am the Founder of the City of Berkeley's district election process. As a board member of Berkeley Property Owners and the Co-Founder of the past Black Property Owners Association, I endorse Deborah Matthews for Berkeley City Council. She has lived and worked in our city for over 40 years, and she will bring the competence, experience and reliable leader with ethics and integrity that South Berkeley needs. As an 81-year-old resident of Berkeley, my activism has been based on the premise that Berkeley can do better. Berkeley will do better with Deborah Matthews as a Berkeley City Councilmember".

  • Mark Turner

    Educator, Emeryville. "Thank you for fighting for affordable housing for teachers in Berkeley, I was priced out of living in Berkeley. I am proud to support Deborah. I have known her for more than 40 years. She is dependable, kind, honorable, and hardworking. Deborah believes in empowering our youth to become next-generation educated leaders in our communities".

  • Undral Gerelkhuu

    Waiter Service, "Deborah, and I have worked side by side in Berkeley. She has been an inspirational mentor to me. Deborah is a former restaurateur, she has always fought for housing for service workers. Her vision supports family opportunities of living close to where they work, family time management, smart household budgeting, and addressing climate change now! Deborah's leadership is just what we need to help us through these critical times".

  • Dean Moralla-Turner

    Educational Administrator, "Deborah is true to her word. Your vote for her means goodwill for everyone".

  • Vinneta Chand

    South Berkeley Artist, "Deborah has demonstrated through her many years of public service that she understands the needs of Berkeley and values our diversity. She is a refreshing voice for the importance of engaging the community through public art reflecting the history of Berkeley. I support Deborah because her leadership will boost the aesthetic and economic vitality of our community".

  • Linda Schacht

    Emmy award-winning journalist and a lecturer in Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. "I am happy and encouraged to have the opportunity to endorse Deborah Matthews for City Council in Berkeley. Deborah is devoted to her district and to the city of Berkeley. She’s got ideas and the energy to translate them into action. I look forward to the time when we can all count on Deborah’s talents and determination to improve the well-being of Berkeley's citizens and the future of our city".

  • Kathleen Crandall

    Real Estate Broker, "Deborah walks her talk. I am pleased to endorse Deborah Matthews for Berkeley City Council to represent my neighbors and myself in South Berkeley because of her years of commitment and leadership in community and commission work".

  • Zack Wasserman

    Chair, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, protects and enhances San Francisco Bay and encourages the Bay's responsible and productive use for this and future generations. -“I have watched Deborah’s work in the community for years and have worked closely with her as a Board of Director of Elaine Brown’s organization Oakland and The World Enterprises creating housing and helping formally incarcerated people get jobs and run businesses in West Oakland and elsewhere. I know she is someone who can really lead the Berkeley City Council in effective ways to help the homeless, the disenfranchised and make Berkeley a better place for all its citizens.”

  • Susan Wengraf

    The Honorable former Vice Mayor, Berkeley City Councilmember Susan Wengraf, "I have seen Deborah Matthews’ people-centric leadership style firsthand. I have the utmost respect and confidence in Deborah. Her every action is guided by the attributes of honesty, forethought, and higher service. She does not shy away from voicing her beliefs and standing by them. She will be a councilmember that listens and engages”.

  • Steven Donaldson

    former Commissioner City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board, I’ve known Deborah for years and have had the privilege of sitting on the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board with her. She’s thoughtful and a real champion of the South Berkeley community and housing. She would be fantastic on the Berkeley City Council.

  • Matt Lewis

    Matthew Lewis, Affordable Housing Activist and Climate Expert: "South Berkeley is in urgent need of strong leadership that follows through on its promises, and Deborah is just the woman for the job. For too long, this part of the city has been neglected by elected officials who are more interested in pet projects than doing the hard work of addressing the difficult but solvable challenges we face in District 3. Deborah's success as a business leader, and her long history of public service, give me confidence that she'll address our housing crisis, and other pressing issues, starting on day one. My neighbors across D3 and I look forward to having Deborah as our representative on the Berkeley City Council."

  • Randy Shaw

    Author, New York Times bestseller "Generation Priced Out" Attorney and Activist, Randy Shaw is the Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, San Francisco’s leading provider of housing for formerly homeless single adults. highlights the pricing out of a new generation of working and middle-class residents from the nation’s most progressive cities. Shaw offers a roadmap for cities to end exclusionary land use policies and build the infill housing necessary to expand affordability and combat climate change.

  • Dorothy Walker

    Former, Vice-Chancellor, U.C. Berkeley, "Housing of all kinds for people of all incomes is one of the most important issues in our city, and every neighborhood must provide much more housing in order to enable students and those who work here to live here. And every neighborhood needs thriving small businesses to provide for daily needs and to create community gathering places. Deborah Matthews has a long record fighting for more housing and for small businesses and she will be an effective champion for District 3 and all of Berkeley".

  • Libby-Lee-Egan

    Co-Founder, North Berkeley Now! I am supporting Deborah because she is passionate about public service and her views have nuance. She is both aware of the problems in South Berkeley but also celebrates what's good and has a vision for how things can be even better. She would invite revitalization without displacement to her district and I trust her to advocate for her constituents with an eye to citywide equity.

  • Judy Hunt

    City of Berkeley Board of Library Trustees, Deborah Matthews is a long-time housing and community activist. Her leadership skills in South Berkeley are unmatched. She has the courage, competence, ethics, integrity, and intelligence to face challenges with gracious tenacity. She is trustworthy. Vote for the Woman with commitment who gets things done for YOU!

  • Mark Copland

    Former, 2016, Candidate for Berkeley City Council District 3 Mark Copland says, "2020 This is the Year for Women of Color! I am honored to support Deborah's effective reform leadership!"

  • Pastor Anthony L. Gilmore

    Bethel Community Church, of Fairfield, Ca. Deborah's well-known commitment to accountability in government will promote an atmosphere of openness in the Berkeley City government. If you want to see honest people in government, join me in supporting Deborah for Berkeley City Council for South Berkeley

Deborah's Leadership

Deborah has integrity, ethics and skills to lead

Co-Founder, South Berkeley Now! Community Organization
Commissioner, Alameda County Arts Commission
Chair, Zoning Adjustments Board | City of Berkeley
Chair, Housing Commission | City of Berkeley
Vice-Chair, Planning Commission | City of Berkeley
Fundraising Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Development Center
Volunteer, Ashby Village Senior Community

Board Member
President, Berkeley Democratic Club
University of California Berkeley, Wesley House
Merritt College Department of Real Estate
Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Liveable Berkeley
Founder," The Matthews House," Transitional Home for formerly incarcerated
Low-Income housing for formerly incarcerated, Housing Developer,
Oakland & The World Enterprises (non-profit)

Deborah's Accomplishments

Deborah has driven many small business and organization projects city-wide to completion through focused advocacy, commission leadership and targeted community engagement:

Ed Roberts Campus, Adeline Street
Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant, Adeline Street
Sundays at Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple, MLK Jr. Way
Berkeley Congregational Bethel, Oxford Avenue
Citi Sport Fitness Center, San Pablo Avenue
BioFuel Oasis, Sacramento Street
MoJoe's Cafe, Sacramento Street
John Muir Health Facility, San Pablo Avenue
Mable Howard Housing, Alcatraz Avenue
Harper Crossing Senior Housing, Adeline Street
Honda Service Center, Shattuck Avenue
Sacramento Senior Homes, Sacramento Street
Tarea Hall Pittman Library, MLK Jr. Way
Sports Basement South Berkeley, Grant Street
Berkeley Bowl West, Ninth Street
Parker Place Housing, Shattuck Avenue
Higby Apartments, San Pablo Avenue
Margaret Breland Housing, San Pablo Avenue
Lifelong Medical Center, Sixth Street
West Berkeley International Marketplace small businesses (WBIM), San Pablo Avenue

Our campaign is utilizing public financing to ensure every voice is heard and every dollar goes a long way!

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Per Berkeley Public Finance regulations, we cannot accept donations over $50.00 All donations are made directly to Deborah for Berkeley City Council 2020 (FPPC # 1424678). Donations are not tax deductible.

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    Paid for by Deborah Matthews For Berkeley City Council 2020. FPPC # 1424678