Deborah’s Priorities for District 3

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won.


You earn it and win it in every generation”. Coretta Scott King

I fully support forward-thinking, equitable solutions for housing that allows all families to grow and thrive in South Berkeley, our city’s most economically and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. South Berkeley has a powerful history of activism on behalf of the powerless-- and as the D3 representative on the council, I would activate the community to address the growing crisis of displacement, eviction, and homelessness.

I believe the solution is to allow more homes to be built, focused on ensuring truly affordable housing for people with low incomes. And to prevent displacement, we also need homes for everyone who wishes to live in the community. I’ll work for you, and with you, to move our community toward greater inclusivity, affordability, racial justice, and economic justice, and to right the wrongs of Berkeley's historical racial redlining and neighborhood segregation.
A City Budget is a statement of its values, and as your council representative, I vow to apply my values as a business leader -- and as a financially responsible mother -- to how our city government spends our tax dollars. We are a community blessed with resources, but we all know these resources are not evenly distributed in Berkeley.

District 3 is in desperate need of a leader who will demand fiscal responsibility and full accountability that ensures our residents are no longer an afterthought in the budgeting process. We need to make sure we’re spending responsibly while prioritizing those who have the greatest need.

I pledge to hold regular Budget Town Halls with our community to ensure that our budget reflects our needs and values. We must be steadfast in creating equitable budget allocations, transparent reporting, and strict accountability.
Effective policing is a racial and economic justice issue: responsible, community-oriented policing can provide a safe environment for our neighbors while we focus on creating opportunities for a crime-free life. Everyone in low-income communities and communities of color fears a criminal record that would limit their economic and educational opportunities and doubly fear law enforcement agencies that discriminate and criminally profile people of color.

Race and ethnicity should play no role in an officer’s decision of whom to stop, interview, frisk, search, and arrest. We must provide prevention-focused community policing and equity training with the primary goal of working cooperatively with our residents to identify and resolve issues that can affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods through a prevention-based approach. Helping to lift our communities out of this fear requires a primary focus on creating access to opportunities -- through investments in education, jobs, economic development, and in our neighborhood arts, cultural, and civic institutions.

My strong background in business gives me a unique advantage in this area. As a mother, a business leader, and a woman of color, the fight for justice -- for our children, our neighbors, and our people -- has always guided me.
Investment and job growth in any community is a powerful sign of its health and economic vitality. While many neighborhoods in Berkeley have experienced an economic boom in recent years, South Berkeley has lacked the leadership needed to attract new businesses and to support our budding local entrepreneurs.

I will work hard to bring new investments into our community, for both current business owners and those who wish to locate here in our neighborhoods. I will also prioritize the safety of our pedestrians and the beauty of our streets so that South Berkeley can become a more attractive area for businesses and neighbors alike.

Berkeley is a city renowned for its world-class University, its diversity, and super progressive values -- all of which drew me here from my very conservative home town. In fact, as a new resident of Berkeley and a young mother, I had the great fortune of having civil rights leader and south Berkeley pharmacist, William Byron Rumford assist my daughter and I when I needed information and direction with her early childhood illnesses.

As The Honorable William Byron Rumford and so many other Berkeley leaders have demonstrated, our city has a strong commitment to ensuring all our residents are guaranteed the same rights and access to civic engagement and public resources.

As your council member for District 3, I will work to build upon our city’s historic foundation of full and equal rights for all human beings, especially communities of color, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, all immigrants, and anyone who, like me, sought Berkeley as a safe place to call home.


Deborah's Platform Policies for District 3

Housing Platform

Police & Injustice Reform

Climate Action

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