Moms 4 Housing Founders Elected to Office in the East Bay

Two leaders of Moms 4 Housing, which has grown to a national housing movement, have been elected to office in Oakland and Berkeley.

2 minute read

November 17, 2020, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Moms 4 Housing

Dominique Walker in January 2020, shortly after being evicted from a West Oakland home. | Denisha DeLane / Shutterstock

The November election further amplified the success of Moms 4 Housing in raising awareness about the housing crisis facing many cities—the nascent housing movement has propelled two founding members of the organization to elected positions in the cities of Oakland and Berkeley in the East San Francisco Bay Area.

The background on this story should be familiar—a group of homeless families occupied vacant homes in the city of Oakland in 2019 until they were forcibly evicted by the police. Since then, the act of occupying vacant homes has become a model for advocates in cities like Philadelphia and Los Angeles, achieving unprecedented political wins in the process. Moms 4 Housing has been able to convince the owners of the property to sell to a community land trust, and now the organization is setting up a headquarters on the property, according to an article by Emma Ockerman.

Moreover, on November 3, two of the leaders of Mom 4 Housing, recently unhoused and evicted, won local elections, according to Ockerman.

"Carrol Fife, a founding member of Moms 4 Housing who won her race for an Oakland City Council seat," writes Ockerman. Dominique Walker, another of the mothers evicted by the police that day in January 2020, also won an election for a seat on the Berkeley Rent Board.

"What Moms 4 Housing has accomplished—and the risks the women were willing to take to get there—built upon a growing tenants’ rights campaign that’s been in the works for years, driven by community organizers and renters nationwide," writes Ockerman. "Their rare, high-profile occupation also echoed the coordinated 'takeovers' of abandoned government properties that homeless people carried out in cities including Oakland, Philadelphia, and Detroit in 1990."

The source article includes more information on the community organizing efforts that built up around Moms 4 Housing to propel Fife and Walker to their victories in the election, and the growing right to housing movement spreading the work of Moms 4 Housing to other cities in the United States.

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