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.

Thursday, November 12, 2020 in Vice

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Workers putting down asphalt on road.

U.S. Supreme Court: California's Impact Fees May Violate Takings Clause

A California property owner took El Dorado County to state court after paying a traffic impact fee he felt was exorbitant. He lost in trial court, appellate court, and the California Supreme Court denied review. Then the U.S. Supreme Court acted.

April 18, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Sunset view of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline.

Minneapolis as a Model for Housing Affordability

Through a combination of policies, the city has managed to limit the severity of the nationwide housing crisis.

22 minutes ago - Brown Political Review

Row of yellow Pacers Bikeshare bikes at station in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indy Bikeshare System Turns 10, Expands to E-Bikes

Pacers Bikeshare riders logged over 700,000 rides since the system launched in 2014.

1 hour ago - Indy Today

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-watt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

2 hours ago - Columbus Dispatch

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.