Hello. Over the years I have been honored to live all over this beautiful city. I moved here in 1992 from my hometown, Stockton, into the dormitory at Holy Names College. I quickly fell in love with Oakland, at the time specifically the hills. After college I moved to the flats and lived thoroughly immersed in Oakland’s art scene by moving into the Vulcan Foundry. I learned what it means to live in community, and built my own artist collective in the original Mothers Cookie factory. After losing the warehouse to real estate speculators, I moved back to the hills in Montclair. After a few years I got an opportunity to rent an old boarding house on Telegraph, downtown, built the Saigon Market Collective and instigated First Friday in front of my house. After ten years there, my partner and I got a house in the Laurel and I’m back where I started and first fell in love with Oakland.
My experiences have shown me the best Oakland has to offer, and just how hard it is for so many. I've always been a renter. I know what it's like to not have rent, or to choose between paying a parking ticket, PG&E or food. I've spent most of my adult life in the building trades and know what it means to blister your hands or breathe in too much sheet rock dust. I feel these experiences give me a point of view not represented on the City Council. These experiences do not overcome my privileged position in this society, but have shaped my perspective and have informed my approach to creating policy.
Like many in our community I lost friends in the "Ghostship" fire. Looking to do something, friends and I formed the Oakland Warehouse Coalition. We wrote and presented to the city council an ordinance to protect warehouse residents from eviction, and went to the warehouses and did safety walkthroughs. We distributed fire alarms and extinguishers. Soon thereafter, an apartment building on San Pablo Ave. burned down. While distributing donations to those who lost their homes in the fire, it was clear there was so much work to do. We pushed the city to bring porta-potties and sanitation stations to homeless encampments. Sadly, I just found out that many haven't been maintained in months. It's a health crisis and it's a moral crisis. I am running to ensure we stop with the half measures and make sure to respond and further act with integrity.
As Chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, I worked to develop new policies that genuinely serve our people. Government is supposed to be a tool that we the people use together, to improve all of our lives. Our whole relationship to government needs to be completely renewed. That relationship determines how we police, the kind of jobs that are available and whether our fellow citizens have to continue to sleep in tents. Unfortunately, politics and petty squabbles are getting in the way of progress. I will hold myself to a high ethical standard and will hold my peers to the same standard. This is a team job and it demands someone who doesn't need to take credit and will actually forego it if it means getting the important work done.
I am asking you to empower me with your vote, your ideas, and your actions. Together we can build an Oakland in which we all can thrive.
Elect Matt Hummel For Oakland City Council District 4!!