Ben Gould, Berkeley mayoral candidate Ben Gould loves Berkeley. Having grown up here and attended the local high school, Ben developed a love and understanding for the city’s unique character and culture of activism. After completing his undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, he returned to work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Now, as a 2nd year dual-degree student pursuing Master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering and in Public Policy, Ben has announced his intention to run for Mayor of the City of Berkeley. Inspired by Nancy Skinner ‘77, M.A. ‘89, and the first and only Cal student elected to the Berkeley City Council, he hopes to inspire more student and youth involvement in local politics and advocate for diverse groups of constituents. He says, “As a Berkeley native, downtown resident, and Cal graduate student involved in various committees at the school and city level, I have seen a very wide spectrum and voices in Berkeley that aren’t being represented or heard.” He adds that the policymaking process often works against disenfranchised communities, including students and the city’s most vulnerable. Ben’s platform addresses streamlining development of affordable and accessible housing on the city’s transit corridors, restoring parks and public infrastructure to save water and energy, and supporting innovation and small business development in downtown Berkeley, while maintaining a commitment to Berkeley’s historic leadership in environmental sustainability and social justice. As an academic, he knows that much of the research and technology to address these issues already exists, and as a policy analyst, he utilizes that research to assess, inform and evaluate policy. He hopes to turn his knowledge, expertise, problem-solving skills, and personal drive into a successful bid for Mayor. Although he wouldn’t rule out a return to graduate school to complete a PhD further down the line, “now,” he says, “the best way that I can serve this community is to do the advocacy and political work to get the most effective policies implemented.” For more information, see Ben Gould’s website.