Thomas Lord (Berkeley, CA)

music 1

social housing

policy analysis (old stuff)

Please consider voting for these candidates as your top two choices in this ranked-choice system:

Dominique Walker, Mari Mendonca

From my perspective, those two women are unmatched as community activists with a sophisticated understanding of present reality. Ms. Walker you may have heard of because of her co-leadership of the Moms For Housing group that made international news by militantly winning housing for unhoused moms and their children in Oakland and Berkeley. Ms. Mendonca is my treasured colleague on the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission and is well known and appreciated for her work with Friends of Adeline.

Perhaps what I like about both candidates the most is that while they each have a very clear, sophisticated concept of the issues and urgency of our time, neither of them are caught up in the echo chamber of party politics that seems to dominate Berkeley. We need more candidates like this for every legislative seat in Berkeley.


(Note from February, 2021. I’m leaving this here but the draft linked here has some embarassingly bad passages in it. The larger work it is meant to be a part of has evolved a lots since this. Sharing this early draft got me some very helpful feedback that gave me confidence to keep going and fix problems I did indeed see myself. So… wait till you see where this wound up. :-)


Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot

Once, when he was 13, Kimmy woke up on Baker Beach, shivering, half naked under a dirty flimsy blanket in the San Francisco fog, his jeans rolled up under his head, his eyes stinging of salt, the first pale hints of sunrise warming the sky somewhere beyond the Marin headlands.

He’d ditched the north country after his father tried to kill his dog. As he fled, he’d had the sense to avoid the roads, hiked through patches of woods to the train tracks. Some older boys who’d passed through town, panhandling in beaten up leather jackets and torn jeans, full of flop-down grinning grace, possessed of a quiet animal quickness – they’d told him about the tracks. They’d told him which direction to hike to the siding and how to hop a boxcar to Oakland. He hoped they were telling the truth and they were.