January 29, 2016
Contact: Sophie Hahn


January 29, 2016


 Dedicated Community Leader Running to Represent District 5 on the Berkeley City Council

(Berkeley, CA) – Today, dedicated community leader and Zoning Adjustments Board member Sophie Hahn announced that she will run for Berkeley’s 5th District City Council seat.  A passionate community advocate who grew up in District 5, Sophie has spent her career working to advance Berkeley’s values of equity, opportunity, education and the environment, and to make Berkeley a better place for all.

“I am excited to be running for City Council, and am eager to roll up my sleeves and work full time for Berkeley – a community I have been devoted to my entire life.  I draw great inspiration from the outstanding people of District 5 – and all of Berkeley - who are at the forefront of imagining and creating a better world.  Ensuring that our City continues to build on its excellence will be a central pillar of my campaign.”

Sophie Hahn grew up in District 5 and has raised her three children less than a mile from her childhood home.  She graduated from Berkeley High in one of the first cohorts to attend elementary through High School in Berkeley’s recently integrated schools, launching her lifelong engagement and advocacy by working to desegregate extracurricular activities. 

Sophie served as Chair of the City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women before being appointed to the Zoning Adjustments Board, where she has been a strong and consistent voice for affordable housing, green building and sustainable transit.  As Co-Chair of the 15th California Assembly District Environmental Task Force and an elected member of the Sierra Club Northern Alameda County Group’s Executive Committee, she is deeply involved in local efforts to address climate change and achieve environmental justice.    

“I grew up in this great community, attended Berkeley Public Schools and did my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley.  I checked out books from the North Branch Library and learned to swim at the King Middle School pool.  My father was a WWII refugee who taught history at CAL for 50 years and my mother, a musician, has been active in local organizations throughout her life.  Their dedication to Berkeley inspires me to give back to the community that has provided so much for our family.

“I am proud of Berkeley’s past and will work hard to ensure that our neighborhoods, parks, libraries and schools continue to thrive.  Downtown has started a come-back, thanks to investments by small business owners, arts organizations and restaurateurs.  Supporting these enterprises while improving streetscapes and encouraging new development are key to the Downtown’s continued success.” 

Sophie earned a BA in American History from UC Berkeley and a JD at Stanford Law School.  After practicing law for several years, she went to work for the International Planned Parenthood Federation and studied labor relations and human resources.   As a young mother, Sophie co-founded, grew and eventually sold a small manufacturing and wholesale business with accounts throughout the United States and Canada.  Her experience as a small business owner fuels her commitment to meeting the needs of Berkeley’s small and independent businesses. In the community, she served for many years as President of the King Middle School PTA and Chair of the School Governance Council, and chaired the Public Library Foundation’s North Berkeley Committee, raising funds to renovate Berkeley’s beloved branch libraries.     

“Berkeley is a very special place.  It’s important to elect leaders who really understand and treasure the people, places and institutions that make this a unique and wonderful city.  Embracing new development while preserving our diversity, character and values presents exciting opportunities.  I look forward to addressing these and other issues of importance to District 5 – and to all of Berkeley - on the City Council.”

Sophie can be reached at www.sophiehahn.com


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