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Sunday, September 19, 2021

City Council Special Election 2021: Courtney Welch

  City Council Special Election Questionnaire: 
Courtney Welch

November 2nd, Emeryville voters will decide a replacement for Christian Patz who vacated his City Council seat in June.  This special election asks voters to chose between two candidates, Courtney Welch and Charlotte Danielsson-Chang.  We thank these two democratically minded candidates for running for our City Council.  As you review their candidacies, we think you'll agree both are very qualified to serve.  Be sure to also read Charlotte Danielsson-Chang's responses to these questions HERE.

Charlotte's campaign website is HERE

Courtney's campaign website is HERE

Courtney Welch

According to her campaign website, Courtney is Director of Policy and Communications with the Bay Area Community Land Trust, (BACLT) where she and her team help create permanently affordable housing through cooperatively-run land stewardship projects.

1. Briefly explain what your vision for Emeryville is and how you propose to take us there. 

I envision Emeryville as a place for families and community members to live and thrive.  As a parent, I am very aware of issues that are facing working families, as they are issues that I am facing myself.   Affordable housing and homelessness is one of the most important issues facing all of our communities and an issue that I am prioritizing as part of my campaign.  In addition to housing, I am prioritizing working with fellow council members to make fiscally responsible budget decisions as we navigate the pandemic deficit, equitable public transit accessibility, addressing public safety concerns, and working with Emeryville’s small business community to not just bring businesses here but keep them in the city.   My initial action plan includes:  -Increase the city of Emeryville’s participation in the Alameda County Continuum of Care collaborative to work with neighboring cities and community based organizations to craft comprehensive plans to prevent homelessness, quickly re-house individuals already experiencing homelessness, and address homelessness from multiple angles on both a regional and local level.  
-Develop an effective governance relationship with AC Transit directors and staff to advocate for the appropriate level of transit service Emeryville needs which would include consistent transit assessments to allow for timely adjustments to area service.  -Work alongside business owners, community members, and other council members to implement a rebranding campaign for Emeryville to re-establish ourselves as not just a shopping, tourist, and entertainment destination, but also a desirable and successful location for businesses and explore opportunities to diversify the tax base.  This includes researching barriers business owners face when attempting to open businesses in Emeryville and removing those challenges when possible.  -Facilitate a public safety coalition between the police department and residents to develop official neighborhood crime prevention councils and work with law enforcement to increase on-foot beat patrols in known “crime hot spots” in the city. 

2. Do you support Emeryville’s Measure C, the affordable housing bond passed by voters in 2018? 

I absolutely support this measure.  I applaud the voters of Emeryville for passing this measure to build more affordable housing in our city.  I encourage continued community oversight of the $50 million dollars of affordable housing financing that this bond provides our city. 

3. Do you support Emeryville’s Minimum Wage Ordinance? 

I support minimum and prevailing wages for workers. However, I feel it is essential that any conversation about increasing the minimum wage must include a plan on how to address the rising cost of living, especially with regards to housing.  I will always support increases to minimum wages, as our workers deserve to earn a living wage.  In addition, small business owners should be part of the conversation of minimum wages and be given as much support as possible. 

4. Name two areas in which you think Emeryville has done a good job recently. 

Emeryville has done a fantastic job at COVID 19 response, which includes working with eviction moratorium and support for the business community.  We are lucky in Emeryville to have a council that works very well together, which is beneficial to the entire city.  I also think that our council members have also done well at keeping our city financially solvent.  The responsible fiscal decisions made previously have allowed for our city to avoid some of the major financial pitfalls experienced by surrounding communities. 

5. Name two areas in which you think Emeryville has done a bad job recently. 

I believe there should be a more organized effort to engage residents on the west side of Emeryville.  Many west side residents, especially tenants and residents of color feel disconnected and neglected by the city, especially surrounding concerns about public safety and addressing encampments.  As a west side renter and a woman of color, I feel my election can provide us the representation we deserve.  Additionally, Emeryville tends to get left out of the regional and county policy conversations.  Many of the initiatives and funding Emeryville can benefit from, we miss out on simply because we are not at the table.  As someone who is currently representing Emeryville through two county commissions and has worked as the county’s Continuum of Care Specialist for homelessness services, I have both the connections and relationship building skills to facilitate that process, and will be able to easily incorporate Emeryville in those spaces.


  1. She moved here only a few months ago so she could run for council and beef up her political resume.

    1. Agreed. She is a carpetbagger and she doesn't care about Emeryville.