Wayne Hsiung is the spitting image of the media’s portrayal of Berkeley citizens. A vegan animal rights activist with a record of fighting against injustice, Hsiung has an impressive ability to unite people. He has accumulated hundreds of volunteers to promote his message, and his trademark campaign strategy is to travel around neighborhoods and talk with voters face to face.
Hsiung’s innate ability to bring people together has served him well in his campaign. However, what’s even better than the hundreds of volunteers committed to his policies and beliefs is that Hsiung has the most experience in fighting for equity and justice, out of all the mayoral candidates. In 2016 he went undercover to a wet market in China to report on the abuse of dogs in the meat industry. He was discovered, and as retribution brutalized by dog meat traders. He escaped with his life and a small dog named Oliver. He is passionate and persistent in his beliefs, an unfaltering stone in the face of malfeasance.
Another key issue Hsiung focuses on is securing the Green New Deal in Berkeley. Climate change is a scary reality many politicians choose to ignore, as they won’t be alive long enough to face the repercussions of their actions. Hsiung’s plan for introducing policies that reduce global warming includes inducing an “ultra-millionaire” tax in order to gather the funds needed to implement power saving technologies into every Berkeley residence. This is more than can be said for a lot of people in power, and it’s an exciting glimpse into the future of the city of Berkeley.
Police reform is one of the most sought after changes in Berkeley politics. Hsiung wants to rectify flaws in the Berkeley Police Department. One way he thinks this would be possible would be to shift $20 million of public funding from police to education, housing stability, and health insurance. In addition, in order to increase police accountability, Hsiung plans to replace the measure of competence for police officers from the number of citations written against them to a rating on a sliding scale of how safe citizens felt during police interactions.
All of this is not to say that Hsiung has no flaws. He stated that in 2019 he faced charges of up to 80 years in prison for slaughterhouse rescues taking place in California, Utah, and North Carolina. This proves the lengths he will go to in order to advocate for and act on his values. However, many other voters find it hard to look past his problematic past, sometimes understandably so. In the end, however, it is important to remember that it’s our responsibility to choose the most passionate, qualified candidate to take care of our city, and in this election, that candidate is Wayne Hsiung.
With the election approaching soon, getting your ballot out and casting your vote for Wayne Hsiung is more important than ever. A vote for Hsiung is a vote for effective police reform, animal rights, housing protection, and accessible healthcare. Although it may not feel like it, one vote is all it takes to initiate change within our city and our country, so please remember to show up and vote!