Berta Bio Web
Berta Hernandez has a lifetime of experience organizing people to fight for their rights at the local, state, national, and international levels. She is a leading member of the Left Party—an international socialist organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area—who is a candidate for District 11 Supervisor in San Francisco this November. She is also a dedicated public health worker and an unapologetic advocate for immigrants’ rights. Berta cannot be bought; she has no interest in doing politics for her own personal gain. She has demonstrated that she will stand for what is right without hesitation or concern for upsetting the establishment. Her independent, persistent, and uncompromising work alongside and
on behalf of workers and the oppressed and her campaign to become the first socialist member of the Board of Supervisors demonstrate a unique and profound understanding of the way that our struggles in District 11 are intricately bound with the problems of global capitalism. Even more importantly, she will be truly accountable to the workers and most vulnerable residents of our district and will put forward bold and achievable solutions rooted in out communities’ wisdom and power.
Berta came to San Francisco from Mexico in 1987 in flight from the P.R.I. goons who sought to do her harm for her campaign work against the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant. As an undocumented worker, she made tacos, waited tables, cleaned houses, took care of children, and recycled cardboard in order to survive. Since receiving her papers two decades ago, she has worked in the non-profit sector—notably at Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Real Alternatives Program, and San Francisco Suicide Prevention in San Francisco, and at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland—to provide health education and youth and family services to San Francisco’s most disfranchised communities, all while raising a family and witnessing first-hand all of the changes gentrification has wrought in the Bay Area.
Berta briefly worked at the San Francisco AIDS foundation in the early 1990s. Shortly after becoming employed there, she became a member of its Board of Directors, only to resign in protest of the Board’s attacks against Foundation employees for “daring” to try to form a union to look after their interests as workers as well as those impacted by the epidemic. Berta has supported workers in other labor struggles, like the Mi Pueblo workers during their organizingcampaign. She also campaigned against the last wave of I-9 “silent raides” in the Bay Area.
Here in San Francisco, Berta has campaigned to build an independent political alternative to the Democratic and Republican Parties by supporting independent candidates from socialist organizations, and other independent, left electoral movements since the mid-1990s. She also participated in campaigns for local ballot initiatives to undermine the power of the Democratic Party political machine, including Reparations for Bay View Hunters Point, Voting Rights for Non-Citizens, and Voting Rights for Non-Citizen Parents within SFUSD for elections for school board.
Help us to elect the first socialist Supervisor of San Francisco.
Know your candidate. What are her takes on the issues?
- Building a party of workers and the oppressed to represent their interests against the twin parties of North American imperialism—the Democrats and Republicans.
- Solidarity with the struggles of the workers and the oppressed at home and abroad.
- Declaring a housing emergency in order to make all evictions illegal, to freeze and roll back outrageous rents, and to legalize homeless encampments.
- Levying a heavy progressive tax on downtown big businesses and real estate transactions to pay for public services and to anchor San Francisco’s communities of workers and people of color who are vulnerable to displacement.
- Re-assessing all downtown properties for the benefits they receive from city services and increasing their taxes accordingly.
- Guaranteeing full access to free healthcare for all.
- Free and safe abortions on demand for all women.
- Full access for all to free education from preschool through university in autonomous, state-funded institutions.
- Teaching children about sex and sexuality—including about birth control and family planning—in schools with or without parental consent.
- Legalizing all drugs and providing a full range of reflexive, individualized treatment programs available on demand for addicts and their families paid for by progressive taxation.
- Disarming the Police and Sheriff’s department, disbanding these departments, and making administration of justice the responsibility of elected community representatives subject to immediate recall by their constituents.
- Developing alternatives to the polluting fossil fuel based energy sources we use now for our homes and transportation systems.
- Guaranteeing full domestic and civil rights for the LGBTQ community.
- An unconditional amnesty for all undocumented immigrants.
- Reparations to Native Americans for the expropriation of their land and to African-Americans for slavery.
- Political dependence of the working class on the big-business parties of the Democrats and Republicans.
- U.S. imperialist interventions everywhere.
- The displacement of San Francisco’s working class residents from their homes to make space for the wealthy.
- Regressive taxation, from parking tickets and sales tax all the way up to parcel taxes and General Obligation Bonds.
- Increasing homeowners’ property taxes to pay for badly needed infrastructure and repairs.
- Copyrights and trademarks that allow corporations to drive up prices on medications needed by sick people to stay well.
- Privatization of public services, especially education.
- All forms of discrimination, including but not limited to those based on race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and social class.
- The criminal injustice system that incarcerates members of oppressed communities in a system of forced labor and the barbaric, racist death penalty it carries out.
- The Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department and their collaboration with federal agencies like the I.C.E. and the D.E.A. to incarcerate and deport immigrants and people of color.
- Dangerous and dirty non-renewable sources of energy like natural gas, coal, oil, and nuclear fission that poison our land, air, and water.