Make Gloria your No. 1 choice for District 10 Supervisor

by Peter Shaw

I met Gloria Berry a month ago as she was walking door to door campaigning in the Dogpatch for San Francisco Supervisor District 10 with Majeid Crawford, a resident of the Fillmore. I struck up a conversation with Gloria and Majeid regarding social justice and environmental justice, how they work together hand in hand and how we can achieve them by electing Gloria on Nov. 6.

Gloria Berry and her grandson visit Brian Rubin and Siena Shaw, their children and niece in Mighty House, the beautiful little home they designed and built. Roomy enough for a family of four, Mighty House will soon be home to Brian and Siena and their children. It has a full kitchen and bath with tub, a sleeping loft and room for another bedroom or study on the main floor.

As a San Franciscan – my father, too, was a native San Franciscan; he graduated from George Washington High School in 1939 – and an artist with a body of work on the San Francisco Peninsula of environmental art and design, the subject of our conversation led me to introduce Gloria and Majeid to my daughter, Siena Shaw sienashaw.com, and how she and her husband, Brian Rubin dimensionstyle.com, have designed and built a passive, environmentally sound “tiny house” they call Mighty House. It is currently parked in a driveway “on wheels,” a trailer in Menlo Park just south of San Francisco.

On Saturday afternoon last weekend, Gloria and I arranged to visit Mighty House and the designers and builders, Siena and Brian, and I took this photo of them in their tiny house with their children and niece and Gloria and her grandson. During our visit, we focused on creating a plan to bring Mighty House to San Francisco for showcasing it as an answer for affordable smart and clean environmentally sound “off-grid” homes for San Francisco communities and California that can be built in San Francisco and become housing for San Franciscans.

Gloria Berry immediately grasped the importance of an environmentally sound and expertly designed and built affordable home as she was introduced to the possibility of homes that can be built now for her community, for Bayview residents. And she was visiting Mighty House and meeting the designers and in this home within weeks of hearing the possibility.

To me, that is the kind of Supervisor the people of every district in San Francisco need representing them. I urge every District 10 voter to make this visionary, Gloria Berry, this wise, courageous and compassionate woman, the No. 1 choice on your November ballot and elect her as our representative on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Housing the homeless is a high priority for Gloria, as are economic and environmental justice. Mighty House can help achieve all those goals.

I urge every District 10 voter to make this visionary, Gloria Berry, this wise, courageous and compassionate woman, the No. 1 choice on your November ballot and elect her as our representative on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

That’s why I am working with her to forward the realization of Mighty House, providing affordable and quality housing for people in need in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point community, an answer to the dire need there for affordable housing and living wage jobs. We can build these homes there and reach an economy of scale so as to provide homes across California.

This is how Mighty House looks from the outside.

Mighty House features what’s called a “passive” design, meaning it powers itself with solar panels and does not require connection to the electricity grid. Passive design is inherently energy efficient, resulting in high quality interior air circulation and, of course, the reduction of carbon from a home that is “off the grid.”

Siena has a Masters of Architecture from the Parson School of Design and was a leader of her class when it entered the Passive Home Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., in 2011. Her team’s entry won the affordable housing category in the competition and was permanently sited and built for a family in D.C. the following year. It is the first passive home in Washington, D.C.

Brian is an architect licensed in New York and California. He recently founded a design-build business based in Santa Cruz, California, and is currently designing contemporary passive homes for clients in Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz.

While Mighty House uses only 8 feet by 24 feet, 192 square feet of land, with state-of-the-art design, it provides efficiency and comfort as a quality living environment. Better yet, the cost to build and live in it is as low as for any home built today. And, as greater numbers are built, the costs go down. Jobs for the community are created commensurate with the number of homes being built.

As California is the leader in the Green Movement globally, Bayview can be the center-point of building and providing passive tiny houses for California.

Housing the homeless is a high priority for Gloria, as are economic and environmental justice. Mighty House can help achieve all those goals.

The architectural design magazine Deep Green in November 2016 published an article that captured Siena and Brian’s vision for Mighty House and affordable eco-sound design and construction for healthy living and respect for our communities and environment. (Not currently online, the article will soon be republished on dimensionstyle.com.) It uses 100 percent non-toxic materials. I believe this tiny house is an economical and environmentally smart alternative to small family housing or a guest house that is off the grid – no electricity bill!

We are all now collaborating as a creative team to elect Gloria Berry our District 10 Supervisor and showcase Mighty House in San Francisco as an answer to many problems being debated in this campaign and close to the hearts of District 10 voters. Gloria believes as I do that this means of providing affordable, comfortable housing is also an effective way to support the community by providing jobs and environmental sustainability as well.

Artist Peter Shaw can be reached at petershawart@icloud.com.

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