Kim Bergel - Fourth District Questionnaire


What are the two biggest challenges facing the Fourth District and what are your plans to address them?

Lack of mental health services create 60% or more of the social problems in our region. The problems we face with mental health will take every tool we can use and then some. The Governor is working on a program called Care Court which will work directly with folks who have grave mental health issues and have been unwilling to accept help. The County recently began a pilot program for Laura's Law which also works with grave mental and emotional health issues adding another asset to our toolbox. Inventorying our current mental health programs to see what is working and what is not will be important. We can then let go of programs that aren't working or overlap and build up our successful programs. Evaluating Sempervirens for potential improvement and expansion of services will be another important piece of the puzzle. Mental health is a complex issue which will require many different approaches in order to address the various component issues. Covid has exacerbated these problems and we are at a critical time to make change. A healthy community lifts each other up. It will take all of us working together to create and live the change we want to see, particularly in addressing the mental health crisis.

Housing is another big challenge for our community. We as a state have not been able to maintain the opportunities for the housing we need and now we are in a jam. Maslow's hierarchy of needs- food, shelter, sleep, personal security, employment and health are critical to our existence as individuals and communities. We need to be able to provide these needs for all of Humboldt. We need to look at what's been working in other counties facing the same issues, and see what has not been working. We need to take into account how low income housing within the city of Eureka has been successfully addressed and expand upon the model for the rest of the county. We need to ascertain what county land is appropriate for housing and develop appropriately. In the city we have found out-of-the-box solutions for housing by converting parking lots, shipping containers, and trailers into livable spaces both temporary and permanent. One frequently talked about idea is to build tiny house villages. We need to streamline permitting and make it easier for people to build housing in the county, from affordable workforce housing plus to housing for professionals who will be coming our way. We need housing for the coming influx of students for our now Cal Poly Humboldt. And we need to find ways to develop housing which does not change the rural character of our county and which does not negatively impact traffic. This is why any and all solutions have to involve input from various perspectives and communities of interest.

I believe that I am specially suited to listen and find possibilities for consensus. Government should be as much a facilitator as a regulator. And it can only do this by bringing everyone into the process. I am accessible and available for such input in my present capacity on the Eureka City Council, and will be as Fourth District Supervisor.

What is the county government's largest flaw in responding to residents' needs and how do you plan to fix it?

Availability of information and engagement. What we see in the media shift or on social media shifts our perspective and leaves much room for error. Pride and ownership from residents makes our region a better place. We must do better at making opportunities to get involved as well as sharing as much information as we can in a consistent message so that folks can better understand what the needs are and how they can be a part of the solution.

Why are you the right person to represent the Fourth District for the next four years?

I believe my body of work and dedication to our region speaks for itself. I have been accessible, fair, proactive and most importantly passionate in making decisions that benefit our community as a whole. I show up, I'm out in the trenches, I listen and am easily accessible. I am passionate about a better Humboldt.

Age: 56

City/town of residence: Eureka

Where did you grow up? Eureka

How long have you lived in Humboldt County? My whole life, sans maybe a year and a half.

Can you please provide a brief education history? Associate of Art Degree with a focus on social work and addiction studies.

Can you please provide a brief work history? Retail, Stay at Home Mom, Education, City Council

What is your current occupation? Instructional Aide EHS (Lifeskills 2 )Day job

Eureka City Council memberWard 5

What do you consider the three most important endorsements you have received to date in your campaign for county supervisor? My endorsements, with the exception of NUHW, are from regular folks in the community. I believe all of them to be important

Now, a few questions to give voters a taste of your personality:

What is your favorite movie? I <3 Huckabees

What is your favorite book? Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

What magazine do you read most regularly? Spirituality and Health and gardening magazines

If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be? "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone

Who is your favorite fictional politician? Probably Leslie Knope

Who is your favorite real-life politician? Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton

Dogs or cats? Dogs

What is your favorite hobby? Gardening

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