Sophie Hahn

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Background

Councilmember Sophie Hahn represents District 5 in Berkeley. She is a non-practicing attorney. She maintains a web site at [1].

Public Life

Political Positions as District 5 council member

In her capacity as Chair of the Health, Life Enrichment & Community Committee, Councilmember Hahn led the drafting of a proposal to allow RV Parking in Residential Neighborhoods.

According to the proposal as of June 30, 2019, Hahn's own street would be exempted from RV parking.

Appointments and other Public Service

  • Member, City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board*
  • Chair, City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women
  • Co-Chair, 15th Assembly District Environmental Task Force*
  • Board, Berkeley Public Library Foundation*
  • Executive Boardmember (Elected), Sierra Club Northern Alameda County*
  • Co-Convener, Berkeley Deep Green Buildings
  • Chair, North Berkeley Committee of the Branch Libraries Capital Campaign
  • Founder, Berkeley Edible Gardens Initiative & Shattuck Gardens Urban Farm/CSA*
  • Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Community Choice Energy Working Group*
  • King Middle School PTA President and Chair, School Governance Council
  • Boardmember, Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo (now PP Nor CAL)
  • Councilmember, Friends of the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley*
  • Advisory Committee, Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life
  • Founding Board Member, M3 Education Foundation (serving young men of color in Berkeley’s middle schools)
  • Spokesperson, UC for California
  • Board, The Body Positive* (addressing body image)
  • Board, ArtUP! Berkeley (increasing opportunities to make and experience art in Berkeley)
  • Executive Board, California Democratic Party Computer & Internet Caucus
  • Board, Step One School
  • Chair, Maybeck Road Association
  • Co-Chair, Women of Stanford Law
  • Stanford Law School Human Rights & Immigration Law Clinics
  • Founding member, EQUALITY NOW! (International Women’s Human Rights)
  • ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, Pro Bono legal work
  • California Rural Legal Assistance, Intern
  • East Palo Alto Community Law Project, Intern
  • Henry Dunant Institute for Humanitarian Law (Red Cross, Geneva), Intern
  • Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR), Crisis Counselor

source

Professional

  • International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region, Senior Staff Member
  • Signia Fine Papers, Founder and Co-CEO, manufacturing and wholesale business selling paper products throughout the US and Canada
  • Shearman & Sterling, Law Firm, Associate Attorney
  • Anne Litwin & Associates, Organization Development Associate

source

Education

  • Berkeley High School, graduate
  • UC Berkeley, BA in History with Honors, High Distinction & Phi Beta Kappa
  • Stanford Law School, JD
  • Rutgers University School of Industrial Relations & Human Resources
  • Emerge California Women Leaders for a Democratic Future, graduate

source


Personal

  • Admitted to the Bar of New York State (Retired)
  • Fluent in French & Spanish

source

Marriage to Eric Bjerkholt

Hahn's husband, Eric Bjerkholt, is CFO of Aimmue Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AIMT) a Brisbane based public company "developing desensitization treatments to help protect people with food allergies by potentially reducing the risk of allergic reactions, making accidental exposures to allergens less dangerous." source.

Bjerkholt is a native of Norway, holds an MBA from Harvard, and has worked in various healthcare-related finance positions since entering the field as an investment banker at JP Morgan. source: Bloomberg.

His compensation from employment in 2018 was $3.9M source. This is 71 times the average income in California, and three times the "one percent" threshold in Alameda County. It is also 52 times the median income in Berkeley.

Bjerkholt also serves on several boards, for which he is also compensated.

Berkeley Real Estate

Councilmember Hahn owns and resides in a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 10 room, 4,465 square foot house on a 7,488 foot lot in her district.

Hahn's home ranks 3,392 out of 3,797 in terms of lot size. The building size ranks 3,777 out of 3,797 residential parcels.

The Pavement Condition Index, as of 2019, for Hahn's street is 69, which is one point below the city's target of 70 ("good") pavement condition. 59% of streets in her district are below this objective.

Assessed Value and Taxation

  • As of June, 2019, Hahn's home has an assessed value of $2,560,009.00. The property was purchased in 2006, for $2,250,000.
  • The market value of the property, according to Zillow, is $3,147,120 (June, 2019). The total tax bill for the property (2019) was $37,419.10.
  • Someone purchasing a home at Hahn's current market value would pay 23% more in ad valorem taxes than Hahn herself.
  • Of the 3,797 residential parcels in District 5 for which taxation records are available, Hahn's tax payment is ranked 3,787, placing her in the top 1% of property tax payers in her district.

How these figures are computed

Property features and assessed values are available from Alameda County Parcel Viewer. source

Latitude and longitude data are publicly available for all Berkeley addresses and can be located in council districts using the geo shape files published by the City of Berkeley. source

Other Real Estate Holdings

Councilmember Hahn and her family own a second home in Occidental, CA (Sonoma County).

The property is on a 15 acre lot, and the house has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and measures 3,700 square feet. The property has both a swimming pool and a hot tub. It was reportedly purchased in 2000 for $275,000. The current (2019) market value estimate is $2,014,074.

Homelessness near Hahn's second home

Sonoma County, which has approximately 500,000 residents, has been steadily reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness from a peak of 4,500 to just under 3,000 in 2019. That is 1/3 the ratio of homeless/residents in Berkeley, which reportedly has 2,000 people experiencing homelessness.

Berkeley, which has 10 square miles of land, has 200 homeless residents / square mile. Sonoma County, with 1,575.85 square miles of land, has just under 2 homeless people / square mile.

None of Sonoma County's homeless services are located in Occidental source: Sonoma County Homeless, where Hahn's second home is located.

Controversies

Soda Tax

Councilmember Hahn has been a vocal proponent of the Soda Tax and healthy food more generally. Her husband, however, received income from his service on the board of privately held Round Table Development, which owns the Round Table Pizza chain and which profits from the sale of the foods Hahn opposes.

Racial Diversity

  • Councilmember Hahn is a vocal proponent of racial diversity. The leadership team at her husband's company is entirely white (as of 2019) and there is little racial diversity in evidence at the other companies on whose boards he serves.
  • Councilmember Cheryl Davila accused Hahn of putting forward a "racist motion" at the October 16, 2018 council meeting.

“[I] actually feel like it is a racist move,” she said after the Hahn motion, which Mayor Jesse Arreguín had seconded. “Because this is the second time it’s being referred somewhere else for a longer period of time. That means it’s going to be a year, or who knows how long, before anything changes.”

“This is annoying but, you know, you guys will do what you want to do and that’s how it will be,” Davila said.

Hahn said her motion had not been to delay action on the signage but, rather, “for it to get done.” She said racism played no role and apologized if she had been unclear.

“I do not think that it is appropriate for there to be an insinuation that I would make a racist motion,” Hahn said. “I’m shocked to have that kind of accusation leveled. Especially, quite frankly, when it’s based on a misunderstanding of the motion that I made. So I personally would like an apology for that.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Davila said.

source: Berkeleyside