The debut of evening rain in the Bay marked the debut of Gloria Bruce as executive director of East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). Supporters and the curious, including me, came out to meet her and party with the EBHO staff and board. I could hear them from around the corner, as board members extolled Bruce and the crowd cheered statements for urgent solutions to Bay’s crushing housing crisis. Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf also turned out for the festivities.
Building strong communities starts at home. Bruce thanked her wife and gave a shout out to her two boys as the foundation of home. She also cited her father, a Washington, DC native like Bruce, as inspiration in shaping her stance on advancing cities where people “are not lost.”
Two paths brought me to EBHO. First, its encyclopedic policy director Jeffrey Levin generously helped me in my research for the Zero 2016 campaign to end chronic homelessness in Contra Costa County. Second, in my accidental conversation with him, Representative Mark DeSaulnier referred me to EBHO as a resource for my questions about housing policy and activism.
A party is a place to meet people. Levin introduced me to Rev. Sandhya Jha, EBHO’s director of Interfaith Programs. She encouraged me to attend the upcoming 11th Annual Interfaith Breakfast in Richmond on October 2. After dusting the powdered sugar off my hands (I’d had a few cookies), I grabbed some postcards about the breakfast and went off to make friends with some kids. The housing crisis is a downer, but let’s feel down about it tomorrow. Today, let’s welcome the rain and a new chapter in advocacy for EBHO and its allies.
Before taking the helm at EBHO, Bruce had been on staff since 2010. At the San Francisco Community Foundation, she made grants to support community development. She also chairs the Alameda County Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee.
EBHO’s mission is to preserve, protect and expand affordable housing opportunities. It has been advocating for affordable housing in Alameda and Contra Costa counties for over three decades.