Gardner Fellow Silverberg Promotes Health Care Rights
Cameron Silverberg is a 2016-17 Gardner Fellow from UC Berkeley.
Cameron learned about the value of public service from his grandfather, Michael Silverberg, who early on fought for civil rights and then later fought for better health care for people suffering from mental illness. Taking up his grandfather’s charge, Cameron has devoted himself to the issue of mental health. The Berkeley City Council appointed Cameron to be a mental health commissioner in 2014. As a commissioner, Cameron lobbied the City Council to put more resources into the city’s Mobile Crisis Team—a group of psychologists sent to help Berkeley residents facing mental health emergencies. He also advocated for a plan to create a transitional outreach team to connect people in crisis to long-term care.
In addition to his work on mental health policy, Cameron interned for Common Cause, an organization founded by John Gardner, and United States Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. At Common Cause, he supported campaigns to increase voter registration and promote greater transparency in government. In Senator Barbara Boxer’s office, both in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles, Cameron focused on health care policy. He supported senior staff by providing research and writing memorandums on issues such as the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. He also aided constituents seeking casework assistance, which often concerned their access to health care.
At UC Berkeley, Cameron founded the Center for Integrative Outreach (CIO), an organization within Berkeley’s student government that works to build coalitions between community service groups on campus. Cameron was awarded the Travers Undergraduate Scholarship in Ethics and Politics and the Cal Alumni Association Leadership Award for his public service and academic record of achievement.
As a Gardner Fellow, Cameron hopes to be placed in a government department or non-profit organization that works to expand access to health care in general and mental health care in particular.