Ben Harper

Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Placement Location:
Oakland, CA
Political Science and Music

Ben Harper is a rising senior from Weaverville, CA double majoring in Political Science and Music. His career interests include developing equitable policies to secure housing and other economic justice for low-income communities. He plans to continue his education by pursuing a law or public policy degree.

Currently, he is an intern at Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office, where he conducts research on homelessness and housing issues in the city and helps to craft policy solutions. Through his research, focused on the decline of Board and Care homes in the Bay Area, he hopes to help stabilize housing for the city’s elderly, mentally ill, and other vulnerable communities. He also helps with public outreach, giving presentations to local organizations and working to get community input on local issues. Ben is also an undergraduate fellow at the Berkeley Center for Politics and Development, where he works with Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus David Collier on research about critical junctures and the history of development in different countries.

This summer, he hopes to learn more about how Bay Area city and regional governments work to develop affordable housing, prevent homelessness, and secure economic justice for their vulnerable communities.