May 23, 2024


Future Depends on What You Do

Remembering Elliot Halpern, warrior for justice, jazz and taxes

Elliot R. Halpern. Courtesy: Loved ones of Elliot Halpern

Elliot R. Halpern, a lifelong activist engaged in civic lifestyle in Berkeley and further than, died on April 15.

He was born in New Orleans on Aug. 17, 1939. He was the third of four young children born to Max and Lee (Libby) Halpern. 

He grew up loving jazz, food and sporting activities. Pursuing his graduation from the Wharton Faculty of Business enterprise in 1962, his family’s material business led him to operating in the garment district in Manhattan. After leaving the garment market, Elliot labored as the Controller for the Thrift Drug division of JC Penney in Pittsburgh. When he came to California, in the 1970s, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to start off an ice cream business enterprise in Mendocino.  Elliot then offered machines for Clinical Units Engineering, Associates. In the early 1990s, Elliot started off and ran his own prosperous tax apply, EH Associates, in Albany, for about 30 yrs. 

Elliot was always included in his children’s schools. He was instrumental in giving assist for the audio plans in the colleges they attended. He was particularly supportive of the Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary University and the Berkeley High College Jazz Band. 

Elliot Halpern (correct) with Mansour Id-Deen of the NAACP. Credit: Emilie Raguso

He and his wife, Linda, savored nearly 35 yrs of marriage. Together they traveled to 5 continents and have been common attendees at jazz festivals through the Bay Area, and the entire world. They each liked household, buddies, jazz, theater, art, textbooks, climbing, poker and traveling. Equally Linda and Elliot ended up group activists, similarly dedicated to obtaining civil rights and social justice for all. Up to his final months of lifestyle, Elliot engaged with community and nationwide political concerns. He served on the boards of the Berkeley NAACP chapter and the area and regional ACLU. He also played a substantial part on numerous committees and commissions in Berkeley, and was very influential in creating law enforcement accountability guidelines.

In 2011, he co-founded the Coalition for a Secure Berkeley to struggle towards racial profiling, political surveillance, police cooperation with ICE, and militaristic packages like Urban Shield. From 2018 on, he was central to the campaign to move and then put into practice a city charter modification, Evaluate II, which replaced the weak Law enforcement Review Fee with a much more potent Police Accountability Board, by way of his co-leadership of the Racism and Criminal Justice Reform group (RCJR).

For a lot of a long time, Elliot worked with the NAACP and other groups to document the normally harsh treatment method of African American civilians by Berkeley law enforcement. In 2020 and 2021, Elliot took aspect in the mayor’s Reasonable and Neutral Policing Task Force, which drafted a pathbreaking set of anti-profiling tips that were being adopted in whole by the city council. Elliot was also intently engaged in do the job with the homeless group, both of those supporting encampments, and advocacy and lobbying with the Mayor’s Homeless Activity Power in 2017.

On April 18, 2023, in recognition of Elliot’s quite a few contributions to developing reasonable and impartial policing and the movement to fully reimagine public security in Berkeley, the Metropolis Council shut their common assembly in his honor and in sorrow for his reduction.

Elliot Halpern at a rally. Courtesy: Rana Halpern

Elliot was a real justice warrior and a loving friend, father, grandfather, uncle and partner. Often dignified, stylish, respectful and handy to other folks — and handsome to the finish — he will be skipped by all who have been lucky enough to know him.

True to sort and type, Elliot manufactured his transition on Tax Working day.  Elliot was predeceased by his brother, Alvin Halpern. He will be cherished in memory by his loving spouse, Linda his sister, Sandra Paillet his brother, Herbert Halpern his daughter, Rana Halpern two stepsons, Chris (Andi) and Jami grandchildren Owen, Dylan, Cameron and Naya and several shut buddies.

His memorial will be held at 11 a.m. on June 2 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington. Contributions in his honor can be built to Youth Spirit ArtWorks