Forum alert: Get to know your 2016 Berkeley candidates

Photo by Melati Citrawireja
Do you know which Berkeley candidates you’ll vote for in November? Photo: Melati Citrawireja

All eyes may be on the U.S. presidential race, but Berkeley’s 2016 election season is also shaping up to be a big one, with electoral battles happening all over the city.

More than 20 people pulled papers to run for five Berkeley City Council seats, including the mayoral spot, held since 2002 by Tom Bates, who will vacate the seat. Voters can expect to see about dozen ballot measures, too.

And that’s not all. Six people filed papers for four Rent Stabilization Board seats, while three others are competing for two School Board positions.

Have an idea for election coverage? Let us know.


Berkeleyside is planning a range of robust election coverage in the coming months, ramping up the work our team has already been doing. At the bottom of this story, learn how to register to vote, and how to find out which council district is yours.

Here’s what you need to know right now: A number of candidate forums have been scheduled, and they’re starting Monday night. (Yes, already!) Scroll down to get up to speed on how you can learn what your candidates are all about. More detailed reporting about all the races is forthcoming.

2016 election events: Mark your calendars

Monday, Sept. 12, 7-9 p.m.
What: Berkeley City Council Districts 2 & 3 forum
Organizer: League of Women Voters Berkeley Albany Emeryville (LWVBAE)
Location: Berkeley Community Media, 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Learn more: Details, registration information (requested due to space constraints)

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7-9 p.m.
What: Berkeley School Board forum (two positions open)
Organizer: LWVBAE
Location: Berkeley Community Media, 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Learn more: Details, registration information (requested due to space constraints)

Northbrae Community Church. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. 
What: Panel discussion, “What Voting Means to Me” (Panelists are members of several local communities that are generally under-represented in the vote. Refreshments will be served.)
Organizer: LWVBAE
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda
Learn more: Details


Monday, Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m.
What: Council Districts 5 & 6 forum
Organizer: LWVBAE
Location: Berkeley Community Media, 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Learn more: Details, registration information (requested due to space constraints)

Live Oak Park Community Center. Photo: City of Berkeley
Live Oak Park Community Center. Photo: City of Berkeley

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
What: 
Council District 5 forum
Organizer: Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association (LOCCNA)
Location: Live Oak Park Fireside Room
Learn more:
Details

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2-5 p.m.
What: 
“Hear all about the 12 local measures and 17 state props” (Moderated by Eleanor Walden with Laura Wells, Green Party, and Gerald Smith. Rent board candidates, school board candidates and others will comment for and against.)
Organizer: Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers
Location: Redwood Gardens Community Room, 2951 Derby St.
Learn more: Gray Panthers website

Sunday, Sept. 25, 4-6 p.m.
What: 
Solving homelessness through community and collaboration: A mayoral candidate roundtable
Organizers: The Berkeley Public Library, BOCA (Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action) and Northbrae Community Church
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda
Learn more: Details

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m.
What: 
Mayoral candidate forum (moderated by George Lippman); Candidates include Jesse Arreguín, Laurie Capitelli, Kriss Worthington, Ben Gould, Mike Lee, Stephen Fligo and Berndt Wahl.
Organizer: Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers
Location: North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave.
Learn more: 
Gray Panthers website [For information, call 510-367-1522 or email Margots999@aol.com.]


Emcees Johnson and Kornbluth
Emcees Johnson and Kornbluth

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 5:30-7 p.m. (doors at 5 p.m.)
What:
Berkeley’s 2016 candidate forum (Mayoral and council candidates describe their vision for the future of arts and culture. Moderators are Stephanie Johnson, visual artist, and Josh Kornbluth, comedian.)
Organizer: Berkeley Cultural Trust ARTS Forum
Location: Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.
Learn more: 
Details; even more info

Saturday, Sept. 29, 6-9 p.m.
What:
Forum for Peralta Community College trustee, Area 6 (Nick Resnick, Karen Weinstein)
Organizer: LWVBAE and LWV Oakland
Location: Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. to noon
What:
 “Meet the candidates” (meeting and workshop will follow 9:30 a.m. refreshments)
Organizer: Berkeley Property Owners Association
Location: St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., 
Learn more: 
BPOA website

Saturday, Oct. 1, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
What: 
Candidates forum for legislatives offices: U.S. House of Representatives District 13 (Sue Caro (R) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D)); California State Senate District 9 (Nancy Skinner (D) and Sandre R. Swanson (D)); and California State Assembly District 15 (Tony Thurmond (D) and Claire Chiara (R)). The moderator will be Helen Hutchinson, president of LWV California.
Organizer: LWVBAE and LWV Oakland
Location: Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St.
Learn more: Details, registration information (requested due to space constraints)

Monday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.
What: 
Mayoral candidates night
Organizers: Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association (CENA) and the Bateman Neighborhood Association (BNA)
Location: St. John’s Presbyterian Church & Center, 2727 College Ave.
Learn more: 
CENA website and BNA website

Monday, Oct. 3, 7-9 p.m.
What: 
Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board forum (four positions open)
Organizer: LWVBAE
Location: Berkeley Community Media, 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Learn more: Details, registration information (requested due to space constraints)

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6:30-9 p.m.
What: 
Endorsement meeting for City Council, mayor and Rent Board
Organizer: Berkeley Democratic Caucus
Location: South Berkeley Community Church, 1802 Fairview St.
Learn more: Details

Photo by Melati Citrawireja
Berkeley City College. Photo by Melati Citrawireja

Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
What: 
Mayoral candidates night
Organizer: LWVBAE
Location: 
Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St.
Learn more:
Details, registration information (requested)

Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
What: 
Districts 5 & 6 candidates night
Organizer: North East Berkeley Association (NEBA) & Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association (TONA) (co-sponsors)
Location: Thousand Oaks Baptist Church, 1821 Catalina Ave.
Learn more: 
NEBA website, TONA website

Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
What: 
Mayoral candidates night (Jesse Arreguín, Laurie Capitelli, Kris Worthington and Ben Gould)
Organizer: North East Berkeley Association (NEBA) & Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association (TONA) (co-sponsors)
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda
Learn more: 
NEBA website, TONA website

Saturday, Oct. 15, 1-3 p.m.
What: 
Forum for AC Transit and BART director candidates: District 3 (Ken Chew, Worth Freeman, Varun Paul, Rebecca Saltzman) and District 7 (Roland Emerson, Zachary Mallett, Will Roscoe, Lateefah Simon). Also on tap: The pros and cons of the AC Transit Parcel Tax and the BART Bond.
Organizer: LWVBAE and LWV Oakland
Location: Berkeley Chinese Community Church, 2117 Acton St.

Monday, Oct. 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
What: Pros and cons on the ballot measures
Organizers: LWVBAE and the Berkeley Public Library
Location: Berkeley Public Library West Branch, 1125 University Ave.

Monday, Oct. 17, 7-9 p.m.
What: 
Mayoral forum
Organizer: Associated Students of University of California (ASUC), Graduate Assembly, The Daily Californian, The Berkeley Forum
Location: 112 Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley
Learn more: Facebook event page

Thursday, Oct. 20, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
What: Pros and cons on the ballot measures
Organizers: LWVBAE and the Berkeley Public Library
Location: Berkeley Public Library North Branch, 1170 The Alameda

Magnes at night Ira Serkes
Magnes at night. Photo: Ira Serkes

Thursday, Oct. 20, 6:30-8 p.m.
What: 
Civic Connection Event (“JCRC hosting a gathering of elected officials and candidates at the Magnes. There are many critical issues to address, including housing and homelessness, racial justice, gun control and, of course, the upcoming election. Join us for an evening of socializing and relationship building.”)
Organizer: Jewish Community Relations Council
Location: The Magnes Collection, 2121 Allston Way
Learn more:
Details (JCRC website); registration is required

Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
What: Pros and cons on the ballot measures
Organizers: LWVBAE and the Berkeley Public Library
Location: Berkeley Public Library Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, 1901 Russell St.

Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30-8 p.m.
What:
District 3 debate-­style forum with the four candidates
Organizer: Lorin Business Association (Moderators will be Mildred Howard and Jess McCarter)
Location: Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave.
Learn more: 
NEBA website

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
What: Pros and cons on the ballot measures
Organizers: LWVBAE and the Berkeley Public Library
Location: Berkeley Public Library Central Library, 2090 Kittredge St.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
What: 
Ballot Measure Forum (T-1, $100M infrastructure and facilities bond; competing measures U-1 and DD, business license tax increase on rental units; X-1, public financing of campaigns)
Organizer: North East Berkeley Association (NEBA)
Location: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda
Learn more: 
NEBA website

Saturday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What: Discussion of California ballot issues
Organizer: Berkeley Organizing Congregations For Action (CBSOR – Social Justice Committee) with the LWVBAE
Location: Church by the Side of the Road, 2108 Russell St.
Learn more: Event flier

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 12:15-1:20 p.m.
What: “Help with the Monster Ballot” (“Come on down or visit our website www. lwvbae.org for both pro-con discussions and our recommendations on the ballot measures.”)
Organizer: Co-sponsored by the BCC Associated Students and the League of Women Voters
Location: Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St. (Open to the public, wheelchair access.)
Learn more: More details

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7:30-9 p.m.
What: BNC Berkeley Mayoral Forum: Three candidates for mayor (Laurie Capitelli, Jesse Arreguín and Kriss Worthington) with KTVU moderator Alex Savidge discuss “Balancing Preservation and Growth: Development and Our Neighborhoods”
Organizer: Berkeley Neighborhoods Council
Location: Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., Berkeley
Learn more: More details

Other resources

If you see problems with any of these events, or if you know of others, please let us know. You can register to vote online. The deadline to register to vote in California is Oct. 24.

Berkeleyside does not endorse candidates or measures. We do welcome submissions of op-ed articles of 500-800 words. We ask for first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related and local authors are preferred. Please email submissions to the editors.

Berkeleyside’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas is two days of provocative thinking, inspiring speakers, workshops, and a big party — all in downtown Berkeley in October. Read all about it, be part of it. Register on the Uncharted website.