Tag Archives: Berkeley City Council election
The race to replace City Councilman Jesse Arreguín formally began Wednesday when Kate Harrison held a press conference in front of old City Hall to announce her candidacy for the District 4 seat. She was surrounded by a group of officials and activists who had helped elect Arreguín to the mayor’s office, a move that ushered in a more liberal City Council.
Arreguín, on his last day as the District 4 City Councilman, introduced Harrison, who has served on the Housing Advisory Commission, the Parks Commission, the Waterfront Commission and is a co-founder of the Berkeley Progressive Alliance.
“Kate is an experienced public policy professional,” said Arreguín. “She is overqualified to be on the Berkeley City Council having worked for (San Francisco) Mayor Art Agnos, having served as a consultant for not just cities but counties and nations. She has a wealth of public administration experience and will hit the ground running as an effective representative for District 4 and for Berkeley.”
Ben Gould, a UC Berkeley graduate student who ran for mayor in the November election, has also said he will run for the District 4 seat and plans to make a formal announcement soon. City Councilwomen Susan Wengraf and Lori Droste have endorsed Gould, who also chairs the Community Environmental Advisory Commission.
Brianna Rogers, a UC Berkeley student who also sits on the Children, Youth and Recreation Commission, had also been thinking about running, but she said Wednesday that she thinks she should focus on finishing college instead of launching a campaign.
The special election to replace Arreguín happens on March 7. … Continue reading »
District 2 voters rejected incumbent Berkeley Councilman Darryl Moore’s bid for re-election and narrowly handed the seat to progressive challenger Cheryl Davila, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, which completed its final vote count Friday.
Davila’s unexpected victory — no incumbent has been defeated in Berkeley since 1997 — contributed to a political shake-up at City Hall, where progressives will now command at least five, and possibly six, votes on the City Council.
Councilwoman-elect Davila took the seat with an overall 51.25% of the vote after the county counted ranked-choice ballots.
“I think the voters said that they want change,” Davila told Berkeleyside early Saturday. “They said we want someone that’s going to speak up for us, look out for us, and be authentic.” … Continue reading »
Developers with projects in the pipeline can expect to be asked to provide more affordable housing and a stronger community benefits package before being approved, Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín said Monday during a far-ranging interview with Berkeleyside.
Now that the self-described progressives have the City Council majority (see below for more details) the “previous approach” to development will change, he said.
“I do think the voters wanted a change,”Arreguín said at PIQ on Shattuck Avenue. “That’s one of the reasons I was elected by such a large margin. One of the issues I heard throughout the city of Berkeley was a concern about the major demographic changes, the changes to the character of the place, long-time businesses being displaced, the scale of development.”
“I think the voters of Berkeley want more equitable, responsible growth,” he said. “That is not to say everything is going to come to a grinding halt. We need to create more housing so, certainly, under my administration, we are going to encourage the construction of transit-oriented development in Berkeley.”
Currently, developers must make 20% of their market-rate units affordable or pay a $34,000 in-lieu fee into the Housing Trust Fund or a combination of those things. (Up from 10% and a $20,000 fee earlier this year.) Arreguín said that the nexus study Berkeley prepared on the amount developers could afford suggested that a 25% rate for affordable housing was feasible and he planned to push for that. However, he insisted he still supports the Downtown Area Plan and has no plans to push to revise it.
“We are not going to have a moratorium on development in Berkeley,” said Arreguín. “Things will still get built in Berkeley, but it’s going to be a very different dynamic. I know builders are concerned that we are going to undo the Downtown Plan, that things are going to come to a halt. That’s not the case at all.” … Continue reading »
Update, Monday, Nov. 14, 5:43 p.m. Cheryl Davila has increased her lead in City Council District 2, from 50.77% Friday to 50.82% Monday. Nearly 100 votes now separate her from incumbent Darryl Moore after Nanci Armstrong-Temple’s votes were allocated to each candidate. The Registrar of Voters continued until today to accept ballots postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 8, but Davila has increased her lead each time votes are tallied and the ranked-choice voting algorithm runs.
Since Friday, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters has tallied at least 13,100 more Berkeley ballots. Roughly 53,000 have been tallied total from the city.
Update, 6:15 p.m. After the ranked-choice algorithm ran, District 2 candidate Cheryl Davila’s lead increased slightly, from 50.58% early Wednesday morning to 50.77% on Friday evening, or 2,200 votes to incumbent Darryl Moore’s 2,133. Davila’s lead increased from 42 to 67 votes. In 2012, voters in District 2 cast about 5,800 votes, meaning there could be another 1,400 or so votes still to count in the race, if the past is any indication.
Overall turnout for the county is up 5 points to about 49%. The Registrar of Voters has estimated there are still about 212,000 votes to count in Alameda County, with about 437,000 already counted. Overall turnout would end up around 73% if his estimates prove accurate. … Continue reading »
Jesse Arreguín, 32, decisively won the mayorship in yesterday’s election, becoming the first Latino Berkeley mayor.
To close observers of Berkeley’s local politics, the chattering started over the last several weeks of the election. First, Jesse Arreguín won the endorsement of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as the Sierra Club and the Alameda County Democratic Party. Then there was word of thousands of new voter registrations on the UC Berkeley campus.
After 14 years of Mayor Tom Bates and his secure City Council majority, could Councilman Arreguín best Bates’ hand-picked successor, Councilman Laurie Capitelli?
It didn’t take long for the results on Tuesday night to answer that question. When the Alameda County Registrar of Voters produced the first data shortly after 8 p.m., Arreguín already led Capitelli. As long-shot mayoral candidate Ben Gould explained to Berkeleyside, those results, largely from early, mail-in ballots, usually reflect more of the “hill” vote, which Capitelli supporters had hoped to win decisively. … Continue reading »
For updates on the #NotMyPresident protest march that began at UC Berkeley and moved through Oakland, follow Berkeleyside’s tweets.
Wednesday, 1:10 a.m. The vast majority of Berkeley precincts have now been counted and the shape of the local election is largely clear. Jesse Arreguín will be Berkeley’s new mayor, the first Latino to hold the post. Sophie Hahn wins the vacant District 5 seat, Ben Bartlett wins the vacant District 3 seat, and incumbent Susan Wengraf retains her District 6 seat. Incumbent Darryl Moore is in a precarious position in District 2: his 40% of the vote forces him into an instant runoff against second-place challenger Cheryl Davila. A special election will be held early next year to replace Arreguín in District 4.
It seems likely that Berkeley progressives, led by Arreguín, will hold a City Council majority for the first time in years.
The two School Board incumbents, Judy Appel and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, easily won reelection. The so-called CALI slate for the rent board — Christina Murphy, Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Leah Simon-Weisberg, and Igor Tregub — won all four open seats. Incumbent Judy Hunt was narrowly edged by Tregub for the final slot. … Continue reading »
“Nobody knows anything,” said screenwriter William Goldman about Hollywood’s inability to figure out which movies would be hits and which would be flops. The same is true about Berkeley’s local elections. If Berkeleyside were so minded, we could do election punditry until the cows come home. But there’s zero data, or close to zero. There’s no possibility for a Berkeley 538 or Upshot, sifting lots of data sources to give some insight into the election.
What we do know in 2016, however, is that there are an unusual number of open races: for mayor and for two City Council seats. Because of the power of incumbency in local races particularly, open races present a rare chance for the dynamic of city politics to change.
Berkeley’s City Council has had a clear majority supporting Mayor Tom Bates, generally with a 6-3 vote, for years. The three-vote minority, Jesse Arreguín, Kriss Worthington and Max Anderson, is frustrated more often than not.
Follow Berkeleyside’s live election blog, on the site starting around 8pm.
But Bates is retiring. If Councilman Laurie Capitelli, currently representing District 5, wins, the mayor’s vote will largely be a continuation of Bates’ positions. But if Arreguín wins (or, far less likely, Worthington), the mayor’s vote shifts from a Berkeley moderate position to a self-described progressive one. Similarly, if Capitelli’s current District 5 seat is won by Sophie Hahn, a moderate will be swapped for a progressive. If Stephen Murphy wins Capitelli’s seat, the current council majority will be shored up on most votes. Anderson is also retiring: on the stated positions of the four candidates running for the District 3 seat, it is harder to predict who will be a regular moderate or progressive vote. … Continue reading »
Vote-by-mail is increasing in popularity in California. One side effect: ballot drop boxes that are full to bursting. Some Berkeleyans were frustrated this morning when the official ballot drop box outside the Civic Center on Milvia Street was too full to accept their ballot.
Alameda County Registrar of Voters employees Mohammad Naweedyamin and Michelle Lin came by later in the morning to empty the … Continue reading »
When picking out organic produce or enjoying lunch at our neighborhood jewel, West Berkeley Bowl, it’s hard to believe how many people tried to block it from being built, and how very close they came to succeeding. Amazing, and yet true. And it’s just one of the reasons why I am happy to vote again for Darryl Moore for City Council, District 2.
Around 2003 the Yasudas, owners of the original Berkeley Bowl, purchased a long vacant lot in our … Continue reading »
With 12-year District 5 Councilman Laurie Capitelli setting his sights on the mayor’s seat, Sophie Hahn and Stephen Murphy have gone head to head this election season to convince the community who will lead North Berkeley best.
Hahn is a former attorney and small businesswoman who was appointed to the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board more than six years ago by Berkeley Councilman Kriss Worthington. She’s fiercely analytic and is known on the board for her comprehensive feedback. It will be Hahn’s third time running for the District 5 seat, having lost to Capitelli in 2012 with about 46% of the vote, short about 700 ballots.
Murphy, also an attorney, is a family justice advocate with the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which offers help to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Capitelli appointed Murphy to the Planning Commission and also the Commission on the Status of Women (of which Hahn was formerly a member, though they didn’t serve at the same time).
Hahn has a higher profile in the community due to her prior council runs, and her work on the zoning board and other community efforts. Her critics, she notes, have called her obstructionist, which she believes to be a gross mischaracterization. She says she has approved more than 2,500 units of housing during her time on the zoning board.
But she has also voted against or chosen not to support projects that did not meet her standards. In April, as one example, she abstained from a vote on a 107-unit project downtown that had no public speakers in opposition because she felt it should, under the law, have one additional affordable housing unit. (The project was still approved.)
She was also one of the authors, with Councilman Jesse Arreguín, who is running for mayor, of the failed 2014 Measure R campaign, which sought to strengthen regulations around green building and labor. Its critics said it would have halted development because it would have made building in Berkeley too expensive. (Hahn disagrees.) It was rejected by a 74% vote and failed in nearly every precinct. Murphy says he ran the ground campaign to oppose that measure. … Continue reading »
We know you’ll be glued to Berkeleyside’s 2016 Election live blog Tuesday night, and busy sending us your pics and videos from around town, but you may also want to attend a Berkeley watch party to see the results as they come in. Here’s a handy list. If you know of a party we missed, please add it in the comments.
Berkeleyside will live blog about local reactions and the results of all the local races starting at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. You may also find us doing a Facebook Live broadcast. Stay tuned! … Continue reading »
Tuesday night, the Berkeleyside team will be giving you the play by play about local election results, so make sure to visit us often starting at about 8 p.m.
As in past years, we will do a live blog showing all the results as they come in. Some members of our team will be updating the blog, while others will rove the city to collect local reactions.
We definitely want to hear from you throughout election night. Here’s how: (1) Post on our Facebook page. Comment on the outcomes, share photos of your election event and more. (2) Email us at email@example.com. (3) On Twitter, use #berkelex to alert us to your election-related posts, and follow us here.
Know of a great watch party we should visit? Let us know in the comments, or email us.
Still filling out your ballot? Don’t miss these pieces on Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »
Update: Tune in to Berkeleyside’s 2016 live blog tonight, Nov. 8, and see our Election Day photo gallery. Share your election news, photos and videos with us. Details are here. Looking for an election night watch party in Berkeley? Look no further.
Vote-by-mail ballots are here and the Nov. 8, 2016, election is right around the corner. Berkeleyside has been covering the issues for months, and we’ve collected much of our Berkeley election coverage into one place to help readers get informed before they cast their votes. This page will be updated regularly until Election Day, so bookmark it and keep coming back.
In addition to our news coverage, a lively debate has been going on in our opinion pages. Berkeleyside welcomes 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 and questions to the editors.
Tune in Tuesday to the Berkeley elections live blog.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for local voter information, and visit Voter’s Edge to see your Berkeley ballot. If you think this resource is handy, please share it with your networks, through social media and email.
Candidate descriptions below, in italics, reflect the ballot order and ballot designation. All opinion pieces — regardless of author or subject — appear in a separate section near the bottom of this post. The links in the italics intros pull up past Berkeleyside coverage related to the candidates.
Click the following links to jump to the section of interest.
- Candidate forums and side-by-side comparisons
- The mayoral race
- District 2: West Berkeley
- District 3: South Berkeley
- District 5: North Berkeley
- District 6: Northeast Berkeley
- School Board
- Rent Board
- Ballot measures
- Campaign finances
- Opinion pieces
- General information
- Other resources
Now dive on in. … Continue reading »