Tag Archives: Berkeley City Council

Op-ed: Laurie Capitelli? Progressive leadership?

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— “I renege.” — Laurie Capitelli, May 6, 2014 Berkeley City Council meeting.

— Renege (verb): “to refuse to do something that you promised or agreed to do.” —Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

In campaign mailings Laurie Capitelli is bragging about being “a progressive leader” who “raised the minimum wage to protect working families.” But those of us who were there know the real truth. For Mr. Capitelli to claim credit for minimum wage “leadership” is simply outrageous— and a complete distortion of reality.

Three years ago, citizen activists along with the city’s Labor Commission worked with Mr. Capitelli and other council members over a period of many months to fashion a progressive piece of legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to the level of the city’s living wage.

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Op-ed: Why is the Berkeley City Council so right-wing?

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You would think in a left-leaning city like Berkeley – a bastion of free speech and the home of one of the soda tax – that the City Council would be a pretty liberal group. So, it came as a surprise to me to learn that this liberal town has a right-wing City Council.

We’re used to thinking of right-wing politics in terms of social issues – anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-gun, pro-fossil fuels, etc. But this misses the point. The right wing is the business party. In right-wing politics, big business seeks to influence government decisions by backing candidates who will tilt the regulatory and taxation playing field their way. Some of our local council members are pretty clear about this. For example, Susan Wengraf (District 6) said, in effect, at a candidates’ forum that “what’s good for business is good for Berkeley.” A more effective approach, taken by Laurie Capitelli, is to find a wedge issue to distract ordinary voters from the favors that are being granted to big campaign contributors. … Continue reading »

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Real-estate interests spend $92K to help elect candidates

Mayoral candidates Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín butted heads Tuesday night over the minimum wage proposal. Photos: Mark Coplan
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The political action committee of the National Association of Realtors has poured $92,486 into the Berkeley election in recent weeks, with almost two-thirds of that going to support Laurie Capitelli in his race for mayor.

The realtors spent $60,382 to send out flyers in support of Capitelli, whose main challengers are fellow City Councilmen Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington. Those two are running in tandem and are encouraging voters to rank them first and second on Berkeley’s rank-choice ballot in a bid to defeat Capitelli.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

(Berkeleyside reported on Oct. 12 that the realtors had spent $36,342 in support of Capitelli’s campaign, but the group has since filed additional documentation.)

The National Association of Realtors Fund is considered an independent expenditure, which means the organization does not coordinate with the candidates’ campaigns. These groups are not restrained by Berkeley’s $250 limit for individuals.

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Op-ed: It’s not about the politics of the ’70s — it’s about the future of Berkeley

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I’m pretty much known as a political middle-of-the-roader, so it didn’t really surprise me when people began asking me Why have I gone to the ‘other side’ in supporting Jesse Arreguín for Mayor instead of Laurie Capitelli and am co-hosting with Former Mayor Gus Newport, a fund raiser for Jesse Arreguin featuring Danny Glover this Saturday, October 15th? Here’s my answer.

The old days of “moderates” vs “radicals” (or whatever terms you want to use) are over. That page has … Continue reading »

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Politics

Election 2016 Berkeley: Spotlight on the mayor’s race

Berkeley mayoral candidates. Photos: Courtesy
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Berkeleyside wants to help you get to know your 2016 candidates for Berkeley mayor, City Council, School Board and Rent Board. This week, we are publishing questionnaires with the candidates daily at 11 a.m.

We’ll also have stories on all the key Berkeley races and initiatives on the ballot, and hope to help readers make informed decisions about the potential leaders and policies that could help shape Berkeley’s future.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

Q&As with five of the eight candidates vying for the mayor’s seat follow (three others did not submit responses). We asked candidates why they were running, what sets them apart, what the city’s biggest challenges are and how they hope to solve them. Learn what each candidate thinks is his most inspired idea, and how each candidate plans to be accountable and accessible to constituents. Each questionnaire includes complete campaign info, including social media pages, to help readers connect.

There’s also a PDF grid to help readers compare responses side by side. The deadline to register to vote in Alameda County for the Nov. 8 election is Monday, Oct. 24. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Jesse Arreguín?

Jesse Arreguin. Photo: Courtesy of Jesse Arreguin
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Name: Jesse Arreguín

Age: 32

Job: Berkeley City Councilmember

What office are you are running for? Berkeley Mayor

What is the main reason you are running? I am running for Mayor to make Berkeley work for everyone and restore Berkeley to the forefront of progressive leadership on the environment and social justice. This election comes at a critical time for the future of Berkeley and the Bay Area. While our region is experiencing greater economic prosperity, the benefits are not being shared by all, and we are seeing greater disparities and displacement of residents. Berkeley is at a crossroads. Will our city move forward on the path of equity and inclusiveness, or will we see more of our neighbors pushed out due to rising housing costs?
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Election 2016: Who is Laurie Capitelli?

Photo: Courtesy of Laurie Capitelli
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Name: Laurie Capitelli

Age:  70

Job: Berkeley City Councilmember

What office are you are running for? Berkeley Mayor

What is the main reason you are running? Berkeley is a wonderful and exciting community. We also face many challenges. I want to work with my fellow citizens to address those challenges. For over 40 years I have worked collaboratively with members of my community addressing issues involving affordable housing, our schools, our homeless, our small business community, public health, minimum wage and labor protections, transportation, our deteriorating infrastructure and city finances. I want to continue those efforts. I am uniquely qualified to provide the leadership Berkeley needs to address the challenges we face. I want to unify our community and find the common ground we can all share.

Why are you qualified for the position? I know my community. I have raised my children here. I have worked with parents, neighborhood groups, small business owners and employees, educators, housing providers, the medical community…virtually every group of stakeholders in our town. People who have worked with me trust me and have confidence that I will seek consensus and common ground so we can move forward. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Ben Gould?

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Gould
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Name: Ben Gould

Age: 24

Job: Graduate student

What office are you are running for? Mayor

What is the main reason you are running? Berkeley values equal access to opportunity, diversity of thought, and leadership in social justice and sustainability. However, the growing housing affordability crisis, our crumbling parks and infrastructure, and a changing climate threaten our ability to realize these values.

I’m running for Mayor because I believe we need new ideas and new leadership on City Council to really tackle these challenges. As a Berkeley native and a Cal graduate student in Public Policy and Environmental Engineering, I bring a unique skillset and background to City Council to take the lead on addressing these issues.

Why are you qualified for the position? I bring a unique perspective to City Council and a breadth of real-world experience, including five years of nonprofit leadership experience, engineering expertise, and a policy analysis skillset.

I currently serve as Chair of the City of Berkeley’s Community Advisory Commission. Previously, I served on the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly (GA), where I was on the Budget Committee and The Green Initiative Fund, overseeing a collective $1 million in student fees. In the GA, I helped to write resolutions to address the housing shortage, and called for ensuring transgender students got full insurance coverage for necessary surgeries (it was successful). … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Kriss Worthington?

Photo: Courtesy of Kriss Worthington
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Name: Kriss Worthington

Age: 62

Job: City Council member District 7

What office are you are running for? Mayor

What is the main reason you are running? I am encouraging my supporters to use Ranked Choice Voting to vote for both me and Council Member Jesse Arreguin. We differ stylistically and politically, but he has demonstrated immense skills at bringing people together and bridging political divides.

Capitelli sounds nice, but makes frightening claims that we need to cut $14,000,000 per year for 30 years to cover unfunded pensions . His calculations do not properly factor in that we have nearly a billion dollars invested through CalPERS. I strongly support increased funds for unfunded liabilities, but his repeated distortions of budget, and other, information is scary.

Why are you qualified for the position? I am qualified for the position because I negotiated hundreds of compromises to move forward both common sense practical reforms and trailblazing policies. My office empowered interns to write about 2000 Council items, which mostly won. For many years, my appointees include the most Asian and Pacific Islander, the most African American, and the most Latina/o Commissioners. Together we increased inclusion by actively reaching out to neglected or disrespected communities including the South and West Berkeley, Veterans, Disabled, Seniors, LGBT and Jewish communities. I appointed the most student commissioners, and championed successful zoning changes to build thousands more beds of student housing close to campus. I spearheaded numerous policies on Fiscal Responsibility, Public Safety, Technological Innovation, and created Quarterly Work Sessions on Economic Development. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Guy ‘Mike’ Lee?

Guy "Mike" Lee
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Name: Guy “Mike” Lee

Age: 61

Job: Retired building trades

What office are you are running for? Mayor

What is the main reason you are running? The City is seriously out of control. It is non-responsive to the needs of the community. Finding it acceptable not to answer e-mails or phone calls. Words and no action. It is fiscally irresponsible. $1,000,000,000 debt and climbing. Escalating crime rate and rent threatens our children’s and grand children’s future.

Why are you qualified for the position? I am committed to including the community in all phases of crafting public policy through the use of neighborhood assemblies.As a steward of public revenue I bring solid financial management tools resulting in financial stability. I will not be simply content to talk about problems but solve them. My solutions will be result orientated. Putting words into action.

What sets you apart from other candidates? My opponents want to talk things to death. Propose things which are unrealistic but sound good. I’m not going to talk about problems I’m going to solve them. I take pride in being the solution.

Accountability. I will insist that the community hold me accountable for all my actions. The means to do that will be an open door policy. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016 Berkeley: Spotlight on District 5, District 6

Appearing in ballot order, top row from left, District 6 candidates: Susan Wengraf, Fred Dodsworth, Isabelle Gaston. Bottom row, District 5, from left: Sophie Hahn, Stephen Murphy. Photos: Courtesy
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Berkeleyside wants to help you get to know your 2016 candidates for Berkeley City Council, School Board and Rent Stabilization Board. This week, we plan to publish questionnaires with the candidates daily at 11 a.m.

In coming weeks, we’ll have stories on all the key Berkeley races and initiatives that will be on the ballot, and hope to help readers make informed decisions about the potential leaders and policies that could help shape Berkeley’s future.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

Q&As with the District 5 (North Berkeley) and District 6 (Northeast Berkeley) City Council races follow. We asked candidates why they were running, what sets them apart, what the city’s biggest challenges are and how they hope to solve them. Learn what each candidate thinks is her or his most inspired idea, and how each candidate plans to be accountable and accessible to constituents. Each questionnaire includes complete campaign info, including social media pages, to help readers connect.

Each race also includes a PDF grid to help readers compare responses side by side. The deadline to register to vote in Alameda County for the Nov. 8 election is Monday, Oct. 24. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Stephen Murphy?

Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Murphy (featured only)
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Name: Stephen Murphy

Age: 44

Job: Associate director, Alameda County Family Justice Center

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 5

What is the main reason you are running? I have spent my career dedicated to public service and social justice and I want to build upon my experience and relationships to help my community. As a father of three children under the age of 7, I care a great deal about the quality of life in our neighborhood. I fell in love with Berkeley when I moved here 26 years ago and I want to ensure that Berkeley continues to be a place where everyone has choices for a good life. We must enact new initiatives to ensure that Berkeley is safe, prosperous, and accessible for all.

Why are you qualified for the position? In my professional life, I serve as the Associate Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center. I deal firsthand with serious problems affecting marginalized communities. I have dedicated my life to pursuing social justice and my desire for justice and equity has resonated with voters. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Sophie Hahn?

Courtesy of Sophie Hahn
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Name: Sophie Hahn

Age: 55

Job: Zoning Adjustments Board member; retired small business owner and attorney

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 5

What is the main reason you are running? I am running to represent the people and neighborhoods of Berkeley, and ensure that as we grow and change, we protect and amplify the things that make Berkeley a uniquely wonderful place to live, work, learn and play. With a lifetime of service for our schools, libraries, community and the environment, I will champion equity and forward Berkeley’s great tradition of progressive leadership. Berkeley is facing a crisis of affordability, displacement and homelessness. Addressing this will be my top priority. Endorsed by the Sierra Club, I will continue my work to address climate change and improve Berkeley’s resilience.

Why are you qualified for the position? My qualifications are:
(1) My deep roots in District 5 and close, lifelong relationship with the community I am running to serve; I grew up in District 5, and have raised my family here
(2) My unparalleled record of service to Berkeley’s schools, libraries and to the community
(3) My leadership on the Environment and fighting Climate Change
(4) My education, including graduating from Berkeley High and UC Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa, with Honors) and receiving a JD from Stanford Law School
(5) My public service as a senior member of the City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board and as Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, and as a member of the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District Board
(6) My leadership in the community, serving on Boards including the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, the Sierra Club, the Bancroft Library at CAL and Planned Parenthood; as President of the King PTA and Chair of the Governance Council, and more
(5) My work experience, including practicing law, working for a large international organization (the International Planned Parenthood Federation) and starting, growing and operating a small manufacturing and wholesale business. … Continue reading »

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