Tag Archives: Berkeley elections

Berkeley’s new mayor, new council members are sworn in

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A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at Berkeley’s Old City Hall Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to watch Jesse Arreguín and three new council members — Cheryl Davila (District 2), Ben Bartlett (District 3) and Sophie Hahn (District 5) — be sworn in to office.

Berkeleyside recorded some of the event using Facebook Live (unfortunately the feed cut out before Ben Bartlett and Sophie Hahn were sworn in, and the quality of the video was fairly poor due to poor internet connectivity at Old City Hall). Watch the video below.

Those in the audience for the event, which lasted about 15 minutes, included former Berkeley mayors Shirley Dean and Gus Newport, current council members Linda Maio, Lori Droste and Kriss Worthington, former councilman Max Anderson, former mayor of Oakland Elihu Harris, and Berkeley acting police chief Andrew Greenwood.

City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley presided over the event and the swearing-in was conducted by City Clerk Mark Numainville. … Continue reading »

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Cheryl Davila defeats Darryl Moore to win City Council seat

Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Davila
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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 »

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Update: Davila expands lead in District 2, next results expected Wednesday

Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Davila
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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 »

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Protests in Berkeley, Oakland over Trump election

A protester holds a "Not my president" sign after Donald Trump was elected Tuesday. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
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Update, 10:45 p.m. About 150 people remain in downtown Oakland on Wednesday night after a huge protest earlier in the evening that included hundreds of people who marched from UC Berkeley to join in.

According to the Oakland Police Department, the crowd grew to 7,000 people after an initial rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza that began with a couple hundred participants at 4:40 p.m.

OPD said its officers initially “facilitated” the march through downtown, but smaller groups would at times splinter off from the crowd to vandalize businesses.

See Berkeleyside tweets from the protest.

According to OPD, “the crowd began assaulting officers” shortly after 8 p.m.: “The assaults included rocks, bottles, fireworks, M-80s, and Molotov cocktails. At this time, it was declared an unlawful assembly and announcements were made. One CS blast device was deployed to the general area of the crowd in attempt to deter the crowd from continuing to assault the officers. Simultaneously, mutual aid was requested from neighboring law enforcement agencies.”

One of those agencies was BPD.

OPD said, as of about 10:30 p.m., there had been multiple arrests and multiple citations in connection with “assaults on officers, vandalism (including looting of businesses, broken windows, graffiti, lighting objects on fire), and failure to disperse.”

One Oakland police officer was injured. OPD said it knew of no injuries to protesters.  Scroll down to see the original story. … Continue reading »

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Photo slideshow: Berkeley High walkout, protest march

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More than 1,000 Berkeley High students walked off campus Wednesday morning and marched to the UC Berkeley campus to protest the result of the U.S. presidential election. The demonstration was peaceful and the police did not get involved. Read our story. Watch live footage and interviews on our Facebook Live coverage.

And click through the slideshow above, using the arrows on either side, to see photographs taken by staffers, contributing photographers, … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s own political earthquake: Arreguín becomes mayor, progressives seize council majority

Jesse Arreguin. Photo: Courtesy of Jesse Arreguin
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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.

Missed the election night action? Read our live blog.

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 »

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Tune in here to Berkeleyside’s 2016 election live blog

Watching election2016 on Sproul Plaza Nov. 8, 2016. Photo: Ted Friedman
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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 »

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News analysis: Who will control Berkeley’s City Council post-election?

Old City Hall. Photo by Melati Citrawireja
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“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.

If you haven’t voted yet, check out our Election Hub, and use the Voters Edge tool!

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 »

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School board candidates back Measure E1, will push for education equality

From left: Abdur Sikder, Judy Appel, Beatriz Leyva-Cutler and Norma Harrison. Photos: Courtesy
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Two incumbents are facing two challengers at the polls today in two lightly contested seats on the Berkeley Unified School District.

 Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, 60, is the executive director of Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement, an organization that aims to provide families with bilingual learning environments. The daughter of an undocumented immigrant, born in San Francisco’s Mission District, Leyva-Cutler has served on the Board for nearly eight years and says that she is the first Latina bilingual woman to hold a seat in 25 years.

Incumbent Judy Appel 51, was Board president in 2015 and has a joint degree from UC Hastings and UC Berkeley in Law and City and Regional Planning. Appel is currently the executive director of the California School-Based Health Alliance.

According to a candidate survey Berkeleyside conducted, Leyva-Cutler and Appel are running a collaborative campaign, which “reflects the strong partnership and shared vision of the current school board to strengthen our schools with a focus on closing the racial achievement gap and building a stronger, more engaged district for all of our students.”Continue reading »

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Before it’s over: ‘Live’ photo gallery of Berkeley election

Oakland resident Anya Wayne votes from her bed at Alta Bates Summit Hospital . Photo: Pete Rosos
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The election season in Berkeley has been in full swing since just after Labor Day. There have been marches and forums, endorsements and op-eds about the multitude of measures and candidates. Enjoy this photo gallery of all that has been happening in Berkeley. And let’s keep it going: share your photos with us by dropping them into the Berkeleyside Flickr pool, emailing tips@berkeleyside.com, or tagging us on Twitter or Instagram. We will be adding photos to this gallery until the election is over. … Continue reading »

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Ballot stuffing in Berkeley, the legitimate way

Voters attempt to place their vote-by-mail ballots in a drop box at City Hall without success because the box was full, in Berkeley, on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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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.

Don’t miss our Election Night live blog, or our 2016 Election Hub.

Alameda County Registrar of Voters employees Mohammad Naweedyamin and Michelle Lin came by later in the morning to empty the … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why I’m voting for Darryl Moore — The neighborhood grocery store that almost wasn’t

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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 »

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Fight involving Measures DD and U1 is costliest in election

Election 2016 campaign lawn signs. Photo: Pete Rosos
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The political action committee for the Berkeley Property Owners Association has steered more than $892,540 in donations to defeat Measure U1 and promote Measure DD, two competing measures that would raise the business tax on rental units.

Perhaps none of their numerous mailings and posters, however, has prompted more comment than the one with a picture of Donald Trump.

Starting last week, signs with Trump’s picture and the words “Stop Tax Loopholes for Developers Like Donald Trump: Vote No on U1” have appeared on telephone poles around Berkeley. Numerous readers wrote to Berkeleyside about the signs.

In an ultra-liberal bastion like Berkeley, equating a ballot measure with the Republican nominee for President is a shorthand way of saying the measure is reprehensible.

Both measures would raise the business tax rate on rents, but one (U1) would raise the tax by 166% while the other (DD) would raise it by 39%.

The intent of both measures is to get money for the Housing Trust Fund to help build affordable housing. Measure DD would generate about $1.5 million a year whereas Measure U1 would generate about $3 million a year. Both measures would put the funds into the General Fund but would distribute the money differently. Measure DD would establish a specially-formed citizens’ committee that would recommend how the money is spent to the City Council. Measure U1 would have the existing Housing Advisory Commission make recommendations to the City Council on how to spend the money. There is no legal requirement that Berkeley spend the money on affordable housing – an aspect of U1 that its opponents trumpet – but the Council has pledged that the money will be used for affordable housing. (The entire Council has endorsed U1) … Continue reading »

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