Tag Archives: Jesse Arreguin

Op-ed: The race for mayor — a disconnect on development

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I’ve had many a conversation lately with white liberals in Berkeley who lament the rise of Donald Trump. They always seem to be bewildered about how this could be happening in our country, how someone like that could be so close to grabbing power. When our conversations turn to local politics, however, there seems to be a disconnect about how the dehumanizing policies that Trump is proposing for the country have much in common with ones that are in play … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why Laurie Capitelli shouldn’t be mayor, why Jessie Arreguín should: Equity & jobs

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West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WEBAIC) urges you not to support Laurie Capitelli for mayor because of his central role in a destructive, multi-year, anti-equity effort to force out West Berkeley companies and their thousands of productive middle-wage jobs. Vote for Jesse Arreguín, who has been a consistently strong supporter of West Berkeley’s sustainable industrial maker and arts ecosystem and the thousands of good, family-wage jobs it provides.

The effort to displace West Berkeley’s thousands of good jobs for … Continue reading »

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In Berkeley mayoral race, Arreguín accelerates fundraising, Capitelli maintains monetary lead

Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín are the two top contenders to replace Mayor Tom Bates. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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See update below.

Berkeley mayoral candidate Jesse Arreguín raised almost three times as much money in the last month as his fiercest rival, Laurie Capitelli.

Arreguín raised $33,434 from Sept. 25 to Oct. 22. In that same period, Capitelli raised $11,550.

That is a reverse of the previous campaign finance reporting cycle that stretched from July 1 to Sept. 24. In that period Capitelli raised $31,288 to Arreguín’s $19,461.

The surge in donations to Arreguín’s campaign brings his total close to that of Capitelli’s, who has more $250 donors, the maximum allowed in Berkeley. Supporters have contributed $102,434 to Arreguín since 2015 and $115,555 to Capitelli in that same period.

Visit Berkeleyside’s 2016 Election Hub for complete election coverage.

However, the PAC for the National Association of Realtors is backing Capitelli, and its independent expenditure committee spent $60,382 on his behalf. That spending was not coordinated with Capitelli’s campaign. The Berkeley Police Department PAC also spent $17,707 on a mailer for Capitelli.

The PAC for SEIU Local 1021 has spent $8,112 on Arreguín’s behalf.  Again, those expenditures were not coordinated with the candidate.

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Top contenders for Berkeley mayor have sharp differences towards development

Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín are the two top contenders to replace Mayor Tom Bates. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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For the first time in 10 years, Berkeley does not have an incumbent mayor running for reelection. Mayor Tom Bates, who took office by defeating incumbent Shirley Dean in 2002, is stepping down and relinquishing his leadership of a City Council where he has long commanded the majority.

The open seat has attracted eight people to run for office, with two sitting councilmen, Jesse Arreguín and Laurie Capitelli, as the top contenders. City Councilman Kriss Worthington is also running for mayor, but his muted campaign and low level of fundraising suggest he entered the race more to influence the outcome of ranked-choice voting than to win (although Worthington does not say that). Worthington is upfront about telling people to vote for him and Arreguín as first and second choices on the ballot (or the other way around) as a way to knock out Capitelli.

The other candidates are Ben Gould, a UC Berkeley graduate student, Guy “Mike” Lee, a homeless activist, Bernt Wahl, a scientist and entreprenuer, Zachary RunningWolf, an indigenous elder, and Naomi D. Pete.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

In any other U.S. city, both Arreguín and Capitelli would be regarded as ultra-liberal candidates. But this being Berkeley, where residents have long parsed slight variations in the Democratic party line, Capitelli is being cast by some as the “moderate” in the race and Arreguín as the “progressive.” Arreguín has even called Capitelli “conservative.”

A close examination of the men’s records shows they have both fought in their own way for affordable housing, a considered approach to addressing the issue of homelessness, and a strategy to repair Berkeley’s infrastructure and pare down its unfunded liabilities. But their philosophies toward development are radically different and their emphases as mayor would diverge. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why 11 current and former Berkeley elected officials endorse Laurie Capitelli

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We are former and current Berkeley elected officials who are united in our support for Laurie Capitelli as our next mayor. With our direct firsthand experience, we all deeply appreciate Laurie’s love for Berkeley, his trustworthiness, good humor, compassion, decency and intelligence. We urge you to vote for Laurie as your first choice.

Laurie is a team builder. A leader in the campaign to tax the soda industry, Laurie built the broad coalition and served on the steering committee that beat Big Soda. Laurie has the collaborative skills and leadership that are needed to continue the fight for public health and ensure that Alta Bates continues to serve our community.

Laurie is a mediator and consensus builder. Laurie negotiated the groundbreaking $15 minimum wage, bringing together labor, businesses and nonprofits in a historic agreement. Prior to this achievement, Laurie co-authored and led the passage of two $15 minimum wage measures in 2015 and 2016, which were among the most progressive wage measures in the nation, reaching $15 several years faster than the state of California.

Laurie believes in the transformative power of education and has raised millions of dollars for our public schools. As a former school teacher, Laurie is committed to closing Berkeley’s achievement gap by establishing universal preschool. It’s no surprise that every endorsing School Board member supports Laurie. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: It takes a special person to lead Berkeley and it’s Laurie Capitelli

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I’ve been living in Berkeley since 1967, then as an entering freshman at the University of California. I attended Cal through the Oakland Induction Center protests, People’s Park, was tear gassed on my way to class, and was among the first graduating class of CNR (Conservation of Natural Resources). In 1976, I opened The Focal Point on Ashby, and have enjoyed living in this wonderfully diverse, and at times, “quite nuts” city. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

It takes a special person to lead Berkeley – it is unique. Most of us have a strong opinion or 10 to share, and therefore, building consensus is an art form. That’s why I strongly support the candidacy of Laurie Capitelli to be our next Mayor. I’ve known Laurie for more than 25 years. We have worked together on the renovation/operation of the Elmwood Theater, collaborating with the City of Berkeley and the community after a fire that caused great damage to the property. We worked with city staff, Mayor Loni Hancock and community leaders to save a city landmark, volunteering countless hours to save the theater, which today provides us with some of the finest films, many independently made. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why I’ve decided to vote for Laurie Capitelli

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Open letter to my neighbors whom were unable to meet Laurie Capitelli at a house event we hosted:

Until last night, I was undecided. I had known nothing substantial about our two candidates. (This is really a two-horse race.) Two weeks prior I went to a house party for Jesse Arreguin. Some of my neighbors, whom I respect, support Jesse, and I came away from that meeting with a somewhat positive feeling about him, although I felt he was also a bit slippery. My wife and I decided we should meet and question Laurie Capitelli. Last night, we hosted a house party where he came to answer questions.

My impressions

Laurie impressed me as wise, a realist, and an intellectual progressive. He is sincere in his positions. He has a record showing that he understands that advancement of a progressive agenda occurs with compromise. More than anything, I was impressed with how thoughtful, intelligent, and deep his knowledge on each of the issues was, and how well he understood the complexities of city policies and important issues. I also noticed how he listened to people. (I did not get the same feeling from Jesse.) … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Berkeley needs a mayor who shows true leadership

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Berkeley voters face a choice in the upcoming Mayoral race, but not the choice we’ve been led to believe. Contrary to much of the campaign rhetoric so far, this election is not a question of who is the most or least “progressive.” People elsewhere in the country or even the Bay Area would struggle to discern the policy differences that bring Berkeleyans to the barricades. All of the major candidates in the Mayoral race are progressive—indeed, they are very progressive. What this election is truly about is choosing the candidate who has the temperament, the relationships, and the leadership to successfully govern—and that candidate is Councilmember Laurie Capitelli.

The starkest differences between the mayoral frontrunners lie not in their agendas, but in their fundamental approaches to governance and policymaking. Laurie Capitelli has built his record of public service on collaboration, pragmatism, and an abiding determination to do what’s best for Berkeley. Arreguin and Worthington, on the other hand, have governed in manner that is ideological, obstructionist, and prioritizes their own political careers over the good of the city.

Together, Arreguin and Worthington represent a dismaying brand of performance politics. On truly important issues, ranging from housing to the City budget, both Arreguin and Worthington have a history of floating unworkable, pandering proposals. Whether it’s purely symbolic shifting of funds (something City staff stressed was unnecessary), or regulations that would actually kill new housing, Arreguin and Worthington ostentatiously take credit for the outlandish legislation they knew would never pass—let alone actually work. When other Councilmembers judiciously reject these schemes, Worthington and Arreguin attack them as insufficiently “progressive.” This is not leadership, it’s political theater. … Continue reading »

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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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