Opinion: Rigel Robinson is the progressive, consensus choice for City Council

District 7 candidate Rigel Robinson will serve as a collaborative and unifying voice for our city.

We on Berkeley City Council disagree on a number of things. But, this year, the District 7 City Council race isn’t one of them.

We all believe that Rigel Robinson would make an excellent District 7 Councilmember. In an unprecedented display of confidence, Rigel has been endorsed by every single member of the Council, including the Mayor.

Many of us have had the pleasure of working with Rigel over the past few years when he served as an elected representative for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), UC Berkeley’s student association. First as an ASUC Senator and then as the ASUC External Affairs Vice President, Rigel has built a track record as someone committed to working across institutions to improve the lives of all of us who call Berkeley home. And, today, he is campaigning to fight for affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, revitalizing Telegraph Avenue, and swift delivery of constituent services.

At the local level, Rigel worked extensively on city-university relationships in City Hall, pushed the university to build more student housing so that residents aren’t displaced, and galvanized students to fight with residents against the closure of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

At the state level, Rigel was critical to pushing the UC to divest from fossil fuels and reduce tuition for students in Berkeley and across the state for the first time in 20 years. It’s why he has the support of not just us, but also Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Pérez, State Superintendent Emeritus Delaine Eastin, Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Evan Low, and many more.

But it takes more than smarts, experience, and endorsements to be a good representative. As we know, a vital — and often overlooked — skill is being able to work collaboratively with your fellow councilmembers, even when you disagree. We know from first-hand experience that Rigel will be a serious, congenial, and cooperative partner. As many of you have learned as Rigel knocks your doors, he will always listen to you and hear out your concerns. That quality is as valuable as it is rare. We have the utmost faith that — even, and especially, when we disagree — Rigel will serve as a collaborative and unifying voice for our city.

In short, Rigel is an incredibly qualified, deeply impressive young man — and District 7 residents, and Berkeley as a whole, would be well-served with him on City Council.

Learn more about Rigel Robinson and his campaign at his website: www.rigelrobinson.com

Jesse Arreguín is the Mayor of Berkeley. Kriss Worthington and Lori Droste are city councilmembers, representing districts 7 and 8 respectively.