Opinion: I am Rigel Robinson and this is why I’m running to be your next District 7 councilman in Berkeley

The work I have done for this district and this city sets me apart from the other candidates in the District 7 race. I would be honored to have your vote!

Though I grew up more than a few miles from here, Berkeley has been a home to me for as long as I can remember. Between visits to my aunt’s place on Northside and the stories my grandmother would tell me of her days as a student at Cal, the city of Berkeley has always held a special place in my heart.

However, while living in Berkeley myself, I’ve seen the cracks. The vision of Berkeley as a liberal utopia crumbles quickly as you come to understand the challenges facing our community. Between rising rents, concerns over safety, crumbling infrastructure, and the homelessness crisis, Berkeley residents need solution-oriented elected officials who will listen closely to their needs and secure real results.

Since I moved to Berkeley, I have worked tirelessly to fight for progressive causes. From working in City Hall to sitting on city commissions to being elected by thousands of my peers to serve as the UC Berkeley student body’s external affairs vice president, I have made it my mission to manifest my values in tangible change. Be it the approval of important housing projects, the withdrawal of millions of dollars from destructive fossil fuel pipelines, or securing substantive reductions in student fees, I know how to organize to win. District 7 needs a representative who can put values into action, and I have the experience to do just that. I have had the chance to speak to many of the residents of District 7 during this campaign, and I’ve appreciated every conversation. I hear your concerns, and I’m excited to get to work on them in City Hall.

District 7 residents need a Councilmember who can balance the needs of the city and the campus, long-term residents and students. District 7 needs someone who has worked both with and against the university, and who has the relationships in city government to be effective. I am that advocate. It’s why the East Bay Times and The Mercury News called me “the best candidate for this seat,” and why the East Bay Express says I’m “the clear choice.” It’s why I’ve been endorsed by every current member of the Berkeley City Council, the Berkeley Democratic Club, the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, the Cal Berkeley Democrats, as well as a broad coalition of labor unions, community leaders, and student leaders. These organizations and individuals are often deeply divided on the issues facing our city, but they trust me to be a consensus-builder to move us all forward.

One concern that I have encountered from a number of District 7 residents is my age. But youth does not mean a lack of experience. This year, the “progressive, consensus choice” just happens to be 22 years old. I have a track record of bringing concrete results through my advocacy, and that’s why so many Berkeley community leaders trust me for the job. I have run an honest, issue-based campaign that, regardless of the result, I can be proud of. I urge you to put my age aside and vote for the candidate who has proven that they will work earnestly and tenaciously for you.

My name is Rigel Robinson, and it would be an honor to earn your vote on or before November 6th. You can learn more about my campaign at rigelrobinson.com, and you can reach me and the team at info@rigelrobinson.com.

Rigel Robinson is a recent UC Berkeley graduate and a candidate for Berkeley City Council in District 7.