City Councilman Laurie Capitelli was born in Berkeley but moved away at a young age, only to return to attend UC Berkeley. He never left, raising his children here. He worked as a real-estate agent for Red Oak Realty for decades and got involved in the public sphere in 1996.
Jesse Arreguín, 32, decisively won the mayorship in yesterday’s election, becoming the first Latino Berkeley mayor.
Berkeley has a Downtown Plan. The path has not been smooth or simple, but thousands of hours, plus voter buy-in has solidly approved it.
Since 2008, I’ve had the privilege and responsibility of looking out for every Berkeley tenant and landlord while serving on the Berkeley Rent Board. Doing so has provided me a unique look at the skyrocketing cost of housing, the lack of affordable rental units, and the many other difficulties of Berkeley’s challenging housing market.
It’s been a long time since Berkeley had a competitive mayoral election. There’s no polling conducted in Berkeley, but with incumbent Tom Bates stepping down, there’s considerable uncertainty about the result of the 2016 race.
After a fire ripped through a stretch of buildings on College Avenue in December 1988, the scorched Elmwood Theater sat empty, its screen idle, its seats unoccupied. The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 further damaged the unreinforced brick building and for a time there was a threat that United Artists Realty was going to sell the structure to developers.
On a recent rainy day, City Councilman Jesse Arreguín took time from his campaign for mayor to visit a homeless encampment in South Berkeley. As water poured down on the tents and lean-tos set up in the Adeline Street median, Arreguín spoke to those camping out about their needs and wants.
During the course of a campaign it is completely fair to compare one’s record against that of one’s opponent. I take no issue with that. I am proud of my work for education, children’s health, affordable housing, fiscal prudence, public safety and housing linked to transit.
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 in Berkeley this election.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest issue facing our country today is social equity, and disparities in income, education achievement, and health. Thought leaders are recognizing that social equity is fundamental to building a sustainable economy and resilient communities.
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.
See update below.