At the joint endorsement meeting on Sunday, January 8, members of Berkeley Citizens Action, the Berkeley Progressive Alliance and the Berkeley Tenants Union voted overwhelmingly to endorse Kate Harrison for the District 4 City Council seat that became vacant when Jesse Arreguin was elected mayor.
The event will be held at the East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison Street, in downtown Berkeley at 2 p.m.
Review the Finalized Ballot and Voting Rules, by clicking the links below:
While thousands of vote by mail ballots remain to be counted, it is clear that Jesse Arreguín has been elected mayor of Berkeley by large margin. His convincing 47% to 34% margin over District 5 council member Laurie Capitelli is too large to be affected by counting of additional ballots.
Similarly, Sophie Hahn has a commanding lead over Capitelli-endorsed Stephen Murphy for the District 5 Council seat and Ben Bartlett has a very solid lead in District 3 over Mark Coplan and Deborah Mathews who are running neck and neck for second place.
This is the biggest progressive electoral victory in many years. There will be a special election for Jesse Arreguín’s District 4 Council seat. If a progressive wins, Jesse will have four allies on the Council and may have a fifth depending on the outcome in District 2. It’s too bad that this comes with a disastrous presidential election result.
District 2: It ain’t over – still a tight race: In District 2, the initial ranked choice count gives Cheryl Davila a narrow 42 vote lead over incumbent council member Darryl Moore. It’s 1838 to 1796, or 50.6% to 49.4%. Darryl had 40% of the first choice votes. Nanci Armstrong-Temple is finishing third so far with 1116 votes, only 82 votes behind Cheryl Davila. When Nanci’s votes were apportioned, 640 went to Davila and 245 to Moore (231 did not make a second choice). As counting continues, Moore could regain the lead; it’s also possible that Armstrong-Temple could overtake Davila for second place, in which case Davila’s second choice votes would be apportioned.
CALI slate sweeps Rent Board: The gap between Igor Tregub, now in fourth place and Judy Hunt, the landlord-backed incumbent, who was the only elected official in Berkeley to opposed affordable housing measure U1, is over 2,500 votes, large enough to ensure victory for Tregub even with thousands of vote by mail and provisional ballots to be counted.
Measure U1, aka the Landlord Tax, has won easily despite the BPOA’s $800,000+ campaign against it. It currently has 74.1% of the vote.
See below for more details on the Candidate results and local measures. All counts are as of 1:40 a.m. November 9. The next update will be Friday at 4:30pm. The County will continue updating over the next week or so until all ballots are counted. Check here for more: http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/230/index.htm
Candidate Results Details
9th State Senate District: Nancy Skinner is way ahead of Sandre Swanson in the Alameda County portion of the district, 60.6% to 39.4%; it’s 63-37 in the district as a whole.
Berkeley School Board: the two incumbents, Judy Appel (22,967 votes) and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler (17,336) were easily re-elected over challenger Abdur Sikder (4552 votes).
Local Measures Results
E-1, BSEP, parcel tax for schools, YES 30,204 votes, 88.3%
U1, tax on big landlords for affordable housing YES 24,394 votes, 74.1% (not so different from 76.2% for the soda tax in 2014)
DD, phony landlord sponsored alternative to U1, NO 22,810 votes, 70.8% (that’s the NOs)
T1, Bond measure for infrastructure, parks, senior centers YES 28,865, 86,5%
X1, Public Financing of Elections for Mayor and Council YES 19,356 votes, 64.2%
Y1, 16-17 year olds vote for School Board YES, 21,518, 68.5%
AA, regulating owner move in evictions, YES 22,309 votes, 72.3%
BB, minimum wage $15 in 2019, NO 20,789 votes, 66.0%
CC, minimum wage $15 in 2017, NO 20,573 votes, 65.9%
A1, County Bond for affordable housing, YES 264,499, countywide votes, 72.3%
CI, AC Transit parcel tax, YES, 190,019 votes in the district, 81.9%
RR, BART bond, YES, 253,175 votes, 70.9%
–by Rob Wrenn
Other Election Results:
In other local election news, measures initiated by citizens to establish rent control programs appeared headed for victory in Richmond and Mountain View but were losing in Alameda, San Mateo and Burlingame. Similarly, soda tax measures were headed to victory in Bay Area cities, with all precincts reporting. The measures, on the ballot in San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay suburb of Albany, place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Richmond’s Measure M, a new property progressive transfer tax, did not pass. Seventy percent of voters said ‘No’ to the little-discussed ballot measure.
Links for reference:
- Fair Pay for Women, April 22, 2008, Item 58
- Community Choice Aggregation, May 5, 2009, Item 29
- Affordable Housing Fee, June 28, 2011, Item 9
- Part Time Workers, May 7, 2013, Item 19
- Ban Fracking, June 10, 2014, Item 53
- Minimum Wage, September 15, 2015, Item 59
- Transfer Taxes, March 8, 2016, Item 34
- Developer Fees, April 5, 2016, Item 10b
- Public Campaign Financing and Landlord Business License Tax Measure, May 31, 2016, Items 27 and 28
Join members of Berkeley Citizens Action and Berkeley Tenants Union to discuss the measures and propositions on the November Ballot and make endorsements. The following are the recommendations by BCA Steering Committee members:
Berkeley City Measures
T1 – Infrastructure & Facilities Bond – YES, with reservations: Permits $100 million in bonds to fix sidewalks, storm drains, streets, parks, Senior & Rec Centers, etc. For a property assessed at $600,000, increases taxes by $128/yr. Two commissions, Public Works & Parks & Waterfront will obtain community input. Some Steering Committee members want more specificity and accountability about how funds spent. No argument filed against. Needs 66.667% to Pass.
U1 – Rental Unit Business License Tax – City Sponsored: YES, YES, YES – Real Affordable Housing Rental Tax. Funds affordable housing, protects tenants from homelessness. Written with community & housing advocate input, has broad support, as real estate investors earned more than $100 million per year in windfall profits. Increases rental property tax about $30 per unit per month. Housing Advisory Commission to oversee how $$ is spent. Provides many exemptions: landlords with only 4 or less units, affordable-housing nonprofits, subsidized low-income units, units with long term tenants, new units for 12 years (to encourage new construction), landlord hardship. Increases cannot be passed to tenants. Conflicts with Measure DD; if both pass, the one with more votes prevails. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
V1 – GANN Appropriations Limit – YES: City must get voter approval to spend interest earned from investing previously passed taxes, for next 4 years. No Brainer to approve this. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
W1 – Citizens Redistricting Commission – YES: Creates independent body to determine district boundaries, randomly selected from volunteers; won’t be appointed by politicians. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
X1 – Public Campaign Financing – YES: Provides candidates for mayor and city council with 6X matching for funds from donors, if they accept new donations limits (maximum $50). Candidates get up to $120,000 for mayor & $40,000 for council runs. Maplight proposal, heard at BCA forum. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
Y1 – Youth Voting – YES: Lets 16 & 17 year olds vote for school board candidates, if no city $$ is spent & city elections can still be consolidated with county ballots. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
Z1 – Low Income Housing Authorization – YES: Constitution says cities must get periodic voter approval to develop, construct, or buy up to 500 units of housing for low-income tenants. No argument filed against. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
AA – Rent Board Ordinance – YES: Increases tenant protections: delays “no fault” owner-move-in (OMI) evictions (OMIs) of families with school-age children until end of school year. Voters have required landlords in OMIs to provide relocation help of $4,500 to low-income tenants, but not other tenants, since 2000. Measure AA would update this amount to $15,000, and require that it be paid to all tenant households, plus an additional $5,000 for low-income, disabled, age 60 or older, or long-term (since 1998) tenants. No argument filed in opposition. Needs Simple Majority to Pass.
Minimum Wage Compromise Update: The following 2 measures have been superseded by a late compromise approved by City Council Wednesday, August 31. This new agreement gets to $15 per hour by October 1, 2018, with yearly inflation increases; allows up to 72 hours of paid sick leave; ensures employees receive service charges and provides for a flexible youth-job-training wage for non-profits. Advocates of Measures BB and CC then went to court – the ballot arguments & rebuttals for both BB & CC are to be pulled. The arguments against both measures will now ask you “to support the City Council’s progressive minimum wage ordinance BY VOTING NO ON BOTH MEASURES BB & CC, thus enabling the Council ordinance to be the governing law.”
BB – Minimum Wage – Council and Business sponsored – NO: Raises minimum wage to $15 by October 2019, with annual cost-of-living (COLA) increases; excludes youth & job-training agencies; credits to $1.50 of employer-paid employee medical benefits toward minimum wage. Provides 1 hour paid sick leave per 30 hours worked for all employers, allows service fees to be pooled. Hinders future changes, by requiring a 2/3 council vote to modify. Competes with Measure CC; if both pass, the one with more votes prevails, but if Measure BB passes with less votes than CC, then any items in BB that are not directly in conflict with CC will still be implemented. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
CC – Minimum Wage – Initiative – NO: Labor-supported citizen initiative, raises minimum wage to $15 in 2017, annual COLA plus 3% from 2019 until reaching a living wage, with COLAs thereafter, with gradual increases for nonprofit youth employment & training agencies. Includes 1 hr of paid sick leave for every 30 hrs worked for small businesses; requires service fees go to the employee providing service. Competes with Measure BB (see above BB). Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
DD – Rental Unit Business License Tax Initiative – NO, NO, NO: Bankrolled by Big Landlords to get themselves off the hook and confuse voters. Proponents spent $65,000 collecting signatures to get this on the ballot. Competes with Measure U1, but raises much less money. Creates new citizens panel to advise council how to increase affordable housing and protect tenants from homelessness. Taxes more landlords, with fewer exemptions, so Big Landlords pay less, includes hardship exemption. Increases cannot be passed to tenants. If both U1 and DD pass, the one with more votes prevails. Needs 50%+ 1 to pass.
A1 – Affordable Housing Bond – YES: Creates & protects affordable housing options for those who need it most: homeless, seniors, vets, disabled, & workers who cannot find affordable housing near their work in Alameda County. Raises up to $580 million, must be used in our county only, helps both renters and homeowners. Needs Supermajority (66.667%) to Pass.
E1 – Berkeley Schools: Educational Excellence Act of 2016 – YES: Renews parcel tax for 8 years. Known as BSEP, first passed in 1986, this tax now provides 20% of school budget. Funds smaller class sizes, enrichment programs, counseling and academic support, and teacher training. Tax is 37 cents per square foot of residential property, with annual cost-of-living increases. Exempts property occupied by very-low-income seniors. Needs Supermajority (66.667%) to Pass.
C1 – AC Transit – YES: Extends existing $8/month parcel tax at current level for 20 years — no increase in tax rate, raises approximately $30 million annually. Needs Supermajority (66.667%) to Pass.
RR – BART – YES: Would authorize BART to issue $3.5 billion bonds for repair and upgrade of aging tracks, tunnels, train control systems and other infrastructure. Needs Supermajority (66.667%) to Pass.
51 – School Bonds – leaning YES with reservations: $9 Billion price tag for school construction. Allows some funds to be used for charter schools. Broad support, polling well. Local bond measures are a better way to raise money for this purpose. Jerry Brown opposes. Needs Supermajority (66.667%) to Pass.
52 – State Fees on Hospitals – YES with reservations: Protects use of Medi-Cal fees guaranteed to health services, draws matching federal dollars, so legislature can’t redirect to other purposes without 2/3 vote. Hospitals support. SEIU-UHW opposes.
53 – Revenue Bonds – NO: Stymies passage of big public work projects by forcing state to go to voters to borrow $2 billion or more. Bankrolled by wealthy central California farmer.
54 – Legislature – NO: Requires bills be available for public and legislative review at least 72 hours before voted on; written and funded by billionaire Charles Munger, but has the support of Common Cause, League of Women Voters and others proponents of good governance. Opposed by California Democratic Party, environmental and labor groups.
55 – Tax Extension to Fund Education & Healthcare – YES: Extends personal income tax for wealthier folk, to support community college, Cal State and Kindergarten through 12th grade funding.
56 – Cigarette Tax – YES: Increases cigarette tax to $2 per pack, equivalent increases on other tobacco products, e-cigs. First increase since tax was created. Funds health care, treatment and quit smoking programs. Broad support for this tax. Berkeley Community Health Commission recommended support. Opposed by Big Tobacco.
57 – Juvenile Criminal Sentences – YES: Increases parole and good behavior opportunities for those convicted of nonviolent crimes; allows judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults.
58 – Bilingual Education – YES: Makes it easier for schools to establish bilingual programs for both English learners and native English speakers seeking to gain fluency in a foreign language.
59 – Overturn Citizens United – YES, YES, YES: Money out, Voters in. Instructs California’s elected officials at state and national level to act NOW to pass a 28th Amendment to US Constitution, end corrupt Super-PACS, end corporate constitutional rights and stop secret money in our elections.
60 – Adult Films – NO, with reservations: Modeled on L.A’s Measure B, this sounded good at 1st reading. Requires condoms in sex films, producers to register with state, pay for STD testing. Allows anyone to sue studios, distributors if condoms not used. Condoms already required for performers, but industry may ignore. Opponents (CA Democratic, Republican & Libertarian parties, performers group, SF AIDS Foundation) say performers and crew could be sued, might drive industry further underground; sets up proponent Michael Weinstein as “state’s porn czar, apparently for life”, per SJ Mercury.
61 – State Prescription Drug Purchases – YES: Prohibits state agencies from paying more for medications than US Veterans Affairs pays. Supported by Bernie’s Our Revolution. Opposed by Big Pharma.
62 – Death Penalty – YES, YES, YES! Repeals death penalty, replaces with life without parole, convicts must work in prison, more of their pay will be taken for restitution.
63 – Firearms – YES: Gavin Newsome’s gun control – Would prohibit possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines.
64 – Legalizes Marijuana – YES: Legalizes marijuana and hemp cultivation; enacts a 15 percent sales tax plus cultivation tax of $9.25/ounce for flowers and $2.75/ounce for leaves, with exceptions for medical marijuana. Prevents licenses for corporate or large-scale marijuana businesses for 5 years.
65 – Carry-Out Bags – NO: The Fake Bag Ban. If Proposition 67 is approved, bag fees go to a special fund handled by state Wildlife Conservation Board, not retailers. Opponents say four out-of-state plastic bag companies who keep interfering with California’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution put this on the ballot.
66 – Death Penalty – NO, NO, NO: Opponents say this would make it harder to appeal death penalty. Opposition includes Ella Baker Center, labor groups, Exec board of Calif. Democratic Party, ACLU; sheriffs, police and district attorneys support.
67 – Veto Referendum to Overturn Bag Ban – YES, YES, YES: California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum. Reaffirm the bag ban. A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of upholding the contested legislation banning plastic bags enacted by the Legislature under the SB270. Say NO to Big Plastic bag manufacturers, who oppose this.
June 24, 2016 by Rob Wrenn
Bernie won Berkeley!
Bernie Sanders won Berkeley in the Democratic presidential primary with 54.4% of the vote to 45.2% for Hillary Clinton, not a huge margin. Clinton did best in the City’s wealthiest areas, the northeast Berkeley hills in District 6, in the hills above Claremont Ave. in District 8, and in the windy street precincts in the northern part of District 5. These areas have historically favored “moderate” candidates in local Berkeley election.
Sanders swept the flatlands, except for two precincts in District 1, winning South Berkeley, West Berkeley and the central part of the city and sweeping the areas near the UC campus, Southside, Northside and Downtown by large margins. He did well in the areas where progressive candidates usually fare well in local elections.
Results by city and precinct:
Note: Student precincts consists of precincts in the area south of campus between Dwight Way and campus and 1 consolidated precinct on the near Northside, that includes the Foothill dorm. Berkeley results include write-ins; Oakland, Albany and Emeryville and county results are based only on vote for candidates on the ballot.
Turnout Turnout in Berkeley was up this year compared to the uncontested 2012 California Democratic presidential primary, but was down compared to 2008 when Clinton ran against Obama for the nomination. In that hotly contested 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, which took place in February that year, turnout was 64.5% in Berkeley, with Obama defeating Clinton by a huge margin: 27,352 to 11,505. This year turnout was 58.0%.
Student turnout was very low, which is not surprising given that the primary took place after most undergraduates had left town for the summer. No doubt some students opted to register and vote in the hometowns they returned to when the semester ended.
This year, 833,803 people were registered to vote in Alameda County, and 49.3%, turned out to vote countywide. Of 480,475 registered Democrats in the county 59% voted. In addition, a little over table 140,000 Decline to State (DTS) voters cast Democratic ballots.
In Berkeley, 45,933 ballots were cast. In the 2014 November gubernatorial election, 40,301 votes were cast by Berkeley voters. 47,303 voted in the presidential primary election in 2008. A record 66,703 votes were cast in the 2008 November presidential election.
Turnout may have been dampened by media reports before the election that declared that Clinton had enough delegates, with super delegates included, to secure the nomination.
Turnout in Berkeley, Selected Elections, 2008-2016
Trump gets less than 1% in Berkeley
The vast majority of the Berkeley voters’ ballots cast, 42,476, were cast in the Democratic primary. Donald Trump received 454 votes in the Republican primary; Kasich got 306. So Trump was supported by slightly less than 1% of the voters who cast ballots in Berkeley.
9th State Senate District
Former Assemblymember and District 1 councilmember Nancy Skinner easily beat Sandré Swanson in Berkeley, crushing him with 24,130 votes (62.6%) to Swanson’s 9596 votes(24.9% ). Other candidates got 4799 votes. Skinner swept every district in Berkeley. In the Oakland portion of the 9th District, Skinner beat Swanson by a much narrower margin of 44,012 to 40,650. Skinner and Swanson will face each other again in November.
Contra Costa County had not finished counting ballots as of June 22, but the 9th district result to date, including votes reported so far in Contra Costa County portions of the district is 48.0% for Skinner and 30.6% for Swanson.
Berkeley Citizens Action – June Newsletter
Competing Minimum Wage proposals, Police Review Commission with teeth and more. Location: Council Chambers, 2135 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Competing Minimum Wage measures on the November Ballot?
After years of intense debate on minimum wage, we face a chance of having two competing minimum wage ballot measures this November. After a resident initiated measure, the Council majority placed a competing measure that will likely cause serious voter confusion and lead to the failure of increasing to an equitable minimum wage.
Kriss Worthington writes that he has proposed for the June 14th Council meeting that Council adopt its own minimum wage proposal as an ordinance rather than create voter confusion in November.
Mike Donaldson from SEIU and the Central Labor Council has asked for support from BCA member for their minimum wage initiative, which would lift the minimum wage to $15 on October 1st, 2017. He explains that their measure means minimum of more than $3,000 a year in income for a full-time worker, more sick leave, fewer restrictions, better wage theft protections, more income for youth, less confusion, and does not allow the City Council to arbitrarily change provisions. Attached please find links to the minimum wage flyer for June 14th council meeting and their community minimum wage initiative.
Other items of interest on the June 14 docket:
33. Petition President Barack Obama to Grant Clemency to Leonard Peltier
35. Honor the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant for its 3000th Asylum Grant
50. Ballot Measure to Lower the Voting Age of School Board Elections to Sixteen
…and many more!
Please attend June 14, but don’t wait until then to contact the mayor and council about items you support or oppose on the council agenda: Here is the link to the city council agenda for next Tuesday, and the emails for council and city clerk: email@example.com, c
Game-changer for police accountability in Berkeley?
Item 52 would refer the current Oakland community proposal for a similar Police Commission to the city manager to draft a charter amendment to be considered by the voters. There is not yet Berkeley-specific language, and the floor is open for your ideas.
Please review the item in the agenda packet including the Oakland language and come out June 14 to voice your support, giving input into how the Commission should function.
You might consider these questions:
* How is the current role of the PRC insufficient to provide oversight and transparency for Berkeley police?
* Would the Oakland model provide sufficient independence for the commission?
* Is the Selection Panel described in the model ordinance the appropriate way to select some of the commissioners?
* Are the scope and procedures of investigations appropriate?
Beyond the June 14 meeting, if the referral does pass, I believe there will have to be a second vote (July?) to review the City Manager’s language and decide whether to put it on the November ballot. There will be a need for community mobilization at that point, and for a strong campaign through the fall to win the vote.
Other upcoming accountability initiatives:
* Racial profiling: new statistics from this year have been released by the BPD which shows that the biased patterns revealed last year continue into 2016. The PRC has established a subcommittee to look into this issue, and community people are invited to participate.
* Body cameras: new policy draft will be finalized at the June 8 PRC meeting, 7pm, South Berkeley Senior Center.
* Crowd control: ongoing PRC subcommittee meetings on use of force, mutual aid, etc.
* Privacy/surveillance ordinance, using the ACLU template as modified for Berkeley (as in Oakland, Richmond, Santa Clara County etc.)
These Ten Candidates have submitted questionnaires about their candidacy and will speak at the April 30th Endorsement Meeting. Join us Saturday April 30th from 1:30 to 5 at the Youth Adult Project (YAP) at 1730 Oregon Street. Click here to download the current flyer.
To vote in the endorsement meeting you must be a member of BPA or Berkeley Citizens Action or the Berkeley Tenants Union by April 24th. Each group will have membership lists at the registration tables at the event. Members can bring dues current there. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If needed, as during registration.
All candidates who are registered with the city or requested consideration were sent the following questionnaire. Do Candidates support our Progressive Agenda & Housing Platform? See their responses summarized in this corrected document here. Below you may click on candidates name’s to access their full responses.
City Council District 2: Cheryl K. Davila Nanci Armstrong-Temple
City Council District 3: Ben Bartlett Mark Coplan
City Council District 5: Sophie Hahn
City Council District 6: Fred Dodsworth
Click here for Draft Voting Rules and Ballots. This will be updated when finalized.
The following local measures are under way for the November 2016 ballot: Local measures & Rent Board Slate Update.
It was a tremendous event, more than 125 people attended Housing for the Rest of Us and heard Don Goldmacher introduce BPA and Kate Harrison present our housing platform. Max Anderson spoke of the housing situation and Ben Bartlett shared his agenda for addressing housing inequity in Berkeley. John Selawsky announced the Tenant Convention and landlord tax, Sophie Hanh, Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington and many others shared their ideas. Here are some photos and links to articles about the event. Stay tuned for ways to get involved in creating and protecting housing for the 99%, especially for the lowest income residents of Berkeley.
We are seeking your continuing support for Berkeley Citizens Action. BCA has played a unique and essential role in progressive politics for the past 45 years. We stand in solidarity with the new surge for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the militancy evidenced by public sector workers in Wisconsin. We need your support to carry on efforts like these in Berkeley!
As we informed you last July, BCA has set the following goal: to build a coalition broad enough to recruit, select, and support progressive candidates for local office by the year 2012.