Berkeley is one of only two cities in the United States with an autonomous body overseeing rent-controlled housing, separate and distinct from city government. The Berkeley Rent Board is this unique entity, composed of nine elected officials for two-year terms.
The Rent Board administers and protects rent-stabilized housing; enacts regulations to support and expand this housing; mediates disputes between tenants and landlords; and sets the ceiling for annual rent increases. This November, five seats on the Rent Board will be vacated.
Last week, the Berkeley Tenants Union (BTU) kicked off their semi-annual tenant convention, which will conclude on July 15 – once all votes are counted – with a pro-tenant slate for the Rent Board. Historically, this is how the progressive tenant-centered slate of candidates is vetted.
In a city with over 60 percent renters, tenant conventions are critical in galvanizing and educating our city’s residents. Neighborhood tenant conventions have proved an effective recruitment and mobilizing tool to get out the vote and educate the masses on the people running and their allegiances.
At the Tenant Convention, each of six Rent Board candidates presented their platform and answered questions from community organizations. The candidates who participate in the convention commit to preserving rent-controlled housing and upholding the rights of tenants with supportive legislation.
This year’s candidates are Negeene Mosaed (BCA Steering Committee member), Ida Martinac, Soli Alpert, Vanessa Marrero, Sylvia Chapman and Della Moran. Once the slate is finalized, this group will work together to win seats on the Rent Board in the November general election.
The vetting process began weeks ago with a lengthy written questionnaire, followed by interviews, where each candidate was rated.
The convention was held June 28 at 7pm. You can watch the recording on Youtube: bit.ly/2022ConventionRecording, or on Facebook: bit.ly/2022ConventionRecordingFB
To read the Candidate Questionnaires, click here: bit.ly/2022CandidateQuestionnaires
To see how the screening committee evaluated the candidates, click here: bit.ly/2022RentBoardScreenings
We encourage everyone who lives in Berkeley who is over the age of 13 to vote in the tenant convention. Deadline to request a ballot has been extended to Monday, July 11th at 11:59 pm. Votes must be submitted by Friday July 15 at 11:59pm.
To Request an ELECTRONIC Ballot, click here: bit.ly/2022BallotRequest
To Request a PAPER Ballot, click here: bit.ly/2022PaperBallotRequest
Together, we can ensure our community survives and our democracy flourishes!
Other LINKS & PHONE NUMBERS
The following organizations participated organizing the tenant convention: Friends of Adeline, Berkeley Citizens Action, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, Gray Panthers, Green Party, Healthy Black Families, Young Democratic Socialists of America at UC Berkeley, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Our Revolution East Bay, SEIU 1021, Center for Independent Living and the relaunched Berkeley Progressive Alliance.
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