Old City Hall: four council seats are being contested. Photo: Wikimedia Commoms.

Four Berkeley council seats and a variety of other Berkeley posts are being contested at the general election on Tuesday, November 2. Berkeleyside will have full coverage of all the races but, first, here is your quick summary guide to who is running for what.

We’ve provided links to the candidates’ profile pages at the City Clerk’s site, as well as to their own websites when we could find it (if we’ve missed some sites, let us know).

The November election in Berkeley is also distinguished by the introduction of ranked-choice voting (RCV), also known as instant runoff voting, which will be used for city council elections. Voters will be able to rank a first, second and third choice candidate for a single office. In RCV, if no candidate receives over 50% of the first-choice votes for the office, the candidate who received the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. That candidate’s votes will be redistributed to the candidates who received her/his second-choice votes. RCV means that no runoff elections are required.

City Council

Districts 1, 4, 7 and 8 are up for election this year. The incumbents, Linda Maio, Jesse Arreguín, Kriss Worthington and Gordon Wozniak are all standing, but they face a number of opponents.

District 1

District 4

District 7

District 8

City Auditor

Ann-Marie Hogan is running unopposed.

School Board Director

Six candidates are running for three open seats. Karen Hemphill is the one incumbent on the ballot.

Rent Board Commissioner

There are nine candidates for six seats. Dave Blake, Katherine Harr, George Perezvelez, Lisa Stephens, Jesse Townley and Pam Webster are incumbents.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...

21 replies on “Election groundwork: Who’s running in November?”

  1. I suggest the readers take a look at the comments that preceed this one. Fred knew dang well who I was. He is, by nature, a bully.

  2. Gosh Tom,
    It looks like you’re all disappointed over nothing.
    All I did was quote your statement on George’s website: “‘I have known George for 18 years …’ — -Thomas B. Francis, Senior Engineer, EBMUD, Former Chair Berkeley Public Works Commission.”

    Frankly, it looks to me like you’re a little too quick to play the “Homophobe” card. I am not, nor have I ever been homophobic. In fact, I have plenty of gay friends and if you bothered to do ANY research you’ll find a large body of journalism I’ve written that treats gay folks just like everyone else. As far as ‘Identity Politics” goes I have many friends who are native Spanish speakers as well, so I guess that means you strike out on both counts

    In fact your persistent hostile tone, combined with your persistent sense of victimization is all I know about you. It’s all I really know about your candidate as well (other than his support by the Berkeley Property Owner’s Association). It seems to me that you want your candidate to get special treatment just because of his sexual preference and geo-ethnic identity. Well that’s not going to happen. The only way ALL folks get FAIR and EQUITABLE treatment is when no one gets SPECIAL treatment at everyone else’s expense. If “Identity Politics” is the only card you and George have to play, then it’s time to fold up your tent and move on down the road.

    Regarding my influence of the Pro-Tenant Slate, as I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t have any influence. I’m not on the slate, I don’t work for the slate and I have no special input on the slate. The slate was chosen at a general election that George attended and George lost. That’s how elections work, Tom. I don’t even have much influence on my son. He’s been living on his own, out of my house since he was 17 (13 years ago), so clearly you’re much more in tune with your candidate’s thoughts and options than I am my son’s.

    Good luck in the election. With your attitude and your candidate you’re going to need luck (and a whole lot of help from the Berkeley Property Owner’s Association).

  3. Sorry Fred if I am disappointing you here – but the fact is, you come across to me as hostile (perhaps you will prove me wrong in the years ahead – I hope that will be the case).

    I am sure any LGBT reader will appreciate that you prefer to characterize an 18 year relationship as a friendship – or to say that as a gay man I am “catty” – oh how a big old queen like me loves to bicker and be catty, and isn’t it so “interesting” that two friends like George and Tom make house together. If you heard George speak, you’d make fun of his latin accent to make your point as well?

    So – to answer your questions.

    George and I are not members of the BPOA and I can’t honestly say who they are or are not supporting. However, George wants to work to make sure that people coming before the Rent Board are treated fairly and justly (hence if there is a tenant with an issue, he wants to give voice to that tenant / views that tenant should be heard and helped). He particularly wants to reach out to the LGBT and Hispanic / Minority community. Of course we need to hear landlord issues and treat them fairly as well (isn’t that simply being just and fair?).

    Does the system we have in America favor those with more financial wherewithall? – yes, I know first hand. I was raised in a poor family in a poor state (S Dak). My dad died when I was 3 years old and we depended on Social Security to pay bills – I worked my way through school starting at age 16. My mom worked full time throughout my childhood and beyond as a clerk in a local clothing store. We did not have the benefits that you have been able to afford your children. However, what I see in Berkeley (as opposed to where I grew up) is that this City and its citizens have made many commitments to help – for example, by establishing bodies such as the Rent Board – and through those programs / outreach that exist here – give some help to those that are at a disadvantage. I think one would argue the Rent Board’s existance is to help level that playing field you refer to.

    I don’t like to see any properties deteriorate (home, rental units, etc.) and neither does Goerge. There is a considerable financial surplus at the Rent Board (in the hundreds of thousands last I heard), and perhaps we can work together to figure out a way to put it too good use toward that or other regards.

    So now, I’ll kindly ask that you answer my questions:

    1) Will the Slate (including your son) commit to setting up a fund such that all their salary (over the next 4 years) be provided to a worthwhile charity vs going into their pockets or the pockets of their friends? Perhaps we could even involve Berkeleyside and their readers in helping to ID what charties are worthwhile. By my calculation, 6 x $6k x 4 years = approx. $150k or so that would be made available; and

    2)Will the Slate (including your son) enter into a pledge to forgoe the generous City benefits afforded upon our electeds? Assuming that benefits amount to about $1000 per month per elected person, that equates to 1k x 6 x 12 x 4 = approx. $300k over the course of four years – saving the City hundreds of thousands isn’t such a bad deal is it, particularly in light of the significant financial problems facing the City in years ahead?

  4. Tom.
    Please don’t refer to my responses to your hostile, catty comments as ‘bickering’. Unlike you, I am not in charge of anyone’s campaign, nor can I speak for any ‘slate.’ Like any father, I am simply supporting my son’s good-faith efforts to be an engaged citizen in the city where he was born, attended school, and still lives.
    I see by George’s website that you are an “18-year” friend of George’s, and that you are former chair of Berkeley’s dysfunctional public works commission. Instead of making more nasty accusations about me and my family, please answer the following questions:
    Is the Berkeley Property Owners Association supporting George Perezvelez?
    Do landlords have an advantage in our legal system?
    Should folks who allow their properties to deteriorate be landlords?
    These are the questions I asked at the beginning of this exchange, please provide the answers.

  5. Fred

    Using funds to hire a friend is quite different than George’s commitment to give the money to charity. Secondly, your son has not committed to forgoe benefits (if so, please feel free to share that comment as well)

    It would be wonderful if you could get the entire slate to forgo their salary and benefits (specifically committing to give all of their salary each year of their term to a charity and further forgoing any City benefit, saving all that money such that the City could use it toward other programs / efforts / outreach, etc).

    That may make our bickering actually benefit more than just the curious readers. Make that happen Fred and I won’t post another reply (I’m waiting!)

  6. Mr. Tom F.
    •I have no sway over Ms. O’Malley.
    •My son also stated he plans to forgo his salary (he plans to use the money to hire aides to increase the effectiveness of the office). By the by, my son is also a landlord, and his tenants are supporting him in this run for this office.
    •When I was a youngster my momma, may she rest in peace, told me to be mindful of the company I kept. That said I find it fascinating that George has the whole-hearted support of the Berkeley Property Owner’s Association, especially when that organization has tried arduously to destroy rent-control in Berkeley. George appears appears to be their latest efforts to accomplish that goal.
    •And like Ms. Palin, I’m sure you think you can see all sorts of ‘things’ from your window.
    If my arguments drive folks to vote, great, no matter how they vote.
    En garde

  7. Fred

    We’ve sent the Berkeley Daily Planet a letter detailing his plans and platform if elected. If the webmaster for Berkeleyside wants me to provide it to them as well, we’ll be more than happy to do so (to date, they have concentrated on other races in the City – which is their prerogative and I have to respect that).

    If the Daily Planet chooses to post the letter (which is Ms. O’Malley’s call vs. mine), then you can read and comment – you have an in over there so you may want to ask them to do so sooner vs. later. You’ll see, in that letter, that George’s plans, should he be elected, are pretty dang “progressive” / will benefit our City (as I have said, he is hoping to target helping our minority and LGBT communities, but beyond that commits to work with the other electeds to do even greater help to the City and community). Further, unlike your son, he has committed to forgoe any salary and benefits should he be elected (something no one on the Slate will commit to).

    Regarding who endorses whom, I have no control over that. I can say, with 100% conviction, that your characterizing of George as being “the ‘plant’ of any ‘group’, ‘person’, ‘party’, etc. is totally baseless (and shameful). You’re not doing our community any favor by making things up as you go, but I suppose you view otherwise.

    Now, if I can add a bit of humor. I view that your “opposition” of George is going to send votes his way – kind of contradictory to your goal I suspect – much in the same manner an endorsement of the Slate by Sarah Palin would send votes his way (your son isn’t a former witch is he?, as a tie-in to Christine O’Donnell would be the icing on the Cake for me today). If I can borrow a Palin phrase now and tweak it a bit, “I can see Nov. 3rd from my window” – and while the papers read that you may have lost our Community has won.


    Giving this a bit of though

  8. Dear ‘Tom F’
    Rather than engage in anonymous ad hominem attacks why don’t you argue the points? Is the Berkeley Property Owners Association supporting George Perezvelez? Do landlords have an advantage in our legal system? Should folks who allow their properties to deteriorate be landlords?
    You don’t address those issues because you can’t. Instead you make hysterical defamatory comments about my personality.
    By the by, sure my son is running for rent board, anyone you know with the last name of Dodsworth is probably CLOSELY related to me. I’m very, very proud of Asa, he stands up for what he believes and he isn’t afraid of hard work. Vote for Asa Dodsworth for Berkeley Rent Board. Vote for all the Tenant-supported candidates. Is that clear enough?

  9. Fred is wrong – George is simply a candidate that would be a representative for all of Berkeley – but particularly would work to reach out to minorities and the LGBT community. Fred does not state that his son is running, and habors deep seated resentment toward the Mayor, 7 or 9 of our council members, and generally speaking, anyone who has an opinion that differs than his.

    I’d suggest that people visit the smart voter website and read about all the candidates (for each and every office). No offense Fred, but Berkeley needs more electeds that will speak with each other and work with each other. I hope you will join me in wishing every candidate well (including your son)

    For the good of the City – choose George P (as it makes for a wise choice)

  10. I’ve been a landlord and I’ve been a tenant, both residential and commercial. I’ve been a landlord in Berkeley, Oakland and in Palo Alto. I’ve been a tenant in Berkeley, Emeryville and San Francisco. Rest assured, the landlord always has the advantage. The only time landlords don’t have an automatic pass, is when they’re operating outside the law. Frankly, I’m not a big supporter of Rent Control. I personally believe it should be means tested and it should be partnered with Everything-thing-else-cost-control. That said, landlords who don’t take care of their properties, of their INVESTMENT, should NOT be landlords. End of story. Period. That’s all she wrote. Perezelez is the Berkeley Property Owner’s Association plant. If you want to totally screw your tenant neighbors, vote for Perezvelez. If you want to live in an integrated, multicultural, multi-class community with artists, musicians, poets, authors, teachers, municipal workers, retailers, clerks, etc. VOTE for ANYONE but Perezvelez. It’s your call. Now you know.

  11. My hope is that Berkeley will support a rent board candidate that has some balance in outlook. We want to be a city that preserves its base of people from all income levels, and if we want to preserve our architecture and neighborhood character — we also need to allow owners of buildings to run renting of property as a business. When landlords are regarded as the “Man” who is reaps undeserved profit and when owners of buildings are prohibited from applying a reasonable economic formula that allows for reinvestment into a building – we get what we see happening all around us, decaying buildings that are not improved. When a building is not reinvested in for years, it often reaches a point where the only sensible option is to tear it down–I see no candidates that offer hope of a more holistic outlook on the reality of our situation in 2011 but I hope Perezvelez can offer a broader perspective and an alternate point of view.

  12. VOTE NO ON R. Eric Panzer is a agent provocateur working for Tom Bates and Mark Rhoades pushing the green wash developer scam that will destroy downtown Berkeley and severely damage the rest of our community. The Bates machine is trying to bulldoze the community into changing the very character of our lovely city and Manhattanize (Bates term) our small town into the sort of bleak skyscraper wasteland seen in downtown Oakland. Already UC is adding a million square feet of building and the National Lab is adding another million square feet of building and we can’t do anything about that but we can stop R. The Yes on R folks are claiming their new monstrosities will be green but even a LEED Platinum building will net for more carbon waste over the lifespan of the building than creative reuse of our existing (vacant) retail stock. Now Chairman Bates wants to choke a million more feet of non-retail building into our downtown. Stop Mayor Bates Wrecking Crew. Vote for Jesse Arreguin for District 4, Kriss Worthington for District 7, Jasper Kingeter for District 1, and Stewart Jones for District 8 and VOTE NO ON R.

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