Berkeley 2014 election hub: What you need to know

Berkeleyans will get out the vote in less than three weeks. Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeleyans will get out the vote in less than three weeks. Are you ready? Photo: Pete Rosos

Absentee ballots have arrived and the November 2014 election is just around the corner. Berkeleyside has been covering the issues for months, and we’ve collected some of our best Berkeley election coverage in a single post to help readers get informed before they cast their votes.

Browse Berkeleyside’s 2014 election coverage.

Berkeley has several council seats up for grabs, and seven ballot measures under consideration. If you haven’t yet plugged into the local issues on the table, here’s your chance. On election night, we’ll cover the results live, and we plan to keep this hub updated as Nov. 4 approaches. If you think it’s a good resource, we hope you’ll share it with your friends and neighbors.

See our election-night live blog here, with continuing updates.

What else do you need to know?

The deadline to register to vote in Alameda County for the Nov. 4 election is Monday, Oct. 20. Registration can be completed online. Berkeleyside does not endorse candidates or measures.

In addition to our news coverage, a lively debate has been going on in our opinion pages. Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles of 500-800 words. We ask for first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related and local authors are preferred. Please email submissions to the editors.

Click the following links to jump to the section of interest.

Three Berkeley City Council seats are contested. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Three Berkeley City Council seats are contested. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Berkeley City Council

Three council seats are contested, in districts 1, 7 and 8. Councilman Jesse Arreguín is unopposed in downtown Berkeley’s District 4. Find your council district and your local representative manually, or use this handy tool.

Council District 1: Incumbent Linda Maio is facing off against local activist Merrilie Mitchell and Worthington aide Alejandro Soto-Vigil. See District 1 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

Council District 7: Berkeley native Sean Barry has filed to run for the District 7 seat, challenging 18-year incumbent Kriss Worthington. See District 7 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

District 8 council candidates. Source: Voter's Edge
District 8 council candidates. Source: Voter’s Edge

Council District 8: The race for Berkeley’s District 8 seat, soon to be vacated by Councilman Gordon Wozniak, is the most competitive of the 2014 election season. Four candidates are vying for the post: George Beier Jr., Michael Alvarez Cohen, Lori Droste and Jacquelyn McCormick. See District 8 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

Other candidate races of interest

City auditor Ann-Marie Hogan is unopposed, and five people are running for five seats opening on the city’s Rent Stabilization Board. The school board and District 15 Assembly races are contested.

Berkeley School Board candidates. Source: Voter's Edge
Berkeley School Board candidates. Source: Voter’s Edge

Berkeley School Board: Five candidates — Ty Alper, Norma Harrison, and incumbents Josh Daniels, Karen Hemphill and Julie Sinai — are running for three open seats.

Assembly District 15 seat: Elizabeth Echols and Tony Thurmond are competing to fill the District 15 seat that will be vacated by Nancy Skinner. Elected in 2008, Skinner is termed out, but modifications to the term limits in 2012 mean one of these candidates could claim the seat for the next 12 years. Read District 15 Assembly race coverage on Berkeleyside.

The ballot measures

There are seven Berkeley ballot measures set to come before voters in November, but four have gotten most of the attention. There’s the sugar-sweetened beverage tax, the parks tax, the downtown initiative and the question of what the city’s council district boundaries should be. (Three lower profile items relate to recall provisions, corporate personhood and working from home.)

The PAC against a soda tax in Berkeley has poured $800,000 into the No on Measure D campaign. Will Berkeley be first? Photo: Mike Mozart
Will Berkeley be the first city to tax sugar-sweetened beverages? Photo: Mike Mozart

Measure D: The soda tax

The city of Berkeley is considering a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages, and the American Beverage Association is fighting that initiative. Selected news stories follow; see complete Measure D coverage on Berkeleyside.



On the web

The Berkeley rose garden pergola needs major repairs and has been closed to park visitors since April. Photo: Daniel Parks
The Berkeley rose garden pergola needs major repairs and has been closed to park visitors since April. Photo: Daniel Parks

Measure F: The parks tax

The city says it needs to raise money to support Berkeley’s parks. The proposal on the table translates into an additional $43 a year for the owner of an average-size home. (That same homeowner already pays about $240 a year under the existing parks tax.) Selected news stories follow; see complete Measure F coverage on Berkeleyside.



On the web

Measure O: Amendment to the recall provisions in Berkeley City Charter

From the ballot question: “Shall the Charter of the City of Berkeley be amended to conform the provisions for the recall of elective officers to recent judicial rulings and the state Elections Code with respect to counting of votes, signature threshold, petition circulators, and signature verification, and adjust the deadlines for calling recall elections to allow for consolidation with statewide elections?”


Downtown Berkeley, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Future development in downtown Berkeley is uncertain pending the vote on Measure R. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Measure R: The downtown initiative

Advocates pushing for more stringent environmental standards have put this measure on the ballot to set stricter rules for developers who hope to build in downtown Berkeley. Opponents of the measure say it will stop the positive trajectory of smart growth and increased density downtown. Its supporters say the measure will bring more community benefits, and provide more protection for the downtown post office, which has been put up for sale. Council has already adopted new zoning rules designed to protect the post office; if voters adopt those same rules in November, council will be unable to make changes — down the line — that currently are under its purview. Selected news stories follow; see complete Measure R coverage on Berkeleyside.



On the web

The BSDC map approved by Judge Grillo will be used in November, unless an appeal overturns the decision.
Voters will choose whether to uphold or throw out the BSDC map, which was approved by the Berkeley City Council in December.

Measure S: New city council districts

Berkeley has been working to create new council district lines for years. In December a council majority adopted new lines, which were challenged by a referendum earlier this year. Voters will decide in November whether to uphold the lines council adopted, or send the city back to the drawing board in 2015. Selected news stories below, or see complete Measure S coverage on Berkeleyside.



On the web

The No on Measure D campaign covered the Ashby BART station with signs - on the floor, on the walls, and next to the ticket machines. BART made the campaign takes some of the signs down on Oc. 8. Photo: Marian Mabel
The No on Measure D campaign covered Ashby BART station as part of its saturation advertising against Measure D. Photo: Marian Mabel

Campaign finances

Berkeleyside has been keeping a close eye on the money as election season heats up.

Other resources

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Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.