American flag. Photo: Jnn13/Creative Commons

Now that Labor Day has passed and schools are back in session, the election season is revving up. In Berkeley, there is a slew of races, including two open seats for the Berkeley City Council with no incumbent running, two open seats for the School Board, and an open seat for the City Auditor.

Every year, the League of Women Voters of Berkeley Albany and Emeryville holds candidate forums. All the events listed below (with the exception of the AD15 forum) will be held at Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center St. All the forums will be taped by Berkeley Community Media and put up on their website as was as the League’s YouTube channel. Here is a list of their upcoming events:

  • Berkeley City Council District 1 Candidate Forum: Sept. 18th, 7-8 p.m. Sign up at
  • Berkeley City Council Districts 4, 7, 8 Candidate Forum: Sept. 19th, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sign up at
  • Berkeley School Board Candidate Forum: Sept 25, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Sign up at
  • Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Candidate Forum: Sept. 26th, 7-9 p.m. Sign up at
  • Assembly District 15 Candidate Forum: Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Berkeley Community Theater, 1930 Allston Way. Sign up at
  • Political Party – The League is holding a pro/con forum for state and local propositions on Thursday, Oct. 4th, 6:30-9 p.m. Sign up at

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Women’s Candidate Breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 8 to 10 a.m. at La Note, 2377 Shattuck Ave. The Chamber invited all some of the women running for a city council seat to attend and discuss what it means to them to be a female candidate in 2018, said Kirsten MacDonald, the CEO of the Chamber. The candidates have also been asked to describe their policy goals for female entrepreneurs. City Councilwoman Kate Harrison, who is running for re-election in District 4 will be there, as will City Councilwoman Lori Droste, who is running for re-election in District 8. Mary Kay Lacey, who is running for the District 8 seat, will attend, as will Rashi Kesarwani, who is running in District 1. MacDonald said she also extended an invite to Margo Schueler, who is running in District 1, but did not hear back from her. [Update: The chamber failed to invite two female candidates, Ces Rosales, who is running for District 7, and Mary Behm-Steinberg, running for District 1. The Chamber also failed to invite Aidan Hill, who is non-binary. Hill is running for District 7. MacDonald said Saturday that she had not realized there were additional candidates and she will extend them an invitation.] Tickets are $10.

At the Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panther meeting on Wednesday, Sept 26, City Councilman Kriss Worthington will present an overview of the Berkeley ballot measures for November. The forum will be held at the Berkeley Media Center, 1939 Addison St., from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Worthington will discuss:

  • Measure O – General Obligation Bond for Affordable Housing
  • Measure P – Transfer Tax Measure
  • Measure Q – Amendments to the Rent and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance
  • Measure R – Advisory Measure – Vision 2050

The Berkeley PTA Council is hosting a forum for candidates running for the Berkeley School Board on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, 1500 Derby Street. Voters will elect three school board members and all the candidates, Ty Alper (sitting), Kadijah Brown, Norma Harrison, Dru Howard, Abdur Sikder, and Julie Sinai have been invited.

The forum will consist of candidates’ presentations followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Questions can be submitted during the discussion or in advance by completing the form on the Council’s website, The deadline for submissions is September 27. The event will also be webcast on the Berkeley PTA Council YouTube Channel.

If you know of other events coming up, please tell Berkeleyside about them in the comments section.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...