Two Berkeley City Council districts will see contested elections this fall, while two councilmembers and City Auditor Jenny Wong are cruising to re-election unopposed.

Seats representing council districts 1, 4, 7 and 8 are on ballots this year, along with spots on the city’s Rent Stabilization Board and school board. The other half of the city council will be up for election in 2024, same with the mayor’s office.

You can look up your council district on this page.

Voters will also have their say on three ballot measures:

  • Measure L, a $650 million infrastructure and affordable housing bond
  • Measure M, a tax on vacant homes
  • Measure N, which authorizes the state, federal or local government to construct up to 3,000 units of low-income housing in Berkeley. Voter authorization is required under California’s state constitution to build low-income housing — the measure does not approve or commit funding for any specific projects.

City Council District 4, which includes downtown and Central Berkeley, seemed at one point to be set for a competitive race, with Councilmember Kate Harrison facing a challenge from nonprofit director Greg Magofña. But Magofña ended his campaign in June, writing in a Twitter thread that he plans to move out of Berkeley because he can no longer afford to live in the city.

No one else is running for the seat, meaning Harrison — who District 4 voters chose in a 2017 special election and the regular election in 2018 — is headed for a second four-year term.

In District 7, which covers much of UC Berkeley and the student-centric Southside neighborhood, Councilmember Rigel Robinson is similarly on track for re-election. City election records show the only challenger in that race, People’s Park activist Aidan Hill, did not qualify for the ballot.

Wong, the only declared candidate for city auditor, was elected to the position overwhelmingly in 2018.

The two competitive City Council races will be in District 1, which covers Northwest Berkeley, and District 8 in the city’s southeast corner, including the Elmwood District and Claremont neighborhood.

District 1 incumbent Councilmember Rashi Kesarwani faces two challengers in her bid for a second term: Elisa Mikiten, an Affordable Housing Planner and chair of the city’s Planning Commission, and holistic health and disability advocate Tamar Michai Freeman.

Five names will be on the ballot to replace District 8 Councilmember Lori Droste, who announced she would not seek a third term earlier this year, though one candidate has already dropped out of the race.

The field’s early frontrunner is Mark Humbert, an attorney who has picked up endorsements from Droste, Mayor Jesse Arreguín and five other members of the City Council. He will face Mari Mendonca, a member of the Rent Stabilization Board since 2019; nonprofit founder Peter Bruce DuMont; and insurance agent Jay Wu.

Mary-Lee Smith, an attorney who sits on Berkeley’s Mental Health Commission, also qualified for the ballot — but wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that she is ending her campaign and throwing her support behind Mendonca.

Early voting for the 2022 election begins Oct. 10, which is also when you can start returning your vote-by-mail ballot. Election Day is Nov. 8.

The deadline to register to vote online or by mail in Alameda County is Oct. 24, and the election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. We put together a guide to the essentials of how to register and vote, what’s on the ballot, voters’ rights and more.

Here are some other helpful election resources:

See complete 2022 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

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Nico Savidge joined Berkeleyside in 2021 as a senior reporter covering city hall. Born and raised in Berkeley, he got his start in journalism at Youth Radio as a high-schooler in the mid-2000s. Since then,...