We’re voting for Elisa Mikiten for City Council because a leader must take clear positions.

Elisa has taken strong positions on BART development, the preservation of Cesar Chavez Park, response to homelessness, the Shellmound site, and other key issues. She fought hard for the seven-story maximum at the North Berkeley BART station because it’s best for affordable housing and best for the neighborhood. On Cesar Chavez Park, she spoke against proposals to commercialize open space. She’s committed to housing homeless people and understands that, in the interim, the impacts on our district are unsustainable. She supports the Ohlone people’s request for the return of the Shellmound and village site on 4th Street.

A leader must stand up for her community. Elisa is beholden only to our community, present and future, not to interest groups, Sacramento, political deals, or organizations that would like to call our shots. She’s lived in District 1 for 26 years and has run her business in West Berkeley for 22 years. As chair of the Planning Commission and a former Zoning Adjustments Board Commissioner, she knows the rules and how to use them for the community’s benefit.

A leader must have experience. Elisa has worked for 30 years on housing and community and economic development. She’s delivered housing to the East Bay that serves students, seniors, people with disabilities, homeless adults and youth, and families. She built programs that helped revitalize two downtowns. She served over a decade on local commissions. She knows where the rules are working for Berkeley and where they are holding us back.

A leader must be right for the moment. The decisions we make in the next few years will determine the future of District 1 and Berkeley. Elisa’s housing and community development background make her the most qualified representative to plan our future. We’re lucky to have her.

A leader must be clear-eyed. Elisa knows we must embrace all available housing strategies to address our community’s needs. She understands the challenges construction and land costs pose for affordability and how policy affects costs. She’s worked with affordable housing developers and will make Berkeley their best investment.

A Berkeley leader must be progressive. Elisa supports rent control and the strategies that provide stability to this community. She supports public safety that delivers the right services to the right problems, including mental health. She supports the electrification of buildings and businesses and investments in climate action. She supports safe pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure while meeting the needs of residents and businesses.

A leader must believe in our community, our city, and our future and have the skills and strength to fight for what’s right. In her personal life and business, she’s long been part of the fabric of this neighborhood. She will work her heart out for and with us.

Please join us! To learn more, visit https://elisaforcouncil.com/.

Tony Corman is a jazz guitarist, arranger and composer and has been a District 1 resident since 1986. Liza Sanchez is the founder of Escuela Bilingüe Internacional and a District 1 renter.

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.

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