Election Update

BALLOT MEASURE CONTROVERSY

A draft of the ballot measure BTU supports will be reviewed by City Council on May 31.

The Berkeley landlords submitted their ballot measure petition to the City Clerk today. Now the Clerk will check a sample number of the signers – it could be some time before we hear if the petition was validated. They submitted 3,326 signatures; because it is a tax measure it requires 1,932 valid signatures.

BTU’s Selawsky Sounds Warning
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-05-13/article/44490?headline=Deceptive-housing-petition-now-circulating–John-T.-Selawsky-jwebsky-earthlink.net

Committee for Safe and Affordable Homes:
www.fundaffordablehousing.org

The Landlords’ Petition:
http://www.thebrhc.org/ballot-measure.html

BACKGROUND ON BRHC and BPOA

The Berkeley Rental Housing Coalition was formed last summer by leaders of the Berkeley Property Owners Association as a 501(c)6 for lobbying, lawsuits, and other political activities. According to their website, they elect their Board of Directors by allowing each landlord one vote per unit, so the largest property owners control the group.

Daily Cal: http://www.dailycal.org/2015/06/25/berkeley-landlord-coalition-raises-money-to-seek-greater-political-influence/
Daily Planet: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2015-06-12/article/43384?headline=Berkeley-Landlords-Form-Political-Action-Committee-to-Raise-Half-Million-per-Year–
Daily Cal: http://www.dailycal.org/2015/07/08/berkeley-mayor-tom-bates-criticized-for-encouraging-landlords-to-form-pac/
Mayor Bates Urges Landlords to Form PAC: https://youtu.be/vzvHaSP3LJ4 (see 24 minutes in)

RENT BOARD ELECTION

267 voters at the 2016 Tenant Convention (photo Christine Schwartz)

267 voters at the 2016 Tenant Convention (photo Christine Schwartz)

Daily Cal article focusing on Christina Murphy and Leah Simon-Weisberg

Leah Simon-Weisberg (photo C. Schwartz)

Leah Simon-Weisberg (photo C. Schwartz)

Tenant leader and current Rent Board Commissioner Judy Shelton is quoted in the article as saying, ““These are progressive people who are all very passionate about supporting

Christina Murphy (photo C. Schwartz)

Christina Murphy (photo C. Schwartz)

tenants,” said Shelton, whose term is ending this election season. “They’re supporting each other, and we in the progressive community support them too.”
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/05/13/christina-murphy-leah-simon-weisberg-run-rent-stabilization-board/

Daily Cal on the Tenant Convention
In 2012, a similar pro-landlord slate — Tenants United for Fairness — ran one candidate in order to combat allegations of a pro-tenant bias within the rent board. The following year, the slate allegedly did not submit campaign finance statements from prohibited organizations — including Premium Properties — to the city. Tenants United for Fairness agreed to pay a $4,000 fine to the city and has not run a candidate since Judy Hunt was elected in 2012.”
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/04/24/pro-tenant-convention-elects-slate-candidates-november-election-sunday/

Leah Simon-Weisberg Launches Website for Rent Board Election
http://www.leahsimon-weisberg.com/

BTU ENDORSEMENTS

While the Tenant Convention had 267 voters, BTU’s endorsements meeting for Council and Mayor had a lower, but still impressive, turnout of 109 voters. Although Kriss Worthington announced he was also running for mayor, organizers of the event from BTU and our progressive allies would not change the rules at the start of the meeting, so only one candidate can use our endorsement in each race, although voters in the November election can rank their choices.

Mayor: BTU Member Jesse Arreguin

District 2: Nanci Armstrong-Temple

District 3: Ben Bartlett

District 5: Sophie Hahn

District 6: BTU Member Fred Dodsworth

BTU / BPA / BCA Endorsements Meeting in East Bay Times
“Building affordable housing, blunting gentrification and finding compassionate solutions to homelessness were central issues addressed April 30 by mayoral and council candidates seeking joint endorsement by the left-leaning Berkeley Progressive Alliance, Berkeley Citizen’s Action and Berkeley Tenants Union.”
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29845596/berkeley-progressive-groups-back-arreguin-mayor

BTU / BPA / BCA Endorsements Meeting in Daily Cal
Registered members of any of the three groups who had paid their dues were eligible to cast a ballot. Approximately 100 ballots were cast for each position. Voters were allowed to either cast a ballot for any of the candidates who spoke at the meeting or write in candidates….Worthington, who was seeking mayoral endorsement but has not yet registered for candidacy, asked for the groups to endorse two candidates for each position. Worthington said he is running for mayor in a formal political partnership with Arreguin.”
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/05/02/progressive-voters-meet-endorse-mayoral-city-council-candidates/

Berkeley Progressive Alliance Op-Ed
These organizations are part of a network of progressive Berkeley citizens working to curb the influence of special interests and make local government accountable to the residents of Berkeley. They include a campaign in to increase funding for affordable housing in Berkeley.”
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-04-22/article/44418?headline=It-s-Time-to-Make-Berkeley-Truly-Progressive–From-Margot-Smith-for-BPA

Jesse Arreguin For Mayor Op-Ed on Housing
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-04-15/article/44389?headline=Housing-Costs-Major-Topic-for-Berkeleyans–Councilmember-Jesse-Arreguin

Nanci Armstrong-Temple, District 2: South and West Berkeley
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/05/11/berkeley-resident-files-to-run-for-district-2-city-council-election/

Ben Bartlett, District 3: South Berkeley
http://benbartlett.vote/

Sophie Hahn, District 5: North Berkeley
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-01-29/article/44128?headline=Sophie-Hahn-Announces-Run-for-Berkeley-City-Council-District-5–From-the-Sophie-Hahn-Campaign-Committee

Fred Dodsworth, District 6: Berkeley Hills
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/03/09/berkeley-resident-fred-dodsworth-files-to-run-for-district-6-council-seat/

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