That Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett should face challengers in the 2020 Election is wild to me. When one considers the many accomplishments Bartlett has done for Berkeley, and what work he’s started and that’s left to be done, and then look at his opponents and what they offer, that Bartlett’s re-election should be a point of debate is, well, unusual, for several reasons.
First, consider that each and every member of the Berkeley City Council has endorsed Ben for re-election. That means this:
Jesse Arreguín, Berkeley Mayor
Sophie Hahn, Berkeley Vice Mayor & City Councilmember
Rashi Kesarwani, Berkeley City Councilmember
Cheryl Davila, Berkeley City Councilmember
Kate Harrison, Berkeley City Councilmember
Susan Wengraf, Berkeley City Councilmember
Rigel Robinson, Berkeley City Councilmember
Lori Droste, Berkeley City Councilmember
Tom Bates, Former Berkeley Mayor
Max Anderson, Former Berkeley Councilmember, District 3
.. all of those Berkeley representatives not only want Ben Bartlett to retain his seat, but that they pay attention to him regarding policy formation. Not one of Councilmember Bartlett’s opponents can make that claim. It also means that, again, unlike his opponents, Berkeley residents don’t have to concern themselves with Bartlett’s ability to gain votes for his initiatives representing them.
Second, having all of the Berkeley City Council backing him also means Councilmember Bartlett understands something else his challengers don’t: governance. Governance, simply put, means how the business of government works.
Ben Bartlett’s Constant Focus For South Berkeley Has Been Extremely Affordable Housing
In addition to governance, Councilmember Bartlett’s main focus from the start of his first term has been the development of extremely affordable housing. For example, Mr. Bartlett’s office wrote the grant that allowed Resources for Community Development to gain $40 Million Dollars in affordable housing for South Berkeley. He has also backed a number of initiatives to advance the development of more extremely affordable housing that deserve a book unto themselves.
By contrast, one of Councilmember Bartlett’s challengers is a realtor who’s in favor of pro-market-rate and expensive housing in the middle of the worst homeless crisis in modern history, and The COVID-19 Pandemic.
In addition, she is not even supporting the passage of State Proposition 16. That means she’s not in favor of the re-installation of much-needed affirmative action laws designed to cause social equity.
Councilmember Bartlett Backs Police Spending Reformation In The Wake Of George Floyd
In addition to housing advocacy, Councilmember Bartlett advanced and assisted in the passage of a number of items of legislation designed to focus police spending on alternative crime fighting practices. Thanks to his leadership, and relationships with fellow Berkeley City Councilmembers, Berkeley became a national leader in police reform.
I could go on and on, but I’ll cut to the chase: re-elect Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett.
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