Berkeley Progressive Alliance

Results of Berkeley City Council and Auditor Endorsement Meeting

collage jpg online

More than 80 members of Berkeley Citizens Action and Berkeley Progressive Alliance met today the North Berkeley Senior Center Sunday afternoon to hear from candidates for City Auditor and City Council hopefuls for District 1, 4 and 8. Several candidates were not well known so it was a great opportunity to hear their statements and ask questions about their positions.

A big thank you to all who came out to hear the candidates and who volunteered to make the event happen: planners, candidates, supporters, MCs, ballot counters, photographer, the timekeeper and candidate greeter, and the crew who helped set up and take down the event. This event could not happen without you!

Endorsement results are listed below. Our organizations require 60% to endorse a candidate. Look for ideas in the coming weeks on how to support these candidates. Click on the links to see the candidates answers to our questionnaires.

City Auditor:
Candidates were Steve Levine and Jennifer Li Wong.
Ballot Results: No endorsement. Both Candidates had strong support, so no neither candidate could achieve the 60% threshold for endorsement.

City Council District 1: 
Candidates were Mary Behm-SteinbergRashi KesarwaniMargo Schueler and Igor Tregub.
Ballot Results: Igor Tregub Endorsed.

City Council District 4: 
Kate Harrison was the only candidate who requested our endorsement.
Ballot Results: Kate Harrison Endorsed.

City Council District 7:
No candidates requested endorsement at this time. Rigel Robinson, Cassandra King and Kriss Worthington decided to wait until the fall to ask for our endorsement. We expect to hold a meeting after Labor Day to discuss measures, propositions and unresolved candidate races.

City Council District 8: 
Candidates were Mary Kay LaceyAlfred Twu and Russ Tilleman
Ballot Results: Mary Kay Lacey Endorsed.

Photos above by Christine Schwartz


Join Berkeley Citizens Action & Berkeley Progressive Alliance for a Candidate Endorsement Meeting for City Council Districts 1, 4, 7 and 8, and City Auditor

Date and Time: Sunday April 29, 2-5 pm (Registration begins at 1:30 pm)

Location: North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue

Help us choose our slate of progressive candidates for 2018. Candidates who have submitted their questionnaires and will be on the ballot are listed below. Click on their link to read their questionnaire.

City Auditor: Pamela BoyleSteve LevineJennifer Wong

City Council District 1: Rashi KesarwaniMargo SchuelerIgor Tregub & Mary Behm-Steinberg

City Council District 4: Kate Harrison

City Council District 7: Cassandra King

City Council District 8: Mary Kay LaceyAlfred TwuRuss Tilleman

This event is open to all. Members of BCA or BPA will be able to vote for endorsements. Past members may pay current dues (by check or cash) in advance or at the door. Please renew membership in advance to avoid lines during registration. No one turned away for lack of funds.

BCA: Membership is $35 yearly, $10 low income. To renew membership online:

BPA: Membership is $25 a year, or $10 for low income and students, $50 for sustainers. To renew membership online:

Questions? E-mail: or

8 Candidates plan to attend BCA-BPA Endorsement Meeting for City Council and Auditor, Sunday April 29 2-5:30 pm

What: Join BCA and BPA members to meet and endorse city candidates for council and auditor

When: Sunday, April 29, 2 to 5:30 p.m., Registration begins at 1:30 p.m.

Where: North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst St (at Martin Luther King Jr. Way)

The following candidates have accepted our invitation to seek our endorsement:

City Auditor: Pamela Boyle, Steve Levine

City Council District 1: Cecily Brewster, Rashi Kersawani, Margo Schueler, Igor Tregub

City Council District 4: Kate Harrison

City Council District 7: Rigel Robinson

City Council District 8: Mary Kay Lacey, Alfred Twu

Candidates who return our questionnaires by April 19 will be listed on our endorsement ballots. Questionnaires will be posted on the BCA and BPA Web sites shortly after April 19.

Who can vote: You must be a member in good standing of either BCA or BPA to receive a ballot and vote at the April 29th meeting. If you have ever been a member of BPA, you may renew your membership before or at the April 29th meeting and will be able to vote. Annual dues are $25; $10 for low income and students. You can renew your membership online: We encourage members to renew before the meeting if possible to speed up the registration process on April 29th.

 E-mail:, Web site:


jovanka at ad 15 forumLet’s make Jovanka’s campaign more visible.  To get a sign: email with your address & phone number. Tell us whether you want a yard or a window sign and any special instructions for delivering it.

Jovanka is Vice Mayor of Richmond and active with the Richmond Progressive Alliance. She’s worked to pass a new Rent Control ordinance there and secured strong environmental protections against major polluter Chevron, while the company spent $3 million to defeat her.  The Berkeley Progressive Alliance, Berkeley Citizens Action and Berkeley Tenants Union have joined other East Bay progressives in endorsing this strong advocate.

Other Ways You Can Help

Donate to her campaign
Volunteer to Walk, Make Phone Calls, Host a House Party
Help Get Signs Out in Berkeley:
Learn More about Jovanka

Endorsement Meeting Results

AD 15 Endorsement Forum

About 115 members of Berkeley Progressive Alliance, Berkeley Citizens Action and Berkeley Tenants Union attended today’s forum to hear from Candidate for District Attorney and Assembly District 15.

Alameda County District Attorney:

Pamela Price won the endorsement for District Attorney

Total valid votes: 65
Pamela Price: 52 votes 80%
Nancy O’Malley: 8 votes 12%
No endorsement: 5 votes 7%
(Doesn’t total to 100% because of rounding)

California Assembly District 15:

Jovanka Beckles won the endorsement for Assembly District 15, in the 2nd round of ranked choice voting

Total valid votes: 74

Results for first choice count:

Jovanka Beckles: 44 votes 59%
Ben Bartlett: 9 votes 12%
Dan Kalb: 7 votes 9%
Andy Katz: 5 votes 7%
Judy Appel: 4 votes 5%
Rochelle Pardue-O 3 votes 4%
Owen Poindexter 2 votes 3%
Buffy Wicks no votes (Her child was taken to the hospital so she was not able to attend)
Cheryl Sudduth no votes
No endorsement: no votes
(Doesn’t total to 100% because of rounding)

When the second choice votes of Owen Poindexter’s 2 first choice voters were counted, Jovanka Beckles picked up the additional vote that she needed to reach 60%. Counting of votes stopped at that point. Poindexter was dropped first and his second choice votes were counted first because he had the lowest number of votes. Beckles certainly had additional second choice votes that she didn’t need.

Head counts suggest that about 115 people attended including candidates and those of their supporters who were not members of any of the sponsoring groups.

Candidate Endorsement Meeting for Assembly District 15 and District Attorney, Feb 11, 1:40-5:30pm

Sponsored by Berkeley Citizens Action, Berkeley Progressive Alliance & Berkeley Tenants Union at the South Berkeley Senior Center, located at 2939 Ellis St, Berkeley.

All nine AD15 candidates returned BPA’s questionnaires, as did the incumbent and challenger for district attorney, as they all seek BPA endorsement in their campaigns to represent Berkeley in the California State Assembly. Our questionnaire asked their positions on affordable housing,  Costa-Hawkins, single payer health care, affordable education, fracking, high speed rail and other issues. Click here to read the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire.

Meet all nine AD-15 candidates and District Attorney candidates Pamela Price and Nancy O’Malley. Hear their responses to your questions and decide which to endorse. The nine AD 15 candidates are: Judy Appel, Ben Bartlett, Jovanka Beckles, Dan Kalb, Andy Katz, Rochelle Pardue Okimoto, Owen Poindexter, Cheryl Sudduth, and Buffy Wicks. 

Please renew your membership so you can vote to endorse candidates. Anyone who has ever been a member of BPA may vote if they renew their membership by paying 2018 dues. BPA members must pay 2018 dues to receive a ballot. Dues are $25 or $10 low income or student; $50 for sustainers. You may renew at the meeting but we strongly suggest that you renew in advance to speed up the sign-in registration process on February 11. Click here to renew online.

Background: In the June 5 Primary, voters may vote for only one of these nine AD15 candidates.The top two vote getters in the Primary will face each other in the November 6 General Election. The victor will represent us in the California Assembly, holding the seat currently held by Tony Thurmond, who is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Update on Assembly District 15 and District Attorney Endorsement Forum; Read Candidates Questionnaires

All 9 candidates for Ad 15 plus District Attorney candidates Pamela Price and Nancy O’Malley plan to participate in our endorsement meeting and submitted questionnaires to us. Do they support our Progressive Agenda? Below you may click on candidates’ names to access their full responses, in pdf format.  Pamela Price’s responses were replaced with an updated version at 2:30 pm on 1/28/18 at her office’s request. Nancy O’Malley has responded and will attend. Her questionnaire is posted below as well.

AD 15:  Andy Katz    Ben Bartlett     Owen Poindexter    Judy Appel   Buffy Wicks   Cheryl Sudduth   Dan Kalb   Jovanka Beckles   Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

DA:  Pamela Price       Nancy O’Malley

Join us Sunday, February 11th from 1:40 to 5:30 pm, at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street to hear the candidates, ask questions and vote to endorse a candidate.

To vote in the endorsement meeting you must be a member of Berkeley Progressive Alliance (BPA), Berkeley Citizens Action (BCA) or Berkeley Tenants Union (BTU). Each group will have membership lists at the registration tables at the event.

You may renew your BPA membership at the meeting but we strongly suggest that you renew now to speed up the sign-in process at the event. Click here to pay 2018 dues. Dues are $25 or $10 low income or student; $50 for sustainers. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Join Tenants Together to work for real rent control in Berkeley

Thursday, January 11 at 8 AM – 12 PM at the California State Capitol, 1315 10th Street in Sacramento

Victory! A first vote on the bill to to repeal the state restriction on rent control – the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act – AB1506 – is scheduled! This was hard fought. Housing justice groups across the state have been pressuring Housing committee chair Assemblymember Chiu, lead author Assemblymember Bloom, and Assembly Speaker Rendon to bring this to a vote. Huge props to Bay Area based groups San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Tenants Together, San Francisco Tenants Union and others for bringing our demand to the doorstep of Assembly member Chiu.

Meet us in Sacramento at the state capitol on Wednesday January 11th at 8:30am in State Capitol, Room 4202 at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee meeting. It’s important to get their before early so we can get seats in the hearing room. Stay tuned for lobby days prior to the vote!

#RepealCostaHawkins for real #RentControlNow!

Go to their Facebook page to sign up.
What: Public Hearing on AB1506 Costa Hawkins Repeal Bill
When: Thurs Jan 11, 9am-12pm (GET THERE EARLY 8am!)
Where: State Capitol, Thursday, Room 4202 Sacramento, CA

Save the Date: Endorsement Meeting for Assembly District 15 and District Attorney: Sunday February 11, 2-5:30 pm

The Berkeley Progressive AllianceBerkeley Citizens Action and the Berkeley Tenants Union are co-sponsoring a meeting on Sunday February 11 to endorse candidates in the June 2018 Primary Election  for California Assembly District 15, which includes all of Berkeley, and is which is currently represented by Tony Thurmond who is not seeking re-election.  We will also be considering endorsement of a candidate for Alameda County District Attorney.

BPA-BCA-BTU Endorsement Meeting, South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street, corner of Ashby, Sunday February 11, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Who Can Vote: To vote on the endorsement of candidates, you must be a member in good standing of at least one of the sponsoring organizations.

BPA members must pay dues for calendar year 2018 to receive ballots. Those dues, as adopted at our October membership meeting are $25.00 a year regular dues; $10.00 low income and student. Dues may be waived in cases of hardship. People may also pay at a sustaining rate of $50.00 (or more) if they wish. Anyone who is already a member (you have paid dues at some time since the organization’s founding in Nov. 2015) may renew their membership at any time prior to the meeting and may pay their 2018 dues when they sign in.

How To Renew Your Memberhip: We encourage members to renew their membership in advance of February’s meeting by using our online payment page:

Any dues payment from this date forward will be considered payment for calendar year 2018 and will entitle the member to participate in voting at all membership meetings and nominating and endorsement meetings that take place in 2018.

We have a questionnaire for candidates and we will post their responses online prior to February’s meeting.

Candidates for AD-15:

Judy Appel

Ben Bartlett,

Jovanka Beckles

Dan Kalb

Andy Katz,

Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto,

Owen Poindexter

Cheryl Sudduth

Buffy Wicks,




Phone: (510) 486-8010

Berkeley Progressive Alliance
1300 A Shattuck Ave 
Berkeley, CA 94709

General Membership meeting and bylaws adoption

Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 PM
South Berkeley Senior Center- 2939 Ellis St, Berkeley

Keynote speaker: “Trump, the Right Wing and What To do” with Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, of UCB Center for Right-Wing Studies

Berkeley Housing Update from Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Council Member Kate Harrison, and Taylor Harvey, President of the UCB Homeless Student Association.

Vote on Bylaws (See below) and Dues: BPA members will ratify BPA bylaws in preparation for endorsements of local candidates in a BPA meeting in January. Bylaws were drafted by a committee of BPA Steering Committee members meeting over the last several months. The proposed bylaws are pasted below this note. If you have comments on the bylaws, please submit them by e-mail by Thursday October 26 to

Proposed dues for Berkeley Progressive Alliance are $25.00 per calendar year; $10.00 if low income (with bylaws stating that dues can be waived in cases of hardship). Members are encouraged to pay more and become Sustainers. If approved, higher dues would take effect in 2018. People wishing to vote at a BPA meeting in 2018 must pay 2018 dues. Comments on our proposed dues are welcome to

To vote on Oct 29th, you must be a member of BPA and have paid your dues of $10.00 for this year. If you are already a member you may pay your 2017 dues when you sign in at this meeting or you may pay in advance HERE .

Please click HERE to become a member of Berkeley Progressive Alliance
You may pay online, or mail a check to: 1300 A Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Contact information for Berkeley Progressive Alliance
Phone: (510) 486-8010


Bylaws, adopted 10/29/17

I. Organization
BPA is an unincorporated non-profit grassroots organization that nominates and supports local candidates and approves local ballot measures. BPA members work to elect and support the mayor of Berkeley and Berkeley city council members who champion BPAs progressive agenda and who implement that agenda.

II. BPA Membership
A. Membership is open to all residents of Berkeley who agree with BPAs progressive mission and core values and who pay BPA dues.
B. Non-residents of Berkeley who work or go to school in Berkeley, who agree with the progressive mission and core values, and who pay the basic dues of the BPA may become associate members. Associate members cannot vote on the endorsement of local candidates or ballot measures.
C. Members are encouraged to participate actively in the community and the BPA organization.
D. Members are expected to be respectful of each other and generally to promote the BPA and its progressive mission in public.
E. Members may attend and vote at membership meetings, receive membership emails, join committees, and be considered for BPA leadership positions.
F. Members may have their membership terminated by the Steering Committee for cause.
G. No members shall have rights to the assets of the organization or of the BPA.

III. Membership Meetings
A. Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times a year.
B. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final auth . ority in the BPA on policy.
C The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the first
membership meeting of the year. Officers serve a one year term.

IV. Dues
A. Membership dues shall be paid by members at the time of their joining BPA and their memberships are valid for that calendar year, January 1 through December 31.
B. The dues for membership in the BPA will be proposed by the Steering Committee and approved at a Membership Meeting.
C. Dues will be waived for members with extreme financial hardship
D. Given that we are a donation-based organization members are expected to contribute more than the basic dues if they are financially able.
E. Members whose dues are paid for 60 days shall be eligible:
1. to vote in membership meetings, endorsement elections, and other BPA events.
2. to hold office in BPA.
3. Current members can renew their membership at the first membership meeting of the year and vote.
F. Members may contribute financially to the BPA to support its causes above the basic dues level if possible.

V. Committees
A. Steering Committee
1. The BPA steering committee will have a chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair, and a member at large. It will be responsible for planning and convening meetings, directing the actions of the organization and record keeping.
2. The Steering Committee is comprised of elected officers and chairs of BPA Action Teams. Representatives of community groups and allied organizations may participate in the steering committee and vote on steering committee decisions.
3. The Steering Committee will meet six times a year, usually in Jan March May July, September and November, and more often if needed.
4. A quorum is half the number of the Steering Committee members.
5. The Steering Committee meetings are open to all BPA members.
7. Electronic communications may be used to vote on decisions that are time sensitive
8. The Steering Committee may replace an officer, permanently or temporarily, and bring the newly appointed officer up to the membership for ratification at the next scheduled general membership meeting.
9. The Steering Committee will develop a procedure for each election period for nomination, vetting, and endorsement of candidates in the upcoming elections of public bodies.
10. If members or proxies miss 3 consecutive steering committee meetings they lose their voting privileges until replaced or reinstated. They can request reinstatement after resuming regular attendance.

B. Action Teams
1. Action Teams will be formed by the steering committee to address topics in depth for BPA consideration, to plan events and take on specific responsibilities.
2. Action Teams are open to all members of the BPA and may be open to nonmembers interested in activity around the specific topic, at the discretion of the committee.
3. Action Teams can initiate strategy and policy discussions within the BPA. Those that require a decision or endorsement by the whole BPA or effect the BPA significantly will be submitted to the Steering Committee.
4. Action Teams will work closely with elected officials in researching,mobilizing
and implementing policy.
5. Action Teams will each have a chair/co-chairs, at least 3 members, and will be responsible for convening meetings, record keeping and presenting their work to the Steering Committee for approval and action.

VI. Membership Meeting
A. General Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times per year.
B. The Steering Committee shall announce membership meetings broadly by electronic means at least three weeks in advance, giving the date, time, place, and a draft of the agenda items.
C. The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the BPA at the first membership meeting of the year.
D. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final authority in the BPA on policy.

VII Officers
A. BPA officers are chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair and a member at large.
B. Officers will be elected by the membership and should be members of BPA in good standing for 60 days.
C. The Chairs will moderate meetings, oversee the organization and facilitate its functioning.
D. Secretary will keep minutes of the steering committee and membership meetings and post them by email or website for all to see.
E. The treasurer will keep track of membership dues, funds donated and expended, make regular reports to the Steering Committee and the Membership Meetings, and make sure that BPA complies with election laws.

VIII. Standing Committees
A. Membership Committee
1. Help welcome new members into the BPA
2. Plan and schedule Membership meetings in consultation with the Steering Committee.
3. Initiate other membership events as appropriate.
4. Maintain membership records
B. Communications Committee
1. Edit and produce the BPA newsletter and keylist
2. Maintain and produce the BPA website
3. Maintain and expand BPA social media communication
C. Other Committees as established by the Steering Committee

IX. Voting
A. In all bodies of the BPA we strive to reach consensus and inclusion. Where
this is not possible, votes are determined by a simple majority of the ayes and nays. There is no quorum requirement for properly noticed membership meetings.
B. BPA will follow Roberts Rules of Order in the conduct of its formal business. However, the Chair may call for informal discussion when appropriate.

X. Elections for Steering Committee and Officers
A. Elections for the Steering Committee and Officers
1. Will be held yearly at the first Membership meeting of the year.
2. The Steering Committee will set the date and provide the proposed slate from the Nominations Committee with at a least 30 day notification to the membership
B. Nominations for Office
1. The Steering Committee will put out an electronic call for nominations three weeks before a BPA election.
2, Nominations will be submitted to the Steering Committee, who will then forward them to a Nominating Committee.
3. Ballots with nominations will be prepared for the membership meeting when the election is held.

XI. Endorsements

A. The membership of this club may endorse any issue, ballot measure, and candidates for any office.
B. Important criteria to be considered in any candidate endorsement will be sharing this club’s values, agreement with the club’s platform, and a commitment to an ongoing working relationship with a grassroots constituency.

XII. Amendments
A. Amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted by the Steering Committee to a membership meeting with the content provided at least 30 days in advance. Any 10 members can submit a proposed amendment to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will submit the amendment to a membership meeting with 30 days’ notice.
B. Any amendments to the submitted Bylaws amendment must be circulated no later than 15 days prior to the membership meeting. C. The Membership meeting may adopt the Bylaws amendment by majority vote.

XIII Dissolution
Upon dissolution, the Steering Committee will decide how assets will be donated to a qualified [501(c) (4) ) organization, as prescribed by California law and the Office of the Secretary of State. * * *

Respectfully submitted,
Margot Smith

Post-meeting update:
Again thanks to all for the great success of today’s meeting. About 45 people attended, as people came and went, 30 folks signed in. Bylaws and dues structure for 2018 were approved. It was noted that the numbering of sections was off, the numbering is corrected in this posting.


Signups were taken for initial Action Committees: Environment and Sustainability, Elections, Affordable Housing, The Homeless and Police Reform/Urban Shield.

A general membership meeting to elect officers and endorsements for State Assembly candidates are planned for early in 2018, with local endorsements to follow.