Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Berkeley councilman becomes ninth to file for Tony Thurmond's open assembly seat

Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett
They're going to need a really big table for debates next year in the 15th Assembly District. First-term Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett filed an intent to run Tuesday for the seat being vacated by current Assemblymember Tony Thurmond. Bartlett becomes the ninth candidate--all Democrats--to file for the June 2018 primary election.

Bartlett's interest in the state assembly comes just 10 months after winning election to Berkeley's District 3 council seat, but believes he has accomplished a number of important initiatives in the city during his short time in office.

In announcing his candidacy, Bartlett highlighted a focus on housing displacement and climate change. "Everyone in the East Bay deserves a home," said Bartlett. "We must end policies that displace seniors, people of color, working families and poor people from their homes. We must house the homeless, create green jobs and protect our freedom. The fight is right here and the time is right now."

In a statement Wednesday, Bartlett touts creating a first-in-the-nation anti-displacement public legal advocate in Berkeley, enacting a community benefits ordinance along with Mayor Jesse Arreguin, and other city legislation to create affordable housing.

Bartlett says discriminatory zoning laws for housing is the "new apartheid. “We’re starting our campaign in a special place,” said Bartlett. “When apartheid was raging in South Africa, the people of the East Bay–starting right here in Berkeley–stood together to end it. Displacement and economic inequality are the new apartheid. That’s simply not acceptable.”

The 15th Assembly District is made up of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, and North Oakland.

The seat opened up for a number of potential challengers last April when Thurmond announced he would not seek re-election in order to run for the state superintendent of public instruction.

In the meantime, nine candidates, including Bartlett have filed statements with the intent to run next June. For the entire list of AD15 candidates and other East Bay races, click here for the East Bay Citizen 2018 Candidates List.


  1. Dude, why wait for California? You can move to Venezuela where they have already fixed all of the problems of inequality and apartheid.

  2. Yawn, all candidates talk the talk about affordable housing; but zero will be done. The problem will just get worse in the years to come

  3. By MW:

    I just love Bartlett's positions, in other words he is promising everything to everybody. So let's just raise the tax rate on the wealthy to ten million percent, and then maybe we will be able to do about half of what he wants to do.

    However rather than liberals and members of the Democratic Party when they run for office, and in an attempt to get votes, taking campaign positions in favor of virtually everything it would be nice to have, they could do what a former employer of mine used to do.

    Every day each employee would be given an assignment sheet. The first item on the assignment sheet would be what that employee was expected to do in that eight hours, and unless an extreme emergency, and such as for instance a flood, fire, or earthquake, occurred requiring his special and immediate attention.

    The second item would be something the manager would like him to do if possible. And the third item was something for the employee to do just in case, and unexpectedly, the first two items went so easily and quickly, that therefore the employee did have addtl time. In other words, and since most individuals, families, organizations, and govt agencies lack unlimited time, money, and resources, therefore we have to set priorities.

    For instance earlier today I replaced two of the tires on my primary car. I thought I would be spending btwn $250 and $300 to do so, and possibly even over $300. However a man I got in casual conversation with told me that the XYZ Tire Store had unusually good prices. So I phoned XYZ, and which offered to do the job, and including stems, balancing, installation, taxes, AND TOTAL OUT THE DOOR for $144, and altho all the other tire dealers quoted me over $200.

    And then when I went to pay, the cashier said it would be the $144 she had twice previously quoted me, that is if I paid with a credit card, but only $130 if I paid cash. So I ended up paying only $130, and rather than the $250 to $350 I had originally expected to.

    So, and even though my wife and I are both extreme cheapskates, we might treat ourselves to a few small luxuries in the next week or two, in other words items we would not have even considered buying if the tires had cost $350 rather than $130.

    Government should try living by the same rules, in other words only buying what it can afford to buy.

    However if one of the "experts" in government had been assigned to find and buy two replacement tires, very likely it would not have paid $130, not have paid $250 to $350, and not even $400, but instead $500 or more.