The Scanner has been getting a lot of questions about local elections in Berkeley and Alameda County and how we'll cover them in 2024.
We hope to send questions to many of the local candidates focused specifically on public safety.
In the meantime, we wanted to provide a basic overview of many of the key races you'll find on the ballot this year.
Other races and measures will also be on the ballot, but these seem to be the ones coming up most often in our feeds.
TBS won't be endorsing anyone, but we do want to make sure you can learn about who's running for office and what the process is.
What you'll find below:
- March 5 primary: Candidate forums are coming
- Democratic Central Committee: 14th Assembly District
- Democratic Central Committee: 18th Assembly District
- Berkeley elections in 2024
- 2024 Berkeley mayor's race
- Measure B: Recall charter amendment on March ballot
- Berkeley, Alameda County election resources
March 5 primary is coming up fast
Ballots for the March 5 primary are expected to drop next week. Everyone in Alameda County will be receiving a mail-in ballot.
Fortunately, the League of Women Voters has several virtual candidate forums coming up just in time.
These aren't usually the most scintillating events, but you can at least get a sense of the people behind the names on the ballot.
They are usually also recorded and made available online if you can't watch live.
We've linked candidate websites below for the ones we could find. These races are all part of the March 5 primary.
The top two candidates from each race will advance to the general election in November.
- Monday, Feb. 5: California Senate District 7 (Candidates are Jesse Arreguín, Jovanka Beckles, Dan Kalb, Kathryn Lybarger, Jeanne Solnordal and Sandré Swanson)
- Wednesday, Feb. 7: Congressional District 12 (Candidates to replace Barbara Lee are Tony Daysog, Glenn Kaplan, Ned Nuerge, Abdur Sikder, Lateefah Simon, Stephen Slauson, Andre Todd, Jennifer Tran and Eric Wilson) | Register
- Thursday, Feb. 8: Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 5 (Candidates to replace Keith Carson are John Bauters, Ben Bartlett, Nikki Fortunato Bas, Ken Berrick, Omar Farmer, Gregory Hodge, Chris Moore, Gerald Pechenuk and Lorrell Plimier) | Register
Democratic Central Committee: 14th Assembly District
The Alameda County Democratic Central Committee has seven open seats on the March 5 ballot. Twenty people are competing for them.
Fortunately, most of the candidates are part of slates, which will likely make the selection process easier because they are running together as a group with a united platform.
There are three slates to choose from (and one candidate who seems to be striking out on his own).
- The Climate Labor Progressives slate is made up of Michael Barnett, Wendy Bloom, Julie Caskey, Elizabeth Echols, Sarah Price, Igor Tregub, Ana Vasudeo. Many of these folks are already on the committee.
- Then there's the Democrats for Affordable Housing slate, with James Chang, Andy Kelley, Dyana Delfín Polk, Terry Taplin and Aaron Tiedemann.
- The People Powered Progressives slate has Alfred Twu, Avery Arbaugh, Carol Coyote, John “Chip” Moore, Michael Cheng, Paola Laverde and Sadia Khan.
One candidate, Abdur Sikder, does not appear to be part of any slate. He's also running for Congress and ran for Berkeley School Board unsuccessfully in 2018.
According to its website, "The Alameda County Democratic Party coordinates the party’s activities throughout the county, making endorsements, organizing events and directing resources to support local, state and national candidates. Its governing body, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, is charged under state law with overseeing the Party’s local activities and campaigns, under the general direction of the California Democratic Party."
Democratic Central Committee: 18th Assembly District
In the 18th Assembly District, 28 people are running for 10 seats.
- The Empower Oakland slate organized by former Oakland mayoral candidate Loren Taylor has seven members: Loren Taylor, Pamela Ferran, Warren Logan, Arielle Fleisher, Amber Childress, Laura Geist and Harold Lowe
- The Progressive Power slate headlined by DA Pamela Price has 11 members: Andrea Luna Bocanegra, Austin Tam, Chaney Turner, Desmond Jeffries, Howard Egerman, Iris Merriouns, Kalimah Priforce, Royl Roberts, Pamela Price, Yoana Tchoukleva and Sean Dugar
- The Unified Voices For Democracy slate has eight members: Nicole Grashton, Hannah Groce, Mayra Alvarado, Adrien Abuyen, Regina Chagolla, Zac Bowling, Rowena Brown and Sean Dugar
If you're interested in learning a bit more about what the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee does, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story about it on Feb. 15 (it may be behind a paywall).
Berkeley elections in 2024
By this time next year, the Berkeley City Council is likely to have seen a major shake-up.
With the recent resignations of Rigel Robinson (D7) and Kate Harrison (D4), seats that would not have opened until 2026 are now looking to be up for grabs — and soon.
- Berkeley City Council District 7 (April 16 special election)
- Four candidates are on the roster for the Southside seat so far: James Chang, Aidan Hill, Juan Jasso and Cecilia Lunaparra
- Historically this is an extremely low-turnout district. About 700 ballots were cast in 2022. It was an uncontested race but so was downtown's District 4, where more than 3,000 ballots were cast. Berkeley council districts each have about 11,000 registered voters (give or take).
- Berkeley City Council District 4 remains an open question because, as of Feb. 1, Kate Harrison, who abruptly resigned from the dais this week, has not submitted her official resignation paperwork to the city, the clerk told us Thursday.
Four Berkeley City Council districts and the mayor's race will be on the November 2024 ballot.
- Districts 2 (West Berkeley), 3 (South Berkeley), 5 (North Berkeley) and 6 (Berkeley Hills) will be on the ballot.
It's worth noting that three of Berkeley's City Council districts could be occupied by new faces by this time next year.
- Ben Bartlett (D3) is running for county supervisor but has also filed to be on the November ballot in his district. Whether he runs again will likely turn on how he does in the supervisor's race.
- Sophie Hahn (D5) is running for Berkeley mayor and is giving up her D5 seat. No one else has filed for the ballot in D5 yet.
- Susan Wengraf (D6) says she's not running again and no one else has filed for the ballot yet.
As for District 2, incumbent Terry Taplin is the only person who has filed for the ballot.
2024 Berkeley mayor's race
We have a long way to go until the Nov. 5 election, but it's never too soon to get informed.
The Berkeley Chamber has organized a mayoral candidate forum on Feb. 22 from 5-6:30 p.m.
It's happening at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way. Space is limited but the event will also be live-streamed online. The Scanner will be there.
Here's how to register.
We're hearing rumors that more names may yet be thrown in the ring for Berkeley mayor. Stay tuned!
Recall charter amendment will be on the March ballot
Also on the March ballot — as Measure B — the county is looking to replace its longstanding (outdated) recall rules with the state's rules.
There are a number of good reasons to do that (most counties have already made the change).
The main wrinkle is that the Pamela Price recall election began under the old rules.
Read more about the Pamela Price recall on The Scanner.
No one knows whether the charter amendment will prevail and, if it does, whether it will affect the Price recall, which launched in August 2023.
The Alameda County registrar of voters, which is facing multiple lawsuits already, won't respond to any questions about the recall. So this is likely to be a "wait and see" situation.
No matter what happens in March, we won't be surprised to see more litigation.
As far as what's happening with the Price recall effort, the campaign expects to submit signatures in the coming weeks.
No one knows for sure who might run for the DA seat or how that might work — it may or may not hinge on what happens in March.
Either way, The Scanner will have all the details on the recall as soon as they are available.
Berkeley, Alameda County election resources
We found a lot of the information for this roundup on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters site.
There, you can see candidate lists and contact information for all the different races.
We used to recommend a fantastic resource called Voter's Edge but, unfortunately, that's no longer in operation.
Berkeleyside recently published an overview of the March primary.
If you follow East Bay politics, we highly recommend subscribing to Steven Tavares' East Bay Insiders Newsletter on Substack.
He gets deep into the nitty-gritty of the East Bay political scene.
Learn more about what's on your ballot (and register to vote) at Vote 411.
Other 2024 Berkeley, Alameda County election resources
- Alameda County ROV website for the March 5 primary
- Alameda County ROV list of all the candidates for the March 5 primary
- City of Berkeley elections page
- Ballot tracker: "Where's my ballot?"
What other resources are you using to get informed about upcoming elections in Berkeley and Alameda County? Are there candidate forums we should know about? Comment below or send us a tip.