Endorsements 2008: East Bay races and measures

Alameda, Berkeley, and Oakland ballot endorsements


Alameda County Superior Court judge, Seat 9


A public interest lawyer with a focus on civil rights, Dennis Hayashi has worked for years with the Asian Law Caucus. He was co-counsel in the historic case that challenged Fred Korematsu's conviction for refusing to report to a Japanese internment camp during World War II. He's run the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing and was a civil rights lawyer in the Clinton administration. He has spent much of his life serving the public interest and would make a fine addition to the bench.

Berkeley mayor


Tom Bates was a stellar member of the State Assembly once upon a time, and is seen in many quarters as a progressive icon in the East Bay. But he's been a bit of a disappointment at times as mayor. He's been dragging his feet on a Berkeley sunshine ordinance, he's way too friendly with developers, and he helped gut the landmarks-preservation law. He's supported some terrible candidates (like Gordon Wozniak).

Still, Bates has made some strides on workforce housing and on creating green jobs. He's fought the University of California over its development plans. And he's far, far better than his opponent, Shirley Dean.

Dean is even more pro-development than Bates. She's terrible on tenant issues and won't be able to work at all with the progressives on the council. We have reservations with Bates, but he's the better choice.

Berkeley City Council

District 2


Moore came to the Berkeley City Council with a great track record. We endorsed him for this post in 2004, as did the Green Party. He supports instant-runoff voting and a sunshine ordinance. But he's been awfully close to the developers and brags that he's proud to have a high rating from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. His opponent, John Crowder, isn't a serious contender, so we'll go with Moore, with reservations.

District 3


Max Anderson is one of two real progressives on the council (the other is Kriss Worthington). Anderson, an ex-Marine, was one of the leaders in the battle against Marine recruitment in Berkeley and has been strong on environmental issues, particularly the fight against spraying the light brown apple moth. He deserves another term.

District 4


Dona Spring, who ably represented District 4 and was a strong progressive voice on the council, died in July, leaving a huge gap in Berkeley politics. The best choice to replace her is Jesse Arreguin, who currently works in the office of Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

Arreguin is the chair of the Rent Stabilization Board and has served on the Zoning Appeals Board and the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee, where he out-organized the moderates and pro-development sorts. He supports sustainable, community-based planning and would be an excellent addition to the council

District 5


This is a fairly moderate district, and incumbent Laurie Capitelli is the clear favorite. But Capitelli has been terrible on development issues and is too willing to go along with the mayor on land use. Sophie Hahn, a lawyer, is a bit cautious (she didn't like the city's involvement in the Marine recruitment center battle), but she's a strong environmentalist who's pushing a more aggressive bicycle policy. And she's a big supporter of local small businesses and wants to promote a "shop local" program in Berkeley. She's the better choice.

District 6


Incumbent Betty Olds — one of the most conservative members of the city council — is retiring, and she's endorsed her council aide, Susan Wengraf, for the seat.