There are plenty of important races and issues on the ballot in the East Bay. Here are our endorsements for Berkeley and Oakland
BART BOARD DISTRICT 4
Incumbent Carole Ward Allen has been a disappointment, part of the moribund BART establishment that wastes money on pointless extensions, ignores urban cores, and can't control its own police force. Robert Raburn, a bicycle activist with a PhD in transportation and urban geography, would be a great replacement. If he's elected, and Bert Hill wins in San Francisco, BART will have two more progressive transit activists to join Tom Radulovich. Vote for Raburn.
BERKELEY CITY AUDITOR
Hogan's running unopposed and we see no reason not to support her for another term.
BERKELEY CITY COUNCIL
Maio in the past has had a decent progressive track record, but lately she's been something of a call-up vote for Mayor Tom Bates. We're not thrilled with her more recent positions years (against raising condo conversion fees and for new high-rises downtown), but she has no strong credible opponents. Green Party Jasper Kingeter has never run for elective office before and needs more seasoning.
Arreguin and Kriss Worthington hold down the progressive wing on the City Council. He's pushed the Berkeley police to stop impounding the cars of undocumented immigrants and is a foe of the development-at-all costs mentality of the mayor.
It's disappointing that Mayor Tom Bates and his allies are trying to get rid of Worthington, who by our estimation is the best, hardest-working, and most progressive member of the City Council. He's been willing to stand up to the mayor when he's wrong — and has managed to force developers to build more affordable housing. He's against the mayor's downtown plan, but sees a way forward to a compromise that includes all the positive elements without big high-rises. Vote for Worthington.
Gordon Wozniak, the incumbent, is the most conservative member of the City Council and has been a bad vote on almost everything. He's going to be tough to beat in this district, but we're giving the nod to Jones, a teacher, Green Party member, and neighborhood activist. He lacks experience, but almost anyone would be better than Wozniak.
BERKELEY RENT BOARD
There's a six-person tenant slate running, with endorsements from Worthington, Arreguin, and other progressive leaders. The members couldn't find an easy mnemonic, so they've used the last letters of their last names, which, in the right order, add up to SHERRY. We've listed them in the order they'll appear on the ballot.
OAKLAND CITY AUDITOR
Ruby's moved the office forward a bit, and we don't see any argument to replace her.
1. REBECCA KAPLAN
2. JEAN QUAN
The danger in this race is Don Perata, the former state Senate president, longtime power broker, and friend of developers who has, at the very least, a checkered ethical record that led at one point to a five-year federal corruption investigation (the investigation ended with no charges filed). Perata wants to use the mayor's office to continue his role as a regional kingpin, and he has the support of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the big developers. No thanks.