Former paralegal David Tursi filed paperwork on July 9 to run for Berkeley City Council in District Two, making him the fourth candidate to run for a council member position in the West Berkeley district.
Tursi, a former paralegal at a Manhattan intellectual property law firm, said he was interested in politics from an early age, and that he appreciates West Berkeley and the city as a whole because of its diversity, politics and student engagement.
Tursi received his bachelor’s degree in public communication from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and said he can relate to the obstacles college students face when it comes to housing.
“With my past experience in a college town similar to Berkeley in many ways, I’m familiar with the many problems that students face regarding rental issues,” Tursi said in a written statement. “I would like to see affordable housing for students and the community to take priority.”
He also said recent issues in Berkeley such as the proposed redevelopment of West Berkeley, the Civil Sidewalks ballot measure and the debate earlier this summer surrounding the purchase of an armored vehicle — which the UC Berkeley, Albany and Berkeley Police departments are no longer seeking to obtain — helped him make his final decision to run for the council.
“Mr. Tursi presents himself in a professional manner such that he would be an excellent representative of any organization,” said Dr. Ulysses S. Crockett, a Taxation Antitrust Law Research Manager at Economic Justice Analyses, in an email.
Tursi said he would also advocate to allow students to vote both in Berkeley and in their place of origin, since most UC Berkeley students are residents for three-quarters of the year and provide a substantial amount of revenue to the city.
Tursi said he is determined to bring about progressive change through his campaign.
“I feel new blood is needed in Berkeley politics and I will gladly fill that position as a qualified council member for District Two,” he said in the statement.