The East Bay Young Democrats, or EBYD, overwhelmingly voted to endorse Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin for mayor, in an announcement released Aug. 29.
The club, representing Democrats from ages 14 to 35 throughout the East Bay, also endorsed Christina Murphy, Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Leah Simon-Weisberg and Igor Tregub — running together as a slate — for the Rent Stabilization Board.
“Councilmember Arreguin won our endorsement because of his history of fighting for affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, protecting the environment, and advocating for the needs of young people,” said club board member and Cal Berkeley Democrats member Matthew Lewis in a statement.
Arreguin said he is pleased to have received the endorsement from the club, particularly as a young Democrat himself.
“I have such strong support because of my record of being a progressive leader, and there’s a very clear choice,” Arreguin said. “Will we move in a direction that continues to divide our city — and there are huge disparities in opportunity in our city — or will we move in a more equitable future?”
Arreguin has received several endorsements from other progressive coalitions, including the Berkeley Progressive Alliance and the Berkeley Tenants Union. In addition, in the last few weeks he has received support from multiple labor organizations, including the California Nurses Association, the National Healthcare Workers Union and the Alameda Labor Council.
Two former Berkeley mayors — Shirley Dean and Gus Newport — have also endorsed Arreguin.
Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, who is also running for Berkeley mayor and currently leads Arreguin in campaign fundraising, received an endorsement from Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf in August, along with the mayors of San Leandro, Albany and Union City. Capitelli could not be reached for comment.
According to Arreguin, EBYD will begin actively campaigning for Arreguin through phone banks and precinct walks.
“I want to be a voice for students and young people,” Arreguin said, noting that the average age of the Berkeley resident is 28 despite few elected officers being under the age of 50. “Now is a time for the next generation to move Berkeley into a new direction (with) progressive leadership.”
The mayoral elections will take place during the general elections Nov. 8.