Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission chair Igor Tregub to run for City Council District 1


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Igor Tregub, who is currently the chair of Berkeley’s Housing Advisory Commission, chair of the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board and a member of the city’s Rent Stabilization Board, is running for the District 1 City Council seat.

Tregub said he will officially announce his candidacy at a press conference April 16, and his campaign will focus on housing, sustainability, infrastructure and the reduction of crime rates. Linda Maio, who has represented District 1 on City Council for 25 years, will not be seeking reelection.

People who have worked with Tregub in various political venues have recognized his passion for housing, environmental and transit issues. San Leandro City Councilmember Corina Lopez said she saw his passion for these issues during their time on the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and in the Sierra Club.

“It’s not just a platform per se — it’s really his value system overall,” Lopez said. “He’s really passionate about affordability and homeless issues and kind of dealing with those issues in a progressive way.”

Some of his past experience in housing policy include strengthening the Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee Ordinance, which provided incentive to housing developers to expand affordable housing in Berkeley. He was also instrumental in crafting the city’s first sweatshop-free ordinance, which was passed by City Council in 2009.

He emphasized that his campaign will also focus on infrastructure improvements, such as improving roads and accessibility to public transportation.

“These are everyday problems and challenges that my family and the families of my neighbors have had to deal with. I think the best solutions come through collective efforts and inclusive decision-making processes,” Tregub said.  “I hope to earn my neighbors’ support, and I am confident that the best policy solutions will come out of this kind of unified decision making.”

As an immigrant, Tregub said he participated in a sit-in and singing demonstration, calling on Congress to pass a “clean” bill that protects immigrant minors from the threat of deportation.

According to Rent Stabilization Board chair John Selawsky, Tregub also contributed to the community through his work on the board, noting his experience as the chair of the board’s Budget and Personnel Committee. Selawsky said Tregub “works harder than everybody else” and that he “absolutely” supports Tregub’s campaign, after having endorsed him.

Tregub said he feels that his most important supporters are his neighbors. He said he is excited to have conversations with the residents of District 1 to earn their support as part of his “people-powered” grassroots campaign.

“I am running to do my part in public service and ensure that Berkeley is a place that we can all call home,” Tregub said. “I fell in love with the city and the wonderful neighbors that make this such a special place to live.”

Contact Sabrina Dong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Sabrina_Dong_.

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  • dwss5

    Article quote:
    “Igor Tregub, who is currently the chair of Berkeley’s Housing Advisory Commission, chair of the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board and a member of the city’s Rent Stabilization Board, is running for the District 1 City Council seat.”

    Directly related to the next election and indirectly related to Tregub’s advocacy for Affordable Housing, Berkeleyside is currently running an Op-Ed critical of state Assembly District 15 candidate Buffy Wicks ‘Why no tenant should vote for Buffy Wicks for Assembly’ subtitled “Wicks is the only candidate in the race who refuses to support the repeal of the Costa Hawkins Housing Act”
    Assembly district 15’s landlords and vocal supporters of Buffy Wicks currently seem to have MANEUVERED a numerical Consensus of thumbing-up voters in the Op-Ed’s Comments section about both KEEPING Costa Hawkins intact and attempting to ABOLISH Rent-Control (assembly district 15 includes Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, part of Oakland, Albany, and northern Bayside cities of Contra Costa County.)

    I wonder what Igur Tregub has specifically and publicly stated about the Repeal of Costa Hawkins and other tenant-friendly initiatives??

    • Igor Tregub

      Dear dwss5,

      I support the repeal of Costa-Hawkins. If full repeal is not achieved via ballot measure or legislation, I plan to work with our state legislators including whoever our next AD15 representative is, to reform the measure with stability for tenants and small property owners in mind. Happy to meet with you to discuss my position in more detail.


      • alex


        Do you have any concern that if Costa Hawkins is repealed, there will be little new construction in Berkeley, further exacerbating the housing crisis ?

        • Igor Tregub

          Dear Alex,

          I’ve heard that argument, but there’s a lot that can be done in Berkeley to avoid that from happening. In Berkeley, rent control covers buildings built before 1980. Even if Costa Hawkins was repealed, this provision would still apply, unless it went to the Berkeley ballot to be amended. If it did, there is a myriad of ways in which new construction would not immediately be brought under rent control and only properties that have capitalized long ago (but still built after 1980) would be. There is just as much if not more evidence that Costa-Hawkins, in the 22 years that it has been in existence, has exacerbated the housing crisis by leading to significant displacement out of urban areas, such as Berkeley. Here’s a study that shows that rent control (even with Costa-Hawkins and other state laws that have weakened it over the years) works:


          • alex

            You didn’t actually answer my question, although you did show fairly clearly where you will come down on most issues.

            The idea that developers will trust the Berkeley rent board to ensure them a “fair return” (from your paper) is laughable. If you really think there will be development of new housing in Berkeley that is subject to rent control in a post-Costa-Hawkins world you are completely delusional.

            We need council members who can think independently of the rent board.

          • Igor Tregub

            Dear Alex,

            I felt that I provided a comprehensive answer to your question, but would be more than happy to meet for coffee, a drink, or lunch to discuss this further. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] if you’d be interested in doing so.


            P.S. Last night at ZAB, we voted almost unanimously to direct staff to come back with variance findings that could be made to bring several rent-stabilized units with sitting tenants into a legalized state in the eyes of the Planning Department. This vote was supported by the Rent Board, who took the same side as the building’s property owners. As a result, we will likely be able to retain 4 additional units of housing on the Berkeley market, which otherwise would have to revert to its last legal use – commercial.

          • djman

            There are multiple owner groups, of currently rent controlled buildings, eager for C-H to go down at the ballot. They are tired of the well-connected developers & corporate landlords getting a pass. C-H repeal @ the ballot will pave the way for an equal protection/application lawsuit. When voters make their intent clear on that by repealing C-H, it opens the path for that lawsuit and a smart, betting man will put his money on the courts upholding equal protection/application of the law, as intended by voters. Local councils will be taken out of the equation – the voters will speak, then the courts – as it should be.

  • Charles Siegel

    Igor is the hardest working and most helpful person I have ever met during my decades of being politically active in Berkeley. When I ask him for help with an issue, he often ends up doing more work on it than me and keeping track of every detail – and I know he does the same for many, many people.

    He would be a great councilmember. I look forward to continuing to work with him.