Kevin de León endorses Berkeley City Council candidate Rigel Robinson

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Rigel Robinson, UC Berkeley alumnus and Berkeley City Council District 7 candidate, recently received a campaign endorsement from California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.

De León, a candidate in the U.S. Senate elections, announced his endorsement Wednesday, stating that Robinson has played an integral role in a range of legal victories, including lower tuition and affordable housing. He added that Robinson also fought for SB 100, which requires that California rely on 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

“Rigel has been a progressive champion for UC Berkeley students as well as the surrounding community,” de León said in an email. “(He) is the candidate best positioned to balance the interests of the students, the university, and the city.”

Robinson said it has been an honor to support de León’s legislation over the past several years, particularly de León’s role in authoring SB 100 and SB 54, which made California a sanctuary state.

“Senator de León’s legislative record and leadership in the California state legislature speaks for itself,” Robinson said. “We need new energy and new voices in Washington, and I think Kevin will definitely bring that.”

Robinson has also been endorsed by Assembly speaker emeritus John Pérez, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and seven City Council members, including District 7 incumbent Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

Fellow candidate Aidan Hill, however, alleged that although de León’s endorsement highlights Robinson’s contribution to this year’s UC tuition decrease, it does not address any city-related issues.

“I think Rigel’s done a lot of work at the state level, but we’re running for a local, not a state, election,” Hill said.

Fellow candidate Cecilia Rosales, an activist and Berkeley resident of 18 years, said in an email that she is optimistic about the upcoming local election. She added, however, that she is disappointed that de León did not reach out to her as another District 7 candidate before endorsing Robinson’s campaign.

“I will be reaching out to the Senator and I can assure you I will secure a double endorsement,” Rosales said in an email. “If his office did a due diligence on this race – I believe Mr. de León would at least give me a chance to present my case.”

De León said in an email that he is currently focused on winning the U.S. Senate election but will consider endorsing other candidates if the opportunity arises.

All three candidates emphasized the importance of voting in the upcoming election as well as taking into consideration issues including affordable housing and city infrastructure.

“This election, you have a choice to see how Berkeley will continue in the future,” Hill said. “The voters have a choice between these three unique candidates, and how they vote will result in three completely different outcomes.”

Contact Amber Tang at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.