A Berkeley City Council member has decided not to run for re-election after serving 12 years on the council.
Councilmember Max Anderson, who currently oversees the city’s 3rd District, has endorsed Ben Bartlett, a member of the city’s Planning Commission, who is running for the now vacant seat.
District 5 Councilmember Laurie Capitelli is joining Anderson in his departure from City Council and has filed his intent to run for mayoral office against Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, homeless activist Guy “Mike” Lee and Naomi D. Pete, the newest candidate in the mayoral race.
Pete — who filed to run Jan. 14 — unsuccessfully ran for mayor and a position on City Council in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Anderson said after 28 years of public service, he wants to pursue new opportunities. He did not, however, state specific details about future plans.
Anderson said he supports Bartlett because he thinks the council needs an individual with legal experience — Bartlett is an attorney.
“It is good to have a legal mind,” Anderson said. “Many issues that come before the council have a legal basis.”
Bartlett, a former member of the city Police Review Commission and vice-chair of the Zero Waste Commission, is currently a commissioner on the Planning Commission and said being an attorney is helpful when analyzing proposed laws.
Bartlett said he wants to make sure the neighborhood he currently lives in evolves “as best as possible,” emphasizing the need for greater sustainable green economic development and affordable housing.
“I believe there is a new green economy that is about to manifest here and I want to make Berkeley a part of it,” Bartlett said.
Deborah Matthews, who served as the chair of the city’s Housing Commission and Zoning Commission and is currently the vice-chair of the Planning Commission, is also running for the District 3 seat.
Matthews cited a lack of affordable housing and high crime rates as issues shared by both UC Berkeley students and nonstudent residents of South Berkeley and said she hopes to work on these issues in office.
“I’m really excited to run, I’m excited to serve and I am committed to putting community first,” she said.
John Selawsky, former Berkeley Unified School Board member of 12 years and current Rent Stabilization Board commissioner, filed his candidacy for Anderson’s seat last November — before Bartlett and Matthews.
With Capitelli exiting the District 5 election to run for mayor, two candidates — Sophie Hahn and Stephen Murphy — have already filed their intent to run.
The deadline to file nomination documents for a City Council seat is August 12.