Two community members file to run for mayoral, district 6 council seat

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Two community members have filed for the city mayoral seat and district 6 council seat, respectively, during the November municipal general elections.

Community activist Zachary RunningWolf filed his intent to run for the mayoral seat March 18, making his current bid his fourth attempt in mayoral candidacy.

In late 2006, RunningWolf, along with various community environmental advocates, organized a protest in response to a planned removal of a grove of oak trees near the UC Berkeley campus. Nine individuals, including RunningWolf, were sentenced for their involvement in a tree sit-in.

The mayoral seat will be left vacant after Mayor Tom Bates decision to not run for re-election. RunningWolf will vie for the seat along with current councilmembers Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguin, along with campus graduate student Ben Gould, and community members Guy “Mike” Lee and Naomi Pete.

Isabelle Gaston, current president of the North East Berkeley Association, filed to run for the district six council seat Thursday.

In 2014, Gaston, along with Nigel Guest and Karl J. Reeh, presidents of the Council of Neighborhood Associations and LeConte Neighborhood Association, respectively, among others, argued against Measure F, a ballot initiative that authorized a special parks tax.

In the group’s rebuttal against the proposed measure, Gaston called for greater transparency regarding where the proposed parks tax revenue would be funnelled into, as well as a more concrete plan on the compensation levels of city parks employees. The measure passed with nearly three-quarters approval from city voters.

Gaston will be running against city resident Fred Dodsworth for the district 6 council seat. Councilmember Susan Wengraf has occupied the district 6 seat since 2008, and was reelected for a second term in 2012. Wengraf has yet to express whether or not she is running for the seat in November.

Municipal elections will be held Nov. 8, 2016.

Adrienne Shih is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @adrienneshih.