The Progressive Student Association, or PSA, UC Berkeley’s chapter of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution, released its list of endorsements Sept. 12 for the Berkeley City Council November election.
Our Revolution is a progressive political organization formed after Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign to continue its work. For District 1, PSA endorsed Igor Tregub, Margo Schueler and Mary Behm-Steinberg, ranked in that order, and for District 8, PSA endorsed Mary Kay Lacey as its first-ranked candidate and Alfred Twu as its second. PSA endorsed incumbent Kate Harrison for District 4 and Rigel Robinson for District 7.
According to PSA President Harriet Steele, the organization invited City Council candidates to a meeting Sept. 11, where candidates answered questions in a panel format. The members present at the meeting then voted for the candidates they would endorse. Steele said that they looked to endorse candidates who shared their interests, such as criminal justice reform and addressing homelessness.
“We want candidates who will vote in accordance with progressive values, like affordable housing,” Steele said.
Steele said PSA’s endorsements are important because they set the organization’s agenda for the rest of the election season and indicate who the membership will campaign for.
Because of a wave of nationwide progressive victories, the club is hopeful heading into the November elections, as having progressive policy is key to fighting against “Trump’s extreme policies,” according to Steele.
Lacey also said her campaign is motivated by the 2016 election, which prompted her to become more involved in politics.
“If we can have these victories across the country, even in Berkeley … the more encouraged I am that young people will get out and vote,” Lacey said. “I hope that momentum builds and builds.”
Ben Gould, a candidate for the District 4 seat, did not receive an endorsement from PSA. When explaining why PSA endorsed Harrison and not Gould, Steele said PSA was not confident that Gould shared the organization’s commitment to opposing Urban Shield or constructing affordable housing.
“The PSA endorsement meeting appeared to consist of about nine students, so I’m not too concerned,” Gould said. “I respect and understand their decision to renew their support for the incumbent, although I’m always saddened to see students supporting candidates who actively work against their interests.”
Schueler said she was “honored and thrilled” to receive the PSA endorsement, which she said showed her that students understand that being progressive is not defined by age.
Tregub said PSA’s endorsement is “deeply meaningful.”
“I am very humbled to earn this endorsement,” Tregub said. “It means the world to me … given the type of important work that PSA members do on a daily basis.”