BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

2 UC Berkeley students sworn in as city commissioners

article image

KATHERINE KEMP | STAFF

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

The city of Berkeley swore two UC Berkeley students into city government commissioner positions Friday morning.

During a ceremony at the city clerk’s office, campus sophomores Kate Richards and Robert Tobias Simmons were sworn in as commissioners of the Children, Youth and Recreation Commission and Community Environmental Advisory Commission, respectively. Later this week, campus senior and ASUC External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay will be sworn in as alternate commissioner for six city commissions and boards.

“(The positions) are an incredible opportunity to get real-world experience voting on issues and help make the city of Berkeley a better place,” said City Councilmember Kriss Worthington. “Students make up a quarter of the population of Berkeley, and they deserve a seat at the table.”

At the ceremony, the students swore to support the constitution and celebrated their appointments with virgin mimosas. As of Friday, there are 75 vacancies in city government commissions open to students. In addition to UC Berkeley, students from San Francisco State University, Berkeley City College and California State University, East Bay have also been appointed in the past.

According to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, student commissioners are important because they bring “cutting-edge policies” to the commissions, and the city’s decisions have “drastic impacts” on the daily life of students. As a UC Berkeley undergraduate student, Arreguín was appointed by Worthington to several commissions and served as chair of the housing commission.

Arreguín’s experience in commissions gave him “firsthand knowledge of local government and how to make changes happen,” he said.

As a sophomore, Simmons said he has not been in Berkeley for very long but that being a commissioner is the “most direct way to get acquainted with the city and know what is going on.” He added that he is passionate about increasing outreach for events, specifically regarding sustainability, and working toward better student representation in city government.

Richards, who is the youngest person in her commission, said she is excited to work at the grassroots level to improve Berkeley citizens’ quality of life.

Every year, Worthington appoints about 20 student commissioners, he said, but the city is trying to increase that number. In addition to more students, he said he is also trying to recruit more people of color to commissions. He added that both students and people of color are underrepresented in commissions and that people appointed have been mostly white.

“I’m very happy to see other students being sworn in,” said James Chang, a former student commissioner who now works for Worthington as a legislative aide. “UC Berkeley is what makes Berkeley Berkeleyan.”

Contact Katherine Kemp at 

LAST UPDATED

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018


Related Articles

featured article
Carrasco, a campus senior studying political science, has been a commissioner on the Youth Commission since August 2017 and has now taken on former Youth Commission chair Alexandria Tesch’s position.
Carrasco, a campus senior studying political science, has been a commissioner on the Youth Commission since August 2017 and has now taken on former Youth Commission chair Alexandria Tesch’s position.
featured article
featured article
UC Berkeley students attended a Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night to voice their support for the More Student Housing Now Resolution, and a motion was passed unanimously to review the proposals outlined in the resolution.
UC Berkeley students attended a Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night to voice their support for the More Student Housing Now Resolution, and a motion was passed unanimously to review the proposals outlined in the resolution.
featured article
featured article
At a meeting of the Police Review Commission on Wednesday, motions were passed to request information regarding the nature of body-worn cameras and iPhones that will be utilized by police officers in the coming weeks as well as inventory records from before and after the Aug. 5 riots.
At a meeting of the Police Review Commission on Wednesday, motions were passed to request information regarding the nature of body-worn cameras and iPhones that will be utilized by police officers in the coming weeks as well as inventory records from before and after the Aug. 5 riots.
featured article