The League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay, or LCVEB, endorsed Greg Magofña and Ben Gould in the Berkeley City Council District 4 race.
LCVEB did not endorse the only other District 4 candidate, incumbent Kate Harrison. LCVEB board member Gary Lucks said Harrison did not respond to the league’s attempts to reach her, but Harrison said it did not reach out to her. After interviewing the other candidates, the league’s board of environmental professionals ranked Magofña first and Gould second in its endorsements.
“What set (Magofña) apart was his deep depth of local government experience, working for the mayor and with a lot of players within city government,” Lucks said. “They were both highly qualified in terms of their knowledge with environmental policy.”
Magofña serves as the interim nutrition manager at the J-Sei senior center and is a co-founder of the housing advocacy group East Bay for Everyone.
Magofña said in a press release that as a City Council member, he would work to expand electric vehicle charging and bike lanes throughout Berkeley and work to ensure new construction is held to “high environmental standards.”
“Climate change is a critical issue we face here in Berkeley,” Magofña said in a press release. “As the next Councilmember for District 4, I will be a champion for strengthening our Climate Action Plan.”
Gould, a recent UC Berkeley alumnus, co-founded Engineers for a Sustainable World at Berkeley during his time as a graduate student. He also served as chair of the Green Initiative Fund, where he helped disburse more than $250,000 in grants for campus sustainability work, according to Gould.
Gould said in an email he was “thrilled” to receive LCVEB recognition and support. He plans to continue working to “green” Berkeley’s infrastructure and focus on transit accessibility so that more residents can choose a “car-free lifestyle.”
“I know that climate change will define the future of our generation, and that if we fail to meaningfully address it the world we have in 50 years won’t look like the one we have today,” Gould said in an email.
Harrison, who was sworn into the District 4 position March 2017, is running for re-election. Along with other City Council members, she voted to declare a “climate emergency” in Berkeley and work toward achieving a fossil-fuel free city by 2030.
Harrison said she plans to introduce policies that include centralizing climate change efforts, requiring tree planting during new construction projects and encouraging additional electric vehicle charging.
“We don’t have a lot of climate denialists in Berkeley, but we have a lack of focused direction,” Harrison said. “We have to say, ‘This is an emergency that is up to us.’ ”
Voters will decide who represents Districts 1, 4, 7 and 8 on the City Council on Nov. 6.