District 4 City Council candidates Ben Gould, Kate Harrison receive endorsements from student leaders

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Berkeley City Council District 4 candidates Ben Gould and Kate Harrison have both received endorsements from prominent student leaders.

According to ASUC Chief Legal Officer Claire Goudy, the endorsements of Gould and Harrison do not violate the ASUC bylaws, as the student leaders’ titles in the endorsement press release are for identification purposes only.

“ASUC and GA (Graduate Assembly) officials who have endorsed candidates for City Council have done so as individuals, legally distinct from the ASUC as an organization,” Goudy said in an email.

Fifteen current and former ASUC senators and Graduate Assembly leaders have endorsed Gould. Gould, a UC Berkeley alumnus, said in an email that he is “honored” to have received each endorsement, adding that their “quantity and breadth” demonstrate his popularity and support among the student body.

A press release written by 12 of the 15 current and former ASUC and Graduate Assembly leaders who endorsed Gould highlights his qualifications, including his master’s degree in public policy, his work as a legislative aide in Berkeley City Hall, his experience chairing the city’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission and his current work as a sustainability analyst.

The press release says Gould is the right voice on City Council to balance the issues of students and residents.

“As a recent Cal grad, Ben (Gould) brings an intimate knowledge of student issues, and his policies reflect student’s priorities and needs,” the press release states. “He’s pro-affordable housing, pro-police reform, pro-alternative transit, pro-public safety, and pro-regional solutions to homelessness.”

In his email, Gould said that at the beginning of the academic year, he reached out to each ASUC elected official and Graduate Assembly executive to discuss the issues and concerns important to them and their constituencies.

Gould said in the email that he attended the first ASUC Senate meeting of the year and the second General Assembly meeting to share why he is running and invite each student leader to a personal conversation with him to discuss various policies.

Kate Harrison, the incumbent candidate running against Gould for the District 4 seat, has received similar endorsements from several student leaders, including ASUC President Alexander Wilfert and ASUC External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay.

According to Khalfay, Harrison understands the importance of students as community members in the city and the value that students bring to the city.

“(Harrison) has supported legislation in the past to increase affordable housing for students. She voted against urban shield,” Khalfay said in an email. “In general, her priorities include the needs of students, both as students and as members of the berkeley community.”

Harrison and Gould are two of the three candidates vying for the District 4 seat along with candidate Gregory Magofña.

Contact Stanley von Ehrenstein-Smith [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @von_ehrenstein.

A previous version of this article may have implied that both Kate Harrison and Ben Gould have received endorsements from ASUC senators and Graduate Assembly leaders. In fact, Gould has received endorsements from several ASUC senators and Graduate Assembly leaders, while Harrison has been endorsed by two ASUC executives and an ASUC senator.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Ben Gould has been endorsed by 12 current and former ASUC and Graduate Assembly leaders. In fact, Gould has been endorsed by 15 current and former ASUC and Graduate Assembly leaders, 12 of whom wrote a press release announcing their endorsement.