After more than two decades, Berkeley voters will elect a new representative for District 7. Kriss Worthington, who served on the council for 22 years, has long been a staple in the community, tackling issues ranging from student housing to homelessness. And the only candidate truly qualified to take his place is Rigel Robinson.
Considering that students make up a large portion of District 7’s population, it’s vital that the district’s representative understand the needs and priorities of students — something Robinson, a recent UC Berkeley graduate himself, can certainly do.
Robinson has a plethora of experience in city politics. He spent ample time working with council members as the ASUC external affairs vice president, or EAVP — a position that revolves around ensuring that student voices are not only heard but listened to at the local, state and federal levels. Under Robinson’s leadership, the EAVP office tirelessly lobbied against tuition hikes — and in July, the UC Board of Regents lowered tuition for the first time in nearly two decades. Robinson has shown time and again his commitment to putting student interests first. If elected to City Council, he will undoubtedly continue to follow through with this mission.
The two other candidates running for this position, Aidan Hill and Cecilia Rosales, have brought some innovative ideas to the table. In her interview with The Daily Californian’s editorial board, Rosales, a longtime Berkeley resident resident and activist, suggested implementing a mentorship program for students to become more involved in local government. But it’s undeniable that Rosales has not been as deeply involved in supporting the student community as Robinson has.
Hill, meanwhile, said in their interview with the editorial board that they would push to convert spaces such as the vacant chancellor’s residence into immediate affordable housing — a proposition that, while bold, is simply unfeasible.
During his year as EAVP, Robinson formed working relationships with City Council members that would allow him to constructively represent District 7 and navigate the city’s complex bureaucracies. In fact, his campaign has been endorsed by every current member of the council, an incredible feat from a group of officials who rarely agree on anything.
Robinson has affirmed that, if elected, he would advocate for dense housing development near campus. He emphasized that this would cushion the blow of gentrification, unlike development that sprawls into the city. This thoughtful reasoning shows that Robinson is a candidate ready to balance the needs of students and other Berkeley residents in the district.
Vote Rigel Robinson for District 7.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.