Ahead of Tuesday’s election, UC Berkeley’s Progressive Student Association, or PSA, and Cal Berkeley Democrats hosted a “Get Out the Vote” event on Sproul Plaza on Monday with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín.
Candidates endorsed by PSA who participated at the event included District 7 City Council candidate Rigel Robinson, Rent Stabilization Board candidate Soli Alpert and Berkeley city auditor candidate Jenny Wong.
Candidates and PSA members distributed student voter guides with lists of PSA’s endorsements to students walking around Sproul Plaza. PSA Vice President Matthew Lewis said the organization has distributed thousands of voter guides, which have received a positive response from students.
“(Voter guides) help students know who’s progressive and who’s actually going to support student issues,” Lewis said.
In addition to expressing support for candidates, PSA aimed to educate students on the importance of the city’s housing-related Measures O and P on the ballot. Arreguín said the event’s final push was important in ensuring students vote to pass the housing measures.
“This is a really consequential election,” Robinson said. “There’s a lot of things on the ballot here, and students can be the margin of victory.”
City Council District 7 candidate Aidan Hill was also present on Sproul Plaza but was not in support of PSA’s event. Hill said they were frustrated with PSA because it did not present Hill’s candidate statement to students. Hill added that an individual has the “most power” to effect change in the government in elections at the local level.
Wong said that in an era with a divisive president, it is important that students are informed about local politics.
“I think more and more people, including students, understand that it’s really important to pay attention and be involved with what’s happening in local government,” Wong said.