Sophie Hahn is a well-rounded councilmember with a list of achievements worthy of reelection. From coauthoring Measure O to creating affordable housing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, her work has made Berkeley a better place.
Hahn is not alone in this race, but she is certainly the best choice. While we could not reach Todd Andrew for an interview, his weak COVID-19 protections and plans are concerning. As someone who suggests reforming our current government, he does not offer many policies that would push the city forward. Despite his goal to “reimagine” policing, his lack of recognition of the police as a flawed institution is unappealing. While he is notably a major supporter of local businesses, his weaker platform puts him third in our ranking.
Opponent Paul Darwin Picklesimer makes for a perfectly acceptable second rank with a clear desire and an aggressive plan to address homelessness and climate change. His hope to reduce the number of unhoused residents through increasing housing density is inspiring — the kind of ambition needed to tackle such a prevalent issue. Though we appreciated his humble approach of finding a different candidate to replace him after four years if he does not fulfill his promises, Picklesimer emphasized serving other districts in our interview.
Collaboration with other city officials is undoubtedly critical. Hahn’s established relations with the mayor and fellow councilmembers, coupled with an understanding of District 5’s greatest challenges, make her the better candidate. Beyond a basic understanding, she has plans to continue supporting local businesses and mitigating climate change. Her practical approach of separating ideology from policy has made her an effective councilmember.
Vote Sophie Hahn for District 5.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the editorial board as written by the fall 2020 opinion editor, Katherine Shok.