Incumbent Sophie Hahn leads race for Berkeley City Council District 5 seat

Photo of Sophie Hahn
Sophie Hahn/Courtesy
Sophie Hahn, the incumbent candidate for Berkeley City Council’s District 5 seat, has focused on housing issues since being elected in 2016. If reelected, as she is projected to be, with 76.66% of the vote as of press time, Hahn hopes to continue to focus on housing, as well as climate change in the Bay Area.

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Updated 11/05/2020: This article has been updated to reflect Alameda County election results released as of 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

Update 11/4/2020: This article has been updated to include information from City Councilmember Sophie Hahn. 

As mail-in ballots continue to be counted, Sophie Hahn, the incumbent for Berkeley City Council District 5, is projected to be reelected, with 76.79% of the vote as of press time, defeating Todd Andrew and Paul Darwin Picklesimer, who currently have won 18.98% and 3.94%, respectively. 

After being elected in 2016, housing has been a key issue for Hahn throughout her first term. Most notably, she co-authored and campaigned for the passage of Measure O in 2018, which approved approximately $135 million in affordable housing, the largest investment in housing in Berkeley’s history.

“I take the work for this community very seriously,” Hahn said. “I have values and goals that are important to forward, but really, for me, it’s about Berkeley.”

Aside from housing, Hahn is focused on using her position to battle climate change in the Bay Area. Hahn wrote and passed legislation banning single-use plastics and use of natural gas in new construction. With her second term secured, Hahn plans on pushing her Berkeley Deep Green Building proposal forward, an initiative that would impose energy-efficient and sustainable guidelines for Berkeley businesses.

Andrew, a member of the Berkeley Homeless Commission who has received 18.98% of the vote so far, has focused on pushing a sustainable housing agenda for Berkeley residents. 

He previously told The Daily Californian that he ran to bring a different perspective to the Berkeley City Council as a real estate consultant without an emphasis on ideological purity and hoped to bring support to small businesses.

Andrew also had his sights set on improving the city’s Pathways STAIR Center, which helps homeless individuals transition into permanent housing, and allowing it to serve more people.

Picklesimer, a local animal rights activist, has received 3.94% of the vote so far.

They made headlines before in Berkeley through their participation in protests with the animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere. Picklesimer campaigned on a platform of serving the most vulnerable by providing permanent housing to homeless individuals, bringing reform to the Berkeley Police Department and paying reparations “as a move toward equity,” according to their campaign website.

“In some ways, 2020 has just been catastrophic, but at the same time, we see the change start to spark up where people in communities are taking power,” Picklesimer previously told the Daily Cal. “I really want to come in and be a part of real progressive, radical change.”

Check back for updates. 

Contact Kate Finman and Matt Brown at [email protected].