Updated 11/05/20: This article has been updated to reflect Alameda County election results released as of 5 p.m. Nov. 5.
Updated 11/04/2020: This article has been updated to include statements from candidates.
As mail-in votes continue to be counted, incumbent Susan Wengraf is leading with 74.48% of the vote for Berkeley City Council District 6 over opponent Richard Illgen, as of press time.
During her tenure as a Berkeley City Council member since 2008, Wengraf focused largely on wildfire safety, having utilized more than $1 million from the city to fund vegetation management to decrease wildfire risk in 2019. Wengraf also played a significant role in placing Measure FF, a tax that is projected to pass and would fund services such as wildfire prevention and emergency response, on the ballot this year.
“I’m really honored to have the trust and support from the overwhelming majority of my residents in District 6,” Wengraf said. “We have a lot of work to do on City Council.”
Wengraf has expressed before that she would resume working to improve wildfire safety if reelected. She has also said she would like to develop an economic strategy for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to conversations around equitable policing in the community.
Illgen, who is currently a social justice attorney, has advocated for rent control and worked to provide housing opportunities for those who were previously incarcerated. While he was an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, Illgen served as an ASUC senator and later was chair for both the city’s Rent Stabilization Board and Planning Commission.
A key point in Illgen’s campaign was a focus on Berkeley’s wildfire preparedness, focusing on the close clustering of residences in the Berkeley Hills.
“We raised a number of important issues that still need to be addressed,” Illgen said. “It was really a pleasure to work with everyone, and I was really humbled by the support that they gave the campaign.”
In a past town hall meeting, Wengraf said she wanted to require all municipal and school buildings to utilize solar panels to combat climate change and to build housing along transit corridors so as to lessen carbon emissions from residents driving cars.
Wengraf has said she would not support a 50% budget cut for the police department, stating that police should be “reeducated” and “retrained.”
Check back for updates.
Contact Dina Katgara and Natalie Lu at [email protected].