Terry Taplin leads race against incumbent for Berkeley City Council District 2 seat

Photo of Terry Taplin
Zac Goldstein/Courtesy
Terry Taplin, a poet and community organizer who also serves as vice chair of Berkeley’s Transportation Commission, is leading the race to represent Berkeley City Council District 2. Taplin is closely followed by incumbent Cheryl Davila, who has received 28.6% of the vote compared to Taplin’s 38.52%, as of press time.

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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.

Updated 11/04/2020: This post has been updated to include statements from candidates.

In a tight race, candidate Terry Taplin is leading against incumbent Cheryl Davila with 39.17% of the vote for the Berkeley City Council District 2 seat, as of press time.

District 2, which spans from University Avenue to Berkeley’s south border in West Berkeley, is home to the city’s Aquatic Park and San Pablo Park, among other city attractions. The district’s infrastructure problems and housing shortage were major talking points during the campaign for the four candidates in the race.

“We have a number of really challenging dilemmas ahead, not just COVID, but also homelessness and gun violence,” Taplin said. “I’m just eager to get to work, to start rolling up my sleeves hitting the ground. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m honored to be of service.”

Taplin grew up in South Berkeley and has a background as a poet and community organizer, in addition to serving as vice chair of the city’s Transportation Commission.

His campaign platforms include preventing Alta Bates Summit Medical Center from closing and a West Berkeley Green New Deal, which would involve investments in community safety and disaster resilience, according to Taplin’s website.

Deemed as the “voice of the people” by constituents, Davila has received 29.17% of the votes as of press time and hoped to establish equitable economic recovery, transparent council budgeting and climate action, especially after the pandemic subsides.

She also aimed to divert 50% of the Berkeley Police Department’s budget to mental health and substance abuse services.

“I’m proud of the work I did, and I have no regrets,” Davila said. “I am so grateful and blessed and honored and humbled to have the support that I’ve gained by the district and citywide.”

A materials scientist and self-described progressive problem-solver, candidate Alex Sharenko has received 24.74% of the votes as of press time.

With the seat, Sharenko aimed to combat homelessness and racial inequities in policing, both of which, according to Sharenko, are a result of ineffective council leadership.

“It was an incredibly humbling experience, and I’m incredibly grateful for the people who put their trust and their hope in me,” Sharenko said. “There’s a picture that D2 is gonna get the positive change that it needs one way or the other.”

Candidate Timothy Carter, who has received 6.49% of the vote as of press time, currently serves as the chair of the Berkeley Unified School District Personnel Commission. According to Carter’s website, he ran to ensure that all perspectives of District 2 residents are considered and respected.

Carter’s campaign focused on housing, modern police reform, mitigating climate change and creating safer streets.

Check back for updates. 

Contact Kate Finman and Veronica Roseborough at [email protected].