Rashi Kesarwani is running for reelection to her seat as District 1 council member for the next term in the 2022 election.
If reelected, Kesarwani said she will institute housing policies for low and middle income communities, promote public safety and fund improvements to road and sidewalk infrastructure. She added that she identified these initiatives as priorities after many discussions with District 1 constituents regarding their concerns.
“I’m running for re-election because I want to keep working to ensure that our community is a safe, healthy, and welcoming place for all,” Kesariwani said in an email. “I have a proven track record of accomplishments as a Councilmember and the necessary professional background and relationships to continue to deliver for District 1.”
Kesarwani highlighted her father’s one-way trip to the United States from India to pursue higher education as the beginning of her life story.
Growing up in a safe neighborhood in Southern California, Kesarwani said she credits her parents for teaching her how valuable hard work, honesty and respect are when working with others.
“Like so many others, I’m the beneficiary of a tolerant open-hearted California that gave my family and me an opportunity to succeed,” Kesarwani said in the email. “I want to keep working to ensure that this dream is possible for the next generation.”
As a council member, Kesarwani said she has worked on various projects to end “dangerous freeway encampments” and relocate unhoused individuals by providing housing navigation services, motel rooms and a permanent supportive housing site in District 1 with resources from California’s Homekey project.
Kesarwani added that she also helped approve a housing development at the North Berkeley BART station, successfully advocated for public safety resources and secured $14 million to repave roads and $15 million to repair waterfront infrastructure.
For the past four years, Kesarwani has served on several city council committees, including the Public Safety Policy Committee; the Health, Life Enrichment, Equity & Community Policy Committee and the “3×3 Committee” — a collaboration between the Berkeley City Council and the Berkeley Housing Authority, she said.
Kesarwani cited her previous work as a city councilmember, as well as her experience in state government as reasons she should be reelected.
“My time on the Council has shown me that we need to focus on strategic priorities if we want to achieve greater progress on our toughest challenges,” Kesarwani said on her campaign website. “I’m full of optimism for the progress we can achieve together.”
Kesarwani is endorsed by California state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Berkeley and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, as well as five council members, all five Berkeley Unified School District board members and two BART board directors, among others.
Community endorsements include *the* Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County, the Sierra Club, Berkeley Democratic Club, Berkeley Neighbors for Housing and Climate Action and the Alameda Labor Council.
Anna Armstrong also contributed to this article.