May 18, 2016
by Jesse Townley
Hi to my friends & supporters-
After a lot of thought and discussions with many of you, I’m withdrawing my candidacy for District 5 City Council in November.
As Chair of the Berkeley Rent Board, I have 2 more years on the Rent Board to help address the insane affordable housing emergency that even the less… aware elected officials are finally recognizing.
We have a number of initiatives and projects that will increase new affordable units and promote safer & greener existing units, as well as continue to ensure a level playing field that serves both tenants and property owners.
This site will continue as a political action/news site instead of as a campaign site- look for updated graphics very soon!
March 17, 2016
by Jesse Townley
As Chair of the Berkeley Rent Board for the past 2 years (and as an elected Rent Board Commissioner since 2008), I’ve seen first-hand how our city is changing, both in District 5 and across town. An influx of economic refugees from skyrocketing housing costs in San Francisco has pushed our city’s housing costs sky-high for both tenants and prospective home-buyers. District 5’s City Councilmember must be a part of the city-wide effort to end this affordability emergency.
Berkeley needs a safe & sustainable future for all of us– a monoculture of only upper income residents does a huge disservice to the Berkeley we all cherish.
We must be ready for the next major earthquake. I am proud to have worked with City Councilmembers Jesse Arreguin & Laurie Capitelli on passing Phase 2 of the Soft Story Ordinance in 2013. Currently I am working on multi-unit disaster preparation and expansion of the emergency cache system with the City Council.
We need development that serves the whole community. In 2015 there were 2 projects finished or approved in downtown that totaled 324 market rate units with ZERO affordable units (Harold Way & Dwight/MLK). While payments in lieu of affordable units are promised to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund from both projects, our housing emergency affects everyone from the minimum wage worker to middle class families. This emergency demands our city emphasize mixed-income projects immediately.
This is just the beginning of the campaign. Check in for more updates or sign up for our e-mail list above.
Questions? Press? E-mail info at townley2016.org