2024 Berkeley Rent Board Convention Candidate Packet

The Rent Board Convention candidate questionnaire is due SUNDAY, MAY 19.  If you have any questions, email berkeleytenantsconvention@gmail.com.

Convention Timeline
• Wednesday, April 24: Candidate questionnaire is publicly released
• Sunday, May 19: Candidate questionnaire is due
• Late April or early May: Form to request a ballot is released
• Late May (likely May 25 and 26): Mandatory candidate interview
• Early June (likely June 8 or 9): Convention occurs (likely in-person), followed by the start of voting
• Friday, June 14: Last day to request a ballot
• Friday, July 18: Last day to vote

FOUR at-large seats on the Berkley Rent Stabilization Board are up for election on November 5, 2024.  (If current Rent Board Commissioner Soli Alpert wins the May 28 special election for City Council District 4, then there will be FIVE at-large seats on the Board up for election in November.)

The 2024 Berkeley Rent Board Convention Planning Committee is made up of representatives from organizations such as the Berkeley Tenants Union, Friends of Adeline, the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America, the Young Democratic Socialists of America – UC Berkeley, Our Revolution East Bay, the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, the Gray Panthers, SEIU 1021, and the Cal Berkeley Democrats.  These local organizations are in strong solidarity with the aims of the Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance passed by Berkeley voters in 1980.  We support candidates who will be a strong voice for tenants, and are knowledgeable and/or care deeply about the affordable housing crisis.

Every election cycle (taking place in even years), the coalition organizes a Rent Board Convention so that Berkeley residents can meet the candidates and vote to determine a Pro-Tenant Slate of such candidates before they submit their statements for the ballot in November. While voting in the Convention is open to Berkeley residents at least 13 years old (regardless of citizenship status) who fully support tenants’ rights, per the law only American citizens registered to vote in Berkeley are eligible to run and vote in the November election.

If you would like to run for Rent Board Commissioner on the Progressive, Pro-Tenant Slate and speak at the Convention, please send your response to the questions below by Sunday, May 19, 2024.  A mandatory interview by representatives from sponsoring organizations takes place in late May - likely on May 25 and 26 - so candidates should keep their schedule clear during this window.  The Convention is expected to take place in-person in early June (likely June 8 or 9). Candidates’ questionnaire responses - along with ratings by the interviewers - will be made available online, and voting will take place via online and paper ballots following the Convention.

What's involved?

➣ Rent Board members are elected officials of the City of Berkeley. They serve a 4-year term, with a limit of 2 full terms (8 years).

➣ If nominated by the Convention, you must register with the City Clerk to run a campaign for election or re-election. Rent Board members are subject to both state and Berkeley campaign reporting and disclosure rules. You need to fill out several forms, including Form 700 state conflict of interest statements, residency affidavits, and file periodic expenditure reports with the City. An oath of office is performed upon election to the seat.

➣ Check the Berkeley City Clerk website below for candidacy requirements, filing deadlines,  important regulations about running and holding office and other important compliance procedures:
bit.ly/2024BerkeleyTrifold

➣ Rent Board members receive a monthly stipend of approximately $1550, health insurance, free AC Transit rides, and YMCA membership.

➣ This can be a demanding position.  The Board currently meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7PM for 2 to 4 hours, plus occasional special and/or closed session meetings. If you cannot commit to the 3rd Thursday of the month, we strongly advise you to reconsider running --- 8 other Board members and Rent Board staff may not be able to accommodate a change.  Commissioners are also expected to read the agenda packet, which may be particularly long when it includes an appeal, before every meeting.

➣ Board members are asked to join at least 2 Committees, which normally meet monthly at times set by the members of those Committees.

➣ As an elected official, you are also expected to work with community members and organizations, attend public and Board related events, and remain visible in the community.

➣ Rent Board Meetings are run using
Robert’s Rules of Order, and are subject to the Brown Act. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with these operating procedures.

➣ You do NOT have to be a tenant to be nominated at the Convention. Homeowners and small property owners who are in solidarity with our aims have received our endorsement and won in the past.  Per the law, candidates must be registered to vote in Berkeley.

➣ The candidates nominated at the Convention are expected to run together as a slate.  The Slate will need to recruit volunteers and decide on a joint fundraising strategy. However, the Convention Planning Committee will provide some organizational support to your slate’s campaign.

➣ Convention Planning Committee members include current and former Rent Board members and other community leaders, and would be glad to advise if you have further questions.


For more information, please go to
berkeleytenantsconvention.net.  If you have any questions, email berkeleytenantsconvention@gmail.com.


Important Links
Website: berkeleytenantsconvention.net
Email: berkeleytenantsconvention@gmail.com
Candidate Application/Packet: bit.ly/2024CandidatePacket
Request an ELECTRONIC Ballot: bit.ly/2024BallotRequest
Request a PAPER Ballot: bit.ly/2024PaperBallotRequest
IMPORTANT NOTICE - SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE
The East Bay Democratic Socialists of America (EBDSA) and the UC Berkeley Young Democratic Socialists of America (UC Berkeley YDSA) - two of the organizations sponsoring the Berkeley Rent Board Convention - have developed a joint supplemental candidate questionnaire for the 2024 Convention.  The purpose of DSA's supplemental questionnaire - which consists mostly of quick yes/no questions - is to determine whether Convention candidates align with DSA's values.

If you are planning to apply as a candidate for the 2024 Rent Board Convention, please email
berkeleytenantsconvention@gmail.com ASAP to request the Convention send you a copy of DSA’s supplemental questionnaire.

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Email *
Contact Information
Full Name
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Pronouns *
e.g. he/him/his
Berkeley Address
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Essay Questions (Part 1)
Tell us about yourself and why you are running for Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner.  What do you believe are the top issues facing Berkeley’s rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled tenants? *
Are you a tenant, homeowner, and/or landlord? How will your experiences inform your work on the rent board? *
Please describe any experience you’ve had working with the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Ordinance, the Rent Board staff, or the elected Board. *
Please describe any experience you’ve had working with the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Ordinance, the Rent Board staff, or the elected Board. *
Please describe your experience serving on boards, commissions, and committees; participating in governance meetings; public advocacy; organizing; union work; and/or other experience that you feel is relevant to the Rent Board's work. When listing positions, please specify the time period(s) served. *
Describe who you consider to be your constituency or base of support. Please list organizations with which you are affiliated and how you can bring these people/groups into the Slate’s campaign for Rent Board or your work as an elected board member. *
Please describe your experience campaigning and/or raising funds for a candidate for elected office.  How much time will you devote to a campaign through November 8th, and how much money do you believe you can raise for your campaign?  Will you use public financing?  What plans or ideas do you have for campaigning as the slate?  What experience do you have working as a team member towards a common goal? *
What roles do the Rent Stabilization Board and the Rent Stabilization and Good Cause for Eviction Ordinance play in Berkeley’s housing situation, and what roles should they play? *
Which Board committees do you want to serve on and why? *
Board members are asked to join at least 2 Committees, which normally meet monthly at times set by the members of those Committees.
Do you support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase to Purchase Act (TOPA) as put forth by the Yes2TOPA coalition? *
How can Berkeley increase the accessibility and affordability of housing for very low-income seniors and very low-income people with disabilities? *
What do you know about the issues facing tenants aging-in-place in rent-controlled units and non-rent-controlled units?  How will you focus attention on the evolving concerns and challenges of older adults and people with disabilities living in rent-controlled units and non-rent-controlled units? *
What policies should be adopted to address the affordable student housing crisis? How will you use your position as Rent Board commissioner to advocate for those policies? *
How does UC Berkeley affect the city’s affordable housing crisis and gentrification and displacement? What policies should be adopted to change this? How will you use your position as Rent Board commissioner to advocate for those policies? *
In order to qualify as a candidate at the 2024 Rent Board Convention, candidates must agree with and pledge to uphold and advocate for all of the following positions:
I support the full and unconditional repeal of Costa-Hawkins and the Ellis Act. *
Required
I support the Berkeley Tenant Protection and Right to Organize Act and oppose any competing ballot measures. *
Required
I will vocally oppose any upzoning proposals that are opposed by the Rent Board Convention Planning Committee. *
For context, this was the position adopted by the Berkeley Tenants, the Berkeley Rent Board, Gray Panthers, and Our Revolution in response to the 2021 upzoning process.
Required
I support the California Tenant Bill of Rights developed by Tenants Together. *
Required
Essay Questions (Part 2)
What other measures will you support that would even the playing field between tenants and landlords? Is there any expansion of tenants’ rights that you would not support? *
Do you believe that overregulation is the primary cause of the housing affordability crisis?  What do you think are the main contributing factors to the housing affordability crisis? *
What should the City do to fight gentrification and displacement?  What should the Rent Board do specifically? *
How will you be accountable to the organizations cosponsoring the Convention once you are in office? *
Confirmed cosponsoring organizations include the Berkeley Tenants Union, Friends of Adeline, the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America, the Young Democratic Socialists of America – UC Berkeley, Our Revolution East Bay, the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, the Gray Panthers, SEIU 1021, and the Cal Berkeley Democrats.
In order to qualify as a candidate at the 2024 Rent Board Convention, candidates must agree to the following pledges:
I will abide by the Campaign Workers Guild’s Fair Campaign Pledge. *
Required
I will NOT run, endorse, donate, or campaign against the Slate selected by the Convention, nor for any Rent Board candidate not on the Slate. *
Required
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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