THE EAST BAY is one of the most dynamic, diverse, progressive regions in the nation. Big movements for social, economic, and environmental justice launch here, ripple outwards, and shape our country and world for the better. The future starts here–boldly. In 2024, we elect a new State Senator. These times demand a Senator as bold as the East Bay. A leader who understands our biggest challenges and knows that they demand even bigger solutions. That’s Mayor Jesse Arreguín.
A progressive leader from the start
As the son and grandson of migrant farmworkers, fighting for social justice is in Jesse Arreguín’s DNA. When he was just 10 years old, Jesse marched with Dolores Huerta and helped lead efforts to rename San Francisco’s Army Street after his hero, Cesar Chavez. He’s been at it ever since.
Overcoming the odds to achieve the California Dream
Growing up in San Francisco, Jesse’s family faced housing insecurity in the Bay Area’s tightening housing market and were evicted from their home on several occasions. Years later, when Jesse became the first in his family to graduate college, here at UC Berkeley, he knew that anything is possible, that if we truly invest in our young people, a son of farmworkers can achieve the California Dream. So he decided to dedicate his life to public service in order to make that dream real for as many others as he could.
A history-making mayor who has shown that if we’re bold enough, we can make big progress on the issues that matter most
In 2008, at age 24, Jesse was elected to the Berkeley City Council, where, over three terms, he worked to expand affordable housing, raise the city’s minimum wage, and revitalize Downtown. In 2016, at age 32, he was elected Berkeley’s first Latino Mayor, and its youngest in a century. That same night, Trump was elected president. The next four years would be anything but easy: White supremacists marching in our streets. Rising homelessness. Surging housing costs. Pandemic and recession. A reckoning around race and policing. And worsening climate change. But in the face of unprecedented challenges, Mayor Arreguín boldly led his city, becoming one of the Bay Area’s most forward-thinking and effective mayors. In 2020, he was re-elected in one of the biggest landslides in Berkeley history.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS MAYOR
- Under Jesse’s proactive housing leadership, Berkeley is leading the East Bay in addressing our housing crisis, producing more housing than at any time in decades, approving more than 800 affordable housing units, building its largest ever affordable housing development, and making its biggest ever investment in tenant protections–keeping hundreds of renters in their homes.
- Took bold action on homelessness, launching new services, shelters, and housing that led to a decrease in homelessness in Berkeley over the past 2 years, while homelessness increased by 22 percent countywide.
- Fought for decent wages and a higher standard of living for working families.
- Led Berkeley through COVID, authoring one of the Bay Area’s strongest eviction moratoriums, launching a Relief Fund that raised millions to support struggling small businesses and tenants, and reaching one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, at 94%.
- Launched the United Against Hate campaign and protected our undocumented communities during the Trump presidency.
- Arreguín’s groundbreaking environmental leadership on phasing out throw-away plastics and banning natural gas in new buildings has become a model for other cities across America.
- Helped launch Berkeley Promise, a scholarship program for low-income students, to narrow the city’s education opportunity gap, and negotiated a historic agreement with UC Berkeley to increase funding for student housing.
- Negotiated with his police department to increase oversight and introduced historic reforms to shift responses to mental health and homeless issues from police to trained social workers–advancing criminal justice reform while keeping Berkeley safe.