Jesse Arreguin: Berkeley Values. Real Results.

Over the last 8 years at City Hall, while others have tried to stand in the way of progress, Councilmember Jesse Arreguin has fought for real Berkeley values, and delivered results. In his two terms on the City Council, Jesse Arreguin has authored and passed over 300 pieces of legislation. He’s done it by listening, by bringing people together, and building consensus. And he’s made a real difference on the issues that matter to us. That’s why he will be Berkeley’s Kind of Mayor.

Jesse Arreguin Has Expanded Affordable Housing Throughout Berkeley.

  • As Chair of the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC), Jesse secured millions of dollars in funding to build hundreds of new affordable housing units throughout Berkeley. Some of the projects built as a result of Jesse’s leadership include the David Brower Center/Oxford Plaza, University Neighborhood Apartments, Helios Corner, Sacramento Senior Homes, and the Ashby Lofts.
  • After State courts tossed out Berkeley’s long-standing inclusionary housing policy, Jesse proposed an alternative: an Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee. The fee adopted by the Council through Jesse’s leadership has resulted in millions in funding for new affordable housing, as well as new low-income units. Jesse has advocated for the highest impact fees feasible to ensure we provide adequate affordable housing, while other Councilmembers voted to give discounts to favored developers.
  • Jesse proposed increasing the business license tax for rental properties as a vehicle to fund affordable housing. The tax is on the November ballot as Measure U1.
  • On the Zoning Board and City Council, Jesse has fought to protect rent controlled housing from demolition, and authored the new Demolition Ordinance, which requires that tenants receive relocation assistance and that any rent controlled housing that is demolished is replaced by affordable housing.

Jesse Arreguin Helped Establish Berkeley’s Minimum Wage and is Fighting to Raise it Further.

  • Jesse co-sponsored the original proposal to establish a municipal minimum wage and helped push through a strong ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2018.
  • Jesse has supported state and federal legislation to increase the minimum wage.
  • Jesse is committed to creating a living wage, so working families can afford to live in our community.
  • Jesse is proud to be endorsed by the Alameda Labor Council, California Nurses Association, labor leader Dolores Huerta, and many others.

Jesse Arreguin Has Developed Comprehensive Solutions to Address Homelessness in Berkeley.

  • Jesse conceptualized and launched our city’s Homeless Task Force, bringing together hundreds of residents to develop solutions to our homeless crisis.  
  • Jesse has developed a comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness, focusing on permanent supportive housing and shelter, increased mental health services and outreach, better training and more resources for police, and improved services for homeless youth.
  • Jesse proposed the creation of walk-the-beat cops in the Downtown and other high-crime areas, to more effectively respond to crimes and to address issues around street behavior.
  • Jesse’s efforts have resulted in five new mental health street outreach workers, storage for the homeless, and expanded access to public restrooms.
  • Jesse is currently working on a groundbreaking project to provide affordable housing for our homeless on the City’s Berkeley Way Parking Lot.
  • Jesse led efforts to keep the YEAH! homeless youth shelter open year-round.
  • Jesse has fought to protect homeless services from budget cuts.
  • Jesse supports the full implementation of the new Homeless Coordinated Entry system, “the Hub," which centralizes homeless services.
  • Jesse supports exploring tiny homes as a transitional housing model for our homeless.

Jesse Arreguin Has Been a Leader in Revitalizing Our Downtown and Supporting Small Business.

  • Councilmember Arreguin co-wrote Berkeley’s Downtown Plan, which is revitalizing the heart of our city, bringing new businesses to our Downtown and creating new housing opportunities.
  • Jesse helped create the City’s policy which expands required community benefits for new Downtown development projects. The policy is one of the most progressive community benefit packages in the state, requiring additional affordable housing, union labor, and revenue for the arts and open space.
  • Jesse introduced legislation to streamline the permitting process Downtown to allow new businesses to open.
  • Jesse introduced a Small Business Package to provide incentives and tax credits to allow small businesses to set up in Berkeley.
  • He is working to attract national and smaller retailers to the Downtown to provide a diversity of businesses in the heart of our city.
  • Jesse proposed a vacancy tax to encourage commercial landlords to rent vacant storefronts to small businesses, rather than keeping spaces vacant.
  • Jesse helped save our historic Civic Center by authoring the Civic Center Historic District zoning overlay. This zoning change stopped our Downtown Post Office from being sold and privatized.
  • Jesse secured funding for the new UC Theater music venue, Kala Art, and increased funding for the Arts Grants program. 

Jesse Arreguin Has an Effective Record of Improving Public Safety and Public Health.

  • After a tragic balcony collapse killed six college students, Jesse took immediate action and helped improve building safety standards, increase inspections, and provide tenants with more transparency about the conditions of their homes. His leadership also helped expand the right for tenants to provide confidential complaints about safety issues.
  • Jesse led efforts to adopt a Soft Story Ordinance, requiring seismically unsafe apartment buildings to be retrofitted, improving safety and protecting our housing stock.
  • Jesse has led efforts to protect our children and community from the harmful effects of tobacco, including proposing tobacco buffer zones around schools, banning the use of e-cigarettes in public, and increasing the age to purchase tobacco in Berkeley, prior to the State enacting similar legislation.

Jesse Arreguin Has Been Fiercely Committed to Protecting Our Environment.

  • Councilmember Arreguin has led initiatives that have expanded clean power and environmental sustainability programs in Berkeley.
  • Jesse led efforts to strengthen the City’s Climate Action Plan, expanding tree preservation, recycling, composting, and urban farming, protecting open space, and reducing greenhouse gases.
  • In response to the drought, Jesse wrote and passed legislation which helped conserve water across Berkeley, including cutting water usage in the City’s Parks Department by a third.
  • He also helped expand access to urban agriculture, to increase local food sources and help the City achieve its Climate Action Plan goals.
  • Jesse is proud to be endorsed by the Sierra Club.

Jesse Arreguin Has a Strong Record of Protecting Our Civil Liberties.

  • Jesse worked with a coalition of civil rights leaders, including the ACLU and NAACP, to deter racial profiling and improve the relationship between our police and our community.
  • Jesse drafted and passed reforms which have prohibited surveillance on first amendment free speech activities, and ended the sharing of reports on non-criminal activity with the FBI, preventing profiling and unwarranted investigations of Berkeley residents. These reforms put Berkeley at the forefront of accountable law enforcement and civil liberty protections.
  • Jesse has led the effort to require all Berkeley police officers to wear body cameras during law enforcement interactions. These cameras will serve as objective eye-witnesses and help establish the facts around criminal investigations and allegations of misconduct. They will help protect both our police officers and our citizens.
  • In the wake of the December 2014 protests in Berkeley, Jesse led efforts to change police use of force and crowd policies, and passed a moratorium on the use of teargas, rubber bullets, and over-the-shoulder baton strikes in protests.

Jesse Arreguin Has Been a Champion for Social and Economic Justice.

  • Jesse pushed to divest the City’s finances from big banks, and instead re-invest in responsible financial institutions that employ local workers, support the stabilization of the housing market, and are committed to establishing local bank branches in low-income communities.
  • Jesse has fought to hold large contractors who violate labor laws accountable by increasing enforcement of living wage laws.

Jesse Arreguin Has Fought for and Delivered for Our Immigrant Community.

  • Working with civil rights and immigrant rights groups, Jesse helped prevent undocumented community members from being deported for minor, non-violent crimes without due process.
  • Thanks to Jesse’s leadership, Berkeley has been at the forefront of ending the unfair towing of vehicles belonging to drivers who are undocumented.
  • Jesse led the charge for Berkeley to join other local cities in boycotting the State of Arizona after it passed its anti-immigrant SB 1070 law.
  • Jesse is currently working on legislation to strengthen immigrant tenant protections, so immigrants seeking rental housing have easily accessible information about their rights.  

Jesse Arreguin Has a Long Record of Fighting for Tenants.

  • Jesse has been at the forefront of every major tenants’ rights and affordable housing policy adopted by the City in the last 12 years. Prior to serving on the City Council, Jesse Arreguin served 4 years on the Rent Stabilization Board, including 2 years as Chair, where he authored and passed strong eviction protections to keep families in their homes.
  • After reports surfaced about a small group of landlords showing apartments and pocketing application fees even if they didn’t intend to rent the apartments, Jesse authored and passed an ordinance which notifies rental applicants about the limits on application screening fees and their right to a refund of any unused fees. Jesse believes tenants should be protected when they go through the expensive process of looking for housing.
  • Jesse introduced a Tenant Buyout Ordinance to strengthen rights for tenants who are offered buyouts by their landlords.
  • Jesse has introduced a Tenant Protection Ordinance to prevent landlord harassment of renters in Berkeley.
  • Jesse is leading efforts to strengthen the Rental Housing Safety Program to improve housing safety.

Jesse Arreguin Has Worked to Make Government More Open, Transparent, and Accessible.

  • Jesse authored Measure W1, which will appear on the November ballot, to establish a Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. The measure is modeled on the State’s redistricting process, and puts the power to draw City Council District boundaries in the hands of the people, instead of City Hall politicians and powerful special interests.
  • Jesse advocated for a strong Sunshine Ordinance, to increase public access to meetings and public records, and to require elected officials to publish public calendars, disclosing when and with whom they meet regarding City business.
  • Jesse has fought to prohibit former staff from lobbying current staff on City business for a specified period of time after they have left City Hall.
  • Jesse fought to prohibit developers who do business before the City Council from contributing to political campaigns.
  • As Chair of the Council’s Open Government Subcommittee, Jesse led efforts to create an online civic engagement platform, a web portal that enables citizens to comment on City Council issues from home or work, without having to attend a Council meeting in person.  
  • Jesse worked with Berkeley Budget SOS to advocate for a yearly report on the City’s long term financial obligations.
  • Jesse has proposed implementing a Citizens Budget Commission, to ensure that the public and finance experts have oversight over our City finances and bring expertise and innovation to managing the City’s limited resources in an equitable manner.

Jesse Arreguin Has Made Berkeley’s City Services More Convenient.

  • Jesse has led efforts to increase the City of Berkeley’s usage of social media, to better engage with the public.
  • Jesse introduced a proposal to develop methods of notifying residents about upcoming street sweeping days through mobile apps and email, to minimize inconvenience to residents.
  • To reduce parking difficulties for residents, Jesse authored a proposal to increase the Saturday enforcement of Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) areas in neighborhoods around Downtown and North Shattuck, so local residents can park within walking distance of their homes on weekends.
  • Jesse has proposed improvements to the city’s 311 system, to bring more basic City services online.
  • Jesse is working to streamline Berkeley’s business permitting process and improve customer service, so local business owners can get more things done online without the hassle of going to City Hall.