COVID-19 Shelter-in-place Assistance

If you or someone you know needs help during our current public health crises, please reach out to me at alex@alexforberkeley.com
You can find additional resources through the Berkeley Mutual Aid network: berkeleymutualaid.org/about

Alex and his partner Michele

Meet Alex

City Commissioner: Alex has served on Berkeley’s Zero Waste Commission, Housing Advisory Commission and the Commission on Labor where he has co-authored legislation tackling issues ranging from housing for Berkeley teachers to the racial wage gap in Berkeley.

Community volunteer: Alex served as a mentor and tutor to Berkeley’s underserved youth at the Berkeley Youth Alternatives and volunteers with Friends of Strawberry Creek Park to keep our parks clean and beautiful.

Solar energy scientist: Alex has dedicated his career to the development of next generation solar energy technologies, to combat climate change and help build a truly environmentally sustainable society.

West Berkeley neighbor: Alex and his partner Michele live in West Berkeley with Michele’s Mom near family that have been in Berkeley for 30+ years. Alex is active with his block’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and is deeply committed to Berkeley as he and Michele build their family in this amazing community filled with diverse, passionate, inspiring friends and neighbors.

Endorsements

Elected Officials

Rashi Kesarwani*
Berkeley City Councilmember:

“I appointed Alex to serve on the City’s Housing Advisory Commission because I’m impressed by his ability to understand complex issues like housing and homelessness that disproportionately impact West Berkeley. He would make a strong addition to our City Council.”

Darryl Moore*
Berkeley City Councilmember (Retired):

“I am proud to endorse Alex Sharenko to represent District 2 on Berkeley City Council. Alex is a dedicated public servant. I know he will be an effective voice for the community of District 2.”

Lori Droste*
Berkeley City Councilmember:

“Alex is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about the issues facing Berkeley. I know that he’ll be ready on Day 1 to start crafting thoughtful, equitable solutions to our community’s biggest challenges. I have enjoyed working with him as a City Commissioner and am excited to potentially work with him as a colleague on City Council.”

Susan Wengraf*
Berkeley City Councilmember

Buffy Wicks*
California Assemblymember
District 15

 

Joaquin Rivera
Alameda County Board of Education Trustee

 

Judy Hunt
Board of Library Trustee
Former Commissioner,
Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board

“We need Alex on City Council. He will bring long-needed change for our community in West Berkeley.”

John Bauters*
Emeryville City Councilmember,
Former Mayor of Emeryville

 

Ka’Dijah Brown*
Berkeley School Board Director

“Alex is a thoughtful, communicative, collaborative leader. I’m proud to support him for City Council.”

Organized Labor

Colin Arnold*
Vice-President, Berkeley Firefighters Association L1227

“Alex Sharenko is an engaged, pragmatic and energetic voice for District 2 who has the ability to meet the health and safety challenges facing the people of Berkeley head on. We are proud to support him.”

Community Endorsers

This is a grassroots campaign supported by the people that live right here in our community.
The following District 2 residents support Alex and his campaign:

 

Tim Pakes
Jefferson Douglas
Erica Leverett
Danette Davis
Fran Haselsteiner
Julie Brettin
Rowena Carlson
Carol Moor
Robb Walker
Judy Dater
Lucas Woodward
Anne Brillhart
Greg Martin
Naomi Marks
Chris Denny-Brown
Robyn Simonett
Michele Guide
Debby Kowal
Cloe Guesdon
Kate Kordich
Doug Smith

Carly Ebenstein
Jeff Vincent
Vernon Theiss
Laurin Vincent
Matt Ward
Matt Johansen
Tor Berg
Andrea Broaddus
Mike Wertheim
Sasha Wertheim
Ellen Fullman
Edward Dean
Sara Strong
Tom Stifler
Linda Zagula
Suzy Springborg
Christine Staples
Paul Randall
Jinky Gardner
Wanie Biggs

Deb Scott
Cynthia Elliot
Tenise Young
Toni Mester
Demaris Hammond
Lisa Duncan
Mimi Moungovan
Rachel Hope Crossman
Susan Payne
Robert Cunningham
Jonathan Baum
Judy Chadwick
Dave Juarez
Peter Pursley
Robert Glantz
Bruce Buchanan
Mary Nelson
Wiley Buchanan
Mary Nickel
Louise Pellerin

*

BDC Berkeley Democratic Club*

*dual endorsements

Berkeley City Commissioners

Ben Gould — Community Environmental Advisory Commission Chair

Jeff Vincent — Planning Commissioner

Kathleen Crandall — Loan Administration Board member and Landmarks Preservation Commissioner

Marian Wolfe — Housing Advisory Commissioner

Charles Kahn — Vice Chair of the Zoning Adjustment Board and Chair of the Design Review Committee

George Perezvelez — Berkeley Police Review Commissioner and Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee AD 15 Vice-Chair

Teresa Clarke — Zoning Adjustments Board member

Curtis Nickel — Loan Administration Board member

Paul Kamen — Vice-chair of the Parks & Waterfront Commission

Why Alex?

As a City Commissioner and volunteer I have had the opportunity to champion social, environmental and racial justice while working to serve our community. And through these experiences it has become clear to me that not enough is being done to solve some of our most urgent problems. Homelessness has increased year after year with West Berkeley bearing a disproportionate burden of this moral failure. Many of our District’s roads and parks suffer from neglect without an advocate on Council to demand our fair share of investment. And our public safety institutions lead to racial inequities and fail to address the crime in our District. We need new leadership that can effectively translate our values to policy and solve these problems.

Which is why I am running to represent District 2 on Berkeley City Council. As your Councilmember I will promote regional, compassionate solutions to our housing and homelessness crisis. I’ll work so that everyone has access to safe, clean parks. I’ll fight to build public safety institutions that keep everyone safe, reflect our values and affirm that Black Lives Matter. I’ll continue to champion social, environmental and racial justice as I have as a City Commissioner and volunteer. And I’ll advocate for and serve the people of District 2 as we collectively recover from the economic and health effects of COVID-19. I will lead with curiosity, empathy, respect and the desire to bring people together to solve problems, reaching out and listening to people with different personal stories and life experiences so that everyone in our diverse district is heard. As your Councilperson I will strive to govern with both head and heart, seeking the wisdom of experts and using evidence-based policies in order to champion the values that I think make Berkeley great: diversity, equity and love, while pragmatically working to solve our problems. The people of District 2 deserve no less.

Alex’s Vision for District 2’s Future

  • We’ve enacted permanent, regional solutions to homelessness that respect people’s dignity and provide opportunities for people to get off the streets
  • Our public safety institutions keep everyone safe, reflect our values and affirm that Black Lives Matter
  • We’ve collectively recovered from the health and economic effects of COVID-19
  • Everyone has access to safe and clean parks
  • We lead on climate change to create the fossil fuel free world required for a just future
  • It’s safe to walk or bike around the city whether you’re 7 or 70
  • Our teachers and the children that grow up here aren’t displaced by the cost of housing
  • Everyone has a voice in how we move forward

Issues

Public Safety

Berkeley ranks as one of the least safe cities in the state. Additionally, the way we police our community has led to racial inequities. Clearly what we are doing isn’t working. We must have the courage to reimagine our public safety institutions so that all members of our community feel safe. These efforts are given new urgency by the murder of George Floyd and I am committed to meeting this challenge by listening to and engaging with communities of color, victims of crime, criminal justice advocates, Berkeley Police Department leadership, and civil rights organizations. Specifically, to ensure everyone in District 2 feels safe I will:

  • champion strong community oversight of our police department by community members with a commitment to social and racial justice so that the Berkeley police department is an example of equity and service for the rest of the country to follow
  • re-evaluate how we allocate public safety resources to focus the Berkeley Police Department on violent crime and gun violence while expanding the use of unarmed mental health professionals, social workers, and traffic enforcement staff
  • ensure that our first responders are participating in regional training that both reflects our city’s values and prepares them for regional coordination in emergency situations
  • expand and mandate de-escalation training for our police officers
  • ensure we are investing in community anti-violence programs
  • prioritize investments in safe roads and sidewalks to protect pedestrians so that regardless of whether you’re 70 or 7, walking in our city isn’t a risk to your health and safety
  • work to fully implement the city’s unrealized bicycle plan to protect cyclists and encourage this green form of transportation

 

Homelessness

Alex volunteering to help build housing for Berkeley’s unsheltered

The number of people experiencing homelessness has increased dramatically over the last 4 years. This is a moral crisis as people suffer on our streets and a crisis of leadership as the problem continues unabated. Our city spends over $20 million a year to combat homelessness, but every year the number of people suffering on our streets increases. As your Councilmember I will:

  • follow the advice of homelessness experts
  • emphasize permanent housing over temporary encampments- every person deserves a safe, permanent home 
  • Aggressively pursue State and County funds to fill any service shortfalls due to our COVID-19 induced budget cuts
  • adopt regional solutions to once and for all reject the status quo and end homelessness in our city
  • work to regulate RV parking in a way that prevents West Berkeley from bearing the burden of housing this community on its own

Housing

A quadplex on Acton Street: the type of missing middle housing that is no longer legal to build but that Alex thinks we need more of

The Bay Area and Berkeley are currently experiencing a crisis of housing affordability. Abundant housing is affordable housing, as long as housing is scarce it will be expensive. This scarcity inevitably disproportionately burdens our community’s most vulnerable members: the elderly, the disabled, the young and the low-income, often driving them into homelessness. Extremely high housing prices keep families apart, lock individuals in toxic relationships, lead to unsafe living conditions, unduly strain personal budgets and even cause people to choose between a roof over their head or food in their stomach. To end the suffering our housing crisis is causing I will:

  • prioritize increasing housing affordability so that children that grow up in our community and those that work in our community have the opportunity to live in our community
  • Protect tenants from displacement and preserve existing affordable housing to ensure Berkeley maintains its economic and cultural diversity
  • ensure that new housing includes as much low-income subsidized housing as possible
  • eliminate exclusionary zoning that encourages construction of new McMansions and instead emphasize the creation of more naturally affordable “missing middle” type housing that creates the type of human scale, walkable neighborhood we all know and love
  • ensure our housing solutions enrich rather than degrade the community we all love and call home
  • Build housing that allows Berkeley to be a city that can welcome artists, immigrants, families and those seeking to be part of our diverse, passionate, and inclusive community

Infrastructure

As residents of Berkeley we have inherited parks, roads, sewers, a stormwater management system, a marina, etc. because of the investment and foresight of past generations. This infrastructure is foundationally necessary to our everyday lives, from a day in the park with friends and family to the trip to the grocery store to put food on the table. And yet Aquatic Park is now often contaminated with toxic bacteria, hundreds of miles of roads dangerously deteriorate with no plans to fix them and our once beautiful pier crumbles into the bay as current leadership does nothing. These issues are particularly important for District 2 as decades of underinvestment and mismanagement, including by current leadership, have left us with the worst roads of any City Council district. As your representative on City Council I will:

  • advocate for District 2 so we get our fair share of infrastructure investment
  • treat our infrastructure as the essential component of our city that it is so that everyone can enjoy vibrant, safe parks; functional, smooth roads; and basic water and wastewater systems to keep people and the Bay safe from contamination

The Environment

As your elected representative on City Council I will consider stewardship of our environment to be an integral part of my responsibility to this community. I have spent my entire professional career dedicated to developing new energy efficiency and solar energy technologies. The creation of a more environmentally sustainable society has been my lifelong pursuit. As a member of the Berkeley Zero Waste Commission I helped pass legislation eliminating single use plastic foodware in order to protect our creeks, waterways and the Bay from one of its biggest sources of pollution. On Council I will:

  • prioritize transportation options that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • make our streets safe for pedestrians and bike riders and generally make our city easier to traverse in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, our city’s largest source of greenhouse emissions
  • prioritize transit oriented housing development around our BART stations, especially downtown
  • ensure new housing is built to high environmental standards
  • continue to act to protect our watershed from all sources of pollution

Get in touch with Alex!

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Paid for by Alex Sharenko for Council 2020 FPPC#1422286