Q&A with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin

At this week's General Assembly, we heard an update from the Steering Team, engaged with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin in a question-and-answer session, and took a temperature check about how we want to engage with our government.

The Indivisible berkeley Steering Team is composed of seven members: Brandon Curtis, Lenore Goldman, Keavney Klein, Sam Kohn, Eleanor Moses, Jaime Mulligan, and Daron Sharps. We regretfully bid farewell to Laury Dolman, whose time in Berkeley is drawing to a close.

Indivisible Berkeley has officially incorporated in the State of California as a not-for-profit corporation! Because of the political nature of our organization, contributions and donations to Indivisible Berkeley are not tax-deductible.

Mayor Jesse Arreguin discussed how bittersweet election night was for him, considering he was elected to be mayor on the same day Trump was elected to be president. He gave some information about his plans to cope with the housing crisis, and addressed the recent City Council vote to remain in Urban Shield, a militarized police training program.

Questions from the audience included following up on the Wells Fargo divestment plan, addressing the possibility of future far-right protests in Berkeley, and, of course, some probing questions about the Urban Shield vote. Mayor Arreguin promised Indivisible Berkeley that within 6 months, alternative non-militarized training programs will be identified and Berkeley will fully withdraw from Urban Shield. Of course, our Racism and Criminal Justice Reform Team will keep us all informed on when we're needed to remind City Council and the Mayor of their promises on this front!

To close out the General Assembly, we took a temperature check of our interests and level of engagement for the coming months. We found that most of the audience wants to take action approximately once per week, and wants to focus on holding our elected representatives accountable through phone calls and town halls. No action got zero votes, so there's always someone else out there who can take action with you!