By Judith Scherr
Councilmember Dona Spring’s longtime companion, Dennis Walton told the council last week, speaking two days after the councilmember’s death, “Don’t mourn, organize!”
And that’s what the candidates for Spring’s seat are doing. They don’t have a choice other than plunging immediately into the fray, if they want to run, given that they are obliged to run during just about the same period as other candidates for the Nov. 4 election. The formal nominating period for other local candidates is from July 14 to Aug. 8 and the period for District 4 is from July 16 to Aug. 8.
During this period, candidates can file by paying a fee of $150.
Candidates who don’t want to pay the filing fee can collect signatures instead. All signature-in-lieu papers needed to be returned today (Thursday). Each signature up to 150 valid signatures is worth $1 toward the filing fee. (The Planet will report on additional candidates successfully returning signature-in-lieu papers at berkeleydailyplanet.com.)
Six candidates have cued up so far to fill the District 4 seat: Former School Board President Terry Doran, commissioners Jesse Arreguin and Asa Dodsworth, videographer L. A. Wood, and environmentalist Mary Rose “Redwood Mary” Kaczorow-ski have all taken out signature-in-lieu papers. Jerry Threet took out nomination papers on Wednesday, bypassing the signature-in-lieu option.
For Dodsworth, a member of the Zero Waste Commission, taking out the papers is a place-holder while he decides if he will actually run in the race. Dodsworth told the Planet his goal in becoming councilmember would be to bring people together to build community. He said he would like to start a tutoring program for Berkeley High students, build “victory gardens” to provide food security and help neighbors come together in organizations block by block.
“Dona has huge shoes to fill,” Dodsworth said.
The 2008 race will be the second in which Wood runs for the District 4 seat. He faced Spring in 2000, even though he says he espouses many of the late councilmember’s ideals. He picked up 9.9 percent of the votes in a four-way race in 2000. Spring won with 66.7 percent of the vote.
Like Spring and Dodsworth, Wood has supported the tree-sit at Memorial Grove. Several years ago, Wood and Spring collaborated on a video showing the needs of the animal shelter. Wood said, as councilmember he would champion neighborhood concerns, such as exclusive neighborhood parking on one side of the street near downtown, which would free up spaces on one side of the street for residents.
“I’m known for being pretty bull-dog- like,” Wood told the Planet.
Terry Doran serves on the Zoning Adjustments Board and told the Planet that, like Spring, he supports low-income housing, rent control and fair eviction policies.
Doran also said he supports ecological development, which he describes as “density along traffic corridors.”
“We need more housing and more affordable housing,” he told the Planet.
He said Spring was among his supporters when he ran for the School Board. “I was the strongest advocate on the School Board to keep the warm-water pool,” he said. Doran said he is supported by Mayor Tom Bates.
Elected to the Rent Stabilization Board, Jesse Arreguin chairs that board as well as the Housing Advisory Commission. He’s also a member of the Zoning Adjustments Board.
“I feel there needs to be a strong progressive candidate to try to carry on the legacy of Dona Spring,” he told the Planet.
Arreguin said he defines a progressive as “someone who fights for social justice.” He said he’s done that on the boards he serves on, working for affordable housing and equal access.
Mary Rose Kaczorowski, better known as Redwood Mary, said she wants to continue in the tradition of Spring, supporting “heart-based” as well as intellectual values.
Kaczorowski points to preservation of trees, care for animals and care for the downtrodden. “My life is dedicated to these values,” she said.
She added that her election would preserve gender balance on the council.
Districts 2 and 3
Candidates taking out papers to run in District 2 are incumbent Darryl Moore and Jon Crowder, who has faced Moore before and also run for mayor.
Incumbent Max Anderson has taken out papers for District 3 and, to date, has no opponent.
Districts 5 and 6
Incumbent Laurie Capitelli will face Jason Ira Magid and Sophie Hahn for the District 5 seat.
Susan Wengraf, a member of the Planning Commission and aide to Councilmember Betty Olds, is running for the District 6 seat. That seat is being vacated by retiring Councilmember Olds.
She will face peace activist PhoeBe Sorgen, a Peace and Justice commissioner, and Laura Miller.
Incumbent Mayor Tom Bates is facing former Mayor Shirley Dean, also a former city councilmember, and Zachary Running Wolf, active in supporting the tree-sitters in the grove next to Memorial Stadium. Dennis McComb is also running.
Rent Board candidates include incumbents Eleanor Walden and Jack Harrison, former rent board members Judy Ann Alberti and Robert Evans, and Jane Welford, Nicole Drake, Judy Shelton, Marcia Levenson, Jesse Townley, Clydis Ruth Rogers and Taylor Kelly.
School Board President John Selawsky, Beatriz Levya-Cutler and Toya Groves have taken out papers to run for the two School Board seats.