Berkeley residents have a one-stop solution this campaign season to learn about local election issues thanks to a mayoral candidate's revolutionary initiative.
The Jacquelyn McCormick For Mayor campaign is opening the doors to its new Community Campaign Center at 1551 University Avenue to all, including her competitors. Nearly a dozen campaigns have agreed to set up their headquarters at the new space, including Kriss Worthington and Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, who are both running to defeat Mayor Tom Bates in the November election.
"This will be a great resource for the community," said former Mayor Shirley Dean. "They can participate and learn about a number of campaigns and issues."
All three candidates running in District Two, Adolfo Cabral, Denesha DeLane and Darryl Moore have said they plan to open their office in The Community Campaign Center and several other candidates and ballot measure campaigns have expressed interest as well.
"This is so exciting," said mayoral candidate McCormick. "For the first time in history campaigns are working together to bring their message to the people of Berkeley instead of letting our differences tear everyone apart. This is going to be campaign central."
The 2010 introduction of ranked-choice voting to Berkeley elections opened the door to make collaborative campaigning. Ranked-choice allows voters to select their top three choices for local offices, and the nature of the system encourages candidates to form alliances with each other to maximize their impact.
"Our campaign has taken the potential for collaboration to the next level," said Josh Wolf, McCormick's campaign manager. "The Community Campaign Center will create a forum for the entire city of Berkeley. It's like a hacking space for civic engagement, an idea-lab where people can get together to explore new projects and share experiences"
The Center will be opening its doors at the beginning of September.