After not a single candidate filed for the 2022 Emeryville City Council election during the regular filing period, five new names have emerged after the deadline was extended five days.
A diverse slate of qualified candidates have emerged promising an intriguing race that the city has not seen since the 2016 election when six filed for three vacant seats. The top two vote-getters will fill the two seats being vacated by Councilmembers Dianne Martinez and Scott Donahue who will both be leaving office after fulfilling their second term.
Donahue publicly declared his intention to not seek a third term back at the July 5 City Council meeting. Martinez waited until the “11th hour” to make it official through her Twitter account announcing just hours before the filing deadline.
Beating an incumbent councilmember that is not involved in a public scandal is considered long odds and a deterrent for many prospective candidates. An early declaration by an incumbent that they will not be running can draw a larger pool of candidates who have a realistic chance of winning. It could be considered political strategy to not signal your intent to not run to thwart potential candidates who could beat a favored successor.
One interesting facet of this pool of candidates is their tenure in Emeryville with all having lived in the city for at least a decade. Current Councilmembers John Bauters, Ally Medina and Courtney Welch all opted to run for council despite being relatively new residents at the time (Medina ≈3 years, Bauters ≈2 years, Welch – less than a year).
The election could represent a significant turning point in city leadership.
The School Board race which includes three expiring seats closed during the regular filing period as all three incumbents filed for reelection. They will be challenged by Councilmember Scott Donahue’s brother Brian Donahue.
City Council candidates are listed below alphabetically (the same order as on the city website).
Candidate Statement: Emeryville is my home since the fall of 2008 when I accepted an associate attorney position at a San Francisco law firm. Initially, I chose to live in Emeryville for its proximity to the City. Fourteen years later, the love for this city and its community have taken me from being a renter to a homeowner in Emeryville. Now, I work from my home and I am proud to live here.
It will be an honor to represent the city with its diverse orientations, all ages, cultures, backgrounds and professions including retirees, families raising their children, people who love their pets, create art. I am committed to continue fostering our city’s unique way of life.
We have so much to be grateful in our city offering artistic and professional talent and business acumen. There is every reason to believe that together we can address the issues of land-use, housing, homelessness, personal wellbeing, encouraging small businesses, safety and security, and nurturing our community spirit. I look forward to your support in representing our community’s collective concerns in a manner that will serve our entire community.
Candidate Statement: I am a California native and have been a resident of Emeryville for 14 years. As an avid cyclist, you can often spot me biking with my two boys, Toshi (age 4) and Kai (age 2) down the Emeryville Greenway or urban foraging with them for blackberries. I’m currently serving on Emeryville’s Planning Commission. Professionally, I work as an engineer and project manager in the biotech industry. I’m also the treasurer for my condo association. The City of Emeryville has a great General Plan and vision for future housing, parks, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. We need to identify more quick-build projects and developer partnerships to help bring this vision to life. I support the initiatives of current Mayor John Bauters whose leadership has brought Emeryville into the national spotlight as a model for housing and quality of life measures. We’ve come a long way as a city and I’d be honored to help guide our future.
Occupation: National Non-Profit Advisor
Candidate Statement: Originally from Brooklyn, falling in love with Emeryville was an instantaneous affair, and like any good love story, my commitment to her has grown over the last ten years. Covid hurt us. Our day to day lives were disrupted, local economy harmed, and plenty of our brick and mortars suffered. In the face of traumatic adversity, do we shrink or grow?
As a candidate for city council, I believe we can grow – together. Since moving to Emeryville in 2012, I earned the Echoing Green prize for leading a tech company to be a pioneer of the learn to code movement for low opportunity youth. Since earning the Champion of Change award from President Obama’s administration, I serve on the National Advisory Council for Forward Promise. At home, forming a tenant board with fellow residents brought needed changes to our quality of life.
Black. Socially progressive. Politically moderate. A family friendlier Emeryville is my platform. That means cultivating our small business commerce, fortifying our public safety, and establishing rewarding relationships with capitols: state and national.
My municipal duty will be to deliver transparent, data-informed, empathy-driven solutions that make Emeryville a safer equitable place to live, work, and play.
Reduce Crime and Promote Physical Safety: Crime reduction/prevention programs to reduce crime. Neighborhood watch centers to strengthen safety in Emeryville i.e. Safety Escort programs for elderly, women, and youth. Job creation focusing on youth and disability internships: Work with existing programs to encourage businesses, non-profits, and new creative businesses to employ Emeryville residents and target youth skills acquisitions. Use youth services for SMART city programs to keep Emeryville residents here. Emeryville schools to develop externships/Internships for young people to enter the workforce. Climate Change adoption: Identify and create native plant habitats around the city, to reduce water use by 40% and support insects, birds, and animals. Involve children and residents in Emeryville regional ecosystem restoration. Establish Emeryville’s first Code of Ethics complying with California government ethics, transparency, and accountability in small cities.
Health and Fitness Incentives: Increase the level of fitness for all residents. driving less—walking/exercising more; public programs to encourage access to high protein, plant-based diets. Emeryville Idea Program: Emeryville residents involved in implementing new and innovative ideas to make the City a globally distinctive/resident-relevant place. Initiate Power Down-Power Out programs to reduce the use of toxicity-producing technology, etc.
Occupation: Immigration Attorney/Professor
Candidate Statement: I am a 10-year resident of Emeryville and have chosen this city to raise my child. We thoroughly enjoy all that Emeryville has to offer and also see room for improvement.
Most importantly, I would like to expand long-term residence within our city to attract more families, improve community safety and civic engagement, and enhance the educational and recreational opportunities available to our residents. I believe this can be achieved through increases in home ownership and affordable rentals, and by addressing the needs of the unhoused within our city.
I have built my public service legal career by actively listening to my clients’ needs and diligently working to achieve their goals. I have learned the value of collaborating with others throughout the community to attain a common objective. I hope to have the opportunity to do the same for the residents of Emeryville as a member of the City Council.
If you would like to get to know me better, I can usually be found at Tuesday night Trivia at the Public Market or walking around town with my son and our dog, Peanut.