Six declare candidacy for three available Emeryville Council seats

5 mins read

The final day to file papers for one of the three vacating Emeryville Council seats was yesterday at 5:30 p.m.. The original 8/12 date was extended five days when, as expected, none of the three incumbents filed. 88-year-old Nora Davis will step down after 28 years in council. Four term Councilmember Ruth Atkin will step aside and single term Councilmember Jac Asher will forgo reelection. The General Municipal Election will take place on November 8th and a council seat is a four-year term.

The candidates will now seek campaign donations and major endorsements from The Alameda County Democratic Party, The Sierra Club, existing councilmembers and other influential groups. We’ve provided their candidacy statements below that will appear on the ballot and are subject to a 200 word threshold (Please note that candidates are listed alphabetically by last name). The actual ballot order is determined by a random drawing by the Secretary of State.

John Bauters: Nonprofit Policy Director

Headshot-Bauters-JohnI am running for City Council because I want to help make Emeryville an affordable, livable, and inclusive community. I am proud to take an active role in serving our community as a Planning Commissioner, Housing Committee member, and as Chair of the Citizen’s Measure K Oversight Committee at Emery Unified School District. These opportunities have affirmed my commitment to the future of Emeryville.

Working as a legal aid attorney, policy advocate, and disaster relief director has taught me how to bring people together, engage diverse viewpoints, address complex challenges, and make decisions that will improve our community.

As your Councilmember, I will advance policies that build a sustainable Emeryville for all of us. Let’s work together to improve housing affordability, create more park space, support small local-serving businesses, and ensure excellent police and fire services.

I am humbled to be endorsed by Mayor Dianne Martinez and Councilmembers Scott Donahue, Jac Asher, Ruth Atkin, and Nora Davis. It would be an honor to serve you on our City Council. Together we can build a stronger community!

For more information, visit: www.johnbauters.net

Brynnda Collins: Youth Development Coordinator

After 12 years renting in Emeryville and working for our school district and city, I answer a call to action by running for City Council. I pledge to follow through on the longstanding promises of an Emeryville that thrives for all. My character and leadership – both, courageous and strong insure my positive impact on behalf of the citizens of Emeryville.

Relationships are essential to building resilient, healthy neighborhoods and a government that serves responsibly. As a proud Emery USD parent and employee, I served as Parent-Teacher Organization President, School Site Council Chairperson, Youth Development Coordinator, member on the Instructional Leadership Team and in the redesign efforts that have built the Center for Community Life. I am passionate about serving our children and elders and building the capacity of others to create positive change. Using a proven track record for building networks and effective personal relationships, I am poised to facilitate courageous conversations and take action addressing issues like affordable housing and rent control, equitable access to City services and spaces, student achievement, and civic engagement. Bridging the gap between city, schools and community across divides like class, generation and race, I am ready to lead Emeryville forward with action!

Louise Engel: Businesswoman / Urban Planner

I believe that focusing on financial stability in Emeryville will assure maintenance of solid public services. Working together, we can tackle the affordable housing issue to assure a home for both young and seniors. I’m a resident, owner, 22 years, in Watergate, on the peninsula. I’ve spoken before the City Council, and at City Committees, bringing evidence to challenge proposals disruptive to neighborhoods. Examples include: a restaurant seeking a cabaret license; a high rise office structure on the Market site along Powell; and, building another shoreline parking lot. I served as a citizen representative to update the local hazard mitigation plan. To understand policing in Emeryville, I joined neighbors in the Citizen Police Academy training. I’ve resolved issues facing the elderly through my small business, providing estate management services, for a family taking care of their Dad’s health and affairs. I balance labor and management interests. I managed a coffee farm, with seasonal labor, for a Hawaiian client. At one job in Oakland, my labor union elected me to their team negotiating contract renewal. For over 15 years, I achieved cooperative resolution, on Bay Area developments with land use and environmental planning issues. Vote for me to champion your interests.

Email: lengel466mgmt@gmail.com

Ally Medina: SEIU Organizer

ally-medina-seiu-emeryvilleEmeryville has undergone a rapid transformation, and needs innovative leadership to help young professionals, families and small businesses to thrive in our community. As your Councilmember, I promise to be an effective leader on the key issues of affordability, availability of parks and open space, and safe transit options.

I’ve served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Democratic Party and as a Government Relations Consultant for the California Bicycle Coalition. I currently serve on the Emeryville Parks and Recreation Committee and work as Regional Political Organizer for SEIU-UHW where I educate our health care professional members about candidates, elections and ballot initiatives and encourage them to get more engaged in the issues that most affect them and their families.

Our vibrant, growing community will benefit from increased citizen input and oversight. As a community organizer and nonprofit advocate for nearly 10 years, I have a proven track record of bringing government, business and residents together to tackle our community’s most pressing issues.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve our community on the City Council and humbly ask for your vote on November 8.

Christian Patz: Education Administrator

christian-patz-emeryville-900pxI am a school administrator and teacher with a Doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies. I am committed to sustainable growth for our community; be it through encouraging green
commuting, working for housing for all income levels and family sizes, and ensuring public spaces. My wife and I have called Emeryville home since 2003. I currently serve on the Emery School Board and have a track record of accountability and transparency. I ask direct questions, do my homework, and most importantly, listen. As a council member and parent, I will work hard for the issues that matter to families and seniors. With our outstanding police and fire services, dynamic retail, and bike paths, I will ensure Emeryville’s livability continues to stay high. I will strengthen the partnership with Emery schools to improve the quality of public education in our community. With your vote, I can ensure that people of all classes and identities have the opportunity to live, work, and thrive in our city. Some assembly required.

For more information about my campaign, please visit www.crpatz.com
Key endorsements: Mayor Dianne Martinez, Councilmember Jac Asher, Councilmember Scott Donahue.

John T. Van Geffen: Attorney/Father/Volunteer

9148_10151514373835432_468376685_nEmeryville is where my wife and I bought our first house. It’s where our daughter was born, will go to school, and it’ll always be the place she thinks of when she says, “I’m going home.”

I want more than just your vote; I want your help. I’m not a career politician. My campaign for City Council is grounded in the principle that holding office is about public service above all else. I’m running because I want to ensure that Emeryville prioritizes community before succumbing to economic pressures.

Moreover, as a brand new father and practicing attorney, I promise to read every single proposal, study, survey and action item that comes before the council (since I’m not going to be sleeping anyway).

About me: I want to make commuting greener and safer with expanded bike lanes, new park space and walking paths and slowed traffic patterns along our children’s school routes. Additionally, I want the city to better address renters’ rights, affordable housing and homelessness.

I don’t just want your vote; I want your ideas! Email your concerns to Vote4JohnVanGeffen@gmail.com and if elected, I promise to work with you to see them answered.

website: johnvangeffen.strikingly.com

Never Miss a Story!

Subscribe to Emeryville’s only dedicated news source.

Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. Looks like we have some great options. Looking forward to getting to know the candidates better. And surprised you’re not running, Rob. 🙂

    • Thanks @cheshireisaacs, I’m truly flattered but it would be hard to be on council AND advocate through this blog. We will be providing a questionnaire to to all the candidates that we hope will help point our readers to candidates that align with their priorities.

  2. EvilleEye is such a great resource, thank you for putting this together. I’m glad to see candidates that are family-oriented and have an interest in improving affordable housing. I moved to Emeryville with my husband so that he could commute to SF, but we now both live and work in Emeryville and have two little ones. I see so many strollers and children under 5 around town but not too many school-aged children. It seems many families move out for better housing and better schools. We are seriously considering doing the same in the next couple years.

    • Thanks Erin. I think this is one of our City’s biggest challenges. Some say we need more housing that is supportive of keeping families and some say getting our schools to perform better is more imperative. It’s probably a combination of both. You’ll be happy to know that Emeryville just opened it’s new K-12 school called the ECCL so we have the resources in place to hopefully attract and keep Emeryville families and hopefully top teaching talent. This election, I hope you’ll pay attention to candidates that truly want to build our community and put Emeryville first and aren’t beholden to outside special interests or ideology.

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Daytime Vehicle Gun Battle reported at 45th and Adeline

Next Story

E’ville Biz: Farley’s Cafe among three more Post-MWO Small Business owners parting ways with Emeryville

Support Local News for the Emeryville Community and get free Merch!

Become a recurring E’ville Eye supporter for as little as $5 per month and get a FREE custom tee or cap (minimum one year commitment).

Support Hyperlocal News →

You have Successfully Subscribed!