Emeryville voters will elect two new councilmembers to 4-year terms today. After it initially looked like the voters in the city would again not have a choice, Five candidates ended up filing make the election pretty much up for grabs.
Brooke Westling, Sukhdeep Kaur, David Mourra, Kalimah Priforce & Eugene Tssui all emerged after the deadline was extended by a week. While all are new to the Emeryville political arena, all have lived in Emeryville upwards of a decade.
Incumbents have mostly thrown their weight behind David Mourra who also serves on the Planning Commission making him a favorite to win one of the two seats. The second place vote-getter is harder to predict.
Outgoing councilmember Scott Donahue has endorsed Sukhdeep Kaur giving her a slight boost.
Westling Endorses Priforce, Tssui
Meanwhile, three candidates have teamed up to try elevate their profiles among voters.
The alliance came as a result of a candidate forum coordinated by Emery High School students. Westling, Priforce and Tssui were the only candidates to attend the event.
Candidate Brooke Westling, while clearly having strong credentials to lead, has expressed satisfaction in the pool of candidates and announced she was throwing her support behind Priforce and Tssui. “I will be voting for Eugene Tssui and Kalimah Priforce for the two at-large seats for Emeryville City Council.” she provided in the below letter. “They have my endorsement and friendship moving forward and I encourage my supporters to do the same.”
Westling was the only candidate to file a California Form 470 meaning she’s basically self-funding her campaign and did not expect to raise more than $2,000. The FPPC disclosures for all candidates can be viewed on Emeryville.org.
While Emeryville does not have ranked-choice voting like the Oakland Mayorship, it’s not common for candidates to team up similar to a “slate.”
Westling’s full letter can be read below.
Read all of The E’ville Eye’s election coverage including their 20 question candidate questionnaires.
Since joining the race for Emeryville City council, I’ve had the unique opportunity to connect with our city, our community, and learned of the many ways our city leadership has led us in the right direction and the times they have not.
Learning that the vacated seats, early on, were not being filled, I submitted my entry into the contest in the hopes that city hall and the people of Emeryville would benefit from a more independently minded candidate to choose from. However, every indication I received confirmed that residents do want transparent, bold representation on city council, but that the race was being skewed into preferences intentionally shaped by powerful interest groups and their historical influence on elected officials..
On the morning of October 20th, I participated in a candidate forum hosted by the students of Emery High School along with Eugene Tssui and Kalimah Priforce. We were the only candidates that accepted their invitation after weeks of preparation by the teachers and staff and it turned out to be a wonderful exchange between us as candidates and the students.
After this experience which includes the camaraderie and kindness Kalimah and Eugene extended towards me, I found them to be the kind of leaders that the city needs for this election. They both reflect the independent open-mindedness I’ve come to admire about them and they are both willing to place a significant amount of resources towards changing the dynamic of the city council in ways that, at this moment, I would rather utilize towards supporting their bids.
Come November 8th, 2022, I will be voting for Eugene Tssui and Kalimah Priforce for the two at-large seats for Emeryville City Council. They have my endorsement and friendship moving forward and I encourage my supporters to do the same. I will continue to lend a voice and play a role in helping to steer the city in the right direction, and I am confident that Kalimah and Eugene’s tenure will be inclusive of people like me and all those whose voices have felt excluded from city hall.