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As your Councilmember, I’ll fight to ensure that Berkeley remains a beacon of opportunity, diversity, and social justice. My parents immigrated to California from India in 1978. They didn’t have any money and English was their second language, but they were able to work hard and buy a modest home.

I want that same opportunity for Berkeley’s next generation, including my newborn son, Austin.

I’m proud to be running a grassroots people-powered campaign. That’s also why I’ve taken the City of Berkeley Public Campaign Financing Pledge: to only accept donations of $50 or less from individuals–no corporations, no PACs. I won’t owe anything to anyone, except you–the voters of Berkeley.

Rashi Kesarwani

Meet Rashi

 

I’m running for City Council in District 1 as a new mom who is deeply invested in the future of our community. I want to ensure that Berkeley is a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable place for the next generation, including my newborn son Austin.

My parents took a leap of blind faith when they came to California as immigrants from India in 1978. They didn’t have any money and English was their second language. But they were able to work hard and purchase a modest home in a Southern California suburb. That’s where the American Dream unfolded for our family. I was fortunate to attend solid public schools in a safe neighborhood, earn a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 2005 and then a master’s degree in public policy from U.C. Berkeley in 2012. But today, for so many members of our community, it feels like the Berkeley version of this American Dream is becoming harder to grasp.

As your Councilmember, I would build on my experience serving on Berkeley’s Housing Advisory Commission and Community Health Commission, where I’ve championed affordable housing and fought to keep Alta Bates Hospital open. I would also draw on my professional background in policy analysis and public budgeting. After earning a Master of Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley, I worked in Sacramento, where I advised the state legislature on health and social services programs and helped to secure overtime pay for low-wage home care workers. I now work as a Finance Manager for San Francisco’s Human Services Agency, which provides safety net programs to low-income individuals and families. In my role, I track revenues and expenditures for the agency’s $900 million annual budget to ensure that funds are spent responsibly.

I look forward to using my unique perspective and experience to be a new voice for our community.

I can’t wait to meet you on the campaign trail! Please feel free to contact me directly with your thoughts, ideas, or concerns: rashiforcouncil@gmail.com or 510-982-6128.

Rashi testifying before members of the legislature on the state budget.
Rashi testifying before members of the legislature on the state budget.

PRIORITIES

Tackling Berkeley's Affordable Housing Shortage

by creating homes that are affordable for working people, families, and seniors while protecting existing residents from displacement

Ensuring Community Safety

 

by working with our first responders and treating communities of color fairly

 

Addressing Homelessness in our Community

by fighting for long-term solutions that include partnering with neighboring cities and more resources from the state for permanent supportive housing

Repair Our Infrastructure

 

by fixing our roads, sidewalks, and marina and making our streets safe for all users 

 

Protect the Environment

by addressing climate change and ensuring our parks and open spaces are accessible and safe for everyone to enjoy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENDORSEMENTS

Loni Hancock
former State Senator (endorses Rashi #2)
Tom Bates
former Berkeley Mayor
Dion Aroner
former Assemblymember

Rashi is a dedicated and effective public servant who has helped local families get fair wages, healthcare and access to essential services. Rashi will do the hard work to tackle Berkeley's housing crisis, secure permanent housing and services for our homeless, and make Berkeley a safe and equitable community for everyone.

Nancy Skinner

State Senator

Rashi knows that hard problems take strong coalitions to solve. I'm proud to endorse Rashi for City Council, because I know she will be a leader in championing effective, regional solutions. Whether it's solving our housing and homelessness crises or standing up to Donald Trump's agenda, Rashi will forge the alliances we need in order to work together as one East Bay community.

Libby Schaaf

Mayor of Oakland

I'm proud to endorse Rashi for City Council. As a veteran of the Community Health Commission and the Housing Advisory Commission, Rashi has been standing up on behalf of the community in the fights to save Alta Bates and support affordable housing here in Berkeley. Now, we need Rashi on City Council to continue those fights and ensure a progressive and just future for our community.

Darryl Moore

former Berkeley City Councilmember

We commend Rashi for her position on Organized Labor and affordable housing. We look forward to working with her on Project Labor Agreements and to bring career technical education to Berkeley schools. We trust she will serve as an excellent addition to the Berkeley City Council and we look forward to working with her in the near future.

Iron Workers Local 378 (dual)

Rashi is a new mom who will consider the well-being of Berkeley kids and families when she makes decisions. She is a consensus builder who understands that we need to work together to create homes that are affordable to young people and families if we want our kids to be able to live in Berkeley when they grow up.

Ayelet Waldman

Bestselling Author, Berkeley Mom

Rashi is our best choice for a safe and healthy community. She understands the importance of working together with residents to create a better Berkeley.

Susan Wengraf

Berkeley City Councilmember

Berkeley is at a crossroads on public safety, with a police staffing crisis and critical cuts to traffic safety and crisis intervention training at the same time that we're adding people and fielding increased calls for service. Supporting Rashi Kesarwani in District 1 will enable the success of our sworn officers in keeping Berkeley’s neighborhoods safe and strong.

Berkeley Police Association

We need Rashi's perspective on City Council to give voice to those who are struggling to make it in our community--teachers, artists, restaurant workers, young families, seniors on fixed incomes. She knows what it's like to start from nothing and achieve the American Dream because she's seen it happen in her own immigrant family. Rashi believes in listening to differing perspectives, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and making decisions with compassion and full information. She would be a breath of fresh air on the City Council.

Lori Droste

Berkeley City Councilmember

I've seen Rashi's work ethic, intellectual curiosity, and ability to think critically about policy problems firsthand. She'll work tirelessly to fight for her constituents and come up with progressive and pragmatic solutions. Rashi is ready to lead Berkeley in tackling the big challenges that lie ahead.

Jennifer Granholm

former Governor of Michigan, Distinguished Adjunct Professor at U.C. Berkeley

Rashi is smart, committed, and passionate about serving her community. Her grassroots, people-powered campaign is bringing new voices into the political process. As the daughter of immigrants and a new mom, she's exactly the type of leader we need right now in these trying times. I'm proud to support her for City Council.

Buffy Wicks

Assembly District 15 Candidate, former Advisor to Pres. Barack Obama

Rashi has the experience we need on City Council right now. From working for the Legislature in Sacramento to managing a $900 million budget in San Francisco, Rashi knows how government works. She'll be able to turn good ideas into real action, and help move our city forward.

Laurie Capitelli

former Berkeley City Councilmember

*Dual Endorsement

*Endorses Rashi #2

Community Leaders

Shirley Issel, former Berkeley School Board President
Barry Fike, former President, Berkeley Federation of Teachers/Jefferson School Teacher
Adam Berman, Executive Director, Urban Adamah
Linda Schacht Gage, Member, Berkeley Public Library Foundation Council
Karen Chapple, Co-Founder, Urban Displacement Project/UC Berkeley Professor of City and Regional Planning/District 1 Neighbor
Jennifer West, former Emeryville Councilmember/former Emeryville Mayor
Dorothy Walker, Community Leader and Activist for an Inclusive and Diverse Berkeley
Karen McKie, Berkeley Public Schools Advocate
Stephanie Allan, Berkeley Unified School District Career Technical Education Advisor
Victoria Eisen, former Member, Planning Commission/former Member, Transportation Commission/District 1 Neighbor
Karen Parolek, Member, Transportation Commission/District 1 Neighbor
Kim Kruckel, Child Care Advocate
Sachu Constantine, former Member, Energy Commission/Clean Energy Advocate
Michael Goldhaber, Chair, Community Environmental Advisory Commission (dual)
Tora Spigner, Nurse, Alta Bates Hospital/Member, Community Health Commission
Deborah Matthews, former Chair, Zoning Adjustments Board/former Chair, Housing Advisory Commission (former)/former Board Member, Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Phyllis Orrick, School and Garden Volunteer/District 1 Neighbor
Beth Gerstein, former Volunteer Coordinator, Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center/District 1 Neighbor
Steven Donaldson, former Member, Zoning Adjustments Board/District 1 Neighbor
Debra Sanderson, Accessory Dwelling Unit Taskforce Co-Leader/City of Berkeley Planning Manager (retired)
Michael Caplan, City of Berkeley Economic Development Manager (retired)
Jill Martinucci, former PTA President, Jefferson School/former Member, Housing Advisory Commission/District 1 Neighbor
Jonathan Morris, President, Graduate Assembly, University of California, Berkeley
Alexander Wilfert, President, Associated Students of University of California, Berkeley
Amma Sarkodee-Adoo, Senator, Associated Students of University of California, Berkeley
Olivia Anglade, Homeless Commission
Anna Bellomo, former Member, Commission on the Status of Women
Jim Novosel, former Chair, Planning Commission
Stephen Murphy, former Chair, Planning Commission
Tor Berg, former Member, Housing Advisory Commission
Nicole Drake, former Member, Housing Advisory Commission/former District 1 Legislative Aide
L. Victoria Wang, Community Health Commission
Alex Sharenko, Zero Waste Commission
Ben Gould, former Chair, Community Environmental Advisory Commission
Elisa Batista, Vice Chair, Children, Youth and Recreation Commission
Kathi Pugh, former Member, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
Kathleen Crandall, Landmarks Preservation Commission/Loan Administration Board Commission
Pam Gray, former Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission
Charles Futoran, Community Health Commission/District 1 Neighbor

Titles for identification purposes only.

District 1 and Berkeley Neighbors

 
Mark Petrofsky
Diana Gordon
George Mathew
Peter Ross
Andrew Talbot
Jackie Erbe
Piero Martinucci
Howard Mao
Caryn Augst
Riti Dhesi
David Kellog
Jessie Oettinger
Fani Garagouni
Linda Peckham
Nick Zahariadis
Barbara McDonald
Ariane Hogan
Christine Walter
Kenneth Logan
Iris Starr
Stephanie Richman
Kathleen McCarter
Carol Beth
Arlene Makita-Acuña
Nancy Rosenblum
Peter Goodman
Sarah Crow
Lucy Aghadjian
Theresa Lozach
Carol Bade
Julia Hendrickson
Dorothea Dorenz
Molly Avirett
Eric Avirett
Joselito Jacob
Elizabeth Jacob
Linda Stone
Benjamin Crosby
Kate Worteck
Wyn Skeels
Joan Armenia
Gillian Bagwell
Sarah Ranney
Mike Ranney
Sara Webber
Andrew Birchett
Zhe Birchett
Jim Smith
David Trachtenberg (dual)
Xochtil Oseguera
Sarah Hanson
Watson Ladd
Matthew Lewis
Elissa Gershon
Lisa Caplan
Dave Margulius
Adam Orford
Kieron Slaughter
Richard Beahrs
Robert Shireman
Harvey Gould
Lynette Levy
Theo Posselt
Nancy Rader
Kari Hamilton
Joshua Maddox

Endorse Rashi