News

Press coverage and media mentions. Legislation and community event coverage.

Kelly Hammargren

Cheryl Davila won the District 2 Council seat in 2016 in a totally unexpected upset against an incumbent who held that seat for 12 years. She was not “groomed” by the insiders for the position, unlike so many who run for office in Berkeley, and it was obvious pretty quickly that she wasn’t going to roll over and vote with the bloc like her predecessor. When Cheryl got her footing, she started marching forward on the gut issues: climate, poverty, homelessness, policing and racism. 

Cheryl graduated from Mills College with academic honors and a B.A. in Business Economics on top of years of work to back up that degree. Cheryl knows how to read spread sheets, financials and budgets, adding another layer to challenge the status quo by understanding how our tax money is spent. 

Cheryl challenged the comfort zone by bringing forward the issues we need to deal with, and not with little tweaks or placating sounding resolutions that do little or nothing. The Climate Emergency Declaration in June 2018 may sound like one more resolution, but this laid the ground for the Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force (CEMTF). Right from the start Cheryl took the lead in an effort that has pulled in elected officials, climate-focused organizations and individuals from across the Bay Area. When Mayor Arreguin killed the ad-hoc City Council committee on Climate Emergency in February 2019, Cheryl did not give up. The committee renamed itself to the Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force and it has continued to grow as do the declarations of a climate emergency. CEMTF is offering the Fourth Virtual Summit for an Environmentally Just and Regenerative Future on Friday, October 23. 

Cheryl has her eyes open to actions and solutions put forward around the country, some even happening next door in Oakland, like the City Council’s Tuesday evening Agenda Item 22, community Refrigerators for the food insecure. It should get passed, but who knows. 

Cheryl makes it uncomfortable for those trying to polish up their progressive image while shining up to the money that feeds and supports their campaigns. 

That leads to the latest surprise: Out of town money is coming to Berkeley. It looks like the real estate industry has its eyes on District 2. 

Take a look at the online record of independent election expenditures, the “PAC” funding not tied to specific candidates (https://public.netfile.com/pub2/?aid=BRK) 

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Bernie Sanders

PRESS RELEASE: Sanders Endorses 19 Down-Ballot Candidates in California

October 9, 2020
Contact: press@berniesanders.com

BURLINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Friday his endorsement of 19 California candidates running for state legislature and city- and county-level positions in the general election.

“Our campaign was never about one election or one candidate,” Sanders said. “The only way our movement can continue is if we work together to elect great, progressive candidates at every level of government, in every state in this country. I am proud to endorse these excellent leaders who will make a difference in the lives of Californians. Together we will create a California and a nation based on social justice, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice for all.”

Sanders’ endorsements include:

  • Kansen Chu for Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District 3
  • Abigail Medina for State Senate, District 23
  • Alex Lee for State Assembly, District 25
  • Ash Kalra for State Assembly, District 27
  • Reggie Jones-Sawyer for State Assembly, District 59
  • Fatima Iqbal-Zubair for State Assembly, District 64
  • Lacei Amodei for City Council, Hayward
  • Nestor Castillo for City Council, Hayward
  • Elisha Crader for City Council, Hayward
  • Cheryl Davila for City Council, Berkeley
  • Carroll Fife for City Council, Oakland
  • Nithya Raman for City Council, Los Angeles
  • Suely Saro for City Council, Long Beach
  • Tunua Thrash-Ntuk for City Council, Long Beach
  • Cari Templeton for City Council, Palo Alto
  • Jovanka Beckles for AC Transit Board of Directors, Ward 1
  • Holly Mitchell for Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County
  • Al Clark for Vice-Mayor, Carpinteria
  • George Gascón for District Attorney, Los Angeles County

To date, Sanders has endorsed more than 200 candidates running for local, state and federal office across the country during the 2020 cycle.

We strongly endorse Cheryl Davila and recommend she be ranked #1. Read her responses to our questionnaire—the only candidate who replied. If you feel the need to rank the other candidates, please read our analysis of them at the end of this article. We recommend NOT ranking the others— especially NOT Alex Sharenko!

Cheryl Davila is by far the most progressive candidate in the field, consistently demonstrating her dedication to enlightened politics since her election in 2016. We would also rank her as the most progressive member of the City Council—filling the shoes of Max Anderson to become the new Conscience of the Council. She has championed causes for South Berkeley, spoken out against the gentrification policies pushed by the City Manager, advocated for the homeless, fought for affordable housing, and denounced police militarization and police harassment of people of color, the homeless, and those in mental crises. Her voting record is exemplary—always choosing the moral position over pandering to the wealthy and developers. She has the strongest environmental voting record on the Council. Most recently, Cheryl pushed the Council to eliminate tear gas and other pain compliance devices from the police, and had the foresight to make the only “defunding police” proposal that didn’t just kick the can down the road. Cheryl has also shown the courage to stand up to the Mayor and other Council members who have regularly marginalized and disrespected her during Council meetings. Cheryl is by far the best candidate for Council in all districts and deserves a #1 ranking.

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Dr. James McFadden

In this election, there is one incumbent member of the Berkeley City Council who truly deserves to be re-elected – Cheryl Davila of District 2. Cheryl Davila is by far the most progressive candidate in the field, consistently demonstrating her dedication to enlightened politics since her election in 2016. It was with heavy heart that I learned that Max Anderson would retire in 2016. Max was the Conscience of the Council. Who would fill his shoes? The answer became clear only a few months into 2017. Cheryl Davila became the new Conscience of the Council. She has championed causes for South Berkeley, spoken out against the gentrification policies pushed by the City Manager, advocated for the homeless, fought for affordable housing, and denounced police militarization and police harassment of POC, the homeless, and those in mental crises. Her voting record is exemplary – always choosing the moral position over pandering to the wealthy and developers. She has the strongest environmental voting record on the Council. Most recently, Cheryl pushed the Council to eliminate tear gas and other pain compliance devices from the police, and she had the foresight to make the only “defunding police” proposal that didn’t just kick the can down the road.

Cheryl has shown courage in standing up to the Mayor and other Council members who have regularly marginalized and disrespected her during Council meetings. As the Conscience of the Council, Cheryl frames her vote in terms of a moral choice rather than a bureaucratic, business decision. Such framing has left the mayor and some Council members embarrassed and angry. Attempts to silence her during Council meetings are legend, with the public often erupting in protest, demanding to “let her speak.” And unlike previous elections where Council members cross-endorsed each other, in this election the majority of Council members are determined to rid themselves of this thorn in their side. They want to remove Cheryl because she dares to identify the moral underpinnings of decisions that impact the community. But the real progressive community leaders know better, which is why Cheryl has the endorsements of Max Anderson, Gus Newport, Jovanka Beckles, Barbara Brust, Moni Law, Rev. Michael Smith, and Ms. Richie Smith – just to name a few. 

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Richmond Progressive Alliance

RPA Activist 293: Voter guide for 2020 local elections | Progressive Cheryl Davila running for re-election in Berkeley

rpa
Although the Richmond Progressive Alliance generally does not endrse candidates that Richmond residents cannot vote for, it’s important to support progressive political allies. In particular, having allies in other Bay Area cities makes it easier to collaborate on issues of regional importance, such as homelessness; and to advance visionary proposals like an East Bay public bank.

In September 2020, the RPA Steering Committee passed a resolution urging members to give as much support as they can to Berkeley City Councilmember Cheryl Davila, who is running for re-election this year.

Davila has been a champion of strong policy proposals, especially on climate change, housing and racial justice. She led the way on Berkeley’s Climate Emergency Declaration, the third one in the country. Many cities followed suit, including Richmond, El Cerrito, Oakland and San Francisco. She also founded the Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force, which brings together municipalities, elected officials, and community organizations throughout the Bay Area to unify efforts to enact climate emergency mobilization. To get a sense of her level of ambition on climate change, she also initiated a Fossil Free Resolution, which attempted to commit Berkeley to becoming carbon negative by 2030.

Davila is also known as a leader on fighting homelessness. She established a regional task on homelessness, which brings together faith leaders, nonprofit organizations, and housed and unhoused community members. She actively supports affordable housing and believes that, until more truly affordable units become available, cities should provide tiny homes, promote accessory dwelling units, sanctioned encampments, and safe parking for RV dwellers.

If you know people who live in Berkley’s Ward 2 (South Berkeley/ Poets Corner area: south of University to Ashby, and west of Sacramento), please urge them to support Cheryl!

Cheryl founded the task force as a regional coalition of elected officials, city & county staff, youth, environmental activists, social activists, and front line communities to address the inequities and causes of the climate emergency.

The task force had the first of it’s five part series which brings together speakers and experts from different fields to have a conversation with attendees. The goal of this series is to create a list of actionable items on a multitude of topics that can be implemented at the community, organizational, city, and state levels.

There will be a final wrap-up webinar that will consolidate all of the action items and suggestions made during the workshops into legislation or continuation working groups.

To get involved or sign up for the next summit, please visit https://cemtf.org/

Here are the recordings from Summit #1 “Sustainable & Healthy Cities”

Carol Denney

Two different Berkeley neighborhoods reported incidents of Black Lives Matter signs being torn down in the last month, the same month The Way Christian Center on University Avenue was set on fire hours after placing a Black Lives Matter sign across its entrance. The Berkeley police investigated it as arson since “nobody was hurt.” 

The chilling recognition that racism in Berkeley can take the same form it has taken against Black churches for hundreds of years and go unrecognized by Berkeley police clarifies several things. We need more informed leadership in the Berkeley Police Department and the City Manager’s office. We need to stand taller with Black churches and activists who speak out for justice. And we need to re-elect Cheryl Davila to the Berkeley City Council. 

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Victoria Stafford

Berkeley City Councilmember Cheryl Davila is seeking reelection for 2020 and hopes to “change business as usual.”

As the only Black woman on the Berkeley City Council, Davila led efforts to ban tear gas use by the Berkeley Police Department and declared racism to be a public health crisis. With a second term, Davila aims to “transform” policing by diverting 50% of its funding to mental health and substance abuse services.

“I raise the issues that need to be lifted up,” Davila said in an email. “Four years isn’t long enough to accomplish goals, especially with the bureaucracy in the equation.”

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Watch our fifth Right to Health Web-In “COVID, Climate & Community: Making Connections to Achieve Justice for All.” We used a participatory, community-centered lens to explore how COVID-19 and climate are connected. After learning from a panel of speakers with extensive experience in community mobilization, climate justice, and One Health, we organized into interactive small groups that envision and co-create sustainable solutions to optimize planetary health, prevent future pandemics, and achieve justice for all. By cultivating models for effective collaboration within our diverse global community, together we will build momentum for a transformative movement that directly links environmental sustainability with human health.

Thank you to these wonderful leaders for their time, insight and expertise:

  • Dr. Tinashe Goronga: Medical Doctor from Zimbabwe
  • Tatiane Sousa, PhD: Brazilian ecologist – Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim: Environmental Activist
  • Maya Menezes: Senior Manager of Programming and Development at The Leap
  • Cheryl Davila: Berkeley City Councilmember representing District 2

Judy Greenspan

[…]

The only city government member who responded to the students is District 2 City Councilmember Cheryl Davila, who crafted a real plan with timelines to immediately begin defunding BPD by 50%. A coalition of students, community organizations and anti-racist activists have coalesced around this demand.

On June 9, Black students led a militant march through Berkeley to address a special City Council meeting focused on the Black Lives Matter movement. That night, the council voted to prohibit the use of any tear gas during the COVID-19 pandemic. When media asked Berkeley Chief Greenwood what police would do to stop demonstrators if they couldn’t use tear gas, he said, “Firearms. We can shoot people.” (Berkeleyside, July 14)

Angered by Greenwood’s response, Black high school students from Oakland and Berkeley continued to organize and marched to the Berkeley Police Department on July 13. They “camped out” in front of the BPD until 11 p.m. that night to support Councilmember Davila’s resolution to defund the BPD.

People back call to defund cops 
The next day, over 300 people participated in the City Council meeting either in person or via Zoom. The audience overwhelmingly backed Davila’s resolution to defund. Many people criticized the council for refusing to vote no confidence for the police chief. The council bypassed Davila’s resolution and passed a series of weaker resolutions limiting the participation of the police in traffic stops and mental health calls. However, none of the resolutions that were passed addressed the broader issues of police brutality and the cops’ systemic racism.

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