2021-2022 Renters Council Board election results

Chair: Mari Perez-Ruiz

Treasurer: Vinnie Bacon

Secretary: Alfred Twu

Northern Vice Chair: Igor Tregub

Central Vice Chair: Arturo Rodriguez

Southern Vice Chair: Andrew Lewis

At Large: Esther Malkin, Susie Shannon, Imber Anakata, Monica Madrid, Alireza Mosallaie

(Bylaws were amended at the April 29, 2021 meeting to expand the board to 5 officers-at-large)

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CA Democratic Renters Council - General Membership Meeting & Board Elections

We will be having our general meeting and board elections the last week of April as part of the 2021 CA Democratic Party Convention. The following candidates have filed to run for the 2021-2022 Board. Voting will be electronic using OpaVote. Ballots have been sent to all members and are due at 11:59pm on April 28. Ballots are also being sent to new members signing up right now, every couple of days.

Chair
Mari Perez-Ruiz

Secretary
Alfred Twu

Treasurer
Vinnie Bacon

Northern Vice Chair
Zac Bowling
Igor Tregub

Central Vice Chair
Arturo Rodriguez Leon

Southern Vice Chair
Andrew Lewis

Officer at Large (2 elected, 4 if bylaws amendment passes)
Alireza Mosallaie
Marshal Caro
Logan Legg
Imber Anakata
Esther Malkin
Ramon Montano Márquez
Monica Madrid
Lauren Buisson
Susie Shannon
Rafa Sonnelfeld

For a description of the positions, please see the bylaws at https://www.cademrenterscouncil.org/bylaws

To request a ballot, fill out this form:

https://forms.gle/zXdAPPGDr8F4Zrfa6


Candidate Forum
Introductions and Q&A with some of the candidates for Officer at Large or Northern Vice Chair. These are the only two contested elections.
https://www.facebook.com/CADEMRentersCouncil/videos/467633177816054/

Candidate Statements


Secretary
Alfred Twu
Alfred Twu is a tenant in Berkeley and delegate and 2021-2022 Executive Board representative from Assembly District 15. As one of the founding board members of the Renters Council, Alfred worked on the filing of the Council's chartering documents, endorsement votes, monitoring state legislation relating to housing and tenant rights, and running the Zoom meetings. In addition to being part of the Renters Council, Alfred also is on the board of California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus and member of many Democratic clubs in the East Bay.

Northern Vice Chair
Igor Tregub
I am running for re-election because, together, we still have work to do to secure a California that we can all call home. As a founding member of the Council, I've been involved in every aspect of shaping it into the powerhouse it is today – including, after years of struggle, winning our charter with the CDP; coordinating the endorsements of over 100 candidates and ballot measures in our first-ever endorsement process; co-facilitating our inaugural CDP candidate forums; and crafting pro-renter platform planks, resolutions, and legislation that are now the positions of our Party. As a former two-term elected Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner and current CDP Resolutions Co-Chair, Alameda County DCC Vice Chair, Berkeley Tenant Union Steering Committee-member, and active member of Housing NOW!, East Bay Housing Organizations, ACCE, and Tenants Together, I’ll continue the work of connecting our Council with the grassroots. I would be honored to earn your vote!


Southern Vice Chair
Andrew Lewis
My name is Andrew Lewis, and I’m running for Re-Election to be the So Cal Vice Chair for the CA Renters Caucus.


I am a Tenant in Westwood Village Los Angeles, one of the most expensive renter-markets in the State of California (as a working-class tenant). I’ve been a renter my entire life, and understand the unique and crippling challenges that we face as Tenants in Southern California. In response to vulture-like Landlords in my Community that prey on our predominantly working-class Student-renter Community in Westwood, I helped Co-Found the Westwood local of the LA Tenants Union.


I also understand the unique and complex political challenges that face us in So-Cal and CA in strengthening tenant-protections, especially in light of the pandemic. I have relationships with not only the on-the-ground organizers, but also with key local and State elected officials that can help drive tangible tenant protections and improve our quality of life as Renters.


Together, we can create the political and on-the-ground reality for tenants that we deserve.


In Solidarity, and hope to have your Vote for the SoCal Chair position,

Andrew

At Large
Alireza Mosallaie

My name is Alireza Mosallaie I am a progressive democrat that has worked on many different political campaigns including non other than Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s platform of universal housing is one that I favor greatly. During these times I see many people homeless in tents on the road and I do something about the housing situation that is so unnecessarily expensive that people cannot afford to stay in their own house and are evicted. That is if they didn’t start out being homeless at the beginning. My intent for running for this position is that I want to ensure that everyone has a house and a place to call home. No longer will be be known as the homeless capital of the United States. The time to act is now and we cannot just dwindle away at the lives of so many. Also amongst this pandemic many people didn’t have homes and they were older so they were more prone to the virus not having shielding from it. The severity of this matter is no joke and needs to be dealt with right away if we are to see another pandemic how do we protect the Americans in the streets. One answer is to elect me to the CADEM Renters Council Board.

Marshal Caro
Hi, I’m Marshal - I’m an Officer-at-Large candidate and if elected, I will actively work to protect renters’ rights. I was born and raised in Berkeley, and have seen the neighborhood I grew up in undergo a significant demographic shift. A shift perpetuated by rent and leasing policies that failed to secure housing justice for some of my neighbors. As a consumer and privacy rights professional, I am ready to fight for housing justice by supporting the Renters Council Executive Board – as we work together to promote legislation that furthers and secures the tenant rights of all 18 million Californian renters.

Professionally, I have led and supported initiatives to ensure that consumers can easily and successfully exercise their rights, while helping consumers understand those rights and the options available to them. I am also a Mentor with iMentor at Aspire Lionel Wilson, a high school in Oakland and was on the Event Support team for the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign.

Imber Anakata
In 2018 I met Mari Ruiz-Perez and quickly began complementing her organizing skills with my organizing skills. Mari and Arturo welcomed me in as we created and pushed for final realization of the Renters' Council. My service includes being Campaign Manager for several ballot measures in Alameda, including the victory for the Wellness Center to house unhoused seniors (Yes on A/No on B), 2/3rds victory for the AUSD Parcel Tax 2020, and the attempt to repeal Alameda's density-restricting Article 26 in our City's Charter. I have served as the only Officer at Large for the Renters' Council and it has been the pleasure of a lifetime. My work here was cited when I was unexpectedly appointed by Assemblymember Bonta as one of his AD18 Delegates in 2021. It will be my pleasure to continue to serve. Feel free to contact me at 415-845-4343 or imber@anakata.org

Esther Malkin

In an effort to prevent adding to the regional homelessness crisis, Esther Malkin founded and directs Monterey County Renters United, a group that advocates for the aggressive addition of affordable housing and for renters’ rights. She also serves on the board of the Housing Resource Center of Monterey Country.

Esther works directly with local, state & national officials advising them on a variety of housing and renter issues. This includes participating on a tri-county COVID renter assistance task force, pressuring cities to create 100% affordable housing projects, creating city renter protection guidelines & consulted with cities to develop their rental assistance programs.

Esther initiated and currently leads the #RentersVote movement which educates and motivates renters to vote & understand their political power plus holds endorsed elected officials accountable to campaign promises.

Her work of getting the voice & protection of renters into the spotlight though media and public engagement has won her the United Way "Champion for Housing Solutions" in Monterey County.

Monica Madrid
My name is Monica Madrid and I am the daughter of a Mexican Immigrant and a former Labor Union Leader. I grew up in the Silicon Valley and moved to Sacramento County to attend Sacramento State University. I was the first in my family to graduate from the University. I wanted to get involved in Politics because, growing up my father was the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1427 in Santa Clara. At a young age, I was introduced to the power of a Labor Union. I was inspired to get involved in Politics after witnessing my father and his union become successful in keeping Congress from cutting a day of delivery from Postal Workers. I have worked on Sacramento and Elk Grove Campaigns, worked at the California Democratic Party Headquarters, worked as Staff to an Assemblymember and I am currently a Community Organizer for the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment where I work to help Renters learn their rights. I have been active in Democratic Organizations and am the Chair of the California Young Democrats Womxn's Caucus Northern Regional Director for the California Young Democrats Latinx Caucus. As a Member At Large for the California Democratic Party Renter’s Council, I would like to be a voice for the tenants I work with on Daily Basis and continue to organize and push for Renter friendly Legislation both locally and Statewide. I hope to earn your support in this election. For more information you can email me at monicamadridforca@gmail.com

Lauren Buisson
Each recession that my neighbors and I survived has left gapping holes in our community as a speculative real estate market put even barely adequate rental housing out of reach for working families, compelling many to double up in tight quarters, and growing numbers to be permanently displaced.

Housing is healthcare. Nothing good that we care about – not single-payer health care, not subsidized education, not the Green New Deal – can come to fruition until everyone has, as Ernest Hemingway wrote, “a clean, well-lighted place.” California should be leading the way forward in the conviction that housing as a human right, and the government must take up its role in guaranteeing it. Instead, bills that speak to our most urgent needs languish in committees. This is unconscionable. I reject the excuse that these goals are too expensive. Simply put, it will be too costly not to implement them. As we have witnessed, the status quo is as hopelessly inadequate as it is unsustainable. The absence of safe, affordable housing costs lives. Without robust investment in government funded, permanently affordable social housing we risk a tremendous human catastrophe.

We are a state of renters. This is not reflected in the priorities of our elected leaders who preach a gospel of home ownership knowing that it is out of reach for far too many. If elected, I will advocate tirelessly for the changes that we not only need and deserve but have earned many times over. It would be my honor to represent my fellow renters in the fight for a California that serves and protects all her people. I humbly ask for your vote.

Susie Shannon
Susie Shannon is a renter who has worked with low income tenants and the unhoused community since 2005. She served as the senior political advisor for Proposition 10 campaign to eliminate Costa Hawkins and give municipalities control to enact and expand rent control. Susie also served as policy director for the Proposition 21 campaign, a revised version of Proposition 10, to preserve affordable housing and prevent homelessness. Susie advocates for eliminating the Ellis Act (which allows for rent controlled units to be taken off the market), preserving rent controlled units, supporting strengthening tenant rights (right of return, stopping tenant displacement, stopping unreasonable rent increases, stopping tenant harassment, creating renter groups). Susie Shannon is the founder of the Democratic National Committee Poverty Council and policy director at Housing is Human Right. She has served on the board of the CA Democratic Party since 2007 and on the DNC board since 2016.


Rafa Sonnenfeld
Everyone deserves housing security, but the interests of renters often play second fiddle to the interests of the wealthy. Renters deserve to be taken seriously in Sacramento and Washington DC. To make that happen, we must grow renter power in California and within the party. The Renters Council has the potential to transform politics in California by energizing tenants statewide to demand tenant-focused solutions. I am determined to build the capacity of the Renters Council to achieve our ambitious goals of registering scores of new voters, winning elections in partnership with renter-focused candidates, and doubling our members in 2021. WIth a background in leading and growing capacity for upstart advocacy and non-profit orgs, I am committed to seeing the Renters Council become a force to be reckoned with for positive change: more stability, more affordable housing, more justice, and more respect. I would be honored for your vote.