News

Berman, Low seek fresh Assembly terms in different districts

Prospect of heated race between two Democratic colleagues fades with Monday announcements

State Assembly members Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, and Evan Low, D-Campbell, announced their plans to run for Assembly Districts 23 and 26, respectively, on Dec. 27, 2021. Courtesy Berman's and Low's offices.

Assembly member Marc Berman announced Monday that he will seek a new term in Sacramento, where he hopes to represent a newly reconfigured Midpeninsula district.

Berman, D-Menlo Park, is a former Palo Alto City Council member who was first elected to the Assembly in 2016. He is running to represent the new District 23, which includes much of his current domain in the Midpeninsula, including Mountain View, Palo Alto, most of Menlo Park and western San Mateo County. Unlike Berman's current district, the new one will also include communities along the coast and south of Daly City, including Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, as well as the Santa Clara County cities of Saratoga and Campbell.

Berman will no longer, however, represent East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks or Sunnyvale, with the former three communities included in the newly formed Assembly District 21, which includes the eastern portion of San Mateo County, and the lattermost joining Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in the new Assembly District 26.

The inclusion of Campbell on the eastern tip of District 23 raised the prospect of a fiercely competitive Peninsula race between Berman and Assembly member Evan Low, a Campbell resident. That prospect fizzled on Monday, with Low announcing his intention to run in Assembly District 26 rather than in Assembly District 23.

The two Democratic lawmakers discussed their election plans last Thursday and commemorated the summit with a pillow fight in a parking lot, footage of which was posted on TikTok.

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Berman alluded to the changing boundaries of the district in his Monday announcement, noting that he will "sadly no longer represent the communities of Belle Haven (in Menlo Park), East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Sunnyvale.

"It has been a tremendous honor to represent the constituents of these communities over the last five years, and I look forward to my final year as their assembly member," Berman said. "I look forward to representing new communities on the Coastside and in the South Bay in the new 23rd AD."

Berman's announcement follows a year in which he had authored high-profile legislation to make California a vote-by-mail state in all elections and to phase out sales of gas-powered leaf blowers. He also currently chairs the Assembly Elections Committee and is leading an effort to revise the state's rules for recall elections.

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Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Berman, Low seek fresh Assembly terms in different districts

Prospect of heated race between two Democratic colleagues fades with Monday announcements

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Dec 27, 2021, 2:24 pm

Assembly member Marc Berman announced Monday that he will seek a new term in Sacramento, where he hopes to represent a newly reconfigured Midpeninsula district.

Berman, D-Menlo Park, is a former Palo Alto City Council member who was first elected to the Assembly in 2016. He is running to represent the new District 23, which includes much of his current domain in the Midpeninsula, including Mountain View, Palo Alto, most of Menlo Park and western San Mateo County. Unlike Berman's current district, the new one will also include communities along the coast and south of Daly City, including Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, as well as the Santa Clara County cities of Saratoga and Campbell.

Berman will no longer, however, represent East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks or Sunnyvale, with the former three communities included in the newly formed Assembly District 21, which includes the eastern portion of San Mateo County, and the lattermost joining Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in the new Assembly District 26.

The inclusion of Campbell on the eastern tip of District 23 raised the prospect of a fiercely competitive Peninsula race between Berman and Assembly member Evan Low, a Campbell resident. That prospect fizzled on Monday, with Low announcing his intention to run in Assembly District 26 rather than in Assembly District 23.

The two Democratic lawmakers discussed their election plans last Thursday and commemorated the summit with a pillow fight in a parking lot, footage of which was posted on TikTok.

Berman alluded to the changing boundaries of the district in his Monday announcement, noting that he will "sadly no longer represent the communities of Belle Haven (in Menlo Park), East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Sunnyvale.

"It has been a tremendous honor to represent the constituents of these communities over the last five years, and I look forward to my final year as their assembly member," Berman said. "I look forward to representing new communities on the Coastside and in the South Bay in the new 23rd AD."

Berman's announcement follows a year in which he had authored high-profile legislation to make California a vote-by-mail state in all elections and to phase out sales of gas-powered leaf blowers. He also currently chairs the Assembly Elections Committee and is leading an effort to revise the state's rules for recall elections.

Comments

Jeremy Erman
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 28, 2021 at 1:07 am
Jeremy Erman, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2021 at 1:07 am

I thought the point of redistricting committees was to avoid squiggly, salamander-like shapes that divide districts into weird contorted shapes and divide communities and counties. I don't see the logic in these districts.

Or maybe the problem is that the provided map is virtually unreadable: it appears to have district lines and major roads clearly marked, but practically leaves out San Francisco Bay. I zoomed in and out, trying to see the peninsula coastline, but couldn't make sense of it: the Bay is inexplicably colored green, just like the land around it. Major portions of the districts shown appear to be in the middle of the bay, making those districts appear to cover more land area than they really do, and to be less contorted then they actually are, land-wise.


LAHscot
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on Dec 28, 2021 at 11:01 am
LAHscot, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2021 at 11:01 am

Pity. Can someone recommend a dem I can vote for besides Berman?! Looks like I will be voting GOP if he is the only choice, first since 1971.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 28, 2021 at 2:27 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2021 at 2:27 pm

Vicki Veenker if only she’d run again. We missed an opportunity by not voting her in in 2016. Berman edged her out. Perfect example of why campaign finance reform is needed. The Berman campaign achieved the advantage of name recognition via a deluge of slick flyers. The fine print made clear who had Party support.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 28, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Tragic we have cynical, lockstep one party rule.
I wish we had moderates from both parties around here. We used to.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 28, 2021 at 3:47 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2021 at 3:47 pm

California is a mess statewide and locally because of progressive liberals, aka Democrats. These two Assembly members are nothing more than Scott Weiner wannabes. It's time for voters to wake up and wipe the slate clean. One party has had a stranglehold on California politics for decades and look what we have. Rampant crime waves, increased lawlessness and homelessness, a rise in the murder rate, a failing public school system and much more, along with a laundry list of promises left unfulfilled. Is this really what you want for your children, grandchildren and generations to come ? If the answer is no, then vote for anyone else running against these two and send a message to Sacramento. We're fed up with failed progressive policies.

Einstein has been credited with stating that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." What we need is radical change. We need to elect moderate leaders, Republican, Democrat or Independents who will work together for all Californians, are fiscally responsible, want law and order (as in support the police), reasonable tax rates, improvement in the school system and sanity. Just think about that before you cast your vote in the next election cycle. Enough is enough.


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