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Two UC-Berkeley students vie for council seat in special election

Berkeley's old City Hall
Berkeley's old City Hall

Graduate student James Chang will face off against undergrad student Cecilia Lunaparra in the April 16th special election for Berkeley Council.

Berkeleyside reportsthe two candidates qualified for the election to replace Rigel Robinson, the former councilman of District 7, who resigned last month.

Robinson, who also abandoned his candidacy for Berkeley mayor, claimed he resigned after threats and harassment over his stance on the development of People’s Park – an area which dominates the council district.

Chang is the chief of staff of Councilmember Ben Bartlett, as well as a former member of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. Lunaparra, a former member of the Cal Berkeley Democrats, is also part of the Zoning Adjustments Board.Two other prospective candidates – People’s Park activist Aiden Hill and Juan Antonio Jasso – did not qualify for the special election, according to the city clerk.

Councilmember Kate Harrison, who represents Council District 4 – which covers much of downtown Berkeley – also resigned recently. A date for a special election to pick her successor has not yet been scheduled.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.