The Alameda County Registrar of Voters completed its count of ballots on Fri., Nov. 18, and I’m honored to share that I have won a majority of votes cast

It is with tremendous gratitude that I declare victory in our campaign for re-election to the Berkeley City Council for District 1. It has been an honor to serve over the last four years, and I am humbled by your support to continue for a second term. Thank you to our volunteers for working so hard with me for this outcome, and thank you to my family for supporting me in this endeavor. 

What unites us as a community and as neighbors is more powerful than any divisions from a political contest. I congratulate candidates Elisa Mikiten and Tamar Michai Freeman for participating in our democratic process.

Our victory today is a victory for an inclusive community. It was very important to me to demonstrate that we can do hard things—like stand for the creation of an ambitious 7-story design of homes at the N. Berkeley BART Station, and say yes to permanent supportive housing and homeless services in District 1—and still be successful at the ballot box. As the only woman of color on the Berkeley City Council, I believe that I have a responsibility to represent everyone, including those who do not have the time or resources to engage in our public processes, but who are nevertheless counting on me to make decisions for the greater good of all.

I will never back down from fighting for a safe, healthy, and welcoming community for all. And I will always strive to make data-driven and fiscally responsible decisions. I look forward to the ongoing work to: create an inclusive community, adequately fund street paving and sidewalk repair, ensure community safety and police accountability, and support our Gilman District businesses.

I will continue to lead with the values I learned from my immigrant parents: hard work, honesty, and treating others with respect. Whether I earned your vote or not, I look forward to serving all residents of District 1 and the greater good of our city. 

Delivering for District 1

It’s an honor to serve as your Councilmember. Here are some of my accomplishments of which I am most proud:

Cleaning Up Dangerous Freeway Encampments and Leading on Permanent Supportive Housing. I successfully worked with state, county, and city stakeholders for more than two years to finally bring an end to dangerous freeway encampments at University Avenue by providing motel rooms and housing navigation services. This enabled homeless individuals to receive assistance to identify permanent housing. A state grant of $3 million has added permanent fencing and signage to the freeway area. The evidence-based solution to unsheltered homelessness is permanent supportive housing, and I was proud to lead on bringing $16 million in state resources to fund a permanent supportive housing site in District 1.

Bringing Resources and Attention to the Gilman District. The challenge of unsheltered homelessness is most acute in the Gilman District, and our work continues in this area. I have successfully focused the city’s attention and resources to our district’s needs with the creation of a safe RV parking site. We have also successfully sought funding in the FY 2022-23 city budget for expanded cleaning services through the Downtown Streets Team and seed funding for a Gilman District Business Association.

Fighting for Public Safety Resources and Racial Justice. Because of my advocacy and partnership with Councilmember Terry Taplin, the City Council has funded security cameras at key intersections (with data safeguards) to help our police department bring accountability to perpetrators of shootings and other violent crimes, which disproportionately harm West Berkeley. During our Council deliberations on reimagining public safety, I successfully called for reinstating police positions at the same time that we invest in proven alternative responses to certain non-violent calls for service, such as mental health crisis situations. Adequate police staffing is needed to do bike patrols, investigate catalytic converter thefts and other property crimes, and conduct traffic enforcement. I also requested the creation of an Office of Racial Equity to provide all city departments with the tools to measure and close racial inequities in the allocation and delivery of city programs and services–funded as of July 2022. 

Building Homes Equitably and Sustainably. I engaged stakeholders and built consensus that led to a unanimous Council vote in support of creating homes at the N. Berkeley BART station–with a high level of affordability in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding built environment. And earlier this year, the Council unanimously adopted my recommendations for backyard cottages, which give homeowners greater flexibility to accommodate their needs.

Securing Funding for Street Paving and Much-Needed Marina Repairs. This year, I have devoted significant attention to securing adequate funding for street paving by introducing a major Council item in February that requested $8 million in additional ongoing resources–the amount that we know is needed to maintain the pavement condition of our streets. I’m pleased that the biennial FY 2023-24 budget includes significant new resources for street paving, with $5 million added in FY 2022-23 and $9 million added in FY 2023-24. I have also authored a fiscal policy to ensure that we continue to adequately fund street paving. To support our waterfront, I partnered with State Senator Nancy Skinner and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks to secure $15 million in state funds to repair infrastructure at our marina and pier.

Golden Bear Inn

(including Facts on N. Berkeley BART)

People Biking on a Street

(including Facts on Hopkins Corridor)

Cesar Chavez Park

(including Facts on Cesar Chavez Park)


Click Here to add your name to the list of Community Endorsers!

“Rashi has delivered for District 1. She has successfully worked to get unsheltered individuals into permanent supportive housing, put more funding into the city’s street paving budget, and helped bring $15 million in state resources to the marina. I strongly endorse her for re-election.”

Nancy Skinner
State Senator

“It has been an honor to partner with Rashi to bring resources and attention to the needs of our West Berkeley neighborhoods–from investments in public safety to clean streets. Nobody fights harder with me for our under-resourced neighborhoods. I wholeheartedly endorse Rashi for re-election.”

Terry Taplin
Berkeley Councilmember

“Rashi is the daughter of immigrants with a record of defending marginalized communities. Together, we organized a rally in support of the human rights of migrant children and families at the border, and she worked with Asian American youth to stand up to anti-Asian hate. Rashi will always fight for a diverse, inclusive community.”

Beatriz Leyva-Cutler
former Berkeley School Board Director

“Rashi is smart, does her homework, and treats everyone with respect. Her presence on Council has helped us to be more fiscally responsible and set strategic priorities. She is a trusted colleague, and we need her continued service on the City Council.” 

Susan Wengraf
Berkeley Councilmember

“When it comes to tough issues like housing, homelessness, and public safety, Rashi always studies the facts and comes to a fair-minded conclusion. She leads with integrity, and it is an honor to endorse her for re-election.”

Lori Droste
Berkeley Councilmember

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of Kesarwani’s keen analytical approach to public policy and government spending and the exceptional experience she brings to the council. ….Kesarwani in her first term has become known for her careful analysis and thoughtful decision-making.”
Read the full endorsement

Ro Khanna

Ro Khanna Congressman

Jesse Arreguin

Jesse Arreguin Mayor of Berkeley

Linda Maio

Linda Maio former District 1 Councilmember


Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks State Assemblymember

Ben Bartlett

Ben Bartlett Berkeley City Councilmember

Loni Hancock

Loni Hancock former State Senator

Rigel Robinson

Rigel Robinson Berkeley City Councilmember

Laura Babitt

Laura Babitt Berkeley School Board Vice President

Tom Bates

Tom Bates former Mayor of Berkeley

Keith Carson

Keith Carson President of the Board of Supervisors, Alameda County

Julie Sinai

Julie Sinai Berkeley School Board Director

Ka'Dijah Brown

Ka'Dijah Brown Berkeley School Board President

Ty Alper

Ty Alper Berkeley School Board Director

Elizabeth Echols

Elizabeth Echols Director, East Bay Regional Park District

Ana Vasudeo

Ana Vasudeo Berkeley School Board Director

Gordon Wozniak

Gordon Wozniak former Berkeley City Councilmember

John Bauters

John Bauters Emeryville City Councilmember

Libby Schaaf

Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland

Gabe Quinto

Gabe Quinto El Cerrito City Councilmember

Nick Pilch

Nick Pilch former Albany Mayor

Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon BART Board Director

Dianne Martinez

Dianne Martinez Emeryville City Councilmember

Rebecca Saltzman

Rebecca Saltzman BART Board Director

Shawn Kumagai

Shawn Kumagai Dublin Councilmember

The Democratic Party Endorses Rashi!

Berkeley Democratic Club Logo
East Bay Young Democrats
Latine Young Democrats of the East Bay

Organized Labor Endorses Rashi!

Berkeley Fire Department logo
Berkeley Firefighters Association IAFF Local 1227
Building and Construction Trades of Alameda County Logo
Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County
LiUNA Local 304
Alameda Labor Council logo

Environmentalists Endorse Rashi!

Community Endorsers

*Titles for identification purposes only

District 1 Neighbors

Amitai Schwartz
Ananda Richmond, BUSD Teacher
Andrew Doran
Andrew Talbot
Andrew Shanken
Ann Riley, Executive Director, Waterways Restoration Institute
Aviva Gilbert
Barbara Phillips
Ben Paulos, Former Chair, Berkeley Energy Commission
Beth Gerstein
Blaine Merker, BART Community Advisory Group Member
Bonnie Testa
Brad Caldana
Brenda Buxton, State Coastal Conservancy (ret.)
Bruce Hamilton
Bruce Hansen
Carlos Hill
Carol Bade
Carole Bennett-Simmons
Carol Dorf
Cathryn Bruno
Chris Lee-Egan
Chris Tasik, BUSD Teacher
Christa Hillhouse
Christopher Ardalan
Corey Busay
David Beasley
Debbie Woods
Devon Lake
Diana Gordon, Ketér Salon Owner
Diana Locker
Diane Bahr
Diane Hongo
Don Falk
Elisabeth Goldstein
George Mathew
Graham Chisholm
Gunnar Madsen
Guy Shochat
Hayley Currier
Heather Chicoine
Jackie Erbe
James Day
Jan Thyer
Jared Bhatti
Jeannette MacMillan
Jeff Bruno
Jennie McDonald
Jesús Mejía
Joan Hamilton
Joaquin Carbonell
Jonathan Bachrach
Josh Newlan
Jowana S. Mitchell
Joyce Sakai
Justin McAdams
Karen Chapple, Urban Displacement Project
Karen L. Bowen
Karen L. Gosling
Ken Geis
Lee Michael Bishop
Leif Brown
Libby Lee-Egan, Chair, Housing Advisory Commission
Linda Lasagna
Lucy Aghadjian
Lynn Alper
Mary Herrmann
Matt Weber
Melvin Walls
Nathan Landau
Nathaniel Emodi
Peter Ross
Peggy Wilson
Phyllis Orrick
Rebecca Reith
Reichi Lee, Commissioner, Peace and Justice Commission; former Chair, School Site Council at Rosa Parks Elementary; School Board Candidate
Riti Dhesi
Robin Harley
Salwa Ismail
Sara Webber, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Berkeley Food Network
Sarah Ranney, Commissioner, Environment and Climate Commission; Climate Literacy Advocate
Sean Kennedy
Stephanie Richman
Stephen Walsh
Tawny Reynolds
Thomas E. Herrmann
Todd Jersey
Vera Franklin
Victoria Teicher
Whitney Smith
William DeCarrion, Berkeley Business Owner
Yes Duffy, Zoning Adjustments Board Commissioner
Yossi Fendel

Berkeley Neighbors & Community Leaders

Phong La, Alameda County Assessor
Adam Berman, Founder and President, Urban Adamah
Alden Mudge
Alice Kaswan
Avery Arbaugh
Brad Wiblin, Planning Commissioner; Affordable Housing Administrator
Barry Fike, Former Berkeley Federation of Teachers President
Cameron Woo, Associate Commissioner, Civic Arts Commission
Carla Schneiderman
Carrie Gray
Charles F. Kahn, Chair, Zoning Adjustments Board
Claudia Kawczynska, Commissioner, Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Commission
Dave Campbell, Advocacy Director, Bike East Bay
Debbie Sanderson, Co-Chair, Accessory Dwelling Unit Task Force (East Bay)
Dominique Baillet
Donald Rothberg
Dorothy Walker, Community Leader and Activist for an Inclusive and Diverse Berkeley
Erik Schmitt
Gina Gold, Neighborhood Organizer for Sacramento St.
Isaiah Roter
Jeff Hobson
Jenny Wenk, CERT Volunteer
Jill Martinucci
John M. Rea
Julie Holcomb
Junichi (Jay) Miyazaki
Karin Evans, Editor, Two Birds Dancing
Kathleen Crandall, City Commissioner
Marc Trotz, former Commissioner, Homeless Services Panel of Experts; former Director, Housing for Health Program
Mark Humbert, Commissioner, Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Commission; District 8 City Council Candidate
Norm Gold, Neighborhood Organizer for Sacramento St.
Piero Martinucci
Ray Yep, Commissioner, Transportation and Infrastructure Commission
Stephanie Allan
Steven Lipson
Susie Medak, Managing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Theo Posselt
Tim Frank, Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Neighborhoods
Todd Andrew
Victoria Eisen, former Planning Commissioner and Transportation Commissioner; Member of the Downtown Area Planning Advisory Committee
Xavier Morales, Commissioner, Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Panel of Experts

Meet Rashi

I came to Berkeley more than a decade ago to earn a Master of Public Policy degree from U.C. Berkeley. I went on to work for the state legislature, providing policy and budget advice on safety net programs for seniors and people with disabilities. I also worked as a Finance Manager for the San Francisco Human Services Agency, where I managed a social services budget of more than a billion dollars. As your Councilmember, I pride myself on using my training and professional background to advance policies that provide broadly-shared benefits in a cost-effective manner. 

My life story was made possible when my father borrowed money from friends for a one-way plane ticket to the U.S. in 1968 to pursue higher education. My parents later moved to Southern California, where my brother and I had the good fortune to grow up in a safe neighborhood with solid public schools. Our parents, who both grew up in humble circumstances in India, taught us by their example the value of hard work, honesty, and treating others with respect. Like so many others, I’m the beneficiary of a tolerant open-hearted California that gave my family and me an opportunity to succeed. I believe we are always stronger when we extend a welcoming hand, rather than pull up the ladder behind us. My husband George and I try to instill these values in our young son Austin–who is growing up quickly!