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Take a look at our 2022 midterm elections special issue!

Jay Wu runs for Berkeley City Council's District 8

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Jay Wu is running for the district 8 city council seat with platforms centering UC Berkeley students and innovative solutions to local problems.


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OCTOBER 13, 2022

Jay Wu, a financial services agent, is running for the city of Berkeley’s District 8 City Council seat.

Wu, who has been a Berkeley resident for three years, was first inspired to campaign by the Stop Asian Hate movement, according to his campaign website.

“When I first started I was just thinking of fighting for Asian hate,” Wu said in an email. “Lately I am more and more inspired by the needs to solve other problems facing Berkeley, problems that I believe my proposed solutions should help.”

Wu’s major aims include connecting UC Berkeley students with local residents, innovating local politics and solving local problems. The front page of his campaign website lists about 15 proposed solutions for problems Wu has discerned in the community, such as expanding the tax revenue base and developing Berkeley-centered smartphone apps.

According to his website, Wu decided to run Aug. 5 after being approached by volunteers from Alameda Democrats. He has been campaigning at the grassroots level since, canvassing Berkeley with flyers and QR codes describing his platform.

“My unique strengths are the capability of connecting UCB students and local folks, my entrepreneurial mind not to do business as usual and my expertise in public accounting and finance issues,” Wu said in an email.

Wu plans to raise the voting rate of campus’s freshman class through campaigning at Clark Kerr Campus, a residential hall primarily for freshmen. Wu frequently stops by Clark Kerr after his daily jogs and has conversations with residents about their perspective on the community.

He also noted the inaccessibility of some of Berkeley’s public communications as a problem to be solved. For example, he said many election measures are documented in legal language that is difficult for residents to understand.

Born and raised in China, Wu learned English as a second language. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees there before spending 15 years as a college professor in China, Thailand and the United States.

He opted to run for a city council seat and work to improve Berkeley so his daughter, Eva, could come live with him from Bangkok, Thailand.

“I want to be able to show her what a great city Berkeley is when she arrives,” he said on his website.

This is Wu’s first time campaigning for public office. He has not received endorsements thus far.

The district 8 council seat, which will be vacated by Councilmember Lori Droste in November, has four candidates including Wu on the ballot. Early voting begins Oct. 10 and elections will take place Nov. 8.

“We don’t have to keep the way things have always been in Berkeley,” Wu said in his email. “Meaningful changes are on the way if we are willing to work together.”

Contact Ria Raniwala at 


OCTOBER 15, 2022