Candidates with Ties to the Turkish American Community

Updated on June 26, 2020

Ben Bartlett

Ben Bartlett is seeking reelection to the Berkeley City Council District III (California). He was first elected to the city council in 2016 and was supported by the Turkish Coalition California PAC. He is married to Turkish American Yelda Mesbah Bartlett, a two-time Super Lawyer and a committed women’s advocate. They have one daughter.

Bartlett, the son of community activists, is a fifth generation Berkeley native and an environmental lawyer. As a Berkeley City Council member, Bartlett has promoted cooperation between industry and government for 21stcentury economic development and the protection of the environment.  He has also achieved numerous legislative advancements and policy initiatives.

Prior to serving on the city council, Bartlett has served on the following commissions—Planning, Transportation, Police Review, and the Zero Waste. He was also a member of the Loan Administration Board.

Ben Bartlett:


Leah Ersoylu

Leah Ersoylu, the spouse of Turkish American Sarp Ersoylu, is running for the nonpartisan position of trustee of the Newport Mesa United School District in Orange County, California. The election is November 3.

Ersoylu resides in Costa Mesa, CA, with her husband and their daughter. She is president of Ersoylu Consulting that provides evaluation, technical support, and research services and has authored academic publications on philanthropy, community engagement, policy, and metrics. She has taught university courses on public policy, government, and nonprofit management.

She holds a B.S. in Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in Political Science, with a focus on public policy, from the University of California, Irvine. Ersoylu serves on the Costa Mesa Park & Recreation Commission. She has previously served on the town’s Public Services & Housing and Bikeability & Walkability Committees in addition to being a board director of St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund.

Ersoylu has been an active member of the Turkish American community.

Leah Ersoylu: