With District Elections, everything had now changed. This November 1986 BCA slate poster even abandons the orange on blue color scheme that BCA had used since 1979. That was intentional.
Loni Hancock returned to Berkeley politics as BCA's candidate for Mayor. Loni wanted many changes, including a less confrontational atmosphere. Some of Gus Newport's supporters would never approve this difference in style.
Loni would win fairly easily in 1986, but faced a much tougher race for re-election as Mayor in 1990 against Fred Weekes. She survived both a run-off and a lawsuit to win a second term.
The era of City Council slate politics was over. There are no Council candidates on this poster besides Loni, because the other eight races are by district.
City-wide political organizations became much weaker and less relevant. Instead of strong organizations carrying candidates, a district candidate often had to create his or her own personal campaign group.
BCA immediately lost three Council seats after the November 1986 District Election contests. This is exactly what the supporters of District Elections had wanted. The casualties were John Denton (defeated in District 8), Veronika Fukson (beaten by Nancy Skinner at the BCA convention in a face-off between two incumbents from the same district), and Wesley Hester (who successfully ran for the Rent Board).
However, all four BCA candidates elected in the November 1984 sweep won their 1986 district races. With Loni Hancock as Mayor, BCA still retained a Council majority, now reduced to the bare minimum of 5 votes. Despite new faces on the Council during the next several years, this thin majority would never be lost to the conservatives while during Loni Hancock's two terms as Mayor.
Meanwhile, Shirley Dean (defeated by Gus Newport for Mayor in 1982) returned to the Council from District 5. She would become the leader of a new conservative block that grew to four Councilmembers. Three of them were from safe districts where no BCA candidate ever had a serious chance to win.