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ICE Raids Threatened for Sunday

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Friday July 12, 2019 - 11:21:00 AM

I’m hearing reports that ICE is targeting at least 2,000 families across the country on Sunday, including right here in San Francisco. The most important thing to remember is: be prepared and know your rights. 

If one of Trump’s ICE agents comes banging on your door, stay calm and know that you do not have to open it. Do not answer any questions. Demand they provide you with a search and arrest warrant. Do not sign anything they give you. Ask for a lawyer or an interpreter if you need one. 

Trump is playing games with human lives. Since Day One, he has targeted and persecuted immigrant communities. These outrageously dangerous ICE raids are just scare tactics to terrorize our communities and rip families apart — but we must be stronger. 

California has always been a beacon of hope. For an America in turmoil, California is on the frontlines of progress. We have the power to stop Trump and fight to ensure that everyone across the country is safe from his xenophobic attacks. 

As long as Trump sits in the White House, millions of lives remain at risk. We have to stop him.

Press Release: Berkeley Rally for Children in Federal Migrant Detention Centers, Sat., July 13th, 12-2 p.m., Berkeley Civic Center Park

Berkeley Councilmember Rashi Kesarwani
Wednesday July 10, 2019 - 04:51:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold a community rally on Saturday afternoon to protest the mass detention of children and adults in torturous conditions at our southern border.

The event will feature Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, City of Berkeley Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González, DREAMers and immigrant rights activists, protest songs by Musicians Action Group and Occupella, faith leaders, and others. The event will also include representatives from immigrant rights organizations, sanctuary congregations, and other groups so protest attendees can learn more about how they can get involved. 

The City of Berkeley was the first U.S. city to declare itself a sanctuary nearly 50 years ago—in 1971 in response to the Vietnam War. Then, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution to provide sanctuary to 1,000 crew members of the U.S.S. Coral Sea who had signed a petition to stop the ship’s journey back to Vietnam from the San Francisco Bay. 

Now, the Berkeley community will come together—in solidarity with the Lights for Liberty National Day of Action (https://www.lightsforliberty.org/)—to declare that no human being is illegal and demand that all people are treated humanely. 

Please join us to send a message to Close the Camps Now! 

Our event will take place from 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 13th at Berkeley Civic Center Park, accessible from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation, walk, bike, or carpool.  

For more information, please contact Berkeley Councilmember Rashi Kesarwani - rkesarwani@cityofberkeley.info or 510-982-6128 (Google Voice cell phone number to call or text).

The "Equity" Cloak for Marijuana (Commentary)

Carol Denney
Tuesday July 09, 2019 - 03:02:00 PM

Marijuana promoter High Times' effort to use Cesar Chavez Park as a "designated location" for marijuana events was so strongly opposed in the spring of this year by grassroots park protectors and public health advocates that Mayor Jesse Arreguin reassured at least one advocate that there are "no immediate plans to revisit the Marijuana events issue, and if we do I agree it should go to multiple commissions including the Health Commission, Parks Commission and Marijuana Commission, because this policy could have multiple impacts on our city." 

That word apparently didn't travel far. The "Health, Life Enrichment, Equity and Community Committee" took it up on Monday, July 8th, 2019 at 10:00 am on the sixth floor of City Hall where it took another beating by community voices opposed to using any parks for marijuana promotions, especially Cesar Chavez Park. Councilmember Ben Bartlett quickly withdrew his proposal after public comment. 

Councilmembers Cheryl Davila, District 2, and Ben Bartlett, District 3, had referred the matter to the committee of three; Councilmembers Rashi Kesarwani, in whose district Cesar Chavez Park is located, Sophie Hahn, who chaired the 10:00 am meeting after, ironically, an item about air quality, and Ben Bartlett, who introduced the item as an "equity" issue. Racial equity is the concept of using lucrative marijuana dispensary licensing to address the disproportionate burdens the war on drugs and disproportionate criminal penalties have had on communities of color by making sure entrepreneurs of color are represented in the new landscape of marijuana profits. 

Most of the speakers were in favor of addressing racial disparities in just this way, but were opposed to marijuana promotions in public parks, access to which are a crucial park of public health in any healthy community and which, in Berkeley, are smokefree since 2008 by local ordinance. 

The materials in the committee packet touted Berkeley's overwhelming support for California's Proposition 64, which decriminalized recreational marijuana, as an indication that Berkeley would be in support of marijuana promotions in public parks. This is not the case. Proposition 64's support in Berkeley and in other California cities was for decriminalization, for safe access, and for the prohibition of marijuana smoking in all public places. That public smoking prohibition is part of why the proposition passed. 

Proposition 64 allowed cities to create municipal rules and permits for temporary marijuana events, but the law itself prohibits public smoking of marijuana, and lists marijuana smoke clearly as a carcinogen on its public health website as mandated by Proposition 65's public list of all known carcinogenic substances. There are many private areas where marijuana promoters could hold festivals and events. But Berkeley would have to erode its hard-won municipal public health protections to create marijuana events in public places. 


But it is also misleading to imply that "equity" mechanisms, efforts to address racial inequities, are best addressed through the promotion and sale of marijuana in public parks, especially considering that Berkeley's public health indices continue to show obscene disparities in public health between Berkeley's white populations and our communities of color. Minority communities have long been the target of Big Tobacco, which has linked arms with the marijuana industry and the vaping industry in primarily targeting youth, a practice documented by smokefree advocates for decades. Berkeley students smoke marijuana at twice the rate of California students more generally. As a city, we have work to do. 

High Times, the group whose inquiry originated this "pilot project", is a wealthy, white group promoting marijuana nationwide. It prides itself on violating smokefree ordinances wherever it goes as part of its rebel branding, a branding that made sense when marijuana was being unnecessarily demonized. High Times has had decades to demonstrate an honest interest in racial equity issues. It has not. It has the deep pockets to generate a fund to assist communities of color with start-ups not limited to marijuana; small businesses with are the heart of any commercial district. And it has done none of those things. It continues to do what Big Tobacco has done for decades; find ways to whittle loopholes in local smoking restrictions in an effort to restore the shrinking habitat for those who use its products, which now include vaping products and a wider array of marijuana products. "Equity issues" in Berkeley are just its latest cloak; this is about money, money it primarily makes off of communities of color. 

Look sharp for special interests using "equity" in the same familiar efforts Big Tobacco uses to undermine public health protections. Express your suspicions about any room set aside to discuss the use of public parks for marijuana promotions which does not include representatives from the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Americans for Non-Smokers Rights, and the American Lung Association, to name only a few. 

And if you don't hear a ringing defense of your smokefree public parks and smokefree protections from your Berkeley City Councilmembers and your Mayor right about now as they try to coax people into back rooms and try to do an end run around the relevant commissions, please consider running for office. Your community needs you. The tobacco, marijuana, and vaping industry are coming for your kids, and there's nothing subtle about it. 





Harris's Berkeley Background is Relevant Now

Becky O'Malley
Sunday July 07, 2019 - 01:35:00 PM

All the recent hoo-ha about whether Kamala Harris actually participated in the Berkeley public schools’ integration experience, including some from people I know around here who should know better, is arrant nonsense. It wasn’t that long ago, for heaven’s sake, and some of us still alive can remember the busing experience, including some of the senator’s former schoolmates.

Many of the ignorant denizens of the commentariat, both local and national, thought they’d made a big discovery: that the schools had been integrated long before Kamala. They’d found old Berkeley High yearbooks with pictures of Black students from years earlier—but what they didn’t grasp is that the busing program which affected Harris was aimed at desegregating the elementary schools. BUSD started transporting little kids around town to do what fair housing laws had yet to accomplish.

High school in Berkeley has never been segregated because there’s only ever been one high school, which everyone attended. That’s not to say that within the high school academic tracking and social self-segregation have not been cause for concern, but the school as a whole was always integrated.

The situation in the elementary schools was different. As in most U.S. elementary schools in those days, the students in the first eight or so grades were expected to be able walk to schools close to their homes.

But housing in Berkeley in the 1960s, as in most other U.S. cities, was effectively segregated, both economically and by racist covenants and real estate practices. It was virtually impossible for non-White families, both Asian and African American, regardless of means, to buy or rent homes east of Grove Street (now Martin Luther King Junior Way).

The elementary school population at the time reflected this pattern, with some K-6 schools effectively all-White and others predominantly Black. The busing program which affected Kamala was designed to integrate these lower grades.  

The primary schools were reconfigured to serve either Kindergarten through 3rd grade or 4th through 6th grade. The K-3 schools were in predominantly White neighborhoods, and the older kids went to 4-6 schools in the mixed neighborhoods of South and West Berkeley. 

When we moved back to Berkeley in 1973 our older daughters, then in fourth and sixth grades, rode the school bus to Malcolm X (formerly Lincoln), which was west of Grove, while the little children who lived near Malcolm X were bused to John Muir, on Claremont. Young Kamala, who is exactly the same age as my middle daughter, lived west of Grove, so she took a school bus in the first three grades to formerly mostly-White Thousand Oaks School, just as she told Joe Biden in the Democratic debate.  

By the time she was in middle school, her family had moved to Canada. I haven’t been able to figure out where she went for Grades 4, 5 and 6. I have a dim memory of hearing that she went to one of the small alternative private schools which were popular in those days, but I can’t confirm that. 

The school configurations have been endlessly rearranged since then, but what’s most interesting about Berkeley’s experience with busing for school integration is that it did a thorough job of improving the city’s social fabric. Simply put, it got rid of the undesirables for a couple of decades. 

When I came to Cal in 1958, the mayor was a Republican. Berkeley was a very buttoned-up place, with no alcohol allowed to be sold within a mile of campus and students not allowed to have cars at school.  

A large percentage of the student body (which Clark Kerr promised to cap at 12,500) lived in all-White fraternities and sororities. The faculty, also mostly White, tended to live in substantial houses, many in walking distance of campus, north and south. Students like me who disdained both dorms and frats lived in slightly decaying older group houses and apartments a few blocks north, south and a bit west, though they seldom ventured west of Grove into the limited area open to people of color despite prevalent redlining. 

In my circle we’d heard of changes in the wider world. We picketed Woolworth’s in solidarity with southern student sit-ins. Several of my friends were red diaper babies, so when the House Un-American Activities Committee came to town in 1960 to hunt Communists, they organized a major picket line at the San Francisco City Hall which eventually resulted in what HUAC called a riot. I boycotted my graduation in 1961 because Governor Pat Brown, who had just allowed Caryl Chessman to be executed, was the speaker. 

The rest of the decade is history. I got married and moved to Ann Arbor, but Berkeley students made plenty of trouble here without me.  

By the time we moved back with three kids in 1973, things were pretty well all shook up, between the demonstrations and school integration. The Republican-inclined were moving to Lamorinda and environs in droves. The first African American mayor of Berkeley, a Democrat, had been elected in 1971. 

As a result of all this excitement, property values were plummeting. We bought a commodious house at a bargain price on a block of Ashby which had a variety of collective houses, at least one of them radical enough that it boasted its own FBI spying operation in the attic across the street. The seller moved to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek. 

Berkeley’s reputation as a quirky idiosyncratic place to live lasted through the seventies, eighties and into the nineties. In 1994 the then-current Democratic mayor, elected with support from leftish Berkeley Citizens Action, resigned to take a job in the Clinton administration. She arranged for her successor to be the pleasant, wealthy, vaguely liberal owner of a substantial percentage of downtown Berkeley, and thenceforth city administrations were centrist on most local issues, though ever ready to take a stand about far-away causes. 

Lately it seems that Berkeley is regaining its earlier 20th century status as a bedroom community for people with good jobs in The City. The difference is that many well-off people have gotten over their fear of demonstrations, integrated schools and dark-skinned neighbors, so they’re happy to displace current residents to move into formerly low-income neighborhoods.  

And they’re not all White. People of color who can afford it are welcome in any neighborhood. Mixed families like Kamala’s are the norm, not the exception. Among my grandmother peers, almost all of us have at least one mixed-race grandchild.  

What exactly does all this sociological detail about Berkeley matter to the 2020 presidential campaign? What it shows is that Senator Kamala Harris comes from an entirely different place than former Vice President Biden does. Biden’s historical opposition to busing for desegregation (like Bernie Sanders’) was rooted in the kind of limited world view which was common in the Berkeley of my undergraduate days. 

He’s an old White guy from a small provincial state, and she’s a younger woman of color who might be called a multinational, a global citizen like Barack Obama. Her indignant take-down of Biden was based on her small measure of participation in the common African American experience. She’s escaped many of the indignities others suffered because of her family background, but she’s able to appreciate what she gained from being part of the controversial busing experiment in Berkeley. 

However, the crucial upcoming election will not be a fight between Biden and Harris. A good number of my friends and relations have announced that they’re simply voting for “The Democrat” in the general election, and I tend to agree with them. The reason for joining one primary campaign or another would be to promote a sure winner, but I doubt that there is one.  

I do think that winning will depend on mobilizing women and people of color, and in the past few weeks Biden has demonstrated that he’s not fast enough on his feet anymore (if he ever was) to do that. Harris, on the other hand, has shown that she’d add spice to any ticket, which would be A Good Thing, though perhaps not enough by itself. It’s still early days.

Public Comment

The lovers meet

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:44:00 PM

After months exchanging “love letters,” President Trump and North Korea’s, Kim Jong-un finally met holding hands at the DMZ. It was a sight to behold. 

Gone were the days of nasty tweets of “fire and fury” to obliterate North Korea. I must say I was overcome with emotion and wept uncontrollably at the sight of the portly Trump meeting with his portly lover.  

In a magnanimous gesture of Christian forgiveness, Trump overlooked Kim’s acts of barbarity starving his people in North Korea’s gulags and allegedly killing his negotiating team. How the Christian evangelicals must have rejoiced. Now if only the President could repeat his winning strategy with Iran’s Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, an incendiary situation could be averted avoiding a possible acceleration of its nuclear bomb making activity.  

The high drama follows a familiar theme. Threaten your adversaries with obliteration using America’s awesome firepower, then suddenly dial back and declare victory. Trump sulked and pouted accusing the media of ignoring his “brilliant diplomacy." 

Perhaps we have misjudged the president’s wisdom; if he loses the 2020 election his immunity from prosecution evaporates and facing jail time he may ask his friend Kim for asylum. If that day arrives, we should retrieve our MAGA hats from the rubbish heap and don them back on our heads proudly. The federal government should declare a week of rejoicing and festivities.

There is no law

Steve Martinot
Sunday July 07, 2019 - 01:31:00 PM

There is no law in the City of Berkeley. That is the only conclusion possible when government violates the law with impunity. It means there is no law.

We’re talking about the law of the land. Not the ordinances that the City Council passes to make itself look important, or to allow the police to violate the law by enforcing those ordinances. We’re talking about the law of the land and its protections.

The "law of the land" is the basic law from which all else gets its authority, namely, the US Constitution, the Constitution of the state of California, and the Berkeley City Charter. When a city council or its agencies involve themselves in avoiding, evading, sidetracking, circumventing, eluding, finding loopholes in, and countermanding the law, then for the people of that city, there is no law. If the people have access to a society organized around law only through those councils and agencies, then the people are out of luck.

Two crises beset this city, a crisis of homelessness, and an affordable housing crisis. The first is a crisis foisted by economic processes. The second crisis results from an absence of political will (and it will require a separate article). 

The city of Berkeley’s response to homelessness has been one of denial of the law. It has been continuously discriminatory in violation of the 14th Amendment – a failure of “equal protection under the law.” And it has chosen to violate the 5th Amendment and the 8th Amendment. We live in an era when people have risen up against discriminatory oppressions of all kinds, to re-humanize themselves through such opposition. Somehow, Berkeley can’t seem to get it. 

What are the conditions of the unhoused?

The basic conditions of the homeless are that they must sleep on the street, for which they set up tents, and congregate in encampments as a form of protective community against social hostility (to which city government has contributed). They do this in public space. In some cases, they soil the area (garbage, waste, unused property, etc.). 

What they are trying to achieve is protection from the elements, and from hostile people. They seek to create places to eat and read and be with friends in peace, and enjoy a sense of privacy. These are the same goals for which a person buys or rents a house or apartment. 

The city responds with ordinances. I won’t call them laws because they violate the law of the land – in particular, the 5th, the 8th, and the 14th Amendments of the US Constitution. They are written in response to alleged complaints from homeowners or commercial establishments who think their private space is corrupted by those who must live in public space. These ordinances are designed to make life more difficult for those whose lives are already most difficult. That is the choice the city makes. 


What these Amendments provide

The 5th says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. (Please notice the use of "person" rather than citizen, and "law" rather than ordinance.) When the police break up a homeless encampment (which they do regularly) and cart away the property of its members, or require the tents to be broken down to fit in an area of 3 x 3 feet, they are depriving people of property and liberty without due process. 

The police inform those they deprive that they can apply for return of their property. But that is a process of appeal. Appeal and due process are very different. Appeal is for the rectification of a wrong. Due Process is for the prevention of an impending wrong. Due process must come first (according to the Constitution). The person to be deprived must get a hearing prior to deprivation. That is the law. Confiscating property because it sits on a sidewalk violates the law. 

Banning encampments on public land has been done for years. It has finally been shown to be in violation of the 8th Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court, in its Boise Decision of 2018 (Martin vs. Boise), articulated the principle that a government cannot punish a person for their condition or status in society, but only for their conduct. Sleeping and poverty are conditions, not conduct, and can’t be banned or made punishable. Unhoused people must be able to sleep on public land if the city cannot provide shelter for them. 

To its dehumanized shame, however, the city has been attempting to find loopholes in the Ninth Circuit’s decision, so that it can continue to punish the homeless for being homeless. It thinks it has found two. One is that during non-sleeping hours, a person’s property must fit in an area “3 x 3” feet. The other is that homeless people who are fortunate enough to have an RV to sleep in may not sleep in an RV between the hours of 2 am and 5 am in the morning. These ordinances use cruelty as a "norm." They represent a totally dehumanized approach to the real suffering of people. 

They are also discriminatory. In violation of the 14th Amendment, they don’t provide equal protection for the homeless. 

How has the city been discriminatory?

The 14th Amendment says “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the US.” It also says “Nor [shall any state] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If a state cannot do these things (abridge or deny), then neither can their charter extensions (aka cities). These two clauses, folded into the same Constitutional amendment, are quite different. The city of Berkeley violates both of them. 

Tents are refused permits

The homeless set up tents, sometimes composed of cardboard, to protect themselves from the elements. They are also to obtain a modicum of privacy. That is what houses are designed to do. To treat a tent differently from a house is outright discrimination. 

When neighbors or residents complain about the homeless obstructing a sidewalk, the police will protect the residents from that obstruction by seizing it and taking it elsewhere. The city does not protect the homeless from unnecessary and unwarranted complaints and attacks by residents (or the police). It violates the equal protection of “the law.” 

The homeless live on public land, just as homeowners live on private land. They should be given certificates of occupancy, just as houses are certified by housing Code Enforcement. Not to do so is to deny equal protection of the laws to homeless people. 

The city gives construction permits for housing

The city gives homeowners permits to construct things on their land, or to put additions on existing housing. But it refuses to give a comparable permit to the homeless to set up a tent on public land (which is the only "land" they have). According to the Boise Decision, public land is, for those who have no shelter and no housing, the equivalent of private property. Not to provide permits to set up tents on public land is to withhold “privileges and immunities” from the homeless citizens. That is discriminatory. To contravene that principle by attacking the homeless for using public land the way a landowner uses private land is to violate the 8th Amendment, as well as the 14th

Waste disposal

The homeless sometimes soil an area because the city offers no equal protection in the form of sanitation. The city provides sewer systems for those who live in houses. For years, the city refused to provide toilets for encampments. Today, it begrudgingly provides toilets for some encampments. The city provides for the collection of garbage in all neighborhoods. It begrudgingly collects the garbage from some of the homeless encampments, and uses that to disrupt their stability. Thus, the city withholds equal protection of health and hygiene for its unhoused residents. This is an especially dire form of discrimination against the unhoused. 

The city must provide comparable services to the unhoused as to the housed. Here, the 8th Amendment and the 14th Amendment work together. They are a framework for protecting the victims of economic oppression. 

The homeless who live in RVs are deprived of their rights

There are some unhoused who have been fortunate enough to obtain an RV in which to house themselves. The city looks at them as a parking problem rather than as a partial solution to the housing situation. Thus it chooses a dehumanized approach, focusing on the machine, rather than use a humanizing perspective that would seek to integrate this form of housing into the overall housing landscape of the city. 

City Council writes ordinances about permits for RV parking in order to create time limits past which the RV dwellers will have to leave town. Thus it abridges the RV dwellers’ “privileges and immunities” as human, substituting the machine for the person’s condition. It violates the Ninth Circuit’s 8th Amendment argument, which provides that the RV dwellers, as homeless, must be able to use public space. 

The city seeks to maintain peace in its resident neighborhoods, but it refuses to establish dialogues between neighbors and RV dwellers, by which to arrive at common understanding and mutual benefits. Thus, it discriminates against the RV dwellers. 

The sanctity of public space

The homeless must live on public space. It is the only space they have. It is their home. The city is barred from entering a private residence by the 4th Amendment. It cannot tell residents which room they may sit in. The city would not dare do such a thing. Yet it does not shrink from telling the homeless which part of public space they may sit in and which not. Only others using public space should be able to do that – in dialogue with those for whom public space is "home." Thus, the city is again discriminatory, in violation of the law. 

There is no law. 

What does this mean?

The derogations of the city are multiple. As a result of its discriminatory policies, 14 homeless people have died in the streets of Berkeley in the last 6 months. The city’s officials have all sworn an oath to defend the US Constitution. These violations of the Constitution represent betrayal of that oath. 

In violating the law, the city is also corrupting the ethics of representation and democracy. "Democracy" means that those who will be affected by a policy should be the ones to decide on the policy that will affect them. But the city has never involved the homeless in writing any ordinances concerning the homeless or their condition. Representation means that the city will equally protect all its residents. But it betrays the morality of our time, which has been a singularly massive struggle, from voter registration to LGBTQ pride, against all forms of discrimination. In being discriminatory, the city of Berkeley turns its back on its historical era, and becomes despotic. 

When there is no law, there is only despotism. 

Applying the principle of democracy

Let the homeless of Berkeley take seriously the fundamental principle of democracy, and autonomously write their own rules and regulations concerning their lives, their survival, and their relations with the neighborhoods. Let them do this in dialogue with the neighborhoods. Let them present that to the city as their democratic expression, as a step toward reviving the reality of law in Berkeley. 

Let that democratic expression be their participation in establishing their own equal protection, or at least the principle of their own equal protection. Let that expression call the question on the city, that is must return to the law. 

This would be a really important step to dealing with the homeless as people. 

Let the city thus take its first steps away from its despotic propensities, by honoring the autonomy of the people, and by guaranteeing the “privileges and immunities” of all its citizens. 

W.E.B. DuBois begins his classic work, “The Souls of Black Folk,” by telling the story of how it feels to read that “unasked question” in the expressions of white people, “How does it feel to be a problem?” And here we are, a century later, unable to look at or embrace real human beings in terms that could really dispense with that paradigm. 



The NY Times' Housing Affordability Kick

Robert Brokl
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:52:00 PM

The New York Times has published yet another article pushing housing affordability, this time a front page attack on single-family zoning: “Housing Scarce, Cities Erase Single-Family Lots.”

There is a rich irony in the flagship newspaper of New York City, the densest city in the United States and also one of the most expensive to live in, relentllessly flogging the notion—as news, no less--that density create affordability. San Francisco, also expensive, is the second densest.

So facts don't really matter, but no, I’m not going to use the "fake news” expression. But I might suggest, as your paper does with the nominal president, that you fact check the building lobby promoter-in-chief California Senator Scott Wiener. His quote in the article: “Single-family zoning 'means that everything else is banned….Low-income housing, which is only multi-unit-banned…’ ” is false.  

I live in Oakland, where some of the most affordable housing is still, despite gentrification in many parts of the city, single family, modest homes on mini-lots. In the Oakland hills, where density advocate Jerry Brown lived for years, large single family homes occupy at least an acre. What type of single family home are you talking about? 

As Wiener surely knows, the market rate multi-unit apartment buildings going up quickly in the most “desirable” parts of cities are not likely to be affordable.  

Why eliminate zoning? Kill cities and towns in order to save them? Turn every city into Houston, which may lack zoning but has deed restrictions instead? 

New York City: Solve your own problem first! (In truth, housing affordability is part of a larger problem with income inequality, and needs a national fix.) 

Trump’s Russian Chum

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:51:00 PM

At the recent G20 meeting, President Trump greeted his friend, Vladimir Putin, warmly with the full knowledge that he got him elected.

The president brushed off accusations of election interference with a wink and smile, a coded gesture inviting more interference targeting his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. The wily Putin chuckled with a silent nod hinting Russian trolls were ready to further eviscerate American democracy and propel the President to the White House for four more years. The public outrage over Trump’s chumminess with Russia harked back serious concerns over his financial entanglement and possible sexual encounters with Russian prostitutes. Putin seemed delighted with his meeting with Trump, a willing partner to undermine America’s democracy. 

Forgotten were the urgent warnings from special counsel Mueller that Russia conducted a “sweeping and systematic” operation to sway the 2016 election in Trump’s favor prompting former President Carter to call him an illegitimate president.  

The meeting with Putin followed Trump’s gratuitous insults towards Japan broadly hinting America’s possible departure from the US-Japan security treaty. It does follow a familiar pattern of treating allies as foes and foes as friends. Well done Mr. President you are fast forwarding America’s demise ably supported by your Republican co-conspirators.

Tanks but no tanks, the last hurrah?

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:36:00 PM

As a T-V reality star, Donald Trump has always loved pageantry. He was inspired by a Bastille Day celebration in Paris that he attended in 2017, or perhaps his friend “Vlad” might have told him about the glorious Russian Revolution with Soviet tanks rolling past a portrait of Vladimir Lenin in Moscow’s Red Square in a 1980 parade. The pageantry will be a much needed distraction from his personal misfortunes as a failed businessman (lost over 1B over a 10 year period). The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas to demand the release of his tax returns to reveal possible financial entanglements with Russian oligarchs.

How the draft dodger loves military parades.  

He thrives on personal attention and adulation. At great taxpayer’s expense, estimated in excess of $100 million he ordered his administration to organize a July 4th extravaganza with tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue chewing up the road. Trump will address the nation amidst a flyover of the Blue Angels to symbolize America’s military might which has created untold misery throughout the world (Vietnam, Central America, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. .). This showcase is a crass political stunt to launch his 20-20 reelection campaign. He tweeted modestly that this will be “an address by your favorite President, me!” He promised “brand new Sherman tanks” but nobody told him they haven’t been in service since the 1950s. 

There are tanks in the nation’s capital and concentration camps on its border. Oh, is America like Thelma and Louise driving off a cliff?

Berkeley Minimum Wage Increased

Harry Brill
Saturday July 06, 2019 - 10:02:00 AM

Activists and working people in Berkeley should be proud of their achievement of winning a minimum wage of $15 an hour and an annual increase according to the Consumer the Consumer Price Index. As of July of this month, the minimum wage has been increased from $15 to $15.59 cents an hour. The minimum wage will be adjusted every July 1. 

Those who fought for the annual adjustment were aware that without an annual increase the buying power of the minimum wage would decline. Moreover, employers are not allowed to deduct the wage because of gratuities and tips. 

Also, employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. 

Employers had claimed that a minimum wage law would hurt both business and employees as well. But on the contrary, since the law passed in 2014, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent to 2.8 percent in 2018. Clearly, the Berkeley economy has been doing well. Undoubtedly the aggregate impact of the wage increase has been to improve the local economy. 

It is not that the current wage is considered adequate. However, I think we agree that it is going in the right direction.

Don't destroy our democracy!

Romila Khanna
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:37:00 PM

It is important for us to pay more attention to the political climate today. We are seeing changes that are destroying the fundamental values of democracy. We have not made any progress in improving the lives of citizens of the neither the middle class, nor low income and poor amongst us.

Our self-centered thinking has taken us back at least 60 years .

We have not yet learned that each one of us has the right to participate in the political process to elect the right person to represent us in our government. 

We know that our right to vote, our right to live in a safe and healthy environment, is being ignored by the three branches of our government. Most of the actions by our federal government are hurting people who are below the poverty level, and who lack the power to improve their living standards. 

It seems most everything is being done to benefit the wealthy and upper class. It appears that the Republican party has a plan to change democratic principles to a dictatorship. I don’t know why we are not engaged in participating in the political process. We need to bring about change to the current political climate where our life, our safety, and our health is suffering. The federal government is not working to improve our lives, nor taking steps to give us equal opportunity to have the best education, better healthcare, better opportunities to live peacefully without having to worry about how to survive.  

Our climate, our safety, our voices and our needs are totally ignored. 

People, talk about gun violence and the traumatic situation of young and old at our border. No steps have been taken to remove the cause. We see effects of gun violence in different areas and still only talk about Second Amendment and people’s right to own guns. Why don’t we talk about some of our own citizens killing innocent people everyday in our communities? 

Our politicians give more importance to the life of the six week old unborn fetus in the mother’s womb, but they don’t care for the children whose’s life is in danger at the border! They don’t care to punish those who attack the young girls and women, who drug them to sexually abuse them. Why are the rights of living women and young girls ignored? Why is the lack of their physical safety not bothering our President? Is our government working to bring equal justice for these people who have suffered silently? Are each one of us are getting the basic human rights to live happily in better circumstances? 

I think, the gun manufacturers have been granted enough freedom to manufacture more weapons of destruction to create pain and trauma in the lives of those who lose their family members due to gun violence.  

We have to speak with a united voice to demand an environment that helps to create a healthy, happy and peaceful community all over in USA. We must work together to bring about real peace, humanity and restore our democratic values now!

July Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Thursday July 04, 2019 - 09:23:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money.

This is a Very Good Deal. Go for it! 


THE PUBLIC EYE:What Does “Electability” Mean?

Bob Burnett
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:33:00 PM

Since the June 26-27 Democratic Presidential debates, the candidate rankings have shifted and it now appears the Democratic nomination is up for grabs. The winner will be determined by voters perception of which candidate is most electable.

A June Gallupreport (https://news.gallup.com/poll/259454/electability-democratic-nominee-outranks-issue-stances.aspx) found that "58% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prioritize a candidate's ability to beat Trump over their views on important issues." (This finding held across all demographic groups except for younger voters -- aged 18 to 29.) Gallup concluded: "The diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates would be well-advised to focus their debate performances and campaign strategies on looking like they can beat Trumpinstead of worrying about highlighting their issues positions." [Emphasis added]

What does it mean to "[look] like they can beat Trump"? Depending upon the Democratic voter, being electable means that their candidate adopts a particular stance/attitude. During the debates we saw four different approaches. 

(1) Some folks want a candidate who will be "tough" enough to stand up to Trump. Trump's a liar and a bully and these voters want a candidate who can call him out. 

(2) Others want a Democratic candidate who can talk to the "blue-collar Obama voters" who, in 2016, voted for Trump. On the first night of the Democratic debate. Congressman Tim Ryan referred to these voters: "[The Democratic Party is] not connecting to the working class people in the very states that I represent in Ohio, in the industrial Midwest... We have got to change the center of gravity of the Democratic Party from being coastal [and elitist] ... to get those workers back on our side." This is the political stance: "I feel your pain." 

(3) Some Democrats want a candidate who can beat Trump on specific issues such as healthcare, immigration, climate change, gun control, and housing, among others. This is a more intellectual stance: America has problems but Trump is a dummy who offers no real solutions, whereas the Democratic candidate does. 

(4) Finally, there are voters who want to take on Trump's immorality. New York Times opinion writer David Brooksis in this category. In his June 25th column (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/opinion/democratic-debate-2020.html), Brooks wrote: "A decent society rests on a bed of manners, habits, traditions and institutions. Trump is a disrupter. He rips to shreds the codes of politeness, decency, honesty and fidelity, and so renders society a savage world of dog eat dog." These voters want a candidate who emphasizes that Trump is immoral; whereas, the Democratic candidate can be trusted. 

The top-four Democratic candidates -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris -- offer different perspectives on what it means to be electable. Former Vice-President Biden seems to have staked his electability claim on (4) and (2). Biden introduced his campaign in a video where he spoke about the August 2017 white-supremacist Charlottesville rally: "I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen..." Biden plans to seize the moral high ground. In addition, Biden has spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest, talking to voters in traditionally Democratic areas that voted for Trump. 

Biden talks tough. He assures voters that he can stand up to Trump. But that's not his strong suit. Nor is policy. Biden is running as a nice guy who can bring us together. 

The champion of the intellectual approach (3) is Elizabeth Warren. ("I have a plan for that.") For voters who want a candidate who can out-wonk Trump on any of the important policy issue, it's hard to ignore Senator Warren. In the last couple of months, she's gained a lot of support because of her thoughtful plans. 

There's no doubt that Democratic voters will think Warren is smarter than Trump. Her electability problem is that many Democrats may not believe she can stand up to America's biggest bully. 

In 2015-16, the wonk candidate was Bernie Sanders. Now it appears that Elizabeth Warren has seized this mantle. Recently she's gained support, at the expense of Senator Sanders. 

There's no doubt that Sanders can stand up to Trump. But Bernie's style turns off many women. 

The remaining top-tier Democratic candidate is Senator Kamala Harris. At five foot two, Harris is the shortest candidate but for many Democrats she comes across as the best prospect for standing up to Trump, calling him out as a bully (1). ("We have a predator living in the White House.") Harris can be a commanding figure. In the Senate, Harris showed this with her interrogations of Brett Kavanaugh, Jeff Sessions, and Bill Barr. During night two of the first Democratic candidates debate (6/26), Harris took control about twenty minutes in. There was cross-talk between the candidates and Senator Harris put up her hands in a calming motion and said: "Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we are going to put food on their table." From that point on, Harris commanded the debate. 

The latest Quinnipiac poll of Democratic voters shows Biden in the lead (22 percent), Harris close behind (20 percent), with Elizabeth Warren garnering 14 percent, and Bernie Sanders 13 percent. (All the other candidates had single digit support.) Since the previous, April, Quinnipiac poll, Harris and Warren gained voters at the expense of Biden and Sanders. In April, Biden had a commanding lead over Harris in two categories: women and black voters. Now, Harris has taken the lead with women and she's cut Biden's margin among black voters from 31 percentage points to only 4. 

The gains for Senator Harris are particularly impressive when you consider that one-third of Democratic voters either haven't heard about her or know so little they have no opinion. 

There's a long way to go before the February Iowa caucuses but, at the moment, Kamala Harris is surging because many voters are taken with her commanding presence and, for this reason, believe she has the best chance of beating Trump. 

Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer and activist. He can be reached at bburnett@sonic.net 

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump finally got his military parade

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:32:00 PM

On the 243 anniversary of the birth of our nation, Trump finally got his military parade with tanks and a military flyovers and lots of protests. He gave a presidential address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. It should not have been used as a political rally by Trump. 

Never mind that the military is supposed to be insulated from politics to ensure the armed forces’ loyalty to the Constitution rather than to an individual elected president. 

The last time Trump wanted a military parade, the outcry over the estimated cost of $92 million caused Trump to back down. This time, Trump did not give an estimated cost. Sure, the public will ultimately find out, but the parade is over. 

Trump is enamored by military parades like those held in Russia and North Korea. The irony is that Trump didn’t even serve in the military; he was granted five deferments, the last one for bone spurs on both heels of his feet. Maybe Trump just likes tyrants and wishes he was one unshackled by a pesky House of Representatives and the federal courts. 

It didn’t matter to Trump that the U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2020 is estimated to be $1.10 trillion with Republican plans to cut Medicare and Social Security to pay down the deficit. I wonder if the parade money would have been better spent elsewhere. Nah, who doesn't love a parade. 

A downpour drenchedTrump’s parade. Now that’s bad Karma.

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Importance of Down Time

Jack Bragen
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:43:00 PM

In my twenties and early thirties, I struggled to have and maintain conventional employment and self-employment. I was not happy with the prospect of living on SSDI and SSI. I wanted more than that for myself. I was forced by circumstances to accept SSDI and SSI at age twenty-five. At the time, I hadn't yet given up the battle. I continued to try self-employment and a number of jobs. However, finally I settled in, realizing that the psychiatric condition, the medication, and numerous other factors made me significantly impaired concerning work.

When I did have jobs, weekend work was the easiest to maintain. I found that if I had four or five days in a row off, it was far easier to go back to work for two to three days. And this may be particular to me. Others' needs could be totally different. I continue to have basic responsibilities, which at times, are stressful. In some instances, things are hard enough that I get symptomatic, even while I take a lot of medication. Consequently, it matters that I sometimes get some down time, in which nothing or next to nothing is expected. 

When I worked weekends, I had four to five days to recuperate from a few days of work. A psychiatrist once told me that people require three days to recover from a stressful event. If you suffer from a psychiatric condition, you should not expect yourself to be able to perform hard things in a nonstop manner. Trying to do this can only lead to a relapse. 

More effort isn't the answer. For some people in big business, it is all about maxing-out the effort level. This is not what you do if you have a disability that affects the central nervous system. 

It is okay to acknowledge a disability. It doesn't mean that you must give up on accomplishing something in life. It means that you relinquish a do-or-die mentality about some definitions of success. Instead, you could redefine success to something realistically attainable. I'm not knocking work attempts. There are people with psych disabilities who are capable of full-time work. 

A "search"--not always an internet search, for something unconventional could yield something that you might not have thought of. Maybe you were meant for something better than just a job. Self-employment could be an option. Independent employment is another option. Something in which you can work at your own pace, take time off when you need it, and not have to deal with big stress; it is a possible solution. Yet, there are not a lot of established positions like that. You might have to invent something. Whatever you decide on, it should be flexible. If you aren't feeling well one morning, you should have the option of taking the day off. 

A common scenario of challenged people (not just mentally ill), in jobs, is where the employee begins to call in sick, and may invent things or convince themselves of physical illness so that they can furnish an excuse. A mental health day off ought to be acceptable enough. We should not have to fabricate things. 

When someone begins to take time off, it causes their job to be in jeopardy. The world of work isn't sympathetic to the emotions of the workers. They can get people who are willing to show up consistently, so there is no reason for them to pay for someone with attendance that is less than perfect or nearly so. 

Although the above situation is very unfair, it will not change in the foreseeable future. Then, we are left with unconventional forms of employment. And, ironically, people forced into the unusual, at a guess, could have a larger, not lesser chance of this ending up lucrative. Why not be the owner of a small business? 

If you are interested in such a thing, you should learn about the applicable norms that apply to a business you'd like to start. Even if you have a very different and hopefully better business concept, you should be aware of preexisting companies, how they manage to succeed, and what makes them tick. If you incorporate time off into your business plan, you might make less money than someone who is continuously prepared to take jobs. But you could still make some money at it. 

When I worked for a small pizza company, I got somewhat close to the owners. The main owner told me that he could never make it as a driver. This was despite him hiring and supervising numerous drivers and being the head of the company. Self-employment isn't inherently harder or easier than working for a wage--it uses a different set of skills. 

But my point really is, if the conventional doesn't work, why not try the unconventional? And, secondly, it is very important for mentally ill people to have time off when we need it. 

Working from home is the dream job of many people. Transcribing work at one time was a big deal and allowed many people to make a living in the comfort of their homes. Transcription work is probably harder than it once was to obtain, the pay is probably less, and the demands are probably more. 

In modern society, across the board, all the jobs seem to be ridiculously demanding and to pay less for more effort. If someone has a disability affecting the central nervous system, we should have as much time off as we need. Social Security is worth getting, and so is low-income housing. This is because if mentally ill, we should not count on always being able to work. 

Psychiatric disabilities aren't going to disappear with more effort. They aren’t going to go away if we stop medications against medical advice. The best bet is to learn something that requires a lot of skill, and to find a part-time flexible position in that field. Medication may slow you down in your job. However, if you have a good enough level of competency and skill, as well as attention to detail, these are traits that can make up for slowness. If you are good enough, an employer may be willing to make special allowances for you, based on your merit. 


Jack Bragen's self-published books are available on Amazon, Lulu, and from other vendors. 


Arts & Events

In the East Bay-- San Francisco Mime Troupe's TREASURE ISLAND, a New Musical

Margot Smith
Thursday July 04, 2019 - 08:59:00 PM

Sat., July 6, John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show

Sun., July 7 John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show

The San Francisco Mime Troupe (SFMT) celebrates their 60th Anniversary of doing FREE Political Theater in the East Bay with TREASURE ISLAND, A New Musical - A Toxic Tale of Corporate Corsairs, Swashbuckling Swindlers, and Big Buck Buccaneers on San Francisco Bay!

Treasure Island - is it the freezing cold, artificial island in the middle of San Francisco Bay awaiting cut-throat developers? Or is it the mythical isle where untold wealth awaits marauding pirates, or both?

That’s the question for city planner Jill Hawkins when an old sea-dog of a developer drops anchor in her office at City Hall, and drops a mystery in her lap. “Developers...they scour the map looking for cities with fat purses, ready to be plundered, damn the regulations!”

But if Treasure Island is such a wonderful opportunity why has no one developed it yet…? What about the people who live there now? And who is the one-legged developer Hawkins was warned about?

The lyrics for TREASURE ISLAND are written by Daniel Savio. Daniel is the son of famed 60s activist Mario Savio - a leader of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s. 



Sat., July 6, John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Sun., July 7 John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Sat., July 13 Willard Park, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Sun., July 14 Willard Park, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Wed., July 31 Lakeside Park (Lake Merritt), Oakland 6:30 pm music, 7:00 pm show 

Thurs., Aug. 1 Lakeside Park (Lake Merritt), Oakland 6:30 pm music, 7:00 pm show 

Sat., Aug. 3 Live Oak Park, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Sun., Aug. 4 Live Oak Park, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 

Sat, Aug 24 Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show 


Please check website www.sfmt.org for Post Show Discussion information. 

The Mime Troupe is an ensemble theater, the artistic director is the Collective.  

San Francisco Mime Troupe, 855 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 * 415-285-1717 * info@sfmt.org 

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 7-14

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday July 06, 2019 - 09:58:00 AM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

The City Council Agenda for July 9 is very heavy so you can expect one or two items to be continued to July 16. It is just not guaranteed what will be continued. The last scheduled City Council meeting before the Council summer recess is July 23. There are no reports in the July 23 packet for the Agenda Committee for 22 items despite reference to the missing reports for information.

The July 16 City Council Agenda is available for comment and follows the list of weekly meetings.

Berkeley is sponsoring a protest to the treatment of children at detention centers at 12 noon at Civic Center Park. If you bring signs make them without sticks.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

John Lee Invitational Co-Rec Softball Tournament, 8 am – 9 pm

San Pablo Sports Fields - https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=15735

Grove Park https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=15737

Monday, July 8, 2019

City Council Health, Life Enrichment, Equity & Community Committee, 10 am, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: 2. Expansion of Air Quality Monitoring Program to multiple sites, 3. Ban Racial, Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Discrimination on the Basis of Hairstyle or Headwear, 4.a.&b. Recommendations Related to Leonard Powell, fact-finding, policy changes, code enforcement, housing stability, justice, 5. Pilot Cannabis Event at Cesar Chavez Park


Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: 2. Finalize Agenda for July 23 City Council meeting, No Reports for items 1,4,5,6,7,8,9,13,14,15,26,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,26,28,29,30, CONSENT: 1. Expand control of flavored tobacco, 4. Affordable Housing - Use a portion of tax-exempt bonds for reimbursement of expenditures for the projects – expected obligation $175 million, 5. Animal Care Mutual Aid in Disasters, 6. RFP, 7. Amend contract with Resource Development Assoc (RDA) total $54,500 to build database for Mental Health Division Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team (HOTT),8. Amend 7 contracts increasing total to $2,162,700 thru June 30, 2020 for Mental Health Services Act Community Services, Supports, Prevention and Early Intervention, 9. Mental Health Services Act Annual Update, 10. Amend contract with Merritt Hawkins adding $100,000 (total $149,990) for recruitment of psychiatrist, 11. 5 yr contract for $1,363,735 with AMCS for Zero Waste Management Software System, 12. 5 yr contract for $487,249 with Assetworks for a Fleet Management Software 13. Add $42,216 (total $76,811) to Communication Strategies contract for developing requirements and needs assessment for Voice over IP support and maintenance, 14. Special use permit with US Forest Service for Tuolumne Camp, 15. $365,000 contract with Left Coast Land Clearing for hazard mitigation Tuolumne Camp, 16. $450,000 contract with Poston Logging, LLC for Tuolumne Camp Tree Hazard Mitigation, 17. Contract for $468,706 and $70,000 Contingency (total $538,706) with McNabb Construction, Inc for George Florence Park Playground Renovation – 2121 Tenth St, 18. Authorize modification of Measure T1 Phase 1 project list removing King School Park Bioswale project and adding 13 priority sites identified by Green Infrastructure plan (6/18/19) and Public Works Commission, 19. Add $50,000 and extend contract to 6/30/21 with Restoration Management Co. for on-call remediation and restoration services, 20. 3 yr contract $450,000 with Stockton Tri Industries for Front Loading and Rear Loading Container Purchase, 21. Add $150,000 (total $650,000) to contract with Fehr & Peers for on-call transportation planning services, 22. Increase amended contract by $31,161 (total $351,317 plus $6,000 contingency) with W.A. Rose Construction for exterior Stucco Demolition Work at the Central Library, 23. Defendant’s Side Agreement to facilitate Consent Decree Compliance, 24. Support AB 1279 – housing development, ACTION: 25. Amendments to BMC Chapter 2.12 public campaign financing program, 26. Substantial Amendments to Annual Action Plans for Use of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Funds allocating maximum allowable amount towards shelter and street outreach and away from rapid rehousing, 28. Voting Delegates – League of CA Cities Annual Conference, 29. Funding for Street Rehab Capital Improvement, 30. Preferential Parking (RPP) Update, 31. 2-week RV Permitting Process – allows one time/year 2-week permit, 32. Prioritize street light replacement and street improvements by high-collision street first, 33. Ronald V. Dellums Fair Chance Access to Housing and Public Health and Safety Ordinance, 34. Transfer $550,000 to Rent Board to amend contracts with Eviction Dense Center and East Bay Law Center and anti-displacement services for low and moderate-income Berkeley residents, 35. ID Locations for Managed Safe RV Parking on City-Owned Land, Development of 3-month “Grace Period” Permit Program, and request that State Lands Commission Permit Temporary Safe Parking Site at Berkeley Waterfront, 36. Designate Ohlone Greenway and West Street Bike Path as linear City Parks, INFORMATION REPORTS: 37. City Council Short Term Referral Process Monthly Update, 38. T1 update, 39. Audity Status PRW on-call Program, 43. 2020 Public Art Plan, 44. Report Buyout Offers and Agreements, 45. Zero Waste Commission Work Plan, 46. Amended Audit Plan, To follow July 23 agenda review 8. Discussion and Direction Regarding Revision to the City Council Rules of Procedure and Order, 9. Review of Scope of Work to Develop a Performance Evaluation of the City Manager, 


Civic Arts Commission – Policy Subcommittee, 5 – 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor, Cypress Conf Room, Agenda: 3. Inclusion of Affordable Housing 


Traffic Circle Policy Task Force-Plantings Subcommittee, 6 – 7:30 pm, at 2000 University, Au Coquelet, Agenda: III. 3. continued discussion and policy 


Public Works Commission – Measure T1 Subcommittee, 1:30 – 3:30 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor, Cypress Conf Room, Agenda: 3.c.Phase 2 Timeslines, Legal Opinions Restrooms, Pools, leased property, Project List, Developing Internal and public process 


Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 5 – 6 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, Rain/Extreme Heat Cancels 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Berkeley City Council, 1231 Addison Street, BUSD Board Room,  

Closed Session, 4:00 pm, Agenda: 1. Conference with Labor Negotiators – Employee Organization: Berkeley Police Association, 2. City of Berkeley vs. Regents of UC Case # RG19023058 


Regular Meeting, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Agenda: CONSENT: 1. Adopt FY 2020 Annual Appropriations Ordinance $525,856,809, 2. Add $44,163 to contract (Total $127,700) Records Management Software System, 3. PO Up to $1 million Life Assist Emergency Medical Supplies for Fire Dept, 4. Waive Nuclear Free Berkeley Act to enter contract with UCB to evaluate Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Program, 5. 2yr contract $75,000 for Cultural Humility Training Consultant, 6. Grant application Marina Blvd Bay Trail with $260,000 City matching funds, 7. 2019-2022, $3.8 Million construction management services contract with Kitchell for Tuolumne Camp Project, 8. Add $70,000 to contract (total $180,000) Berry Brothers Towing, 9. Gender Pay Equity Salary Negotiation Workshop, 10. City Sponsored Protest of Conditions for Children in Federal Detention Centers, 11. Support AB 392 (use of force bill), 12. Referral to Planning Commission Local Construction Workforce Development Policy, 13. Support SB 347 Multilingual Sugar Sweetened Beverage Warning, 14. Oppose SB 386 Irrigation & Climate Change Prevention, 15. Support SB 14 Construction Bond CA public universities, ACTION: 16. Mental Health Commission Annual Report, 17. a.&b. Independent audit male/female pay City of Berkeley employees, 18. a.&b. Use of Restraint Devices by Police and Fire Dept, 19. a.&b. Socially Responsible investment and procurement and role of Peace and Justice Commission, 20. Refer to Housing Advisory Commission, the Measure O Oversight Committee and the Homeless Services Panel of Experts (Measure P) to consider proposing a Framework for policies, programs and projects through 2030 for Affordable Housing and to return comments for consideration at a Special Meeting of the City Council in September, 21. New Ordinance Prohibiting Natural Gas Infrastructure in New Buildings, Information Reports: 22. 2019 Disaster and Fire Safety Commission Work Plan, 23. Fair Campaign Practices Commission 2019-2020 Work Plan, 24. Open Government Commission 2019-2020 Work Plan, 25. Annual Report – Open Government Commission. 



Community Health Commission, 6:30 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St. South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda Special Meeting: Action 1. Cannabis Ordinance Language, 2. Proposed ban on natural gas infrastructure in new buildings, 


Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Board of Library Trustees, 6:30 pm at 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, Agenda: Consent Calendar B. Contract Amendment with L.J. Kruse Co for HVAC and plumbing repair, sewer lateral repair at Central library, removal/replacement HVAC at North Branch Library total not to exceed $875,000, C. Clark Pest Control Detection and Remediations Services, D. Contract not to exceed $117,184 with Comprise Technologies for software licensing, hardware, support, maintenance and related services thru 2024, E. Central Library Stucco Remediation Design and Engineering $107,500 contingency up to 10%, F. 2020 Purchase Authorization Director of Library Services, $50,000 services, $100,000 Goods, materials, equipment, G. Meeting Room Policy, 


Commission on Disability, 6:30 – 9 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Willow Room, Public Works Corporation Yard, Agenda: 2. San Pablo Ave Plan, 3. Relocation Meetings, 5. Homeless Concerns – Access to electric charging facilities for wheelchairs, 6. RV Parking, 7. PG&E Baseline Program, 8. New Construction /Renovations Accessibility Guidelines and Regulations, 9. Vision Zero, 11. Inclusion of photos in future materials of inaccessible entryways, sidewalk obstructions 


Homeless Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 8. Recommendation that persons who are homeless be incorporated into Local Construction Workforce Development Plan, 9. Recommendation for extremely low-income persons to be included in private component of Adeline Cooridor plan with set-asides for subsidies, 10. Recommendation portion of cannabis tax be used to fund 1000-person plan, 11. Amnesty for legalizing unpermitted dwelling units, 12. Council Report on housing for Diverse, Equitable and Creative Berkeley, 13. Employment strategies for homeless, Transportation to shelters and resources, 15. Sidewalk ordinance enforcements 


Police Review Commission, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center 

Lexipol Policies Subcommittee, 5:30 pm, Agenda: 4. Private Person’s Arrest, 5. Use of Force Review Boards, Firearms Tranining Unit, Hostage and Barricade Incidents, Crisis Intervention Incidents, Mental illness Commitments, Cite and Release Policy 

Regular Meeting, 7 – 10 pm, Agenda: 9.a. SB 233, b. increased funding mobile crisis unit, c. Use of Force Policy, d. Lexipol Policies, 10. A. Body-worn cameras, GPS trackers, Automated License Plate Reader Surveillance Use Policy, b. Policy Complaint 


Traffic Circle Policy Task Force, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor, Redwood Room, Agenda: 5. Presentation from EBMUD, 6. Short-term Process to Manage Sightlines and Vegetation, 7. Subcommittee reports 


Thursday, July 11, 2019 

City Council Budget & Finance Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor, Cypress Conf Room, Agenda: 2. Voluntary Time Off on Statewide Election Days for City Employees 


Cannabis Commission, 2 – 4 pm, 2180 Milvia St, 6th Floor, Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: VII.A. Cannabis Ordinance changes 


Community Environmental Advisory Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library, Agenda: V. Presentation Electric Mobility Roadmap, IX. 1. Prohibition Combustion Vehicles 2045, 2. Prohibition Resale of Used Combustion Vehicles 2040, 3. Prohibition on Sale of Transportation Fossil Fuels 2045, 4. Coordination Environmental Impact Protection 


Housing Advisory Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda Discussion/Action: 5. Substantial Amendment to Annual Action Plans to Maximize Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Funding for Shelter and Street Outreach (on July 23 City Council Agenda), 6. Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Operating Funds NOFA Recommendations, 9. Recommendations to Modify Policies related to Enforcement of Smoke-free Multi-unit Housing Ordinance, 10. Draft Social Housing Program 


Public Works Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Willow Room, City of Berkeley Corporation Yard, Agenda not posted, check before going 


Zoning Adjustment Board, 7 pm at 1231 Addison St, BUSD Board Room, Staff recommend approval of all projects, all projects on consent calendar https://www.cityofberkeley.info/zoningadjustmentsboard/ 

1024 Grizzly Peak – construct new 4532 sq ft 3-story, single family dwelling with ave height of 25 ft, attached 2-car garage, on 9876 sq ft vacant hillside lot, 

1026 Grizzly Peak – construct new 3870 sq ft 3-story single-family dwelling with ave height 27’8”, attached 2-car garage on 6822 sq ft vacant hillside lot, 

1028 Grizzly Peak – construct 3831 sq ft 3-story single-family dwelling with ave height of 24’11” and attached 2 car garage on 7135 sq ft vacant hillside lot 

1812 University - modify uses and ground floor plan within approved mixed-use building with 44 dwellings, reduce non residential floor area in Retail and allow space to be used for food services and create 2 new dwellings 

63 Vicente Road – construct new 3696 sq ft 3-story single family dwelling with an ave height of 27’9” and attached 2-car garage on 9752 sq ft vacant hillside lot 

Friday, July 12, 2019 

No City meetings or events found 

Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Berkeley Lights for Liberty Rally for Kids at Migrant Detention Centers, 12 pm – 2 pm, at Berkeley Civic Center Park 

San Pablo Park Playground and Tennis Court Renovations Community Meeting, 10 am – 12 pm, at 2800 Park St @ Oregon, Frances Albrier Community Center, San Pablo Park, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=16200 


Sunday, July 14, 2019 

No City Meetings or events found 



Berkeley City Council July 16 meeting available for comment, email council@cityofberkeley.info CONSENT: 1. Gender Neutral Language, 2. $376,430 contract with Gehl Studio for Civic Center Vision and Implementation Plan, 3. Add $100,000 to Bellingham contract (total $209,000) plus add PO $100,000 (total $200,000) to replace additional Finger Docks at Berkeley Marina, 4. Amend lease agreement with Sasha Shamszad for 841 Folger St/3000 7th St for Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Traffic and Parking enforcement for 6 months with month to month lease to follow ($16,651.65/mo), 5. Update Sewer System Management Plan, 6. Stormwater Fee, 7. Letters of Support to Eliminate Student Debt SB 806 aka College for All Act of 2017, 8. Presentation by PG&E, 9. Referral to City Manager to amend City’s Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance and Aesthetic Guidelines, 10. Support CA AB 302 Parking for Homeless Community College students, 11. Support AB 1076 Automatic Relief of Criminal Records, 12. Make City Hall a voting Center for 2020 under 2016 CA Voter Choice Act – ballots mailed to all voters, allow for same day registration, early voting – will result in decrease in voting locations, ACTION: 13. Annual Housing Pipeline Report, 14. Opportunity Zone Guidelines, , INFORMATION REPORTS: 15. Improve Fire Safety Standards for Rebuilt Fire-Damaged Structures, 16. Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC) 2019 Work Plan, 17. Public Works Commission 2020 Work Plan. 






Public Hearings Scheduled – Land Use Appeals 

2325 Sixth St (single family residence) – public hearing 9/24/2019 

Notice of Decision (NOD) With End of Appeal Period 

1111 Allston Way (single family dwelling) – 7-8-2019 

2198 San Pablo Ave (new mixed-use development) – 7-8-2019 

0 Euclid Ave- Berryman Reservoir (denial of telecom facility) 

Landmarks Preservation Ordinance Notice of Decision (NOD) 

1619 Walnut 

1915 Fourth St 

2580 Bancroft 

Remanded to ZAB or LPC With 90-Day Deadline 

1155-73 Hearst (develop 2 parcels) – referred back to City Council – to be scheduled 

2701 Shattuck (construct 5-story mixed-use building) – ZAB 6-30-2019 




Sept 17 – Arts and Culture Plan, Zero Waste Rate Review, Adeline Corridor Plan 

Oct 22 – Berkeley’s 2020 Vision Update, Census 2020 Update, Short term Rentals 

Nov 5 - Transfer Station Feasibility Study, Vision Zero Action Plan, 

Unscheduled – Cannabis Health Considerations 



Referral Response: Explore Grant Writing Services 



To Check For Regional Meetings with Berkeley Council Appointees go to 



To check for Berkeley Unified School District Board Meetings go to 





This meeting list is also posted on the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition website. 

http://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and in the Berkeley Daily Planet under activist’s calendar http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com 


When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule https://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and preceded by LATE ENTRY