Twitter statement from South Berkeley Now steering committee member--later deleted
Twitter statement from South Berkeley Now steering committee member--later deleted


TONIGHT: Support 100% Affordable Housing at Ashby BART

Margy Wilkinson, Friends of Adeline
Tuesday February 04, 2020 - 11:11:00 AM

Development of the Adeline neighborhood must reverse the displacement of African Americans and the severe housing crisis for low-income, working-class, and unhoused people.

Come to the special city council meeting TONIGHT to speak up for the affordable housing that our community needs! This is a special meeting, starting at 6pm at the School District Board Room, 1231 Addison St. Please also write a letter to

We demand the following in the city’s Adeline Plan:

  1. Guarantee a future for the Ashby flea market and its vendors at the Ashby BART site.
  2. Provide a site and funding for the African American Holistic Resource Center.
  3. 100% affordable housing at Ashby BART. Any housing on BART land must be 100% affordable for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income people.
  4. No fee-out. Developers should not be allowed to pay a fee to get out of building the low-income housing we need. Low-income housing should be built on-site, in every project built in the neighborhood, and should include family-sized, 2-3 bedroom units.
  5. Commit real money to affordable housing. Dedicate one-third of our Housing Trust Fund to South Berkeley, with at least a minimum of $50 million over 10 years.
Read our full vision here:

We are dismayed to see that there are people fighting against 100% affordable housing on public land at Ashby BART. Please come out tonight and show that South Berkeley supports 100% affordable housing that people in our community can actually afford! Below is our open letter in response.

Dear South Berkeley Now, Over the weekend, a steering committee member of your organization made the accompanying reproduced statement on Twitter. This person later deleted the tweet and wrote an apology on Twitter.

This tweet feeds a false and dangerous narrative that poor people “cause” multi-generational poverty, an idea that has been used to assert biological and cultural superiority of some groups over others and is rooted in white supremacy. This narrative has been weaponized to defund services that support low-income people and people of color.

The problem with concentrated poverty is NOT the concentration of poor people, but how people in power use segregation to deny resources to, and exploit, low-income people and people of color.

The way to solve this problem is not by fighting against 100% affordable housing, but by fighting for 1) more power and voice for low-income communities and communities of color to get 2) resources that meet their needs, including 3) new, low-income housing, especially in communities such as Berkeley.

Though the person apologized for this tweet, South Berkeley Now continues to invoke this same dangerous narrative. On Sunday night, your organization sent a new mass email warning that “100% low income subsidized housing at Ashby BART would mean… Concentration of low income residents in one location.”

To be clear:

  1. There’s nothing wrong with low-income people living together.
  2. “Affordable housing” in our city covers a wide range of incomes, up to $98,550 for a family of four.
  3. In our neighborhood, the median income is $46,500. There is active displacement, especially of the Black community. 100% affordable housing is an essential neighborhood stabilization strategy, and this is what we should be using our public lands for.
Warning against the “concentration of low-income residents” is a dog whistle. In a historically Black neighborhood undergoing extreme gentrification, many people will read “low income” as code for Black. We want to believe that this is not who you want to be. We call on you to publicly apologize and join our demands for 100% affordable housing and a guaranteed future for the flea market and its vendors at the Ashby BART site.

Read our full vision here:

It matters who new housing is for. We live in one of the richest places that have ever existed in the history of the world. Committing resources to stabilize our neighborhood, strengthen our Black community, and invest in the housing that our community needs is worth fighting for.

-Friends of Adeline -more-

Around & About--Khalil Wilson & the Good Luck Trio, Jazz Vocals & Piano, This Friday at California Jazz Conservatory for Black History Month

Ken Bullock
Tuesday February 04, 2020 - 10:18:00 PM

Brilliant local jazz vocals star Khalil Wilson teams up with some longtime collaborators in the Good Luck Trio--Javier Santiago, piano; Giulio Xavier Cetto, bass and Berkeley's great young drum prodigy, Genius Wilson--for a program honoring Sarah Vaughan and Oscar Peterson, celebrating Black History Month for the California Jazz Conservatory this Friday at 8, Rendon Hall, 2040 Addison, a half block off Shattuck and Downtown Berkeley BART. Tickets: $15-20 at: -more-

Public Comment

Achieving Environmental Justice

Harry Brill
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:48:00 PM

On Tuesday, February 4th at MacArthur Bart between 5-6:30pm we will be gathering to promote public transit as a civil right, as a strategy to combat climate change and as a creator of union jobs. This day has been designated BAY AREA TRANSIT EQUITY DAY. -more-

The Failure of Senate Bill 50 – A Tale of Ignorance and Arrogance

Bob Silvestri
Friday January 31, 2020 - 05:34:00 PM

SB 50, a so-called “housing” bill authored and sponsored by Senators Wiener (D-San Francisco), McGuire (D-Marin/Sonoma), Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Senate President Pro Tem Atkins (D-San Diego), went down in defeat yesterday after two days that included three consecutive votes on the California Senate floor. The pro-SB50 Sacramento Bee called proposed law that aimed to end single family zoning in the state, an “ambitious” bill that would “spur California’s cities to build more housing, increasing affordability by increasing supply.”

Notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of cities in California do not build housing (private developers do), or finance housing (private lenders do), and that the bill contained no substantive provisions or viable solutions to address housing affordability -- or even any evidence that its supply and demand thesis was valid -- the mainstream media has been quick to inundate us with vociferous blame and shame, calling the SB 50 "no" vote a failure of vision, a lack of courage, and worse.

But they are wrong. SB 50 failed because its fundamental premise is incorrect.

Affordable housing in California and the rest of the country for that matter is not a “zoning” problem.[1] It is an income and wealth inequality problem and a lack of financial tools to tap private capital for public good. And that is in great part the direct result of national and state income tax and corporate subsidy policies.

Period. -more-

Democracy on Life Support

Jagjit Singh
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 04:46:00 PM

DJT has successfully declared war on immigrants separating children from the parents. His racist policies have emboldened white euphemists. His tax cuts have driven a big gaping hole in the federal deficit (current interest on fed debt $479B) to be paid by our children & future generations of Americans. Team trump and the Senate Republicans who are complicit in his many crimes are black slapping & giving themselves high 5’s for blocking witnesses terrified that the sordid truth of Trumps dealings with Ukraine might see the light of day. The blood of all those dead Ukrainians who died because of the delay in US military aid will wash over Trump & his disgusting minions. The age of courageous independent thinkers seems to have vanished. Democracy is on life support. -more-

Our Government Has Split Off from the Law: Analogous to Psychosis

Jack Bragen
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 04:58:00 PM

As the reader has seen and heard, we've had an impeachment, (almost done at the time I'm writing this) that was a mockery the Constitution. -more-

Berkeley Patients Group - Bad Community Partner

Carol Denney
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 07:49:00 PM

No good community partner would situate a marijuana dispensary and smoking lounge one storefront from a public library, even if there was no technical prohibition. -more-


Please, Mr. Robinson, Don't Race on Me

Becky O'Malley
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 04:07:00 PM

Rigel Robinson on Twitter: "The defeat of #SB50 is a victory for segregationists and climate denial. Tenant advocacy groups did not kill the bill, the homeowner lobby did. The solutions to our housing crisis lie in robust tenant protections and dramatic densification — yes, BOTH.”

And who might this Rigel Robinson be? He’s the newish (2018) city council member from Berkeley’s District 7, the beneficiary of the 2014 gerrymandering which followed the 2010 census, which was calculated to engineer a student-majority district. He’s a recent post-student, 22 years old, but evidently his education so far hasn’t included much about history.

The tweet quoted above is deeply offensive to those of us who have been laboring in the progressive vineyards for more than a few years.

Let’s get something perfectly clear, Mr. Robinson:

Nobody races on me.

One more time, with feeling.


I was fighting segregation in Berkeley and Ann Arbor not just years, but decades and even generations before you were born, so don’t call you dare call me by that dirty name, the moral equivalent of the unmentionable epithets for people of African or Asian descent.

I take grievous offense at being called a segregationist by the likes of you. As do my peers. You owe us a major apology.

Thinking that SB50 would be bad law does not make us segregationists or climate deniers, and even being homeowners, if we are, does not make us demons. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Berkeley Councilmembers Endorse UC Plan for People's Park

Monday February 03, 2020 - 09:55:00 AM

Don't miss this. Arreguin, Droste, Robinson are endorsing UC's redevelopment plan for the site of People's Park in today's online Chronicle.

It’s time for a new People’s Park



THE PUBLIC EYE: This is the Way it Ends, Not with a Bang but a Whimper

Bob Burnett
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 04:40:00 PM

When I learned that Senate Republicans had blocked witness testimony for the Impeachment Trial, I was reminded of the concluding line from T.S. Eliot's 1925 poem, "The Hollow Men:" "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper." I wasn't surprised that Republicans voted to let Trump off the hook; I was surprised that their coverup was so brazen.

Throughout the Impeachment Trial, I have been hoping that some Republican would take the moral high ground and recognize Donald Trump's perfidy. It's not like Trump was accused of a sexual indiscretion, and then lying about it; Trump was accused of jeopardizing national security for political gain, and then obstructing the investigation. This is a big deal, a clear impeachable offense, and it's depressing that Republicans do not acknowledge this.

In the end there were 49 votes to allow additional testimony, and 51 votes against. Two crucial Republican "swing" votes, Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski, voted with the majority. They both grabbed onto political "escape outlets" that had been proffered by the Trump's legal team. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Employment: Don't Give up Too Easily

Jack Bragen
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 06:00:00 PM

Not everyone is interested in having employment. If you are mentally ill and disabled and aren't interested in that, there is nothing wrong with that. Yet, this week's column is intended for readers who have thought about working, and who wonder if they would want to try that. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Dershowitz Got it Wrong

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:45:00 PM

During the Senate trial, President Trump’s defense defense attorney Alan Dershowitz's claimed that even if the president did what people accuse him of doing, without a criminal element, the conduct didn't rise to the level of impeachable. However, this argument is, as one author put it, just “Constitutional crabgrass.” -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:23:00 PM


The February 3 edition of TIME Magazine is devoted to a celebration of youth activism around the planet. But while the editorial coverage — enhanced with photos of and essays by scores of young activists — is positive and inspiring, there are two editorial lapses that stand out as mind-bogglingly misappropriate.

First: TIME's special "Youthquake" section begins with a two-page photo collage depicting young activists holding signs in support of leading progressive campaigns. The signs read (from left to right): Save Our Children, Free Speech 4 Students, Protect Our Kids/Not Your Guns, DACA Now, Healthcare for America, System Change/Not Climate Change and #Not My President.

But the last sign on the right (shown being saluted by a trio of beefy, whiskered thirty-somethings) reads: "Protect Our Guns."

(Who knew the right to bear AK-47s was a leading Youth Culture issue?)

The second flub is even worse.

Arts & Events

Anne-Sophie Mutter & Lambert Orkis Play Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:53:00 PM

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco Symphony in 2020, and she is scheduled to give three appearances here this year in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. On Sunday evening, January 26, Anne-Sophie Mutter teamed with her longtime collaborator pianist Lambert Orkis to perform a recital of three Beethoven violin sonatas at Davies Hall. In a brief interview printed in the program notes for this recital, Anne-Sophie Mutter spoke of her lifelong admiration for Beethoven, saying “He is more than a musician to me, he is a philosopher… and he stands for humanity.” She also spoke of the inspiration she draws from Beethoven’s life motto” “Through darkness to light.” This motto, she revealed, is reflected in her choice of sonatas for this recital. By including both the dark, agitated Opus 23 Sonata in A minor and the sunny, cheerful “Spring” Sonata in F Major, Opus 24, Mutter sought to emphasise the passage from darkness to light. Further, the famed Kreutzer Sonata in A Major, Opus 47, closes the program because it is “the pinnacle of sonata writing: You could almost describe it as a concerto for piano and violin.” -more-

Alice Chung & Laureano Quant In Recital

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:51:00 PM

g The first Schwabacher Recital of 2020 was held on Wednesday evening, January 29, at Taube Atrium Theatre in San Francisco’s War Memorial Building. Featured performers were -more-

Jordi Savall and Splendor of the Iberian Baroque

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:00:00 PM

Perennial favorite Jordi Savall returned to Berkeley Saturday, February 1, with La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI in a concert of Spanish Baroque music at First Congregational Church. Focussing on the musical and theatrical heritage of Spain’s Siglo de Oro, or Golden Age, which spans from roughly 1556 to 1681, Jordi Savall emphasised the interrelatedness of theatre and music. In the plays of Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca, to name only the most prominent playwrights, music was performed which incorporated popular songs and two and four part polyphonic harmony. Composers such as Pedro Guerrero, Manuel Machado, Gaspar Sanz, Juan Blas de Castro, and the Flemish polyphonist Matthieu Rosmarin (who Hispanicized his name to Mateo Romano), may not be household names today, but they were among the leading composers of the Siglo de Oro in Spain. Their music was performed in royal courts, churches, theatres, and the courtyards of aristocratic palaces throughout Spain and Portugal, and even in the Imperial venues in Flanders. -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Feb. 2-9

Kelly Hammargren
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:19:00 PM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

Monday – Author Talk with George Lakey on How We Win

Tuesday – The 6 pm City Council special session includes two items ballot initiative planning and the Adeline Corridor Plan,

Wednesday – The Planning Commission item 10. Southside Plan is about increasing the housing density (student housing) adjacent to UCB Check the agenda packet for details.

Thursday – Inclusionary affordable housing in Opportunity Zones (Opportunity Zones are Capital Gains tax shelters) is on the City Council Land Use Committee agenda, Facilities, Infrastructure meets in the afternoon.

Sunday, Feb 9 – 350 Bay Area is providing ½ day training on impacting CA legislation on Climate.

The agenda for the February 11 City Council meeting is available for review and follows the list of meetings.

February 18 is the last day to Register to Vote for the March 3, CA primary, Use the same link to check your registration. (If you can’t find your registration you may need to add your middle name or initial with your first name)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

No City meetings or events found

Monday, February 3, 2020

City Council Public Safety Committee, 10:30 am, at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda, no items listed other than approving minutes

Peace and Justice Commission, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 8. Proposed project to develop a framework for social justice approach to human needs in Berkeley, 9. 75th anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki educational forum and development of nuclear weapons at Livermore National Weapons Lab, 13. 1/21 Council 5 to 4 vote rejecting resolution to oppose new US Base construction in Henoko-Oura of Okinawa

Personnel Board, 7 – 9 pm, 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conference Room, Agenda: V. Revise Firefighter, Sworn Fire Inspector, Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Marshal Classifications

Public Works Commission – Paving Subcommittee, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at 2000 University, Au Coquelet, Agenda: 3. Creating Revised Streets Policy

How We Win in These Polarized Times, George Lakey, Author Talk, 7 pm, at 6501 Telegraph, Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, no fee, donations appreciated, Sunday workshop is full with a waiting list

Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 4 – 5 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, Rain Cancels

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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

3 pm Special Closed Session: Conference with Labor Negotiators, Employees Berkeley Police Association

4 pm Special Session: Public Hearing Berkeley Election Reform Act, Action: 1. Cost of Living Adjustment, 2. Prohibit Officeholder Accounts

6 pm Special Session, Agenda: 1. Discussion Services Council may wish to fund thru revenue measures (ballot initiatives) and community survey, 2. Adeline Corridor Planning Process Update.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Board of Library Trustees, 6:30 pm at 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, Agenda: Consent: B.36 month contract with First Alarm Security & Patrol $550,000 with option to extend, Action: A. Potential Impact Berkeley Patient Group relocation on West Branch Library

Commission on Disability, 6:30 – 9 pm at 1947 Center, 4th Floor, Agenda: 2. Census Presentation, 5. Elevator Ordinance, 6. New Construction and Renovations – Accessibility Guidelines and Regulations

Homeless Services Panel of Experts, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room

Planning Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 10. Southside EIR discussion – increase density adjacent to UCB campus (roughly Bancroft Way - Dwight, Prospect – Fulton, Telegraph extends to Parker), 11. Public Hearing Amend Zoning Map and General Plan for Rose Garden Inn - 2740 & 2744 Telegraph, 2348 Ward, 12. State ADU regulation and local ADU ordinance,

Police Review Commission, 7 – 10 pm, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 9. Berkeley Police Dept policies regarding interactions with persons possibly on probation or parole

Thursday, February 6, 2020

City Council Land Use, Housing & Economic Development Committee, 10:30 am, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: 3. Inclusionary Units in Opportunity Zones, 4. Chain Store Regulations, 5. Small Business Listening Sessions, 6. Amend Ordinance 13.78 to prohibit additional fees for roommate replacements, lease renewals and terminations.,_Housing___Economic_Development.aspx

City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment & Sustainability Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: Bright streets – paint crosswalks, bike lanes, traffic signage within 3 blocks of schools, 3. Regulate plastic bags at retail and food service establishments, 4. Terminate sale of gasoline, diesel and natural gas passenger vehicles in City of Berkeley by 2025, 5. Revive Berkeley Bus Rapid Transit, 6. Establish Brilliant 100 as EBCE default for residential and commercial, Renewable 100 (100% renewable energy) for Municipal accounts, 7. Potential Bonding and Funding Opportunities for improving the PCI (Paving Condition Index) and creating a Paving Master Plan. Unscheduled/Items for Future Agendas: Traffic Circles, Climate Emergency Dept/Office,_Infrastructure,_Transportation,_Environment,___Sustainability.aspx

Cannabis Commission, 2 – 4 pm, at 2180 Milvia St, 6th Floor, Agenda: VII. A. Best Practices for Equity Programs, B. Cannabis Ordinance passed 1-28-2020

Fair Campaign Practices Commission, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, Cypress Room, 4. Public Campaign Financing Program certification for Alexander Sharenko

Housing Advisory Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 8. 1654 Fifth St, 9. Climate Emergency Subcommittee,

Landmarks Preservation Commission, 7 – 11:30 pm at 1947 Center St, Multipurpose Room, Basement,

1399 Queens Road – Landmark or Structure of Merit Designation

3000-3006 San Pablo – Demolition Referral

2590 Bancroft Way – Demolition Referral

2300 Ellsworth – Landmark or Structure of Merit Initiation

Certified Local Government Grant Application

2043 Lincoln – Landmark or Structure of Merit designation

2133 University - Sign Alteration Permit

2200-block Piedmont Ave – Structural Alteration Permit

Public Works Commission Regular Meeting, 7 – 10 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Willow Room, City of Berkeley Corporation Yard, No Agenda posted, check before going

Public Works Commission – Utility Undergrounding Subcommittee, 4 – 5 pm at 1947 Center, 4th Floor, Elm Room, 5. Council work session March 24, 6. Transition from undergrounding subcommittee to task force if approved by Council

Friday, February 7, 2020

California on Fire – Toyota protest rally, 4 – 5:30 pm, at 2400 Shattuck, Toyota Dealership, can’t come call Toyota USA CEO Jim Lentz @ 800-331-4331.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

No City meetings/events found

Sunday, February 9, 2020

350 Bay Area ½ day training (in Berkeley) on how to impact State of California critical climate legislation, 12:20 – 4 pm, sign up online to attend


Agenda for February 11 Council meeting: Agenda: CONSENT: 1. Approvals Development Agreements for 2012 Berkeley Way, 2. 2nd reading Cannabis Ordinance, 3. Appoint Lisa Warhaus as Director of Health, Housing and Community Services, 5. Add $235,000 (total $450,000) with Sloan Sakai LLP for Chief Labor Negotiator services, 6. Apply for CA Dept of Housing and Development (HCD) funds $1 – 5 million under CalHome Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program and agreements if awarded, 7. Apply for Infill Infrastructure grants for 2527 Blake (SAHA) and 2001 Ashby (RCD), 8. Modify Block Grant to use CSBG funds for mobile shower program, 9. Support HR 5038 – Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, 10. Support HR 5609 – Homelessness Emergency Declaration Act, 12. Improve enforcement ordinance Wage Theft Prevention, 13. Installation William Byron Rumford Plaque, 14. Referral to City Manager Electric Moped Ride-Share Franchise Agreement, ACTION: 15. Recommendations Related to Code Enforcement and Receivership Actions, 16. Disposition 1631 fifth St, 17. Resolution Safe Overnight RV Parking at Designated City-Owned Parking Lots, 18. Discussion Potential Ballot Measure for inclusion in community survey, 19. Electric Bike Share Program Franchise Amendment, 20. Resolution Discouraging the Use of Cell Phones, Email, Texting, Instant Messaging and Social Media by Councilmembers during Official City Meetings, 21. 2-Lane Option on Adeline St between MLK Way and Ward.


Public Hearings Scheduled – Land Use Appeals

0 Euclid – Berryman Reservoir TBD

2422 Fifth St – mixed-use building 2-25-2020

1581 LeRoy Ave – convert vacant elementary school property – LPC & ZAB 2-25-2020

Remanded to ZAB or LPC With 90-Day Deadline

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

Notice of Decision (NOD) With End of Appeal Period

1872 Allston 2-12-2020

910 Ashby 2-12-2020

1168 Cragmont 2-4-2020

2336 Eighth 2-12-2020

1412 Hearst 2-6-2020

1801 Shattuck 2-5-2020

1612 Stuart 2-4-2020

1508 Virginia 2-11-2020


Feb 4 – Discussion of Community Poll (Ballot Measures), Adeline Corridor Plan

March 17 – CIP Update (PRW and Public Works), Measure T1 Update

May 5 – Budget Update, Crime Report

June 23 – Climate Action Plan/Resiliency Update, Digital Strategic Plan FUND$/Replacement Website Update

July 21, Sept 29 – no workshops scheduled “yet”

Oct 20 – Update Berkeley’s 2020 Vision, BMASP/Berkeley Pier-WETA Ferry

Unscheduled Workshops/Presentations

Cannabis Health Considerations

Vision 2050

Systems Realignment


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. and in the Berkeley Daily Planet under activist’s calendar

When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule and preceded by LATE ENTRY -more-