Full Text

The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.
Steven Finacom
The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.


Berkeley Mourns Loss
of Margy Wilkinson

Becky O'Malley
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 08:57:00 PM
Steven Finacom
The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.
Steven Finacom
The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.

Today Berkeley learned that Margy Wilkinson, a fierce and kind advocate for justice, died last night in her sleep. She was 76 years old. She and her husband and partner in action Tony Wilkinson were going to celebrate their 50th anniversary in April, but the party was postponed because of the pandemic shut-down.

Tributes have been pouring in to the Planet all day. We would like to reprint them here in her honor in the next days. Please send yours to news@berkeleydailyplanet.com.

Margy Wilkinson, Presente!

Friends of Adeline
Tuesday June 30, 2020 - 12:57:00 PM

It is with a heavy heart we share with you that Margy Wilkinson, our beloved colleague and friend, passed away in her sleep on Saturday, June 27 at her home in South Berkeley.

Margy grew up in South Berkeley/North Oakland and was a labor activist while working at Cal. She was a mom and grandmother, community activist, and profound friend. She fought for the rights of working people her entire life and together with her husband Tony (of 50 years) became powerful role models of love, life, and the highest potential of what people can be. The home she shared with Tony has always been and continues to be a hub for organizing in South Berkeley. Their home became a second home to many people in need of a meal, a home, an ally or friend.

Margy didn’t ask for permission to speak the truth. She organized every single day—on the phone, on the computer, at the dinner table, at meetings, etc. But she was not seeking to be a leader or a martyr. She simply saw and did not tolerate injustice; and together with Tony she built community to fight for justice in South Berkeley and beyond. She was particularly passionate about fighting the racism and displacement so implicit to the gentrification of South Berkeley. 

Margy was someone you could count on. She loved to cook for guests and feed people. She and Tony took in people who needed a home and If she heard about a need in the community, she reached out to the right people and made sure the need was met. She was trusted for her fearlessness, her clear thinking, and because she was extremely loving. She accepted people where they were at, while at the same time supporting them to evolve in whichever direction they wanted to grow 

We are devastated and It is hard to know how to be or what to do in a world without Margy. She was our rock. The one thing we know to do is to fight—against greed and racism—and to hold elected officials accountable. We will never stop fighting for all the things she believed in. 

You can remember Margy by coming to and/or bringing a remembrance to the mural on Ashby at Ellis Street. Flowers and messages are being placed under her image on the muralIf you have a story about Margy that you think her family would want to have, you can email us the story. We plan to compile them into a book for her family. 

We will keep you abreast of other events or opportunities to remember Margy. 

Rest in power Margy Wilkinson. 

We love you.

In Memoriam Margy Wilkinson

Phil Allen, Rita Maran, Gar Smith
Monday June 29, 2020 - 01:37:00 PM

I didn't know Margy Williamson well, but I saw her everywhere in the last half-dozen years, always committed and ready to take on the insult of the day. Her name should grace an appropriate place or structure ..

Phil Allen, Landmark Preservation Commissioner

Margy was an outstanding and incredibly fair-minded friend and activist. There is no one like her; no one will fill her place.

Our hearts go out to Tony and their children and grandchildren, and to their many circles of relatives and friends whose lives she enriched day after day and year after year.

Margy was endowed with crystal-clear insight and extraordinary patience - qualities that enabled her to forge ahead on myriad issues touching the lives of town-and-gown folks in Berkeley.

Her wisdom and compassion were deep and far-reaching. Hers was a life well-lived.

The Berkeley community must now suffer her loss.

With Sympathy and Embraces—

Rita Maran

The news of Margy Wilkinson's sudden and unexpected death has left me stunned. It's like reading that the solar system has just lost a planet.

—Gar Smith

Margy Wilkinson Was Loved by All

Marcia Poole
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 09:17:00 PM

Margy Wilkinson passed away last night. Berkeley has lost a 21st Century saint. She was a "collective" person. She knew who to contact for anyone in need of help and she immediately implemented the communication between people so the knots in the social fabric would be eased out. She spoke her heart and took no prisoners, yet was so compassionate and helpful that she had an open door policy to anyone, anywhere and relieved suffering.

She was a great protector of the Here/There encampment started by First They Came For The Homeless. When she saw that the residents there were without proper methods for maintaining health and hygiene, she had a porta potty put up adjacent to the camp and the Friends of Adeline paid for the installation and maintenance. They added a hand washing station to it.

She could be called when no one could provide a solution to a crisis and contact and immediate connections were made and help was given to those suffering. She was known city wide as the provider of instant reprieve for those who were catastrophically suffering. Over and over again, when the city administration closed its heart and mind to the people in need in Berkeley, Margy would remedy the solution in a matter of minutes and have relief brought to them.

As a 21st Century saint, she didn't mince words. She spoke truth to power and implemented organized structures that would serve all categories of need. Her husband, Tony, was her co-saint. They took on the very hard and the lighter tasks. People knew that there was no dead end when they had her as a resource.

I loved her and everyone who got to know her loved her. She was our Mary, Goddess of Mercy.

Press Release: Major Legal Victory for Berkeley Neighbors Against UC Berkeley on Impacts of University Enrollment Increases on City Neighborhoods

Phil Bokovoy, President, Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods,
Friday June 26, 2020 - 04:35:00 PM

A Berkeley neighborhood group won a sweeping legal victory that gives them the right to sue UC Berkeley over the impacts of enrollment increases of more than 8,000 students from 2007- 2017 that the University undertook with no notice to the city and neighbors. 

Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods won an appeals court ruling June 25. UC Berkeley contended that it only has a legal obligation to evaluate and mitigate the impacts of enrollment increases on surrounding communities when it engages in physical construction of new buildings. The First District Court of Appeal court rejected this argument. 

“The Legislature has recognized that both enrollment levels and physical development are related features of campus growth that must be mitigated” under environmental law, Justice Gordon Burns said in the 3-0 ruling. In addition, Justice Burns pointed out that environmental law doesn’t limit enrollment, but simply requires that UC Berkeley “mitigate the impacts of (its) growth and development.” 

“The appeals court vindicated our efforts to hold UC Berkeley accountable for the severe impacts on our community from their massive enrollment increases which they made without public notice or comments. UC Berkeley will now be required to study the environmental impacts and implement mitigation for enrollment increases,” said Phil Bokovoy, President of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods. Major impacts of the extra students include displacement of many low-income renters, increased homelessness, additional burden on police, fire and emergency services, and growth in trash and noise throughout neighborhoods surrounding campus. 

“It’s unfortunate that UC Berkeley has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to fight against the efforts of citizens to have them comply with the environmental laws, money that could have been used to educate our young people. The Regents, the Legislature and alumni need to hold the UC Berkeley administration accountable,” Bokovoy added. 

UC’s Board of Regents approved a development plan in 2005 that projected an enrollment increase of 1,650 students at Berkeley through 2020, bringing the total to 33,450. But UC Berkeley approved enrollment increases in every two-semester period since 2007, without public notice or environmental review, adding 8,300 students by April 2018, a five-fold increase over the 2005 projection. Last year’s enrollment was over 43,000, an increase of nearly 12,000 above 2005 enrollment. The 2005 plan also committed UC Berkeley to add 2,500 beds for students, but as of April 2018, it had added only 700 beds, making the local housing crisis worse.

One Arrest After Berkeley Gunfire

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Friday June 26, 2020 - 04:37:00 PM

One person was arrested for having a loaded gun and drug-related offenses in Berkeley on Wednesday evening, police said.  

Officers responded at 7:52 p.m. to Oregon Street in South Berkeley after numerous people called to say there was gunfire in the area. 

On the way, police received reports that there was a hit-and-run collision in the area of Oregon and California streets.  

Officers arrived to find two vehicles had been hit by another vehicle and there was also evidence of gunshots in the area, police said.  

After a search of the area, officers detained and arrested one person for the gun and drug offenses. Police are not releasing the suspect's name because officers are still investigating the suspect's involvement in the case, Officer Byron White said. 

No one has told police that they were wounded by the gunfire, White said.


Public Comment

The Desire to Kill

Steve Martinot
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 09:54:00 PM

They don’t know how to stop. They just don’t know how. It doesn’t matter how many people march in how many cities calling for the police to stop killing people, they don’t stop. 

If a private affair is in progress, and someone says, “don’t go in there,” common decency would dictate that one not enter that domain. It is a question of respect for human being. Which is really a respect for human life. 

But that is not something one can assume for the police. Massive numbers of people say, "Stop, don’t do that any more." But they don’t know how. They don’t even know how to stop other cops from killing people. Is it a form of denial? Or an outright refusal? Or an actual desire to kill? 

The present massive uprising against police brutality begins with George Floyd. George Floyd was killed on May 25. Chauvin the cop had his knee on Floyd’s neck in full knowledge that, even without that, Floyd couldn’t get up because two other cops were kneeling on him as well. But he had Floyd’s neck where he wanted it, and he bore down. People watched from the sidewalk, yelling to stop. “Let the man up.” A fourth cop was standing there facing the public, protecting this act of killing. Nonchalantly, he had his hand in his pocket, as if just waiting for a bus, a simple presence assisting his “fellow officer” in taking this black man’s life. That assistance, as an obstacle against the public, made this act of killing a premeditated murder. “Premeditated murder” is the official metaphor for the “desire to kill.” 

Thus began four weeks of outraged crowds in the streets of cities, and four weeks of more killings, more police torture, more brutality. A dozen have been killed or injured around the country by police in that time. Lets look at a few incidents. 

Four days after George Floyd’s death, Derrick Sanderlin was shot by a rubber bullet at an anti-brutality demonstration in San Jose (CA), which put him in the hospital. In broad daylight, on a wide avenue, thousands of people marched toward city hall, to say to city government and to the world, stop killing black people. The cops couldn’t stop them (neither physically nor constitutionally). So they formed a line behind the demonstration and started shooting rubber bullets into the crowd. This is the third day of massive demonstration against doing precisely that. More brutality has been the response to outrage at brutality. 

A young woman turned around, and is hit in the chest by a rubber bullet. Sanderlin sees this happen, and for some reason, thinks he can talk to these uniforms pulling triggers. He steps into the space between the police and the crowd, shouting “please stop doing this.” He is black, and has led classes for the cops on addressing or recognizing police racial bias. He says he hoped some would recognize him. A cop sees him, aims at his balls, shoots, and puts him in the hospital for surgery. Sanderlin sees him aim from 20 feet away. The cop’s intention was to maim, if not to kill. Is Sanderlin crazy, thinking he can actually stop cops in the midst of their target practice on real people? Or is it the cop who is sick, uninhibited in his desire to kill, his weird homosexual jag, and his taking the opportunity to torture a black man? 

On the same day, thousands showed up in Brooklyn, on the other side of the continent, to demand an end to police brutality. The cops decide this is an unlawful gathering. A young woman, named Dounya Zayer, light colored and taking photographs, videos some cops trying to clear the street. One comes at her, knocks the camera aside, and pushes her so hard she falls and cracks her head on the concrete. Not a single cop stops to help her as she lies there. They walk by. Thus, they participate in her injury. The same thing happens to Martin Gugino in Buffalo at a similar demo. He lies bleeding from a fractured skull on the sidewalk. Somehow, he survives. Sayer is hospitalized with a concussion. She knows how close to death she came. The Nuremberg Decision, written by the US at the end of the most destructive war ever, would define the desire by government military forces to injure or kill civilians as a crime against humanity. 

Three days later, on June 2, a young man was shot and killed by police in Vallejo, CA. His name was Sean Monterrosa. He was in the parking lot of a big store mall when police show up. They don’t see him looting or breaking windows. They see him get on his knees in the parking lot with his hands in the air. It is a gesture that means, “I surrender.” A cop driving up sees Monterrosa’s face, and shoots him five times. He was in such a hurry to shoot this man that he couldn’t even take the time to open his door. He shot him through his windshield. He ignores both his windshield and the political storm going on in the world agasint his doing precisely that. Does he live in a fantasy world, in which hammer handles are guns and surrenders are threats? Or does his obsessive desire take precedence over all else? 

On June 12, two weeks after Floyd was killed, Rayshard Brooks got shot in the back by a cop because he had fallen asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru line in Atlanta. It is late at night. Someone calls the cops. They knock on his window. He wakes up, opens the door, and steps out when asked to do so. He is cooperative. Just a groggy black man. They do a breathalyzer test, and he fails it. Okay. That just means they can’t let him drive. He says his sister lives a few blocks away. He can walk it. The two cops could have said, okay, we’ll drive you, to make sure you get home safely. Nah. That would be too civilized. One wants to handcuff him. For falling asleep in his car? He was compliant with the police, but not to the point of being handcuffed. George Floyd had been handcuffed already and compliant when they threw him down and killed him. 

One cop tases Brooks for refusing the cuffs. The other cop draws his taser. Brooks takes it away and runs. The cop pulls his gun and shoots him in the back. Totally unnecessary. The cops have Brooks’ car. They can just wait for him to finish running and come back for it. They even know where he lives. That is not the purpose of shooting him. Their cowardly purpose is to kill – cowardly because it doesn’t take any courage to shoot someone in the back. 

Tasers are simply instruments of torture. You torture first to induce obedience. Then kill to make obedience irrelevant. 

The cop walks over to Brooks, lying on the ground and dying, and kicks him a few times, as if to get those kicks in before he dies. It is a psychotic need for vengeance that accompanies the desire to kill. 

Forget about that silly little “bad apples” idea. Forget about that “most dangerous job” excuse. There is an unspoken desire in all these incidents, a desire that is most greatly fulfilled by shooting in the back. The number of people of color shot in the back is enormous. If I name Walter Scott, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Michael Brown, I have already named too many. The list should never have been even that long. But it streches into the hundreds. The other thousands of deaths, like that of Breoona Taylor, were not shot in the back. 

Indeed, shooting in the back is so cowardly that it could only represent the killer’s relation to himself, rather than to his victim. The victim exists only for the cop’s self-aggrandizement. He does it to impress other cops. The police are an insular culture, speaking to themselves. That is why other Atlanta cops have protested the charges against the one who killed Brooks. (They have been calling in "sick." Got that one right.) 

When Berkeley City Council voted to ban police use of tear gas for crowd control purposes, they did so because, as a cause of respiratory distress, tear gas increases vulnerability to Covid-19. But someone asked Chief Greenwood what the cops will use instead, and he glibly answered “live ammunition” (a paraphrase). He wasn’t speaking to the councilmember. He was playing to the other cops in the department. It was beyond him to imagine using respect for justice, respect for human beings, or constitutionality as an alternative to tear gas. Those are foreign words for that culture that desires to kill or torture people of color. It has now become the background for how the police are seen. 

Insidiously, the behavior of the police in killing black people has provided a role model for others. Hence, the spate of lynchings. Real ones. On June 1, as the killing and the protests against police brutality proceeded, a black man named Malcolm Harsch was hung in the southern California town of Victorville. If it were not suicide, then it was a lynching in the old style. As a lynching, it would express the intentional hatred, and the intention to kill, that characterized and empowered such killings from the Reconstruction period all the way to the murder of Emmet Till, and Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner. But it would just be a chip off the old block of police killing people of color now. The police originally said it was suicide. But nobody believes that, certainly not Harsch’s family. Let there be an independent post-mortem examination. We need truth-telling here. 

And it happened again, a week later. On June 10, Robert Fuller, another young black man, was hung from a tree in Palmdale, California, just 60 miles away. Again the cops assumed suicide. Again the family complained. Again, there was no evidentiary answer to the family. Another lynching. Another step back toward enslavement. 

And during that same week, 4 other young black men were hung from trees. They are all listed as suicides. Six suicides of black people in all? In the midst of black people standing up and saying "stop," young black men are suddenly killing themselves? Forget it. This is a moment when people are arriving at a voice loud enough for even white supremacy to hear. They were lynched. Why would the police lie? For the same reason they will say that shooting a man in the back is self-defense. For the police to proclaim them all suicides is to be complicit. Lets have independent coroners do the post-mortems. 

The next week, half a dozen nooses showed up in the trees of Oakland, California. They are symbols of murdering black people. Black people didn’t put them there as a form of proxy suicide. They are there as a form of proxy murder. What is a lynching but a desire to kill. In other words, the police desire to kill has opened a door for presumably white people to do likewise. 

In addition, there have been murders of transgender black people during this same period. For them, there is no suicide excuse. In their invention of new genders for themselves, they are showing that “real men” are not the end all and by all of existence. So they get killed. The police will be looking for suspects until 2027. 

To think about reforming the police is to play with daydreams using a language from a different century. The culture of the police (different from the culture of policing) has silenced that ancient language with the cacophony of brutality and racial terrorism. The desire to kill is a cultural construct that goes all the way back to the beginning and the English raids in 1610 on the Chickahominy. Jim Crow is a latter day cultural mindset; it is not an ideology. It can’t be rooted out by training. And to call it "racism" is just a way of individuating what is a cultural structure of racialization. 

Do all cops feel this desire to kill? Who knows? Maybe they don’t. But maybe they do. How deep in the culture of the police does this desire lie? A cop can stand idle, as if waiting for a bus, while his buddy finishes killing someone. It is too late to ask if they all do it. In every team effort, when one cop has killed, all others in the team have been accepting of it. 

The cops who protested charging Brooks murderer have said, through spokespersons, that by shooting the wrong-doer, society was saved from danger. Are we supposed to respect that statement? That society will be endangered by a man who falls asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru? 

If you don’t know how to stop killing, reform is not an option. Rules, or regulations, or sensitivity training will not work. The culture that obviates listening to the people must be dismantled. There is no other way to deal with it. 


What Black Lives Matter Means To Me

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:17:00 PM

The Black Lives Matter movement, in my perception, is equivalent to human lives matter. The concept that we need to create a black lives movement is indicative of how infantile and improperly developed people's and police officers' minds are. It should be considered a remedial step, and not an advanced step forward for the human species. 

I wrote an email to President Obama when he was elected--there are infinitesimal chances that it made its way to his eyes, because of how many letters and emails must have come his way. I said, "We don't need a black President, we need a great President." By this I meant that President Obama in my perception is not a black President, he is a President. And, to me, Obama's performance as our leader was better than any I have seen in my lifetime. I believe Obama did a better job than Bill Clinton, who was also excellent. Mr. Clinton was President during a time of fewer challenges and difficulties. Thus, less was demanded of him. 

Additionally, the Republicans could not find any basis on which to impeach Obama, or to assault his reputation. This, by itself is an accomplishment. The worst thing I've seen Obama do was to smoke at Disneyland. And he was out of public office by then. 

A point that should be remembered is this: dark skin color is a genetic trait, it indicates that your ancestry is not European, and it does not say anything else about a person. Skin color doesn't mean anything. 

Thus, when we say "Black Lives Matter" it means human life matters. If we can't disband hate groups and fix people's attitudes of hate, we are doomed as a species. When we see a "black person" we are seeing a person. There should be no distinction. 

There are differences in culture based on people's ancestry and on their upbringing. But when we see a black, Latino, Asian, or other person on the street whom we have never seen before, we cannot assume anything about that person. We cannot assume that a person is nice or mean, good or bad, intelligent, or unintelligent, based on skin color. 

I've been taken for an idiot based on appearance. I don't know where this comes from. I am Caucasian with Jewish ancestry. I'm big in the upper body and I have a gut. I frequently sport facial hair. I don't dress spectacularly. Does that make me the stupid person many assume I am? I have difficulty expressing myself verbally in some pressured situations, especially in putting my best foot forward. It is a lot easier to tell you how I feel and what I think when I am writing, because I am not being pressured by anything. 

As a mentally ill person and as a person people mistakenly take for a fool, I might to a small extent understand what black people must face. But I might not understand. I think we people of European descent should try to educate ourselves more about the difficulties that many black people experience. 

I've gone to two different black churches. The first was in the late 1980's in the Antioch area and it was during an event where Jews from either a temple or from the Jewish Community Center were doing an exchange with that black church. (I recognized, sitting in a row in front of me, the psychiatrist who first branded me with my schizophrenic diagnosis.) In another instance, I had a friend who lived in Oakland, and I went with her to a church there during a commemoration for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I do know that it is important to show respect. 

I do know also that I've heard too many white racists expressing uninformed opinions, and I would rather see white people recover from this dumb sickness. 

Jack Bragen is author of "Schizophrenia: My 35-Year Battle: Vignettes of Hardship and Persistence."  



Drugs and the Race Issue

Harry Brill
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:11:00 PM

In June 1971 President Richard delivered a special message to Congress to declare drug abuse as "public enemy number one". What he did not reveal to Congress was the motive for his message. Nixon didn’t really care about the drug issue. However, the president along with one of his top advisors, John Ehrlichman, were committed to getting rid of the civil rights movement.  

Many years later Ehrlichman apparently had misgivings about the role he played. In an interview with a writer, Dan Baum, Erlichman’s comments were published in Harper’s Magazine. He acknowledged that the plan was to associate blacks with the use and distribution of dangerous drugs, such as heroin. The idea was to facilitate the ability to “disrupt their communities, arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and villlify them night after night on the evening news”’. Alderman then added “Did we know that we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did”. 

This so called war on drugs for the purpose of undermining black activism is politically and economically very much alive. This battle against African Americans is ongoing. The business community views blacks as a source of low wage labor and as a barrier to uinon organizing. So encouraging both drug consumption and the arrests of African Americans continue to be major business strategies to keep blacks in their place. 

Take, for example the observatons made in the Chronicle by a San Franciso Supervisor who lives in the Tenderloin (Matt Haney). Haney noticed that while some dealers were being arrested, dozens of drug transactions were taken place right in front of the police. He described police behavior as brazen, that is, bold and without shame.. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Justice, which is a federal agency, although only 16 percent of those who sold drugs were blacks, they made up 48 percent of those arrested. And rather than providing treatment for drug addicts 74 percent went to prison just for possessing drugs. Moreoer, blacks receive longer sentences than whites even when committing a similar crime -- almost 20 percent longer. 

Arresting blacks by the police followed by heavy jail sentences can appreciably injure the lives of African Americans as well as members of their families. Wouldn’t it be appropriate for the Black Life Matters Movement to expand its focus to address these concerns? 




















June Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Monday June 29, 2020 - 11:30:00 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: Five Things You Can Do About Racism

Bob Burnett
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:14:00 PM

It’s been 57 years since Martin Luther King, Junior, gave his “I have a dream speech.” And, 56 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Over this period, too little has changed. The United States has a persistent systemic racism problem that must be fixed.

In the most recent Gallup Poll (https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/312875/race-relations-nation-important-problem.aspx) respondents indicated that race relations were the most pressing national problem: "Gallup's long-standing 'most important problem' question provides important context for measuring the impact of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis... Some 19% of Americans named race relations as the nation's top problem in our May 28-June 4 survey. This is, by one point, the highest percentage since July 1968."

I'm a privileged white man. Therefore, I broach the subject of racism with trepidation. Nonetheless, here are five suggested actions that white folks can take to improve race relations. These are actions you can take at home or in your community. 

1.Inquire within. Start your personal work on racism by having a serious talk about race within your family, or circle of friends, or church. In other words, have a meaningful discussion about race with people that you care about but who, perhaps, you've avoided having this discussion with. (Rather than talk about race in the abstract, talk about specific situations that affect your family members.) This will take time; be prepared to go slow, listen a lot, and (possibly) have your feelings hurt when non-white family or friends tell you of their experiences with racism. 

My multiracial family has started this discussion. It's hard. What helps is that we all love each other and want to have a totally honest talk about race. 

Caution: If you are a white person, GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Racism is best understood on a visceral level. LISTEN more than talk. 

2. Provide financial support for the "Black Lives Matter" movement. To be sustainable, the movement needs money. 

I'm a member of Indivisible and I trust them. Recently the leaders of Indivisible provided a list of BLM-related organizations to support (https://secure.actblue.com/donate/indivisible-blm? ): "One of many ways that we can show up is by funneling resources directly to Black-led organizations doing the work on the ground to support the uprising and developing strategies and campaigns to advance racial justice." These organizations include: Black Lives Matter Global Network, Color of Change, Movement for Black Lives, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Bail Out, National Police Accountability Project, and Unicorn Riot. (To this I would add my perennial favorite, The American Civil Liberties Union.) 

White folks need to do more than talk. We need to act. Start by writing a check. 

3. Hold Police Departments accountable: Take a long look at your local police department. Compare how your non-white friends are treated by the police with how you are treated. Be prepared to be shocked. 

Americans must "reimagine" policing; local citizens need to reassert control over their police departments and not leave control in the hands of police unions and the white elite. Reimagining policing will, not doubt, result in reducing the funds that most cities spend on their police departments. 

A fair criminal justice system requires national policy changes. For example, on June 8th, the House of Representatives passed the "Justice in Policing Act:" (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/politics/democrats-police-misconduct-bill-protests.html ) Among other things, this bill outlaws chokeholds and limits police-officer immunity. All of us should support this initiative. 

4. Provide Equitable Healthcare: The middle of a pandemic is a good time to be aware of how race affects the delivery of health services. 

African-Americans, and other people of color, are more likely than whites to succumb to COVID-19. A recent Guardian study (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/04/coronavirus-black-minority-americans-house-subcommittee) noted: "Black and minority Americans are more likely to be infected and die from COVID-19, because structural racism has left those populations with inferior health, housing and economic conditions." 

The Public Policy Institute of California (https://www.ppic.org/blog/racial-disparities-in-covid-19-mortality/? ) found: "Even after adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity, and income, African Americans appear to be much more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than whites are. Most ominously, though, African Americans who contract the virus are dying at disproportionately high rates— their share of COVID-19 deaths is about 1.5 times greater than their share of the state population." 

The obvious solution is an equitable healthcare system, such as "Medicare for all." But that's a way off. Start by helping your family and friends get adequate healthcare. 

5. Protect Voting Rights: The Civil Rights Act was intended to safeguard the votes of African-Americans, and other people of color. Nonetheless, for the last 56 years, there have been well-organized white initiatives to nullify the votes of non-whites -- and women. We've seen this recently in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Kentucky. 

No one denies this is a problem. See for example, this USA Today story: (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/02/03/black-voting-rights-15th-amendment-still-challenged-after-150-years/4587160002/) In May the House of Representatives passed the "Heroes Act" which includes funds for voter protection (https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/heroes-act-includes-funding-election-officials-need-run-safe-secure); this bill should be passed by the Senate. 

Summary: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was intended to end segregation in public places and ban employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. While it succeeded in the first objective, it failed to effectively ban employment discrimination and did not achieve the objective of ending segregation. In 2020, the United States is a segregated society. 

Segregation continues to impact the life chances of African-Americans. It affects their education, healthcare, housing, employment, and access to capital. For example, a recent Time Magazine article (https://time.com/5855900/segregation-wealth-gap/ ) noted: "Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment among Black people in the U.S. was far higher than among white people (6.0% versus 3.1% in January), and median household incomes were substantially lower ($40,258 versus$68,145 as of 2017). As the COVID-19 outbreak exploded across the U.S., the unemployment disparity continued: unemployment among Black workers rose to 16.8% in May, from 16.7% in April, as white unemployment fell to 12.4% from 14.2%." 

The United States has a persistent systemic racism problem that must be fixed. It's up to white folks to make the changes required so that the United States can actually become a functioning Democracy, "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

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

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: How I Am Affected by the Pandemic

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 03:54:00 PM

The shelter-in-place in Contra Costa County was the definitive moment at which I realized coronavirus is serious business. At the time it began, my wife and I were partway through a move within our apartment building. Because we are dependent on a subsidy from HUD to be able to afford rental, there is a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through to accomplish even in a small move like this one. 

The office of Section 8 was closed, but they continued to conduct business via phone, fax, email, and through the ability to drop documents through an opening in their front door. 

Since I am a semiprofessional writer, I have office equipment at my disposal. So, I was able to send and receive almost all of the necessary documents by printing, scanning, and emailing. This is not an extraordinary feat. Yet, I believe there are many renters on Section 8 who don't have their act together enough to have computer systems. Others are more disabled than I am, and many are helped by having a case manager who handles business for them. 

Moving during a pandemic is challenging. Additionally, the Social Security Administration wants to make sure I am still disabled, and they sent me a questionnaire during the middle of all this. I filled out their paperwork thoroughly. It is not a good idea to go the route of pretending to be too disabled to answer their questions--that doesn't work. I decided to copy their forms and fill out everything in pencil so that I could edit my answers. Then, to simulate filling out everything in ink, I copied everything except for my signature, and mailed them the copy. 

These are stressful times. I am concerned for the safety of my mother, who is in her eighties. Yet, I am dismayed because prior to the pandemic it meant a lot to me to occasionally drive to her house and visit with her.  

While all this was taking place, the venue where I get psychotherapy and psychiatry had turnover in staff. The counselor I'd meet with every week had switched to meeting with me on Zoom. The psychiatric nurse practitioner met with me once on Zoom. And, during the meeting, he informed me that he was quitting at the end of the month. 

In my final meeting with the psychiatric nurse practitioner, who I'd never thought of as someone to whom I would feel any real connection, I was surprised at my sadness. 

At about this time, I discovered that my therapist, with whom I'd been working for more than two years, an excellent person and an excellent therapist, someone to whom I felt very connected, was discontinuing with me. 

In order to let go of her, I'd had to employ an "off mechanism" which is something I invented and installed for situations like this. (The need for this mechanism came about because in my past, I'd created serious problems for myself from not being able to say goodbye.) 

In the case of both of these people leaving, I could not meet with them in person. It was done through Zoom on my computer. 

The $1200 check was very helpful, and I am always glad when a lump sum comes to me once in a blue moon, due to the caprices of fate. Normally, I am inclined to stay home whenever possible, so a shelter-in-place seems to me like a small adjustment. I despise driving. Therefore, not having to get in the car and go anywhere, to an extent at least, seems like a gift. Not being able to see family--that's very hard. 

Concerning my psychiatric condition, the COVID pandemic seems to have no direct effect. My symptoms have remained at a level that would be expected with the changing circumstances. 

Concerning writing, the pandemic has led, by necessity, to a shift in subject matter, at least some of the time. The pandemic provides subject matter at times. But because all of the news media is focusing on it, there is less demand for mere mental health pieces. Also, fiction may be affected. I've written and sent one fiction piece inspired by the pandemic--I'm waiting to hear back. 

Am I afraid of getting sick? Maybe just a little. I assume I would survive as do most people who contract it. But if and when I do catch it, it could be damned uncomfortable to get sick from this pathogen.

Fighting The Pandemic And Reopening The Economy Too Soon Are Not Working

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 11:55:00 AM

Few would disagree that the collapse of the U.S. economy into a recession was mainly caused by the coronavirus pandemic and worsened by the inept leadership at the federal level. It would seem to follow that the priority should be to contain the causative virus and reduce the deaths associated with it as quickly as possible before reopening the economy. Instead, those in power are trying to have it both ways by continuing the fight against the virus while reopening our economy, resulting in a losing battle on both fronts.  

As of June 25, there are 2.51+ million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 127,000+ deaths. However, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the true number of cases is likely to be 10 times higher than the reported figure or over 20 million cases. 

On June 25, the U.S. reported 40,000 new COVID-18 infections surpassing the previous single-day record of 39,327. The U.S. is still doing battle with the first wave of the pandemic while a second and third wave are just around the corner. 

The U.S. has an unemployment rate of over 13% and could reach 20%, an unsteady stock market, and a second stimulus package pending in Congress. 

We will continue to muddle along until the election with no federal leadership while the pandemic continues unabated. Hopefully, a Joe Biden presidency will provide a much needed united response, rather than the present 50 individual ones. 

In the meantime, my wife and I will continue to shelter-at-home, wear masks and maintain a social distance during our daily walk in the park and weekly grocery shopping.

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Wednesday July 01, 2020 - 02:20:00 PM
Trump's Stern Nature:The Germans can clearly see the problem. They've been through it before.
Trump's Stern Nature:The Germans can clearly see the problem. They've been through it before.

Bolton's Still Revoltin'

John Bolton, Don Trump's former National Security Advisor (and the Lorax's crazy uncle), recently made an appearance on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show and went about the business of flogging his new tell-all book by dissing his former boss.

He ridiculed Trump. He lambasted Trump. He demonized Trump. He debased Trump. But he wouldn't apologize for continuing to play along with Trump despite his growing distaste for the man. Bolton now boasts he's made a clean break with the Master of Disaster.

At the same time, however, there's evidence that there's still a power connection between the Bronzed Bullfrog of Belligerence and his Mustached Toady. Here's the tip-off. How many people in Colbert's viewing audience noticed that over Bolton's right shoulder—in his den covered with framed documents—there was one framed letter prominently on display that bore a unique and unmistakable signature.

Yep, it was a framed letter signed by Donald J. Trump. 

A Battle for the Soul of the Democratic Party 

It looks like the long-running battle between the Dems and the GOP is being eclipsed by a growing conflict within the Democratic Party—between the Corporate Democrats and the Bernified Revolutionaries. 

The rhetorical war got ratcheted up following Hillary Clinton's endorsement of New York's embattled 16-term Congressional incumbent Eliot Engle. The growing rift even awakened the ghost of Senator Joe "Red Scare" McCarthy when Engle's campaign fired off a text message that praised their man as someone who "knows what it's like to serve" and then added: "While communists try to take over the Democratic party, remember who has devoted his life to your district." 

And so it was that Engle, after a 31-year-stint in the House, appears to have lost his seat to Bernie-backed Our Revolution aspirant Jamaal Bowman. (The final outcome depends on the tabulation of absentee ballots.) As The Hill observed: "It's extremely rare for a sitting committee chairman to lose in a primary." What did Bowman have going for him? Support of Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and racial and economic justice along with endorsements from Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Working Families Party and the Sunshine Movement. 

This was just one wave of a progressive tsunami that swept the primary races. In addition to decisively returning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) to office, primary voters abandoned the mainstream Dems and elected a host of Green Deal newcomers including Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), and Dana Balter (NY-24). (Note: Some have questioned Torres' progressive creds.) 

And, in the Kentucky Senate race, progressive candidate Charles Booker (as of press time) was leading former Air Force combat pilot Amy McGrath in the ongoing vote-count. The winner will face off against Republican Speaker and reform-gobbling goblin Mitch McConnell. 

In the next round of primary races, a half-dozen GNDers will be vying for seats in the House and Senate. In the Senate we have incumbent Ed Markey (D-MA) and newcomer Andrew Romanoff (D-CO). Progressive House contenders include Arati Kreibich (NJ-5), Candace Valenzuela (TC-24), Mike Siegel (TX-10), and Jon Hoadley (MI-06). 



Ben Cohen Explains the Green New Deal—Using Oreos

TrueMajority Video (2012)




At Least I Know I'm Impoverished 

A popular Country-Western song written by Lee Greenwood has become an anthem for right-leaning Americans. (The song became such a mainstream hit that even Pat Boone recorded a cover version!) It's key lyric professes: "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!" 

Wait a minute. "At least"? 

What's the message here? "I may be underpaid, out-of-work, without enough food or proper housing, with no clear educational future for my children and no guarantee that housing costs or medical expenses won't leave me out on the street?" 

That appears to be the case since the opening lyric begins with this hypothetical apocalypse: "If tomorrow all the things were gone/ I worked for all my life/ And I had to start again…." 

In today's America we're facing a deadly pandemic, massive unemployment, racial injustice, police brutality, economic collapse, and potential nuclear annihilation. 

But, at least we know we're free … to … what? Sing patriotic songs? Worship the flag? Disparage minorities? Threaten to bomb Iran? Plot to invade Venezuela? Worship Donald Trump? 

A New Tune for Our Times 

We could use a new national anthem. For starters, there's the somewhat eco-friendly "America, the Beautiful." But given that we're still stuck with Trump, here's a revised version of "My Country 'tis of Thee" to fit our fretful times: 

My Country' 'tis of Trump 

(With apologies to Samuel F. Smith, 1844) 

My country, 'tis of Trump, Big Wall around a dump, For thee I mourn. 

Land where my freedoms died, Thanks to our ruler's pride, From every minor slight, Tweet-storms rained his scorn. 

Cruel narcistocracy, Death of nobility, Thy reign I loathe 

Trump loves oil's rocks and drills, Trees felled for timber mills, Dismissing Nature's needs, Climate Change? A hoax. 

Let pure greed swell the breeze, And all the poor folk freeze, Sweat-shops prolong. 

The press we excoriate, Dictators we imitate, Critics we extirpate, Muslims don't belong. 

Where 'ere our flag's unfurled, Insults and taunts are hurled, Then come the bombs. 

Bomb-dropping, damn the costs, Targeting schools and mosques, 

US-made holocausts, From Syria to Sudan. 

Groper of beauty queens, porn stars and nubile teens, of thee I squeeze. 

Master of business deals, defaults and bankruptcies, rubles-for-scruples schemes, Great Don our King. 

You Can't Spell Trump without Rump 

Trump is turning into a bad-ass, modern-day King George. This is a guy who would have ended the Boston Tea Party in a barrage of cannon fire. 

Ordering an armed attack on Americans peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights nearly turned Lafayette Square into a modern Boston Massacre — without, fortunately, a modern Crispus Attucks. 

Violence and rebellion in the streets is powerful but it's not enough. It's not just that the Boogaloo Bois and Sovereign Nation seem committed to revving up a race war, but it will take more than fists in the air and boots on the ground to radically change the way this country is run. Radical political change requires progressive change agents working in the Senate and Congress. 

We're starting to see more protest placards promoting the Green New Deal and demanding that we Defund the Pentagon as well as the cops. 

And, thanks to the noise in the streets (and no thanks to Joe Biden and the corporate Dems), we suddenly see developing a political network with the audacity to call for major cuts in Pentagon spending—to cover human needs (instead of covering dead human bodies). 

Serious political change requires more progressive actors heading to Washington after the November election. There seems to be a lot of committed activists ready to join The Squad on The Hill. 

Will Trump rig/quash the election? Will Biden win the popular vote by 5 million and lose to Trump in the Electoral College? Will the GOP convince the SCOTUS that "faithless electors" should be allowed to jigger the Electoral College vote to benefit Trump? 

What then? Trump is an indicted liar and conman who has threatened (and used) the armed forces to attack Americans. He's not capable of governing. Even if he overdoses on hydroxychloroquine, bleach cocktails, or Big Mac burgers, we're still going to be stuck with a pandemic that looks like it might rage for many months and a wounded economy that won't fully recover for years. 

A new progressive team in Washington could make a difference but, whoa god, are we facing a time of trouble. Could it get worse? It already has. Now Trump wants to uncork and test a nuclear bomb. 

This is turning into a real-life dystopian horror show. The zombies should be showing up any minute. 

How to Tell If Your Nappies Are Nifty 

On Father’s Day, the Environmental Working Group invited consumers to rejoice: We’re excited to announce EWG VERIFIED™: Baby Diapers!" 

"Did you know the diaper market is weakly regulated and manufacturers don’t have to disclose their ingredients or test the safety of their products?" Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. 

So, if you're wondering whether those Pampers might trigger a rash of rashes, you'll be happy to know that EWG has stepped in "to create a standard you can trust for diapers. EWG VERIFIED diaper products can be found in our Baby Care section—a dedicated page for all things baby." 

More than 1,600 products are now EWG Certified and EWG is campaigning to force California to ban 12 of the most toxic chemicals currently used in cosmetics. 

Xavier Bacerra, the People's AG  

MSNBC's Chris Hayes recently hailed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as "The man who . . . beat Trump." Hayes was referencing Becerra's landmark Supreme Court win, which convinced a SCOTUS majority to preserve the right of hundreds of thousands of DACA Dreamers to continue living and working in the US. 

Becerra is relentless. The DACA win was just one of 84 lawsuits Becerra has lodged against Trump and, XB vows, "Our fight holding the Trump administration accountable is far from over." 

Here's something else that makes XB unique: he has openly turned to the public to solicit the financial wherewithall to trounce Trump. This grassroots-supported litigator is truly "the People's Attorney General." 

According to Team Beverra: "We’re not waiting for November to beat Trump. Xavier is beating him in the courts now. Our DACA victory was just the latest in a long list of wins. From safeguarding affordable healthcare to defending the environment, Trump keeps losing in the courts because the rule of law is on our side." 

Next up: XB is heading a 20-state coalition that will appear before the US Supreme Court to challenge the Trump Regime's attempt to "terminate" the Affordable Care Act and leave tens of millions of Americans without healthcare in the middle of a global pandemic. 


Building the Perfect Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

It's summertime and that's good news for backyard gardeners. The birds and the bees are about and the beans and tomatoes are starting to proliferate. But so, too, are the squirrels. For everyone out there trying to protect your birdseed from those furry-tailed marauders, here's a video detailing Mark Rober's hyper-creative response. 




A Pop-up Ad for Pop-up Guns 

There's a pop-up ad from the "Certified Website of Donald J. Trump" that asks "Do you approve of President Trump’s recent job performance?" But to give an honest opinion, you have to part with your private email address. (Voila! A do-it-yourself Enemy's List.) I opted not to respond. 

But before I could leave the Trump pop-up site, another pop-up ad appeared advertising ConcealedCarry, a new pistol product for potential Urban Rambos. Here's the video, courtesy of UrbanCarryHosters.com. 

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar: June 28-July 5

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 11:51:00 AM

Worth Noting:

There are nine City meetings in the coming week June 28 – July 5, 2020. All 4th of July events are cancelled due to COVID-19. And, while COVID-19 has not hit Berkeley hard yet – yet is the discomforting word. New cases of infections are skyrocketing across the South, This is no time to get careless.

Treat that mask on your face as if it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, because that is exactly the worth if you prevent just one person from getting sick and being hospitalized and that one person could be you. Wear that mask with honor. The best practice is to put it on before leaving home, make sure your nose and mouth are covered and leave it on until you return home.

Monday – Budget Committee meets at 10 am for the last review. The City Manager is recommending across the board cuts of 15%. The Agenda Committee meets at 2:30 pm to plan the July 14 Regular City Council meeting – the Council meeting when measures on policing will be presented for vote. The Police Review Commission meets at 7 pm to finalize the recommendations for revisions to the Berkeley Police Use of Force policy.

Tuesday - The City Council will vote to adopt the FY 2021 budget - item 40 on a long agenda.

Wednesday - City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, (FITS) meets at 2 pm. In the evening the Library Board starts at 6:30 pm and the Homeless Services Panel of Experts and the Planning Commission start at 7 pm.

Thursday – The Landmarks Commission meets at 7 pm.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

No City meetings or events found

Monday, June 29, 2020

City Council Budget & Finance Committee, 10 am https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Home/Policy_Committee__Budget___Finance.aspx

Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86763057213

Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 867 6305 7213

Agenda: Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Update

Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm,


Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82019851685

Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 820 1985 1685

Agenda planning for July 14 City Council Regular meeting: CONSENT: 1. Contract with Wells Fargo thru 5/31/2023 Resolution authorizing CM to continue unbundling banking services with Wells Fargo, 2. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) nutrition programs for seniors, 3. Contract add $946,419 and extend thru 6/30/2020 total $1,907,293 with Berkeley Food & Housing Project for Administrative Services for Berkeley Mental Health, 4. Contract add $34,736 thru 6/30/2021total $103,178 with Bay Area Hearing Voices Network for Hearing voices support groups, 5. Local Housing Trust Fund Application, 6. Contract $552,862 includes 15% contingency with Sandstone Environmental Engineering, Inc. for Aquatic Park Central Tide Tubes, 7. Contract add $280,000 total $1,471,342 with Redwood Engineering Construction for James Kenney Park, Picnic and Play Area Renovation, 8. Ordinance declaration of easements between 2009 and 2015 Addison (sublease Berkeley Repertory Theater), 9. Contract $116,635.39 with Shaw Industries for Civic Center Building Carpet Replacement, 10. Contract add $50,000 and extend to 6/30/2023 total $190,000, ACTION: 11. Permanent Local Housing Application $7,761,504 to support local affordable housing and homeless services, 12. Resolution for issuance of bonds by CALPFA for 1717 University rental housing development, 13. ZAB Appeal 1533 Beverly Place, 14. Safety for All: George Floyd Act Budget request to Perform Police Call and Response Analysis and to Direct the CM to implement initiatives and reforms that reduce the footprint of the police department, 15. Changes to BMC and City Policies with respect to Local Emergency Declarations and First Amendment Curfews, 16. Rename Shattuck, 17.a. & b. Compiling Homeless Commission Recommendations and tracking outcomes, 18. Menstrual Products for Unhoused Community, 19. Amending Council Rules of Procedure in regard to items submitted by Mayor or Councilmembers to go to whole Council for review rather than referral by Agenda to Policy committee, 20. Declare Juneteenth as City Holiday, 21. Redistribution of City Resources and Operations from Berkeley Police (proposed police budget $72,774,334) when call/situation is better served by trained city staff and community partners, 22. Referral to CM to Re-imagine Policing approaches to Public Safety with robust community engagement, 23. BerkDOT pursue Berkeley Department of Transportation to ensure a racial justice lens in traffic enforcement. REFERRED ITEMS for REVIEW: 8. Impact of COVID-19 on meetings of Legislative bodies, 9. Election Reform Act to Prohibit Officeholder Accounts, 10. Resolution incorporate 1 minute 46 seconds of mindfulness, 11. Commission Reorganization for Post COVID Recovery, (packet 176 pages)


Police Review Commission Special Meeting, 7 -9:30 pm  


Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88192778246 

Teleconference: 669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 881 9277 8246 

Agenda: Use of Force Policy 


Tuesday, June 30, 2020 

Berkeley City Council, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Live audio KPFB 89.3 (listen only), Cable B-TV (Channel 33) watch only, to participate/comment use zoom, teleconference, or email clerk@cityofberkeley.info during meeting with number of item 150 word limit 


Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87199785160 

Teleconference: 669.900.9128 Meeting ID: 871 9978 5160 

CONSENT: Items 1 – 11 Second Reading Vote, 13. Contract add $180,134 total $441,984 FY 2021-2025 for Animal Services Contract with City of Piedmont, 14. Add $30,000 and extend to June 30, 2021 total $120,000 with Townsend Public Affairs, Inc for ERMA, 15. Contract $214,848 July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021with Downtown Y for City employees, 17. Reaffirm Investment Policies, 18. FY2021 Appropriations Limit $284,280,447, 19. FY 2021 Tax Rate Fire Protection, Emergency Response and Preparedness (Measure GG), 20. Grant Agreement Amendment: Alameda County Coordinated Entry System (CES) Grant, 21. Mental Health Services Act Contract Amendment: Covenant House (YEAH), 22. Contract Amendments: Mental Health Services Act, Prevention and Early Intervention, 23. Contract Amendment with BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, 24. Reimbursement with City of San Jose and BPD for Training related to Internet Crimes Against Children, 25. Grant Applications Active Transportation Program Cycle 5, 26. Contract add $300,000 total $8,286,960 with Ghilotti Construction for Shattuck Reconfiguration and Pedestrian Safety Project, 27. FY 2021 Clean Stormwater Fee, 28. Support Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s legislation to establish a US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, 29. Resolution Urging State Legislature and Governor to explore new revenue generating options including additional tax on highest earning Californians, 30. Support AB-3256 Economic Recovery and Climate Resiliency Bond, 31. Support AB-2501 COVID-19 Homeowner, Tenant, Consumer relief, 32. Support ACA 5 to place statewide ballot to repeal Proposition 209 (1996) and allow C=State of CA to pursue minority equal opportunity and access initiatives, ACTION: 33. Amend One-Way Car Share Program: Electric Mopeds, Fees Deposits, 34. Amend Berkeley Election Reform Act (public election financing), 35. Charter Amendment to change Mayor and Councilmembers to Fulltime Status, 36. Ballot Measure to Create Climate Action Fund, 37. Amend Berkeley’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, impacting youth training programs, 38. Charter Amendment Ballot Initiative to repeal residency requirement for sworn members Berkeley Fire Dept, 39. Contract CycloMedia for GIS Infrastructure Asset Data, 40. FY 2021 Mid-Biennial Budget Update Adoption, 41. FY 2021 Annual Appropriations $521,674,251 (gross), $452,409,230 (net), 42. Borrowing of Funds and the Sale and Issuance of FY 2020-21 Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes, INFORMATION REPORTS: 43. Audit Report Wins National Recognition, 44. City Auditor FY 2021 Audit Plan 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020 

City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment & Sustainability Committee, 2 pm, 


Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89549591843 

Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 895 4959 1843 

Agenda: 2. Terminating the sale of gasoline, diesel and natural gas passenger vehicles throughout Berkeley by 2025, 3. Traffic Circle Recommendations, 4. 100% sustainable trips by 2045, 


Board of Library Trustees, 6:30 pm 


Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86042306505 

Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 860 4230 6505 

Agenda CONSENT: D. Bid Solicitation Central Library Stucco Restoration Project, E. Contract $107,000 for procurement audio equipment, delivery and installation for Central Library 7/1/2020 – 12/31/2021, FY 2021 Budget Amendment to $600,000 for furniture, fixtures, equipment for Central Library, ACTION: Mission and Vision Statement 


Homeless Services Panel of Experts, 7 pm https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Homeless_Services_Panel_of_Experts.aspx 

Videoconference: https://zoom.us/j/93845393201?pwd=M3I0bW90WW1LcDFEVDUxemorMldzQT09 

Teleconference: 669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 938 4539 3201 

Agenda: 7. Update related to homelessness, discussion and possible action, 8. Workplan and development of bylaws 


Planning Commission, 7 – 10 pm 


Videoconference: https://zoom.us/j/92939134810 

Teleconference: 669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 929 3913 4810 

Agenda: 9. Public Hearing: Home Occupations Ordinance, 10. Referrals Supporting Berkeley Businesses 


Thursday, July 2, 2020 

Landmarks Preservation Commission, 7 – 11:30 pm 


Videoconference: https://zoom.us/j/91831014263 

Teleconference: 669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 918 3101 4263 

Agenda: 2328 Channing Way hearing designation as Landmark or Structure of Merit The Luttrell House, 1212 and 1214 San Pablo Demolition Referral, 2277 Shattuck Structural Alteration Permit, 8. Annual Election, 9. Meetings during COVID-19 pandemic 


Friday, July 3, 2020 

City of Berkeley Independence Day Holiday 


Saturday, July 4, 2020 

Cancelled – Berkeley City 4th of July Fireworks and events,  

Looks like all Bay Area 4th of July fireworks and events are cancelled due to COVID-19 


Sunday, July 5, 2020 

No City meetings or events found 



Public Hearings Scheduled 

0 Euclid 7/7/2020 

1449 Grizzly Peak 7/7/2020 

1533 Berkeley Place 7/14/2020 

Use Permits and the Appeal End Date 

2115 Allston 7/8/2020 

1348-50 Euclid 6/30/2020 

12 Indian Rock Path 7/14/2020 

1346 Ordway 6/30/2020 

2023-25 Shattuck 6/30/2020 

1635 Tacoma 6/30/2020 

2338 Telegraph 6/30/2020 



LINK to Current Zoning Applications https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Planning_and_Development/Land_Use_Division/Current_Zoning_Applications.aspx 




July 21 – Crime report, Climate Action Plan/Resiliency Update 

Sept 29 – Digital Strategic Plan/FUND$ Replacement Website Update, Zero Waste Priorities, Vision 2050 

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


Unscheduled Workshops/Presentations 

Cannabis Health Considerations 

Presentation from StopWaste on SB 1383 

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. 

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 


If you wish to stop receiving the Weekly Summary of City Meetings please forward the weekly summary you received to kellyhammargren@gmail.com