Panels examine Berkeley’s town/gown relationship

Berkeley and Cal: their relationship is often fruitful but sometimes vexed. Photo: Tracey Taylor

The complicated relationship between UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley, sometimes rewarding, sometimes vexed, will come under the spotlight this fall in a series of discussions titled The University and the City: Ideas for Partnership.

The first of the evening discussions, on the controversial idea of creating a student-majority City Council district, will be next Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church on Dana Street. Panelists include Councilmember Kriss Worthington, Berkeley political science professor Bruce Cain, and vice-president for external affairs of the Associated Students of the University of California Joey Freeman. Berkeleyside’s Lance Knobel will moderate the discussion.

“The relationship between the city and the campus has been strained over the last few decades,” said Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, who has been instrumental in organizing the series. “All of us felt that the more lines of communication that we opened up, the more collaboration there will be.”

The second discussion, on Wednesday, October 19, at Berkeley City College, will examine Berkeley and environmental sustainability. The panel will consist of Timothy Burroughs, climate action coordinator for the City of Berkeley, Lisa McNeilly, UC Berkeley’s director of sustainability, Jason Trager, environmental sustainability director for the Graduate Student Assembly, and Claire Evans, lead coordinator of the UC Berkeley Compost Alliance. Jason Mark, editor of the Earth Island Journal will moderate.


The final discussion asks “How can we improve our arts, food and entertainment districts?” To be held on Wednesday, November 9, at a venue still to be confirmed, it will include Jim Peters, president of the Responsible Hospitality Institute, David Mayeri, former COO of Bill Graham Presents, Kemi Amin, program director of Buy Local Berkeley, and Noah Stern, former president of ASUC. Polly Armstrong, CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, will moderate.

This series is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli, Darryl Moore and Susan Wengraf, UC Berkeley Office of Government and Community Relations, Berkeley City College, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Berkeley Association, Telegraph Business Improvement District, Livable Berkeley, as well as Berkeleyside.

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s recently launched Events Calendar. We also encourage you to submit your own events.