Berkeley Council to consider 2 city redistricting maps

Students showed up in droves to Tuesday night's Berkeley City Council meeting to show their support for a new district that would offer them a seat on the council. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Students showed up in droves to the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7 to show their support for a new district that would offer them a seat on the council. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council held a public hearing to learn more about seven recently submitted maps that aim to adjust council district boundaries to correct for population and demographic changes across the city. The council voted to grant further consideration to two plans — the ASUC-endorsed student district map and a similar map designed by Eric Panzer — both of which would create a student-majority district with the aim of creating a new seat on the council for a student.

The council will hold a second public hearing July 2, and plans to vote on its final preference then. Community members can submit changes to the two maps up for consideration through May 17. (Scroll down to experience a “Storified” version of the council meeting.)

Redistricting plans focus on student-majority district [04.26.13]
Berkeley could face most dramatic redistricting in 27 years [01.11.13]
City defers redistricting, plans charter amendment [01.18.12]
Cal students file redistricting proposal with the city [09.30.11]

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  • Truth Sayer

    People will come if they are fired-up about an issue. Such as the students wanted representation. Anyway, attendance is not voting. And, if students are of the same mind as when I went to college, many attend only because a friend asked. And, what about the other issues I raised?

  • student

    Theres a difference between seeking representation on the council and voting in general. Students can already vote on the city wide ballot. We can already vote issues such a the bonds brought up in 2012. Would you like to remove the franchise from all people under 30? 40?

  • student

    UC Berkeley was founded in 1868. Sorry, but the student community is a hell of a lot more stable than any other community in Berkeley. We have been here since the 19th century, and baring any complete collapse in the public education system, we’re going to be here for centuries more. The fact that this effort was started 13 years ago, did not succeed, but now is on the verge of success shows that the student community has continuity, institutional memory, learned from mistakes 13 years ago and has improved on their efforts this time around.

  • Berkeley Resident

    And since 1868, the vast majority of students at Cal have spent roughly 4 years of their lives in Berkeley and then moved on. You aren’t going to be here for centuries. Statistically speaking you will be here for 4-6 years and then move on, just like all the other students before you.

  • Truth Sayer

    First, I am for the right to vote with no undue interferences by government or age ( except children). In fact, if it was up to me, people could vote on line. I do not oppose having a district for students, as it also serves as an educational and encouragement tool. Because far too many Americans do not vote when given the opportunity. Even so, students will now have influence on one seat, not three as it is now. Regarding voting for bonds and other issues. This is being done all across the nation. Student voting patterns tend to be more liberal than conserative. They will not be responsible for the consequences of their monetary vote. But to deny them the right to vote on any issue would be reprehensible as well as unconstitutional.

  • Andrew Doran

    From your comment it is clear that I was not as clear as I had hoped. My point in the first part of my above comment was that when I read concerns like those voiced by M and others:

    “They will almost always be in favor of anything that benefits students. They care very little about the neighborhood or the community, and they won’t stay here to work, own property, run businesses, or raise their children. In other words, they won’t have to live with the consequences or pay the taxes”

    I am unclear on how changing or not changing district boundaries would address these concerns. Even if I grant you that these characterizations of students are true, they are also immutable. Students who choose to register to vote in this town have every right to do so. They ALREADY vote for bond measures, school boards, business districts, their council member, and any and everything else related to all the above concerns. Whether or not there is a majority student council district would certainly have some effect on the political influence they wield in this town, but the effect is going to at the absolute most be the election of 1 out of the 8 council members.

    My point, and that of Mr. Panzer is that unless you are suggesting that they should not be able to vote at all in this town ( I did not say anyone did) than it is really unclear how having or not having a majority student council district would do anything but modify the political clout of students. It’s not going to suddenly give them the clout to cram a bunch of extra property taxes down my throat that they couldn’t in the past, or elect idiot people to the school board that they couldn’t before, because THEY ALREADY HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON THIS STUFF. One’s council rep is not the be-all end-all of individual voter’s clout in this town (heaven help us all if that were the case).

    So the reason I didn’t address the concerns that M raised is not that I necessarily believe they are false, but that I don’t believe that changing district boundaries will have a meaningful effect on them.

  • fhgqwts

    Hark! Someone who makes sense! How refreshing.

  • Truth Sayer

    First, You commented to M “With all due respect, you and many other posters seem to be arguing against students ability to register to vote here in Berkeley,..” That was the primary issue that I raised. Because he (M) never stated or implied such. Then in your reply to me you stated “My point, and that of Mr. Panzer is that unless you are suggesting that they should not be able to vote at all in this town…” Again, why are you still implying that M and I are suggesting that students should not vote in Berkeley? Rather than repeating myself, please read my prior comments above regarding voting rights. In summary, my position is that I have reservations somewhat with students voting on monetary issues, because most often they would not be around for the consequences of their vote. However, my reservations are infinitesimally small when compared to the Constitutional rights of citizens to vote without any undue hinderance. As for the other issues that M raised, I was curious as to your position, and you have answered. And, I thank you for that.

  • Guest

    Communities don’t get votes. Individual people get votes. Just because the monolithic student community will always be here as long as the university is here doesn’t mean anything. It’s the individual students that matter, not the students en masse.

  • guest

    I wouldn’t underestimate these kids in suits and ties. The last time a group of UC students dressed like that got together, big things happened. (see attached)

    Besides it’s a pleasant contrast to the Grand Ma & Grand Pa Cabbage Patch look (wardrobe by Osh Kosh) favored by the usual crowd.