Op-ed: Kate Harrison should be elected to represent District 4

Tom Dalzell thinks Kate Harrison would preserve the distinctive character of Berkeley.

I am endorsing Kate Harrison for the City Council in District 4.

For five years I have been systematically walking the streets of Berkeley and writing about the quirky material culture that I see in my Quirky Berkeley Blog. I have lived in Berkeley for more than 30 years, and have raised four children here. We enjoy a special kind of freedom in Berkeley, unbound by convention or conventional thinking, unafraid of change or what others might think. Our freedom is not new – just look at photographs of the toga-wearing Boynton family at the Temple of Wings 100 years ago. My quest in Quirky Berkeley is not one of chasing ghosts, though, or of being chased by them. My quest has nothing to do with the stereotype of tie-dyed Berkeley. I look for and rejoice in the real heart and soul of Berkeley, individual expression of self and joy of life.

I believe that Berkeley has a distinct character and that this character is a big part of what draws us to live here. We are not a cookie-cutter city. We care. We dare to be creative.

Kate Harrison embraces the traditions and values of Berkeley, and she loves our dear old Berkeley for what it is, not for its transit corridors and proximity to tech jobs elsewhere in the Bay Area. If Kate is elected, I am confident that Kate’s every decision will be informed by a recognition and appreciation of the importance of Berkeley’s unique character. I know – it doesn’t fit on a slide rule. I know – it can’t be measured. But it is real, and Kate knows it. We came here and stayed here because we appreciate how Berkeley is different.

I know that my criteria for supporting Kate are subjective at best. But to me, the preservation of the essential character of Berkeley is critically important. Kate Harrison is up to the task.

Tom Dalzell writes about the unusual aspects of Berkeley for his Quirky Berkeley website.