Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: Berkeley schools are victims of their own success

I am a proud graduate from, and enthusiastic supporter of, the Berkeley public schools. I am a lifelong resident of Berkeley, and have chosen to raise my family here. I love the school that my children attend, and have had … Continue reading »

By Joshua Room

Joshua Room is a lifelong Berkeley resident and parent of two children at Malcolm X Elementary School in the BUSD. He was President of the PTA at Malcolm X in 2013-2014.

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Op-ed: Berkeley restaurant has been approved: Let it open

I am a homeowner on Russell Street just below College, and thus an Elmwood resident. A year ago, I heard that the owners of Comal on Shattuck Avenue were proposing a restaurant for the old Wright’s Garage space on … Continue reading »

By April Gilbert

April Gilbert is a consultant to nonprofit organizations and has lived in Berkeley for 40 years.

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Op-ed: Big vision and strict accountability required to save Berkeley parks

On Tuesday, June 24, the Berkeley City Council may choose to place a combined Mello-Roos financing measure for Berkeley parks on the November ballot. It is vital for the Berkeley … Continue reading »

By Marc Beyeler

Marc Beyeler is a long-time Berkeley resident, a parent of a junior at Berkeley High School, and a member of the Berkeley Unified School District’s Parent Advisory Committee (PAC).

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Op-ed: Minimum wage plan is raising bar too far, too fast

The Berkeley Small Business Alliance supports the need to raise the minimum wage in Berkeley. There is a longstanding history of support for small business in Berkeley as evidenced by its lack of corporate retailers and big-box stores. Berkeley … Continue reading »

By the Berkeley Small Business Alliance

Formed in 2014, the Berkeley Small Business Alliance is a group of 100 + small local businesses representing every district in Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Women will benefit from minimum wage increase

The National Women’s Political Caucus, Alameda North Chapter strongly supports the efforts to establish a local minimum wage in Berkeley that is higher than the state minimum wage. As an organization that supports growing both the political and economic power … Continue reading »

By Amy Shrago and Annie Flores

Amy Shrago and Annie Flores are Co-Presidents of NWPC-AN, a 40-year-old organization with 300+ local members serving Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont and San Leandro committed to increasing women’s participation in the political process and creating a true women’s political power-base to achieve equality for all women.

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Op-ed: In minimum wage debate, respect business owners

In the growing conversation about minimum wage and establishing a fair balance for workers and businesses, it would be an unforgivable oversight to forget what makes Berkeley such a special place to live in. Small neighborhoods. Stores owned by individuals … Continue reading »

By Marian Lever

Marian Lever is a Berkeley resident.

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Op-ed: How about some notice before a tree is cut down?

Last month a magnificent fruiting tree on the southeast corner of Dwight Way and Grant Street was cut down. Turns out it belonged to the Berkeley City Ballet.

A good guess is that thousands have plucked fruit from this tree, likely … Continue reading »

By Ryan Mykita

Ryan Mykita is Principal at More Animal Than Human, an outdoors conservation project launching worldwide in 2015. He is a permanent resident of Berkeley, and an adopted resident of Bogota, Colombia.

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Op-ed: Let’s build resilient communities, not just sea walls

As we cope with the latest gloomy news about climate change — from flooding in Serbia to Antarctica’s irreversible melting to Congress’s continued inaction and denial that climate change is even happening — a new buzz word is popping up … Continue reading »

By Susan Silber

Susan Silber is the co-coordinator for the Community Resilience Challenge-East Bay, working alongside Daily Acts Sustainable Contra Costa, the Victory Garden Foundation and Bay Localize to promote community resilience. She is a long-time environmental educator and community organizer, and also works with the Green Schools Initiative, working to reduce waste and promote sustainability with Berkeley Unified schools.

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Op-ed: Beware deceptive ‘Save Post Office’ ballot petition

Don’t be deceived. Backers of a proposed measure for the Berkeley ballot in November are circulating voter-signature petitions under the guise of “saving the Post Office.” But the main thrust of the measure is to impose prohibitively restrictive fees and … Continue reading »

By Tom Bates

Tom Bates is the mayor of Berkeley.

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Op-ed: No tip penalty — one fair minimum wage for all

On International Workers Day last Thursday, the Berkeley City Council devoted a meeting exclusively to discuss the minimum wage. California is one of seven states that have abolished a sub-minimum wage for tipped workers; elsewhere, tipped workers earn an hourly … Continue reading »

By Van Nguyen

Van Nguyen is the coordinator of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of the Bay, a membership-based worker center that seeks to improve wages and working conditions for all restaurant workers in the Bay Area.

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Op-ed: Tasers, torture and the soul of the city

Before I discuss the facts and reasons that lead me to oppose arming Berkeley Police with Tasers, I invite readers to remember a bit of Berkeley history.

This city was once nationally known for its unapologetic defense of the … Continue reading »

By Andrea Prichett

Andrea Prichett is a founding member of Berkeley Copwatch, a 30-year resident of Berkeley and a teacher at Willard Middle School.

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Op-ed: Priced out of my own ‘million dollar’ Berkeley block

If you live in Berkeley and didn’t think you live on a million dollar block, think again. Last month, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house directly across the street from mine in the modest flats of Berkeley listed at $769,000, sold for … Continue reading »

By Reichi Lee

Reichi Lee lives with her husband and two children in Berkeley. She is an Adjunct Professor and Assistant Director of the Academic Development Program at Golden Gate University School of Law.

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Op-ed: How to see through the fog of redistricting

Berkeley’s current redistricting process is a foggy mess.  For readers, I’ll try to clear some of the fog by, first, presenting a timeline of pertinent events and then offering my take on these events.


1986—District elections established by … Continue reading »

By Barbara Gilbert

Barbara Gilbert is a longtime Berkeley resident and Council observer with a particular interest in the City budget, public safety, and land use. She is active in several community organizations, including NEBA, Berkeley Budget SOS, and the Committee for FACTS.

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