Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: An open letter to Berkeley on homelessness: You are being scammed by the City Council

Do storage lockers magically appear on Tom Bates’ order? Do angels from on high descend with public restrooms on Linda Maio’s wish? Is it common for shower facilities to construct themselves from piping and tile without human intervention?

If you … Continue reading »

By JP Massar

JP Massar is a Berkeley resident and an activist with the Berkeley Post Office Defenders and Strike Debt Bay Area.

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Op-ed: Berkeley’s ancient ruins — A photo essay

On July 1, 2014, the recently retired Director of Public Works, Andrew Clough, gave a somber presentation to City Council on the condition of facilities in Berkeley.

The information report accompanying his presentation stated the following:

“During the past 25 … Continue reading »

By Isabelle Gaston

Isabelle Gaston is a medical writing consultant specializing in oncology regulatory submissions to the FDA and president of NEBA, the North East Berkeley Association, a community organization for residents of electoral districts 5 and 6.

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Op-ed: Berkeley’s 72-hour parking limit is outdated, discriminatory and needs to go

It felt great to return to Berkeley recently after two weeks in Brazil without robberies, accidents, or mishaps. But when we arrived just blocks from our home, we were greeted with an unsavory welcome: our cars had vanished from the … Continue reading »

By Michael Levitin

Michael Levitin is a freelance journalist living in Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Being poor is not a crime

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates was quoted on Channel 7 News as saying, “It’s not an effort to criminalize people, it’s an effort to try to make things more civil.”

Yet the new homeless ordinance that passed 6-3 early WednesdayContinue reading »

By Donald Frazier

Donald Frazier is Executive Director of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS). For more information on BOSS, visit www.self-sufficiency.org.

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Op-ed: Support the recommendations of the Homeless Task Force

​Time and again, Berkeley voters have made it clear that they reject the criminalization of the homeless, many of whom are veterans suffering from mental trauma and LGBT youth kicked out of their homes because of who they love.

Do … Continue reading »

By Jesse Arreguín

Jesse Arreguín represents District 4 on the Berkeley City Council.

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Op-ed: New homeless proposal accelerates ethnic and social cleansing

It is zero hour for the defense of the right of homeless people in Berkeley to simply be.

This Tuesday, Mayor Bates and Council members Maio, Droste, and Capitelli are proposing, for the nth time in 25 years, to … Continue reading »

By George Lippman

George Lippman is Chair of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission.

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Op-ed: Striking a balance for the homeless in Berkeley

I’ve been a resident of Berkeley for the last decade, and there is no doubt the homeless problem is getting worse, despite the best efforts of our elected officials.

Both of my elementary school-age children and I have been verbally … Continue reading »

By Bill Williams

Bill Williams has been a resident of Berkeley for ten years and is the parent of two students in the Berkeley Unified school system.

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Op-ed: Let’s share responsibility for welcoming sidewalks

Criminalizing homelessness is not a Berkeley value, nor is turning away those who have nowhere else to go. Sadly, unless more communities come to embrace our values, Berkeley will continue to shoulder a disproportionate share of the regional and national … Continue reading »

By Eric Panzer

Eric Panzer is chairman of the Livable Berkeley Board of Directors.

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Op-ed: Stop developers from demolishing rent-controlled buildings without replacing them

Developers would like to be able to tear down perfectly fine rent controlled buildings and replace them with fancy apartments for dot-com commuters.

On Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council will be deciding whether to allow a developer to tear … Continue reading »

By Katherine Harr

Katherine Harr is a member of the Berkeley Tenants' Union. She is also an elected representative to the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board and is a landlord herself.

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Op-ed: Let’s be real about the effects of minimum wage hikes

In the debate about increasing the minimum wage to $15, or even $19 (as Berkeley’s Labor Commission has recommended), one important issue has not received the attention it deserves. Namely, what happens to the wages of employees who had been … Continue reading »

By Steve Meyers

Steve Meyers is a long-time Berkeley resident. He works at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

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Op-ed: Let’s pledge to go meatless on Mondays this month

Have you heard the news about bacon? The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has released a study providing evidence that processed meat such as bacon is carcinogenic to humans and fresh red meat is probably carcinogenic. … Continue reading »

By Mara Guccione

Mara Guccione is a Berkeley resident and volunteer District Leader for The Humane Society of the United States.

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Op-ed: Let’s amplify local voices in Berkeley City Hall

Ask any elected official how much time they spend on fundraising and I’d be willing to bet most respond with, “too much.” In Berkeley, seven of the eight last city council elections went to the candidate who raised the most … Continue reading »

By Woody Little

Woody Little is co-president of Common Cause of Berkeley.

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