Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: An omnibus housing plan to address a critical shortage

We all agree on the urgent need to address our critical shortage of housing, especially affordable housing.

But how?

In Berkeley, as in other Bay Area population centers, the housing supply has not kept pace with population. Berkeley’s population grew … Continue reading »

By Tom Bates

Tom Bates is the mayor of Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Truth and transparency of utmost importance at Berkeley Animal Shelter

If you visited Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS) Sunday, you probably noticed the BPD patrol car in the parking lot. The shelter doesn’t normally require police presence, but over the weekend, a threat was made to burn down the building with … Continue reading »

By Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith is a writer and long-time volunteer at BACS.

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Op-ed: Berkeley government is failing and no-one has noticed

In the last couple of weeks there have been two daytime armed robberies reported in North Berkeley, according to my neighborhood listserve. One was in a private garage where the woman had left her house and gotten into her car to go to … Continue reading »

By Ted Edlin

Ted Edlin, who has lived in Berkeley for more than 50 years, was formerly president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, vice-president of NEBA, chair of the Housing Advisory Commission, and a member of the Fire Commission, now known as the Disaster and Fire Safety Commission.

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Op-ed: Too cute to fail? A critical look at tiny houses

Berkeley mayoral candidate Mike Lee is part of a local effort to explore tiny houses as part of a solution to homelessness. Misconceptions about tiny houses seem to surround such efforts and are difficult to swat. And I think I … Continue reading »

By Carol Denney

Carol Denney is a singer, writer, and veteran activist of social justice movements.

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Op-ed: Kids in economically disadvantaged communities need to see live theater

Nothing is more exciting than seeing children’s eyes light up when they first experience live theater.

From Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Aurora Theatre Company, to Berkeley Playhouse and Cal Performances, Berkeley is home to vibrant theatre of all kinds. Parents … Continue reading »

By Terry Pink Alexander

Terry Pink Alexander, a cast member in Aladdin and the Lamp, has long been involved with children and the arts. She is the former director of development at Head Royce School and the former executive director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum. Now retired, she is combining her love of kids with her love of musical theater.

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Op-ed: How can you help Berkeley youth qualify for a good career?

Berkeley can certainly take pride in the remarkable rise in our local high school graduation rate, but we still fall far short of what’s needed to assure equal opportunity for all students, especially disadvantaged youth.

In the 2013-14 school year, … Continue reading »

By Tom Bates

Tom Bates is Mayor of Berkeley

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Op-ed: Water we waiting for? Berkeley should respond to the crisis in Flint

Every single child in Flint, Michigan has been exposed to lead poisoning thanks to contaminated water. Lead poisoning is irreversible and has the largest health impact on children. Lead poisoning has been proven to cause a series of health consequences, including … Continue reading »

By Jackie Boyd

Jackie Boyd, MHC is a board member of Healthy Black Families, Inc.

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Op-ed: An urgent call for better bikeways in Berkeley

We are long time (20+ years) residents and business owners in Berkeley and are currently raising and educating our children here. Almost every day, my wife or I lead our two kids on bikes from our house near the Marin … Continue reading »

By Joe DiStefano

Joe DiStefano is a longtime Berkeley resident and business owner and regularly bikes the streets and trails of Berkeley and the Bay Area with his wife and two young children.

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Op-ed: Berkeley’s democratic deficit and dog parks

Over the last week a small group of neighbors, some of whom have property directly abutting the Ohlone Dog Park, have been organizing to valiantly make a point about democratic process. They failed before the City Council, which, again, put … Continue reading »

By Bernard Marszalek

Bernard Marszalek is retired from Inkworks Press, an activist with worker-co-ops and has been a neighbor of Ohlone Park for 32 years. Although he is a member of Friends of Ohlone Park, this statement is personal and does not necessarily reflect the views of FOOP.

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Op-ed: PBS and its Black Panthers documentary missed… badly

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, I watched the PBS documentary The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution, written and directed by Stanley Nelson, and co-produced with Laurens Grant.

I was interested in the program because I was a peace officer … Continue reading »

By Mike DiMiceli

Mike DiMiceli was a police officer and sergeant in the Berkeley, CA Police Department and Inspector, Alameda County, CA District Attorney’s Office throughout the 1960s. He served as Chief of Police of Vail, Colorado, and retired as Assistant Executive Director of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

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Op-ed: Let’s amend regulations to prohibit city employees serving on boards and commissions

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Berkeley City Council will consider an amendment to the Municipal Code (item #29) that will prohibit city employees from being appointed to, or serving on, city boards and commissions.

This proposal is brought forward … Continue reading »

By Laurie Capitelli, Lori Droste and Susan Wengraf

The authors are all Berkeley City Councilmembers: Laurie Capitelli for District 5, Lori Droste for District 8 and Susan Wengraf for District 6.

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Op-ed: Berkeley needs to spend money to upgrade earthquake shelters

On the evening of Jan. 19, Timothy Burroughs, Berkeley’s chief resilience officer, delivered a presentation to city council on the seismic upgrade needs of the City’s seven “city care and shelter sites”.

City care and shelter sites are sites that … 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 latest homelessness recommendations are a lackluster response to a true emergency

On Tuesday the Berkeley City Council was presented with a report from the Homeless Task Force, with recommendations for action to address homelessness in the city. Leaving aside the likelihood or unlikelihood of any of the recommendations passing, for a Task … Continue reading »

By Sonja Fitz

Sonja Fitz is the Director of Development and Marketing for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS). She has worked in Berkeley, where she was born and raised, for 33 years.

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