Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: Berkeley needs a better parks, facilities plan

Berkeley has been ambitious in trying to make our city as beautiful and livable as possible. We have 52 parks, five community centers, 38 picnic areas, three camps, two pools, a marina, and 95 facilities (aka buildings). And that’s only … Continue reading »

By Diz Swift

Diz Swift is founder of PriceonCarbon.org, a lecturer on climate change, and a Berkeley Public Works commissioner.

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Op-ed: We must address the affordability crisis faced by Berkeley teachers

Recently a fifth grade student in my class told me that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. I was incredibly pleased, a bright young person deciding that they want to be an educator is an amazing thing. … Continue reading »

By Dana Blanchard

Dana Blanchard is a member of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers organizing team. She currently teaches at LeConte Elementary and has previously been a district teacher leader around BUSD’s Response to Instruction and Intervention program.                  

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Op-ed: Let’s build the housing that Berkeley needs

Berkeley is in urgent need of affordable housing. We do NOT need more market-rate and upscale rentals and condos; that need has been more than adequately served. We need housing for families and low-income people who are being pushed out … Continue reading »

By Charlene M. Woodcock

Charlene M. Woodcock has been a Berkeley resident since 1967. She is a retired UC Press editor, a choral singer, and an activist in issues that will affect our grandchildren.

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Op-ed: Berkeley should ease parking rules for in-law units

As we know, our population is aging and more people are confronting the need to plan for appropriate living arrangements. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), either for a caretaker’s apartment or as a downsizing option, is becoming increasingly popular. The concept … Continue reading »

By Patricia Motzkin

Patricia Motzkin is an architect in Berkeley. She established Patricia Motzkin Architecture in 1990.

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Op-ed: In Berkeley, how much tolerance is too much?

In preparation for relocating to Berkeley five years ago, I arranged to pick up some moving boxes. It turns out, the couple giving me the boxes had just moved from Berkeley. When I asked why they left, they shared some … Continue reading »

By Nora Isaacs

Nora Isaacs is a freelance writer, editor, and author.

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Op-ed: Berkeley’s new homeless vote: A victory of style over substance

For a city that prides itself on substance on the issues of environment, free speech, locavore food politics, etc., Berkeley embarrassed itself Tuesday night on the substantive issue of caring for some of its neediest community members, opting for style over … Continue reading »

By Sonja Fitz

Sonja Fitz is Development Director at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS).

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Op-ed: The Berkeley tax may have passed, but the campaign has not ended for Big Soda

For us in Berkeley, the historic campaign to pass Measure D (the soda tax) ended on Nov. 4, 2014, when over 76% of Berkeley overwhelmingly voted yes. Yet the campaign has not ended for Big Soda.

Having spent over $2 … Continue reading »

By Robert Reich, Laurie Capitelli, Dr. Vicki Alexander

Robert Reich is a former U.S. Secretary of Labor and a professor at UC Berkeley; Laurie Capitelli is a Berkeley City Councilmember; and Dr. Vicki Alexander is a former City of Berkeley Health Officer.

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Smokefree housing: Berkeley scores a win for public health and citizens’ wallets

Do you or someone you live with smoke? If you answered “no” to this question you already may know that smoking and secondhand smoke isn’t your problem, but research proves that other factors may still affect you.

According to “The … Continue reading »

By Alexandra Nelson

Alexandra Nelson is Advocacy Manager for the American Lung Association in California.

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Op-ed: Schools need to stop our friends from making us fat

Obesity is contagious. If I am obese, my friends, my friends’ friends, and my friends’ friends’ friends are more likely to be obese.

These obese social networks are growing, as evidenced by American children being three times more likely to … Continue reading »

By Emily Lisker

Emily Lisker is a master's student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a daughter of UC Berkeley alums, and granddaughter of long-time Berkeley residents.

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Op-ed: Bias and racism pervade society, including in Berkeley, and may happen unconsciously

Gibor Basri and Jessica Broitman have been married more than 40 years and have a 24-year-old-son. Basri is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley and the vice-chancellor for equity and inclusion. Broitman is a psychoanalyst who runs a non-profit, low-fee … Continue reading »

By Gibor Basri and Jessica Broitman

Gibor Basri is the vice-chancellor for equity and inclusion at UC Berkeley. Jessica Broitman is a psychotherapist. They live in Berkeley.

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Op-ed: A tale of two waterfronts — why Albany is on verge of making a mistake

Ask anyone around the Marina if they think the City of Berkeley made the right decision, back in the early ’60s, when they planned the waterfront for mixed-use development.

“Should all the marina landfill have been reserved for open space, … Continue reading »

By Paul Kamen

Paul Kamen, a naval architect, runs the website for CDAWGS -- Coalition for Diverse Activities on Water, Grass and Sand.

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Average pay not good enough for valued Berkeley teachers

This past Thursday, February 19th, Berkeley teachers visited businesses across the city as part of our annual “Teachers Across Berkeley” event. We brought them a new placard to join or replace last year’s model — designed by King Middle School … Continue reading »

By John Becker

John Becker is the Vice President of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers. He teaches English in the Arts & Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School.

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Op-ed: An open letter to Lori Droste about mini-dorms

Dear Lori Droste,

The residents of District 8 have elected you to be their representative because you presented yourself as a family-oriented candidate who would work on behalf of the people of District 8, a largely residential district with continuing … Continue reading »

By Joan Barnett

Joan Barnett is Co-President of the Dwight/Hillside Neighborhood Association and a long-time resident of Berkeley District 8.

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