Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

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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Op-ed: It’s time to compromise on Berkeley redistricting 

The Berkeley City Council is engaged in a lawsuit with itself over redistricting. With leadership and compromise, we can put this matter behind us Tuesday night (tonight).

How we got here: Redistricting is required every 10 years. Since populations shift and … Continue reading »

By George Beier

George Beier is a neighborhood activist and President of the Willard Neighborhood Association. Depending on how the redistricting ruling is decided, he may also be a candidate in District 8.

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Op-ed: Do not sign any petitions at all in Berkeley

Councilman Laurie Capitelli has urged good citizens to question the need for, and motives of, the people seeking signatures on initiative petitions, and by implication, to vote against them. That would include the Overlay Petition which seeks … Continue reading »

By Julia Ross

Julia Ross is a Berkeley resident and member of the Berkeley-Albany Bar Association.

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Op-ed: Think about the importance of your signature on a petition

Berkeley’s iconic wisteria is exploding. Our young trees on Solano are budding out after their (barely) second winter. And as spring declares its arrival, so does our upcoming election season.

As a result, we should all get ready to be … Continue reading »

By Laurie Capitelli

Laurie Capitelli serves Berkeley as a City Councilman representing District 5.

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Op-ed: Let’s join forces to back Healthy Berkeley program

A broad coalition of diverse community representatives came together before the Berkeley City Council recently to call for Council support for two very important “Healthy Berkeley” initiatives. One involves a city parks bond proposal, and the other … 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.

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Op-ed: Could Box have been Berkeley’s first $1 billion IPO?

Box, a leading cloud content management and collaboration company with over 20 million users, filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission two weeks ago. It’s a hotly anticipated IPO, and an exciting milestone for the nine-year old … Continue reading »

By David McIntosh

David McIntosh, a UC Berkeley graduate, is the founder and CEO of Redux, a Berkeley company that "makes discovering exceptional online video as enjoyable and effortless as watching cable television — with content and personalization cable can’t match." It was founded in 2010 and is backed by Draper Fischer Jurvetson and Alsop-Louie partners. Follow McIntosh on Twitter at @dmcintosh

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Op-ed: East Bay should raise minimum wage, be a model for state

I am a person who escaped poverty with education and a minimum wage job.

In so many ways, I was lucky. My cousin and her husband, both campus police officers, raised me as their own son after my … Continue reading »

By Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond directs youth and truancy programs at Lincoln Child Center and is a former Richmond City council member and West Contra Costa School Board member. He's currently running for California State Assembly, District 15, which includes Berkeley.

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Op-ed: The 2020 Vision and the next election: Is the goal in sight?

What evidence do we have that the 2020 Vision for equitable outcomes in Berkeley schools will reach its goal by the year 2020?

The photo, left, shows 10 members of the 2020 generation when they were in kindergarten. … Continue reading »

By Santiago Casal

Santiago Casal is the former chair of United In Action, a multi-ethnic organization of community groups united in the effort to eliminate the achievement gap in Berkeley schools.

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