Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-Ed: Why we moved our startup from San Francisco to Berkeley (and why more will follow)

We recently moved our four-person software startup from the Mission district of San Francisco to downtown Berkeley. It’s been a fantastic change and, upon further reflection, I believe there are three mains reasons many will follow us.


By Alex Gourley

Alex Gourley is the co-founder and CEO of BitGym, which transforms an ordinary cardio machine into beautiful trails, inspiring classes, and fun multiplayer fitness activities. (Learn more at www.bitgym.com)

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Op-Ed: City needs to be creative to ensure good use of post office

Like many Berkeley residents, I have been following with great interest and concern the fate of our downtown Berkeley Post Office. It is a tragic commentary on the accelerating impoverishment of the public sector in our country that a public … Continue reading »

By Dorothy Walker

Dorothy Walker is a former member of Berkeley's Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee.

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Op-Ed: Join together to fight Bay Area sex trafficking

Recently, the FBI arrested 150 people suspected of forcing children into prostitution. This nationwide sweep highlighted the seedy underbelly of a black market that is all too common in the Bay Area. Although Oakland and San Francisco are considered by … Continue reading »

By Lori Droste

Lori Droste is Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in Berkeley and a member of the Subcommittee on Sexual Trafficking in Berkeley.

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Op-Ed: We need to be able to walk our streets and not be afraid

Last week, I got mugged in South Berkeley’s District 3. I was only a block away from my house. I fought off my attackers and managed to save my cell phone, but my laptop and some money was stolen in … Continue reading »

By Adena Ishii

Adena Ishii is a senior at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She runs a program through the UC Berkeley Public Service Center that helps students transfer from community college to four-year institutions, connect to resources, and get involved in public service. She has been an active, engaged member of the community for over four years.

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Op-Ed: Turn Berkeley post office into European-style public market

I live in Dudley, England’s second-largest town and a metropolitan borough, and I think this town has some lessons for Berkeley.

Dudley has 320,000 people and is two hours from London, 15 minutes from Birmingham. Dudley is a conurbation, a … Continue reading »

By John E. Parman

John E. Parman, who was born in Berkeley and lived here for 24 years, is the director of Black Country Tool Bank in the UK, which rebuilds neighborhoods by lending tools to volunteer projects. He researches the return on investment of social entrepreneurs in the private sector.

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Op-Ed: Save the post office by finding a new use for it

As a preservationist, I am disheartened to read about the current camp-out going on at the main Berkeley post office. Now is the time to work with potential buyers to craft an appropriate new use of the building, not … Continue reading »

By Rachel Force

Rachel Force holds a M.S. degree in Historic Preservation, has previously worked as an architectural historian and a San Francisco city planner. Last year Force served as president of the board of directors of the Oakland Heritage Alliance.

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Op-Ed: It’s time to lift the floor for all workers in Berkeley

[Editor's note: The city of Berkeley is considering raising its minimum wage with an eye toward related policy changes in San Francisco. In his recommendation to the city’s Labor Commission, which has been … Continue reading »

By Van Nguyen

Van Nguyen is the co-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: Ramadhan for this Cal student is a time for self-reflection

As a kid I used to be among the first ones in my family to get up at 4 am in the morning ever ready to keep a fast. This was the age when sweet sleep did not matter. Sleep was not … Continue reading »

By Ramlah Malhi

Ramlah Malhi is a undergraduate pursuing a Bachelors degree in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley. She is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

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Op-Ed: What Wednesday June 26 meant to me

I woke up Wednesday, June 26, like it was any other day. I slid out of bed and felt the bluntly edged pain of a migraine cutting into my temples so I decided to stay home from work. My mama … Continue reading »

By Julia Hannafin

Julia Hannafin is a summer intern at Berkeleyside and a student at Columbia University studying creative writing and American studies. She writes for the music blog "The Metropolitan Jolt."

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Op-Ed: As a restaurant owner I question minimum wage process

[Editor's Note: The city of Berkeley is considering raising its minimum wage with an eye toward related policy changes in San Francisco. In his recommendation to the city’s Labor Commission, which Continue reading »

By Natalie Kniess

Natalie and Todd Kniess co-founded the Berkeley Restaurant Alliance. They own a business in Berkeley and work with Berkeley restaurants to represent them when changes affect the small business restaurant industry.

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Op-Ed: Berkeley must keep the one fair redistricting map in play

Not so very long ago, Berkeley proclaimed itself to be a “City of Neighborhoods.” Not so much now. Under the quiet and persistent guidance of the present Mayor and Council, policy and practice emphasis has steadily shifted away from neighborhoods … Continue reading »

By Jacquelyn McCormick

Jacquelyn McCormick sits on the BNC Committee for Redistricting. McCormick, who runs an interior design business and lives in Berkeley, ran for Mayor in the November 2012 elections.

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Op-Ed: Berkeley needs a year-round youth shelter

Last week, Berkeley’s only youth shelter — Youth Engagement, Advocacy, and Housing (YEAH!) –closed its doors, not to reopen until November. At 7:00 in the morning, the shelter’s young residents began walking out onto the street, carrying all of their … Continue reading »

By Susan Halpern and Elisa Della-Piana

Susan Halpern is the board chair of YEAH! and Elisa Della-Piana is a member of the board and serves on the Berkeley Homeless Commission.

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Op-Ed: Why Berkeley needs more affordable housing

If you happened to come across a group of people on bikes criss-crossing their way through Berkeley last Sunday afternoon, you may have caught a glimpse of this year’s Berkeley Affordable Housing Bike Tour. The tour was one of the … Continue reading »

By Julie Twichell

Julie Twichell is the Outreach and Communications Manager with the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department (previously named the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program). She is a health educator and has been with the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program for over 20 years, and lives in south Berkeley.

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