Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: Berkeley police do not tolerate discrimination

Recently, several groups have alleged that, due to racial disparity between Berkeley Police stop data and the resident census population, the only possible explanation was racial profiling by Berkeley Police. I respectfully disagree.

Racial disparity and implicit bias are … Continue reading »

By Michael Meehan

Michael Meehan is the chief of the Berkeley Police Department.

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Op-ed: Berkeley Police take a ‘head in the sand’ approach to racial profiling

“The men and women of the Berkeley Police Department do not, have not and will never tolerate discriminatory, bias-based policing. Such discrimination is illegal, it is not our practice and it is not part of our organizational culture,” Meehan said.

Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Labor Commission should think carefully about $19 minimum wage

There is no one on the planet who would like to see his fellow man and woman find productive and meaningful employment at wages that allow for the complete satisfaction of every need and want more than I do.

Over the … Continue reading »

By Dan McDunn

Dan McDunn is a Berkeley resident, father of three boys, and a marginal soccer coach for ABSC.

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Op-ed: Is the city of Berkeley getting more efficient?

Maybe the headline should be “man bites dog” but there’s a bit of good news on council’s Tuesday agenda: a vast improvement in timely approval of contracts. Our performance audit “Most Contracts Executed Timely but Contract Project Managers Could … Continue reading »

By Ann-Marie Hogan

Ann-Marie Hogan has served the community as Berkeley’s elected City Auditor since Dec. 1994. She believes that independent performance auditing is a powerful force for change, and that objective and constructive audits are the best way to speak truth to power in a way that can be heard.

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Op-ed: School board — Take action now on developer fees

State law allows school districts to collect fees from new residential and commercial development projects to mitigate their impact on school facilities. New construction and new residents mean new students and new classroom space requirements. Most school districts in the … Continue reading »

By Michael Fretz

Michael Fretz is a Berkeley resident and licensed structural engineer. His child attends a public school in Berkeley and he works for the State of California.

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Op-ed: Begging my neighbors for respect and affordability

I am a 23-year-old music data analyst making a $42,000 yearly salary before taxes; 46% of my income goes to rent. Nobody at my income level can afford median rent in Berkeley.

I feel utterly disrespected by my older neighbors … Continue reading »

By Diego Aguilar-Canabal

Diego is native to the Washington, D.C. area, a recent college graduate, and relatively new resident of Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Berkeley School Board must take action on sexual harassment

In Berkeley, a topic of concern is “disproportionality,” the discrepancy between how often students of color are disciplined compared to their population. One of the greatest deterrents to the school-to-prison pipeline is prevention. Education, training, and a culture of respect … Continue reading »

By Peggy Scott

Peggy Scott is a former BHS parent, where she represented high-school parents on the school site council and the BSEP P&O Committee. Currently she serves on the BUSD Sexual Harassment Advisory Committee.

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Op-ed: Berkeley Community Fund helped keep my college dream alive

The many recent stories in the media about college access and the challenges faced by first- generation college students have inspired me to share my own experience with Berkeleyside readers.

I’m one of those students. I came to the United … Continue reading »

By Ilse Rueda

Ilse Rueda is a 2011 Berkeley High School graduate and currently a student at San Francisco State on pace to graduate in Spring 2016.

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Op-ed: Stop the delaying tactics; approve 2211 Harold Way

The city process for the project at 2211 Harold Way is closing in on three years. In December 2012 the first application was submitted and the project is currently scheduled for another Zoning Board hearing on September 30, 2015.

I … Continue reading »

By Sean K. Slater

Sean K. Slater is an architect and serves on the board of the Downtown Berkeley Association.

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Op-ed: Berkeley Labor Commission’s $19 nightmare

When President Obama proposed in 2013 to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, one retort designed to call attention to his flawed economic logic went like this: “If $9 is so great, why not $19?”

Less than … Continue reading »

By Michael Saltsman

Michael Saltsman is research director at the Employment Policies Institute, which receives support from businesses, foundations, and individuals.

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Op-ed: Berkeley must restrict parking on narrow streets

The Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commission is working on a proposal to restrict parking on what it describes as “the excessively narrow streets in the hills fire zone.” The commission has suggested this as a result of FEMA recommendations that followed the 1991 … Continue reading »

By Bob Flasher

Bob Flasher is a retired ranger/ firefighter and current chair of Berkeley's Disaster and Fire Safety Commission.

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Op-ed: The Sierra Club’s eucalyptus management policy is the right approach for East Bay Hills

Eucalyptus trees are magnificent and picturesque, but they are inherently dangerous and invasive, depriving native plants of the chance to thrive wherever they grow.

In some cases, exotic plants can co-exist with natives, but, in the case of blue gum … Continue reading »

By John Hitchen

John Hitchen is a retired East Bay Regional Parks supervisor and a resident of the Berkeley Hills.

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Op-ed: Militarization of Berkeley police doesn’t help community safety

This is an open letter to Chris Stines, President of the Berkeley Police Association, in response to his op-ed, “It should be possible to give police the tools they need while preserving Berkeley’s values,” published on Aug. 31, 2015, by Berkeleyside.

Dear Officer Stines,

Continue reading »

By Andrea Prichett

Andrea Prichett is a founding member of Berkeley Copwatch and a 30-year resident of Berkeley.

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