Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: Berkeley’s Measure R is bad government

Conceived with no public input and bewildering in detail, Berkeley’s Measure R sets a new low for proposals fostering bad government.

Measure R on the 2014 Berkeley ballot is 28 pages of complex zoning minutia, increased plan and development requirements … Continue reading »

By Dr. Diz Swift

Diz Swift is a lecturer on climate change and public policy and a Berkeley Public Works Commissioner.

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Op-ed: The goal is health: Measure D brings us closer

The going was tough in the late 1990s when a passionate and diverse group of Berkeley citizen-activists wrote the first school food policy in the nation. Through conflict and compromise, they worked long and hard to get the policy passed … Continue reading »

By Helen De Michiel

Helen De Michiel is a local filmmaker and writer who spent four years exploring issues around food reform, health, community sustainability and citizen-based democracy for her documentary about Berkeley and school food, 'Lunch Love Community.'

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Op-ed: Measure D: D is for distraction

Children in Berkeley are at risk for diabetes due to the lack of clean air in our allegedly “green” city.  In West Berkeley, the most diverse and low-income area in town, children have an alarming rate of asthma.  Once the … Continue reading »

By Kate Stepanski

Kate Stepanski is a freelance writer with no investments on the NYSE. One time, in the cornfields of Illinois, she hosted Martín Espada to hear him read his poem “Coca-Cola and Coco Frío".

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Op-ed: After fatal stabbing, be the change in South Berkeley

On Sept. 19, a 72-year-old woman was brutally stabbed in front of the Berkeley Zen Center in South Berkeley in a botched carjacking. For several days she lay in the hospital sedated and … Continue reading »

By Nora Isaacs

Nora Isaacs is a writer, editor, and author who lives in South Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Standing up for student mental health

KQED recently reported that students in the University of California system are struggling to get critical mental health services. Even at UC Berkeley, demand is at an all-time high and health directors are raising a red flag, asking for … Continue reading »

By Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond is a former Richmond city council member and school board member. As a social worker, he’s worked with struggling families and at-risk youth in the East Bay community for over 20 years. He is currently a director of youth programs at Lincoln Child Center and candidate for State Assembly District 15.

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Op-ed: Vote No on Measure F (parks tax increase)

I write this on behalf of directors of Berkeley Budget SOS, Committee for FACTS, Northeast Berkeley Association, Council of Neighborhood Associations, LeConte Neighborhood Association,  and many other residents and groups opposing Measure F.

We too love our parks and … Continue reading »

By Barbara Gilbert

Barbara Gilbert is a 45-year resident of Berkeley, close observer of City Council, former mayoral aide and Labor Commissioner, and board member of Northeast Berkeley Association, Berkeley Budget SOS, and Committee for FACTS.

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Op-ed: How Big Soda tried to buy my political soul

I am a strong supporter of Measure D, the sugary beverage tax, but recently I was recruited to help the No on D campaign. In exchange for my participation, I received $100 and a behind-the-scenes look at what the single … Continue reading »

By Karin Tamerius, MD

Karin Tamerius is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UCSF Medical School. She lives in Berkeley's Westbrae neighborhood with her spouse and three sons.

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Op-ed: We trust officials to spend soda tax money wisely

In “Beverage companies donate $800,000 to fight soda tax,” an article published on Berkeleyside on Sept. 22, 2014, I laughed when I read ‘No on D’ spokesperson Roger Salazar’s explanation as to why an unprecedented $800,000 from the Washington, … Continue reading »

By Pamela Gray

Pamela Gray is a volunteer on the Measure D campaign, the previous chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Children, Youth and Recreation Commission, and a former aide to Berkeley City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli.

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Op-ed: UC profits from the fossil fuel industry

It doesn’t make sense for the University of California to hold millions of dollars of stock in the fossil fuel industry and at the same time espouse a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. Students at UC Berkeley and throughout … Continue reading »

By Kathy Barnhart

Kathy Barnhart is a UC alum from the class of 1968 and is active with the Fossil Free UC campaign.

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Op-ed: Measure D will not reduce soda consumption

I was visiting recently with a fellow Berkeley parent while at the Washington Elementary School Fall Fair. He wanted to know if I was familiar with Measure D, and wanted to encourage me to support it.

Rather than avoid the topic, … Continue reading »

By Dan McDunn

Dan McDunn is the parent of three BUSD elementary school students, coach of two Albany Berkeley Soccer Club Teams, a food activist and the former chair of the No Sellwood Wal-Mart Committee in Portland, Oregon

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Op-ed: Support Measure F for care, repair of Berkeley parks

Life sometimes comes full circle. Eighteen years ago, I jumped into public service in Berkeley as a novice member of the Parks & Recreation Commission, experiencing first hand the tremendous assets we have in our parks, paths, street trees, and … Continue reading »

By Gordon Wozniak

Gordon Wozniak is a retired nuclear scientist and a 12-year veteran of the Berkeley City Council. He has lived in Berkeley for 48 years

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Op-ed: Why a liberal mother of 2 is voting no on Measure D

I begin with this confession: I don’t drink soda and I never have. My boys, ages 9 and 12, don’t drink soda, either. In fact, I’ve never even let them try it, because I didn’t want them to like it. … Continue reading »

By Jill Herschman

Jill Herschman is a Berkeley Unified mom and community activist. Opinions expressed here are her own.

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Op-ed: Why the 2014 Measure R is not ‘true green’

In 2010, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly ratified a different Measure R, which gave city council the go-ahead to adopt the Downtown Area Plan, a plan created through an open and transparent process with wide community participation. It became law in 2012. … Continue reading »

By Henry Siegel

Henry Siegel is the founding principal at Siegel & Strain, an architectural firm that has received more than 60 design awards, including four Top Ten Green Projects of the Year from the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE). He lives in Berkeley. 

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