Category Archives: Politics
The Fair Campaign Practices Commission has decided to investigate whether any campaign laws were broken when the Yes on Measure S campaign paid people from $50 to $100 in cash to pass out campaign material on election day.
The commission also wants staff to look into whether the Yes on S campaign paid for an extra printing of endorsement fliers put out by the Berkeley Democratic Club without declaring its participation.
The decision to investigate came as the commission considered another complaint on Sept. 19 filed by Patricia Wall, executive director of the Homeless Action Center, and Bob Offer-Westort, the coordinator of the No on Measure S campaign. Measure S, which was defeated in November 2012, would have made it illegal to sit on sidewalks in commercial districts for much of the day. … Continue reading »
A small group of community members came together earlier this week at the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce to learn how the city’s redistricting process, underway for the past two years, will impact the city going forward.
Redistricting takes place in Berkeley every 10 years, when U.S. Census data are released, to ensure that districts have roughly equal populations.
Since at least 2000, students and others who live around the UC Berkeley campus have been trying to establish a student-majority district with the aim of giving students a larger voice and role in city decisions. In 2000, a proposal that essentially created a ring around campus was rejected by the city attorney because it didn’t comply with the city charter’s rules for redistricting. Last fall, Berkeley voters passed Measure R to change the way redistricting takes place. … Continue reading »
The California legislature is now deep in the throes of the state budget process, with the combined senate and assembly conference committee working to reconcile the differences between the legislative budgets and the governor’s. Decisions happen in a rush of committee meetings and votes: both houses need to approve the budget by June 15 and the final budget act and governor’s signature are required by the end of the month.
Berkeley’s own legislators, State Senator Loni Hancock and State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, are both among their chamber’s four members of the conference committee. So, although no one expects Hancock and Skinner to think about their city’s needs over the state’s, Berkeley represents one-fourth of the decision-making power for this year’s budget. … Continue reading »
Berkeley is seeking redistricting plans for the city’s eight council districts. Since 1986, Berkeley redistricting has been constrained to boundaries resembling the 1986 lines. After the passage of Measure R in November, those geographic constraints have been removed.
Redistricting plans must be submitted by March 15. A community meeting and two public hearings will be held in the spring and summer of this year, leading to the City Council considering a redistricting ordinance at its September 10th meeting. If the announced redistricting process calendar is adhered to, the redistricting ordinance will become effective on October 20, 2013, and the new districts will be used in the 2014 election, when seats for districts 1, 4, 7 and 8 will be up for election. … Continue reading »
The November 2012 election has come and gone, but Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission will address some alleged violations of campaign law on Thursday night.
The commission is scheduled to take a look at donations made to a Slate Mailer Organization (SMO) that spent more than $43,000 to send out five campaign mailers in support of the TUFF Rent Board slate, which included incumbent Nicole Drake, (who was defeated) Judy Hunt, (who was elected), Jay James, and Kiran Shenoy.
Patti Dacey, a Berkeley Planning Commissioner, filed a complaint with the FCPC on October 25 alleging that real estate businesses improperly donated to the TUFF SMO in order to circumvent Berkeley election laws, which prohibit businesses from contributing to candidates and limits individual donations to candidates (but not ballot measures) to $250. … Continue reading »
Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure S. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here.
Although most of the results of Berkeley’s 2012 election were known on Nov. 6, and the final tally completed over a week ago, an analysis of the precinct-by-precinct certified results provides a number of fascinating insights.
(The certified results were released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters just before Thanksgiving last week – the full 9MB 748-page statement of vote is available for download, but only as a PDF, not as a useful data file.) … Continue reading »
Alameda County is the first populous county in California to complete its election count, according to Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald (“If I can brag a little,” he said). The countywide turnout of 74.3% was slightly down on 2008, when it reached 78.3%. The registrar published the final, uncertified count last night.
Detailed precinct by precinct votes will be available shortly after the results are certified, which Macdonald expects to do next Wednesday. Today and Monday, his staff are doing the required 1% tally before certification: a random 1% of precincts is checked manually to see whether there are any discrepancies between the voter machine-reported tally and the manual tally.
In Berkeley, the final count revealed no changes since election day. The close count on Measure T, which would have changed zoning in West Berkeley, finished with the opponents ahead by 512 votes. The narrow margin Alejandro Soto-Vigil had for the fourth seat on the Rent Stabilization Board also held up: Soto-Vigil finished 210 votes ahead of incumbent Igor Tregub. Yesterday, Councilmember Jesse Arreguín appointed Tregub to the Zoning Adjustments Board. … Continue reading »
By Joe DeCredico
Joe DeCredico, an architect based in West Berkeley and the co-chair of the Yes on Measure T campaign, doesn’t know how the final tally on the proposed west Berkeley zoning ordinance will come out, but he was intrigued to find out more about the process of counting the outstanding votes. He therefore spent time over the weekend at the Alameda County Registrar. It is clear, he says, that Registrar Dave Macdonald and his team do a terrific job.
As the co-chair of Yes on T, I of course have a vested interest how the votes are counted, but the geek inside of me was also just curious as to how the process of counting absentee and provisional ballots works. So Saturday morning I arrived bright and early at the County Registrar of Voters to exercise my civic right and observe the ballot counting. For those who are interested, and for those who keep sniping about how long the process takes, I hope these observations will clear the waters. … Continue reading »
The staff at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters worked throughout the weekend, ploughing through the thousands of vote by mail ballots. With the updated figures posted on the registrar’s website yesterday afternoon, Measure T, which would alter the zoning in West Berkeley, looks unlikely to pass: the opponents’s lead has grown to 440, 23,131 to 22,691.
The gap on the sit ordinance, Measure S, remains large. No on S votes are 1,583 ahead of yes votes, 25,191 to 23,608.
Only about 1,000 new votes were added to the Berkeley totals yesterday. On Friday, Registrar Dave Macdonald said he planned to finish counting vote by mail ballots over the weekend. His staff will then turn their efforts to validating and counting the 40,000 provisional ballots countywide. … Continue reading »
The latest figures from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters adds nearly 10,000 votes to Berkeley totals — a nearly 30% increase on yesterday — and the closely fought West Berkeley zoning change, Measure T has changed dramatically again.
Yesterday, supporters of Measure T had inched five votes ahead of opponents. Today, the yes votes are 426 short of the no votes, the biggest gap in the contest. The registrar expects to finish counting mail in ballots tomorrow, and then his staff will move on to the 40,000 provisional ballots collected countywide.
On Measure S, the sit ordinance, opponents seem securely ahead, with a 1,407 vote lead. Berkeleyside has updated the Google Docs spreadsheet for measures S and T scenarios. … Continue reading »
In the latest vote update, yes votes on Measure T, the proposed West Berkeley zoning changes, have creeped five votes ahead of no votes, 17,845 to 17,850.
The gap on Measure S, the sit ordinance, has closed, but the no on S vote remains 759 ahead of the yes vote, 19,406 to 18,647.
Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald expects to complete the count of the remaining mail-in ballots by Sunday. Then his staff will turn to the 40,000 provisional ballots countywide.
The Alameda County Registrar plans to issue a daily update until all votes are counted.
One Berkeleyside reader who wishes to remain anonymous has constructed a spreadsheet to track the progress of the vote counts on measures S and T. The spreadsheet offers a number of possible scenarios for the vote outcome, making assumptions about the total number of outstanding ballots and how they might split. You can download the spreadsheet and change the assumptions to suit your tastes if you enjoy that kind of data manipulation. … Continue reading »
In the latest results from the Registrar of Voters, the Yes on T campaign has inched into the lead: 16,640 to 16,639.
None of the other Berkeley races have changed much in the latest update. Opponents of Measure S, the sit ordinance, still lead by nearly 1,000 votes, 18,254 to 17,273.
The Alameda County Registrar plans to issue a daily update until all votes are counted.