Tonight the Berkeley City Council will vote on legalizing and regulating short-term rentals, defined as rentals which last for less than fourteen days. Currently, such rentals are illegal in Berkeley, though that hasn’t stopped multi-billion dollar companies such as Airbnb from ignoring the law. With Airbnb’s assistance, certain landlords around the state have been able to remove entire apartment buildings from the long-term rental market by converting them into illegal hotels. In Berkeley alone, 400 rent-controlled units are being used only as short-term rentals. As a result, tenants who otherwise would have been able to live long-term in these units have been displaced, worsening Berkeley’s housing emergency.
Activists with the UC Berkeley student group Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy (BOAA) staged a protest on the Cal campus Thursday to protest the consumption of meat. Spokeswoman Kitty Jones said two more similarly dramatic protests are planned in the next few days at locations in the city of Berkeley.
A student-majority district in Berkeley moved a step closer with the release of redistricting plans on Thursday. Six individuals and community groups submitted redistricting plans, with most of them concentrating on creating a student-majority district 7, which currently is represented by Kriss Worthington.
The campaign to create at least one student-majority district in Berkeley reached a milestone today when a group of student leaders submitted their detailed redistricting proposal to the city clerk.
In the 15 years since Berkeley adopted City Council districts, no student has been elected to the post even though they make up a quarter of the population.
The controversy over relations between Israel and Palestine has been wreaking havoc in the halls of UC Berkeley in recent weeks.