Tag Archives: Barbara Lee
More than five weeks after Berkeley police used tear gas, smoke bombs, and over the shoulder baton strikes to control a crowd protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the City Council held a meeting Saturday to examine community relations with police.
More than 200 people gathered in the atrium of the Ed Roberts campus for a five-hour town hall meeting, some holding up signs with “Black Lives Matter,” and “Stop racial profiling! BPD come clean.” While some of the public testimony concerned police actions Dec. 6, the first night of a weeklong series of demonstrations in Berkeley, much of the talk touched on the broader societal ills that have affected African-Americans.
From a panel of experts that included professors from UC Berkeley to Sheila Quintana, the principal of Berkeley Technical Academy, to a host of politicians including Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, to long-time residents of Berkeley, those in attendance focused on issues of race, jobs, affordable housing, and equitable education as pressing issues that must be addressed immediately.
“Police brutality and the killing of black bodies is horrific, however it is only a part of the problem that affects the relationship between the police and the black community,” Barbara White, a member of the Berkeley chapter of the NAACP testified in front of the council. “Structural and institutionalized racism and white privilege is at the root of the dehumanization of black people.” … Continue reading »
Amid speeches about the glorious new building and the patient-centric care it will foster, came memories of Berkeley in the 1970s and the push to revolutionize health care. … Continue reading »
National and local political figures, along with city staff, family members and other loved ones, came together Tuesday night in Berkeley to celebrate the life of former Councilwoman Maudelle Shirek who died April 11 at the age of 101.
The memorial event took place in the building re-named in 2005 to honor Shirek — a Berkeley councilwoman for 20 years — known widely as the “godmother of progressive politics” due to her work in the peace movement, and in the fight for social justice, nutrition, fair housing, HIV/AIDS education, civil rights, human rights and an end to apartheid. … Continue reading »
Update, April 24: There will be a celebration of the life of former Vice-Mayor Maudelle Shirek on Tuesday, April 30, at 5 p.m. at the Old City Hall Council Chambers in the building named after her at 2134 Martin Luther King Way. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Tom Bates, Rev. William Kruse and family member Ronald Bridgeforth will speak. After there will be a video, light refreshments served and shared remembrances in the lobby. All are invited.
Original story: Maudelle Shirek, often called the godmother of East Bay progressive politics, died in a Vallejo hospice on April 11. Shirek served in the Berkeley City Council for 20 years, leading many progressive causes, with a particular devotion to seniors and the poor.
Shirek entered politics late in life. Furious that she was forced to retire as director of the West Berkeley Senior Center aged 71, she decided to run for City Council. She won and represented South Berkeley for eight terms. She did not run in 2004 because of her team misinterpreted the changed rules on candidate signatures: she had obtained signatures from across the city, but the new rules required signatures from just her district. Her signatures were ruled invalid.
When she left office in 2004, aged 92, she was the oldest publicly elected official in California. Old City Hall was renamed for Shirek in 2007.
“She was a real warrior for many of the issues on the left,” said Mayor Tom Bates. “It’s really sad the godmother of progressive politics in Berkeley has passed on.” … Continue reading »
By Tom Miller
Following Mayor Tom Bates and State Senator Loni Hancock’s December visit to Palma Soriano, Berkeley’s sister city in Eastern Cuba, plans are afoot for a community-built clean water solution for the entire city of 80,000 people.
For the past decade, UC Berkeley researchers have traveled to Palma to work with the community to develop a plan which will blend the deeply spiritual Afro-Cuban based affinity to land and nature with a low-tech, low cost green field sewage treatment plan. The people of Palma’s roots stretch back to Haiti when French slave owners brought slaves to Eastern Cuba when they fled Haiti’s slave rebellion over 200 years ago. … Continue reading »
It was all smiles on Friday at Lifelong Medical Care’s Over 60 Health Center.
Dozens of dignitaries, doctors, patients and administrators gathered to celebrate the award of a $1.1 million federal grant to the 36-year old clinic. The funds will be used to hire 60 peer educators to work with 3,200 elderly over three years to better manage their health care. The aim is to get the older patients to be proactive about their health so they don’t take unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
The 60 peers will lead group classes for disabled patients and do one on one counseling. They will train adults to adopt more healthy lifestyles and encourage them to work with a group of nurses to more closely manage their own health care, according to a press release issued by Lifelong. The Center for Independent Living is a partner in the project. … Continue reading »
I know we try to concentrate on local issues on Berkeleyside, but I’ve been distracted in the last couple of days at the sight of Democrats in Washington ducking for cover because they only have an 18-seat majority in the Senate and a 78-seat majority in the House. As some commentators have said, healthcare reform is on the 1-yard line, and all that is needed is a single House vote to pass it. So what’s the problem?
There … Continue reading »