Tag Archives: Berkeley elections
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 lungs are affected, it is a challenge to then exercise.
Obesity, according to the Center for Disease Control, results from both a lack of exercise and too high of a caloric intake. When our children cannot play outside because the … Continue reading »
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 more staffing and funding.
Over the last six years, the number of students seeking help increased 37% – and they’re waiting longer to get appointments – four weeks or even longer. Often by the time they see a professional, their … Continue reading »
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 other Berkeley amenities, but… as parks tax revenues rose, our parks decayed.
The original 1997 parks measure promised to fund parks, trees and landscaping maintenance. The original tax rate and the revenue generated have since almost doubled, although the … Continue reading »
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 largest political contribution in Berkeley’s history is paying for.
This is how it happened: at the beginning of September, I received a telephone call from a company called Nichols Research located in Fresno. They offered me money to take part … Continue reading »
Campaign donations reach record levels in Berkeley; beverage companies donate $1.4M to defeat soda tax
The beverage industry in recent days contributed another $600,000 to its fight to defeat Measure D, a proposed tax in Berkeley on sugary beverages, bringing the amount it has given so far to $1.4 million.
The contribution comes on top of $7.7 million the beverage industry has donated to stop a similar soda tax measure on San Francisco’s ballot. The Measure D campaign had already won the distinction of being the most expensive in Berkeley, and the new contribution made Oct. 1 only accentuates that fact. The beverage industry spent more than $2.6 million to defeat a similar tax in Richmond in 2012. … Continue reading »
One of the most hotly contested seats in the Nov. 4 election is the race for Assembly District 15. Nancy Skinner, who has held the seat for six years, is termed out of office and is stepping down.
The battle for the vacant seat pits two Democrats against one another – Tony Thurmond, a former member of the Richmond City Council and the West Contra Costa School Board, and Elizabeth Echols. Echols has never held public office but has served under two presidents, including a recent stint as the regional administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Obama. … Continue reading »
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, D.C.-based American Beverage Association (ABA) is required to fight a local Berkeley political campaign. His reasoning? That extraordinary measures are needed to fight the moral authority of the Berkeley City Council.
Really? Who truly cares about the future of Berkeley’s … Continue reading »
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, I agreed to indulge him and struck up a conversation about the pros and cons of this measure. After all, my family does not consume soda, and we have made healthy eating a cornerstone of our lifestyle. Additionally, I have … Continue reading »
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 recreational facilities. Now, as I approach my final days serving on the City Council, one of my top priorities and personal passions is to see that we preserve these assets, well beyond my tenure. That is why I am supporting … Continue reading »
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. If either of them has tried it, he didn’t tell me about it, or there would have been a lecture about sugar and empty calories. We don’t even drink juice; it’s only water and low fat milk for us.
It … Continue reading »
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. The people who opposed the Downtown Area Plan in 2010 are now proposing a new measure, also Measure R, a complex bill that proposes to “fix” a wide range of supposed shortcomings in the Plan. These “fixes” will undo the … Continue reading »
The political arm of the American Beverage Association donated $500,000 on Sept. 16 to fight a proposed tax on sugary beverages in Berkeley, bringing to $800,000 the amount of money it has poured into the No on Measure D campaign.
The contribution, which appears to be the single largest in Berkeley history, will be used to print materials, mail campaign flyers, send campaign workers door-to-door, and pay for advertisements in newspapers and on websites. (Full disclosure: Berkeleyside has a number of No on D ads on its site, as well as a Yes on D ad.) … Continue reading »