Tag Archives: Berkeley elections
Earlier this month I spent several afternoons walking along Telegraph and then Shattuck Avenues because I wanted to talk one-on-one with the people, particularly the young people, who are sitting and lying on the streets panhandling. I judged that almost all of them have serious alcohol and/or drug problems and many of them are also mentally ill.
As a medical doctor specializing in addiction treatment, I know that the people on our streets are at grave risk of becoming disabled … Continue reading »
Noah Shreiber and Isaac Lomprey, both sophomores at Berkeley High School, believe too many people are stuck in a political rut and aren’t particularly open to exploring other people’s perspectives. They decided to do something about it and formed the Diverse Political Views Club at the school. Now they’ve just pulled off their first coup: organizing a student-moderated mayoral forum on campus. All six of Berkeley’s wannabe mayors have said they will attend the forum, which takes place on Monday Oct. 29 at the BHS Library, 7:00-8:00 p.m., and is open to anyone who would like to know more about their potential local leaders. We caught up with Lomprey to find out more about what drove the pair to become so politically engaged.
You’re both sophomores at BHS in the Academic Choice school. How did you get to know each other?
Noah and I first met through our moms when we were very young, but later we got to know each other at summer camp, and started really being friends after we were in the same freshman biology class.
Why did you decide to form a Diverse Political Views Club?
We formed this club because Noah and I found that too many people are stuck in their own political ideologies and don’t dare to consider other viewpoints beside their own. … Continue reading »
With the next round of election finance statements due Thursday, Berkeleyside took a look at which City Council candidates have kept their spending local for campaign materials and services.
Not surprisingly, candidates posted their largest expenses to date for the November 2012 election during the year’s second filing period, from July 1 through Sept. 30. The statements due Thursday will include donations received and expenses from Oct. 1 to Oct. 20. Statements for all the races are public and can be downloaded from the city’s website.
We focused on spending on campaign paraphernalia, literature and mailings; consultant fees; polling services; professional services; print advertising; and website-related costs. The charts and descriptions below reflect these primary categories, not the entire amount of spending in the period. (Unless otherwise noted, we did not include office expenses, donation-related fees, fundraising event costs, filing statements or campaign workers’ salaries, which, even when combined represented a small part of overall expenditures.) … Continue reading »
The campaign sign gremlins are out in full force.
Two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, many of the candidates for major Berkeley offices are reporting that their signs have been torn down, ripped up, stolen, or vandalized – and, in some cases, the destruction feels personal.
Anna Avellar, the aide to Councilwoman Susan Wengraf, woke up Sunday to find her “Tom Bates for Mayor” sign ripped into small pieces and deposited on her doorstep. What made the vandalism creepy, she said, is that her front door is about 30 steps from the sidewalk. So someone had to tear up the sign and come up the stairs in the dark to set down the pieces.
“A couple of weeks ago someone shoved dozens of “Kriss” (campaign signs for mayoral candidate Kriss Worthington) and other … flyers into my gate,” Avellar posted to her Facebook page. “Strangely enough, no one else on my lane was as lucky. Do I think I am being targeted? YES!”
Jacquelyn McCormick, Laurie Capitelli, Worthington and others have also seen their campaign signs removed or vandalized. … Continue reading »
How much will it cost to mail an absentee ballot? It depends who you ask.
Last week, a reader pointed out to Berkeleyside that the mail-in absentee ballot for the November 2012 election requires extra postage, but that the exact amount needed isn’t specified.
“I just filled out my ballot and, when I slipped it all back into the huge envelope and began to mail it, I realized the postage was not prepaid, nor did it say how much it should cost. It only says ‘Additional Postage Required’ and the envelope looks oversized and is fairly heavy for a letter. You might think it’s easy enough to go to the post office and find out, or I could weigh it and then look up the rates online. But these things are a major hassle.”
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, city officials and staff offered some insights to help voters know what to do with their absentee ballots. In Berkeley, the full package involves inserting four separate pieces into the envelope.
City Manager Christine Daniel said the vote-by-mail ballot requires $1.50 in postage, according to county Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald. The city has posted more detailed information on its website about what voters need to know. … Continue reading »
Angel Jaramillo, a 4th grader at John Muir Elementary School, has never swum at Berkeley’s Willard pool. His family sometimes take him to the Richmond Plunge. But, he said, he hopes that by the time he’s in 7th grade he will be able to swim at Willard — and he’ll be bringing his snorkeling mask.
Jaramillo was one of many children who came to the middle school pool on Derby and Telegraph on Saturday Oct. 13 to drum up support for ballot Measures N and O which would raise the funds necessary to re-open the pool, build a new warm pool, and maintain two other city pools. Willard Pool was closed in June 2010 and filled with dirt in January 2011. Corn and other edible plants now grow out of a section of the main pool and vegetation sprouts from the diving pool. … Continue reading »
Incumbent Laurie Capitelli and challenger Sophie Hahn will face off in November for the second time in a pitched battle for Berkeley’s District 5 City Council seat, in a race that has been tinged with allegations of distortion and ill will.
In 2008, Capitelli won District 5 re-election by defeating Hahn 4,299 to 3,898. But Hahn said Wednesday she believes her past four years of service and experience will help her come out on top in the polls on Nov. 6.
“I have a strong record of getting things done,” she said. “I do believe one person can make a difference. With hard work, collaboration, and really listening to and involving the community, you get good results for the community. And I think people recognize that. I think people have been waiting for a long time for change in Berkeley.”
So far, both candidates have raised about $30,000 for their campaigns. Each had $14,000 to $15,000 left in their coffers as of the most recent filing. The amount of money raised is second only to the mayor’s race on the ballot in Berkeley. … Continue reading »
In an Opinionator piece published today Elisa Della-Piana argues that Measure S, which, if passed, would prohibit sitting on sidewalks in commercial areas between 7am and 10pm, would establish the simple act of sitting as a crime in our community. It won’t improve business, solve homelessness or make us safer, she says. It’s an approach that doesn’t fit well with Berkeley, she adds — and, perhaps most importantly of all, it’s not a law she will find easy to explain to … Continue reading »
Drivers on University Avenue might have noticed large billboards for mayoral candidate Kriss Worthington in the last week. But Worthington’s campaign did not buy the billboards. Instead, the Committee for a Progressive Berkeley, an independent organization established by Council Member Jesse Arreguín, spent $1,000 with CBS Outdoor for the billboards, one at Grant for eastbound traffic, the other at Curtis for westbound traffic.
“I did see the billboard when I was cycling on University,” Worthington told Berkeleyside this morning. “I didn’t know who paid for it.” … Continue reading »
Five of Berkeley’s six mayoral candidates faced off on Monday night in a bid to persuade a slice of the Berkeley populace that they were best suited to lead the city for the next four years.
No one issue dominated the discussions, but some of those being debated included the proposed sidewalk sitting ordinance, the city’s unfunded liabilities and how it spends its money, how to boost business locally, the town-gown relationship, and the achievement gap in the school system.
An estimated 150 people turned out to St John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley on an unusually warm evening to hear incumbent Mayor Tom Bates and challengers Council Member Kriss Worthington, local business woman Jacquelyn McCormick, Cal adjunct professor Bernt Wahl, and activist Zachary RunningWolf, share their vision and address questions from a panel of journalists as well as from the audience. (The sixth registered candidate, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, did not attend.) … Continue reading »
Update 8:20pm: Sophie Hahn read to Berkeleyside from her prepared remarks made to the John George Democratic Club. Here’s what she said:
“I am emphatically opposed to the death penalty. The incumbent did not support a resolution to end the death penalty in Alameda County. I am in favor of equal pay for equal work. The incumbent did not support a resolution in favor of Obama’s Lily Ledbetter Act.”
Hahn said she does not ascribe views to incumbent Laurie Capitelli. “He speaks through his record,” she said.
Original story: The race for the District 5 City Council seat has taken an ugly turn, with supporters of incumbent Laurie Capitelli claiming that challenger Sophie Hahn and her surrogates are mischaracterizing his record. … Continue reading »
Bernt Wahl is running for mayor.
He’s been all but invisible on the campaign trail, having just returned from a trip abroad, and doesn’t plan to spend time raising campaign funds or opening a campaign office.
But then the adjunct UC Berkeley professor’s primary goal isn’t to snag the mayor’s seat. Rather, Wahl, 52, hopes to use the race to talk about improving Berkeley’s business climate.
“I have a lot of ideas of how to make Berkeley a better city, mostly dealing with technology or efficiencies,” he said, arguing that city bureaucracy gets in the way of entrepreneurs trying to start new businesses.
Wahl knows the challenges first hand. He works with faculty, researchers and students at UC Berkeley, mostly in the engineering department, helping to start new businesses.
Wahl believes the permit process for new businesses needs streamlining. “I’ve had to register [a new business] a couple of times,” he said. “For these start-ups, there’s always something that gets in the way. If we had a center, small businesses could come and say, you know, ‘I’d like to do this,’ or just come for advice.” … Continue reading »
Dmitri Belser runs a program that makes technology accessible to disabled people, he chaired Berkeley’s Commission on Disability, he renovates dilapidated Victorian homes, and he has raised two sons.
Now he wants to be the District 3 city council member.
“I’ve been frustrated for a long time with how District 3 has been represented,” Belser told Berkeleyside in an interview conducted amid dangling wires, creaking floorboards, ladders and drop cloths at a 62nd Street Victorian he’s refurbishing with his life-partner and campaign manager, Tom White. The couple lives a few blocks south-west on Parker Street near Shattuck Avenue.
“I’ve heard from a lot of my neighbors and a lot of people in this district that they don’t get responses” from Council Member Max Anderson, he said, contending that Anderson, in office since 2004, has been ineffective in solving issues of crime and helping the struggling business district at Adeline and Alcatraz.
“If there’s one skill that I have, it’s customer service,” he said. “I know how to respond to people.”
Belser, executive director at the Center for Accessible Technology (CAT), pointed to his work helping to get the Ed Roberts Campus project built. The campus, above the Ashby BART station, houses nonprofits serving the disabled community, including the CAT. Belser chairs the Ed Roberts Campus board. … Continue reading »