Tag Archives: Berkeley politics
Early plans to build two large roundabouts at Interstate 80 and Gilman Street in Berkeley were on display for the public Wednesday night at the North Berkeley Senior Center.
The project — with an estimated $24 million construction cost — is slated to be complete in 2022, a representative told the dozens of attendees who perused information stations set up around the room.
“This is an area that has a lot of concerns with it,” David Early, principal at Berkeley-based community planning firm Placeworks, told the crowd. “It’s quite a ‘wild west’ kind of scene.”
Scroll down to see a simulation of the proposed circulation.
By the numbers, the problem is stark. Crash data presented Wednesday, from 2011-2013, showed significantly higher than average numbers of injury or fatal collisions, particularly on the north side of Gilman. On the west side off-ramp, those numbers were 80% higher than the state average. On the east side on-ramp, they were a whopping 177% above the state average.
South of the freeway, they were about 30% above the state average at both the on- and off-ramps.
The project involves the two roundabouts on either side of I-80, new sidewalks under the freeway, and a pedestrian and bike bridge similar to the one at Aquatic Park. Perhaps the most controversial elements of the project — in addition to the roundabouts themselves — are the location of the bike bridge, which makes a fairly large detour south before bringing users back up to Gilman, as well as plans to cut off access from Gilman to the frontage road on the east side of the freeway. … Continue reading »
Berkeley mayoral candidate Mike Lee is part of a local effort to explore tiny houses as part of a solution to homelessness. Misconceptions about tiny houses seem to surround such efforts and are difficult to swat. And I think I know why.
I know what tiny houses do: they hit you square in the cute. In the nebulous background of tiny house presentations is something which seems to make even the most intelligent go weak in the knees because they … Continue reading »
A new Berkeley “panel of experts” charged with allocating money collected from the city’s recently implemented soda tax convened for the first time Tuesday night, electing Jennifer Brown and Xavier Morales as chair and vice chair, respectively.
Brown, a parent and soda tax activist, and Morales, executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, will lead the nine-person panel, officially titled the “Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Panel of Experts,” in bi-monthly or monthly meetings that will establish the direction of funding from Berkeley’s new sugar-sweetened beverage tax, which was approved by voters in November.
“This moment right now is probably the biggest moment we’ve ever been in,” panel member and health activist Joy Moore said to her peers.
A small group of community members were present at the meeting, at the North Berkeley Senior Center, including Berkeley City Council members Laurie Capitelli and Linda Maio, and Berkeley School Board Member Josh Daniels.
“We’re all in a fishbowl built out of a magnifying glass,” Capitelli told the panel of activists, health professionals and parents, referring to the national attention the soda tax has garnered and the strong community interest in the work about to be done. … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s soda tax has generated $116,000 in revenue in the first month of its operation, according to Councilman Laurie Capitelli, who announced the figure at a press conference May 18 in front of Old City Hall.
The money was sourced from 36 different sugar-sweetened beverage distributors, and is on target to raise $1.2 million in its first year, according to Capitelli.
Proceeds from the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which was passed overwhelmingly by Berkeley voters with 75% approval in November, go into Berkeley’s General Fund. They will be allocated by a newly appointed panel of experts, operating with input from the community. The panel will hold its first meeting tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, at 6 p.m.
“We’re well on our way to a smooth implementation,” Capitelli said at the press conference. “We wanted to get it right.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley was a crucible for New Left politics in the 1960s and 1970s. Often forgotten when we speak of the Free Speech Movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, People’s Park, and anti-war/anti-imperialism movements, are the several New Left ventures into electoral politics, three of which introduced an element of theater not typically seen in political campaigns.
The first radical venture into electoral politics was the most serious – Robert Scheer’s 1966 primary challenge of Rep.Jeffrey Cohelan, a pro-war Johnson liberal who had served in the House since 1959. Scheer campaigned on the war, poverty, and a new style of politics. … Continue reading »
The tally is in: the campaign surrounding Measure D, the one cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, cost $3,374,155, according to recently filed campaign statements.
The soda industry spent $2,445,107 to unsuccessfully battle Measure D in the November election, with most of the funds going to campaign consultants and media companies, according to the campaign statements. … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley has put out a call for experts interested in joining a new advisory panel to set spending priorities for “soda tax” dollars approved by voters in November.
Four Berkeley City Council members who make up a subcommittee focused on Measure D, the sugar-sweetened beverage tax, released the application to the community in late December. The deadline is Jan. 17.
The 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages has been conservatively estimated to bring perhaps $200,000 into city coffers each year, according to Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development. But that number is very much hypothetical, due to the numerous variables — such as local consumption figures, how the city collects the money and whether UC Berkeley will also collect the tax — that will impact the final tally.
Berkeley Councilman Laurie Capitelli said previously that, though the tax went into effect Jan. 1, the city will wait to spend any of the money until all legal questions about the tax have been resolved. Officials had earlier expressed some concern that an opponent of the tax might file a lawsuit to challenge it. City spokesman Matthai Chakko said, as of Monday, no legal action has been filed. … Continue reading »
Alameda county will certify the results by Monday, but all votes have been counted, leaving Droste with 2,072 votes, or 50.19%, compared to opponent George Beier’s 2,056 votes, or 49.81%.
Beier has said he will not challenge the results.
“I’m humbled by the support of District 8 and I look forward to working hard on Council,” Droste said. “I want to congratulate all my opponents for running a great race.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley election 2014: Voters pass historic soda tax, reject downtown initiative; Droste takes District 8
Berkeleyside covered the local 2014 election results live from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, through 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5. See the live blog below, with continuing coverage through Tuesday, Nov. 11. See complete Berkeleyside election 2014 coverage.
Nov. 12, 6:39 p.m. And the votes are in! The final tallies have just been posted on the Alameda County registrar of voters website. The one race still in play as of Tuesday was Berkeley’s City Council District 8, with Lori Droste and George Beier battling it out for the top spot.
Currently, Droste has 2,072 votes to Beier’s 2,056, with no more votes to count. The results have not yet been certified, however. … Continue reading »
I am thrilled that we voted 3 to 1 to defeat Measure R, and that the building of new housing in downtown Berkeley will continue. Let’s build on this momentum, and get serious about addressing the massive housing shortage in our community that is hitting working families hard. Downtown is great, but we have to do an order of magnitude more to bring supply and demand into balance.
Election day may be nearly a week behind us, but votes are still being counted and the results of some Berkeley races are still being determined, including District 8 where Lori Droste is currently very narrowly ahead for that council seat.
Absentee ballots are still being processed and will likely continue through the week. The latest counts are posted to the Alameda County registrar of voters website around 5 p.m. daily. Under state law, Alameda County has until Dec. 2 to certify its election results.
Berkeleyside is keeping results updated daily on our main Election 2014 results post, and will continue do so so until all races have officially ended.
In District 7, incumbent Kriss Worthington has kept his seat on the council after Sean Barry, who was the only candidate running against him, conceded the race.
“I’d like to congratulate Kriss Worthington and thank my supporters. The outcome is clear even if the final tally is not,” Barry said today. … Continue reading »
Tony Thurmond, a former Richmond city councilman, is driving up to Sacramento today to start his orientation as one of the state’s newest Assemblymen.
Thurmond won a resounding victory Tuesday in the race for the District 15 Assembly seat. He garnered 54.3% of the vote while his opponent, Elizabeth Echols, got 45.7% of the vote.
Thurmond swept the Contra Costa County vote with 61%, and just barely came out on top in Alameda County with 50.4% of the vote.
“We’ve run a campaign on issues about progressive values — education, and environment, and expanding healthcare for those who’ve been left out,” Thurmond said late Tuesday night when partial results showed him in the lead. “So I’m excited that the voters have responded.”
… Continue reading »
District 8 race a toss-up, Barry says he is still fighting for District 7, other council races settled
Nov. 9, 5:10 p.m. After several days in second place, Lori Droste has pulled into the lead in Berkeley’s Council District 8. She has 1,995 votes, compared to George Beier’s 1,983. Read more.
Original story, Nov. 5 While residents of District 8 may not know for days whether George Beier or Lori Droste will represent them on the Berkeley City Council, the results in two other districts are more clear-cut. But in District 7, where Councilman Kriss Worthington has the lead, his challenger Sean Barry is not willing to concede the race yet.
Jesse Arreguín won handily in District 4, as he ran unopposed.
See the latest figures in Berkeleyside’s election 2014 live blog.
Linda Maio won re-election in District 1, an area she has represented for 22 years. She garnered 55.35% of the vote (1,779 votes so far) while Alejandro Soto-Vigil got 39.98% of the vote (1,285 votes). A third candidate, Merrilie Mitchell, got 4.67% of the votes (about 150 votes).
Maio, who, before Soto-Vigil, had not faced a serious challenger since she first ran for office, said she spent a lot of time walking her district. When she spoke to people she emphasized Measure D, the proposed soda tax, and left literature behind that described her accomplishments, she said.
Soto-Vigil made the environment a centerpiece of his campaign, arguing that Maio had not done enough to address the issues surrounding air quality in the district’s asphalt plant, among other things. … Continue reading »