Tag Archives: Measure S

$2,750 fine assessed after Measure S campaign violations

The FCPC commissioners review their papers in a fall meeting. (Note: Some of these commissioners are no longer serving.)  Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Update, Jan. 17: Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission voted Thursday night to increase the fine for “Yes on S” campaign violations to $3,750, according to the East Bay Express. The campaign had failed to list the individual names of canvassers hired on election day 2012, made cash payments to them that should have been paid by check or card, and did not properly categorize or disclose two of its non-monetary contributions. After two votes failed, one to increase the fine amount and one to leave it at $2,750 — which had previously been set through an agreement between the city and “Yes on S” — the “Yes on S” campaign attorney agreed to raise the fine to $3,750.

Original story, Jan. 16: Thursday night, Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission will consider adopting an agreement that fines the “Yes on Measure S” campaign for violating several election-related rules in 2012. One of the violations included the campaign’s failure to report it had paid people $50-$100 in cash to pass out flyers on election day.

The Yes on S campaign has acknowledged its mistakes and agreed to pay $2,750 in fines, according to a draft of the agreement negotiated by the campaign and the Berkeley city attorney’s office. If the commission approves the agreement, it will be the second time in recent months the FCPC has levied a large fine in connection with the 2012 election. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-ed: Why oppose building new homes for the homeless?

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The homeless are the most marginalized and dispossessed people in the United States. To be homeless is to experience a wide spectrum of discrimination. In the past decade, legislation seeking to criminalize the homeless has gained popularity in cities that are fed up or exasperated with the “homeless problem”.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty reported that between 30% and 50% of major American cities criminalize some form of homelessness, ranging from “aggressive” panhandling to simply sitting on the sidewalk.

Our own city … Continue reading »

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FCPC looks into alleged violations by Yes on S supporters

Members of the Fair Campaign Practices Commission review material before their Oct. 25 meeting. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Fair Campaign Practices Commission has decided to investigate whether any campaign laws were broken when the Yes on Measure S campaign paid people from $50 to $100 in cash to pass out campaign material on election day.

The commission also wants staff to look into whether the Yes on S campaign paid for an extra printing of endorsement fliers put out by the Berkeley Democratic Club without declaring its participation.

The decision to investigate came as the commission considered another complaint on Sept. 19 filed by Patricia Wall, executive director of the Homeless Action Center, and Bob Offer-Westort, the coordinator of the No on Measure S campaign. Measure S, which was defeated in November 2012, would have made it illegal to sit on sidewalks in commercial districts for much of the day. … Continue reading »

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New talks on homelessness in Berkeley start Thursday

Derrick Coetzee
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Thursday evening, the Berkeley Task Force on Homelessness will begin a new community-driven process designed to explore homelessness in Berkeley, and how it might be addressed thoughtfully and humanely.

Initiated by Councilman Jesse Arreguín, the task force was created “to continue the much-needed conversation on homelessness after Measure S, which would have banned sitting on commercial sidewalks, narrowly failed last fall,” according to a statement released by Arreguín’s office Wednesday. The task force arose as an alternative way to address homelessness.  … Continue reading »

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Landlord-backed group fined for campaign violations

The FCPC commissioners review their papers in a fall meeting. (Note: Some of these commissioners are no longer serving.)  Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Fair Campaign Practices Commission on Thursday levied its second heaviest fine in 20 years on a landlord-backed group that spent more than $42,500 during the 2012 election.

The FCPC approved a stipulation agreement worked out between city staff and the people behind a Slate Mailer Organization that sent out five campaign mailers in support of the TUFF (Tenants United for Fairness) Rent Board slate. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley moves towards a consensus homeless plan

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After an acrimonious battle last year over Measure S, which sought to prohibit sitting on commercial sidewalks, Berkeley’s City Council pointed the way on Tuesday night to a more consensual approach to homelessness.

Councilman Jesse Arreguín’s Compassionate Sidewalks plan calls for a working group on homelessness to “conduct a series of focused workshops and discussions on a wide range of issues related to homelessness and to develop an action plan with policy, program, and funding recommendations around ending homelessness.” (Arreguín wrote about his proposal in a Berkeleyside op-ed on Monday.) … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-Ed: After Measure S, it’s time to act on homelessness

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Although Berkeley voters rejected Measure S, a controversial proposal that would have criminalized sitting on commercial sidewalks, we shouldn’t mistake it as an endorsement of inaction. The simple fact still remains: we need to address homelessness.

I didn’t support Measure S, but I’m not calling it a day as many do post-election. Next Tuesday, City Council will have the opportunity to continue the critical conversation around homelessness with the Compassionate Sidewalks Plan — a blueprint for creating consensus-based solutions … Continue reading »

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Has it gotten harder to be homeless in Berkeley?

Measure S would prohibit sitting on the sidewalk, during certain hours, in Berkeley’s commercial districts. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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After the failure of Measure S to pass in November, we heard from one reader who said there seemed to have been harsher enforcement around town of violations related to homelessness. The reader said a homeless friend had been hassled by police when trying to sleep in a regular spot, and also wanted to know about new rules at the library that limit the size and type of items that can be brought inside.

The reader sent us an email in December detailing the changes, and asked Berkeleyside to learn more.

“Since the no-sit measure failed, the city has begun new, more aggressive treatment of the homeless. My homeless neighbor … has been told he could sleep in the doorway of a movie theater but last night, a cop rousted him from his dry, out-of-the-rain perch in the theater’s doorway. The cop said the theater could face stiff fines for giving [my neighbor] permission to sleep in their doorway on a rainy night.” … Continue reading »

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The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

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Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

City Government

The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »

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Tom Bates to Kriss Worthington: Move away from me

Mayor Tom Bates (right) and Councilman Kriss Worthington, sit next to one another at meetings. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Mayor Tom Bates is moving away from City Councilman Kriss Worthington. Not politically. Just physically.

Bates has put an item on Tuesday’s council agenda to change the seating arrangements of city council members on the dais. Worthington currently sits on Bates’ right. The mayor wants to move him one seat away and have his ally, Councilman Laurie Capitelli, sit next to him.

When asked why he wants Worthington to move, Bates half-joked, “So I don’t strangle him.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley voting: Where you live is how you vote… sort of


Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure S. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here.

Although most of the results of Berkeley’s 2012 election were known on Nov. 6, and the final tally completed over a week ago, an analysis of the precinct-by-precinct certified results provides a number of fascinating insights.

(The certified results were released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters just before Thanksgiving last week – the full 9MB 748-page statement of vote is available for download, but only as a PDF, not as a useful data file.) … Continue reading »

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Vote update: Yes on Measure T slips further behind

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The staff at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters worked throughout the weekend, ploughing through the thousands of vote by mail ballots. With the updated figures posted on the registrar’s website yesterday afternoon, Measure T, which would alter the zoning in West Berkeley, looks unlikely to pass: the opponents’s lead has grown to 440, 23,131 to 22,691.

The gap on the sit ordinance, Measure S, remains large. No on S votes are 1,583 ahead of yes votes, 25,191 to 23,608.

Only about 1,000 new votes were added to the Berkeley totals yesterday. On Friday, Registrar Dave Macdonald said he planned to finish counting vote by mail ballots over the weekend. His staff will then turn their efforts to validating and counting the 40,000 provisional ballots countywide. … Continue reading »

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Mayor Bates hails election as harbinger of change

Bates HQ by DH Parks
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On the surface, the local Berkeley vote appears to provide an echo of the national election story: after all the activity, accusations and counter-accusations, inside money and outside money, the city is about where it was before election day.

Many provisional and mail ballots have yet to be counted, but if the results don’t shift significantly, just about all of the incumbents were re-elected (only the Rent Board remains in doubt) and the majority on the City Council still sides with fourth term Mayor Tom Bates.

But Bates sees the results as a confirmation of change in Berkeley. Even seeming defeats, such as the currently trailing Measures S and T, spur his enthusiasm.

“I’m feeling great,” he said. “It was a really excellent election, for the presidential race, Prop. 30 and Prop. 32. And I got back my council.”

As for his own victory in pulling in 55% of the votes counted so far, Bates said he thought the result was remarkable given that he had “five opponents pounding away at me and at my record.”

He said he thought the result showed that “people like the tack we are trying to take with the city,” which he described as a denser city developed around transit sites. “I’m really looking forward to the next four years and to seeing new green, well-designed developments in downtown Berkeley,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

Some contestants had been hoping this was a year for realignment of Berkeley politics. The “Anybody But Bates” plan by challengers Kriss Worthington and Jacquelyn McCormick, however, failed to force an instant run-off in the mayoral contest. Among local measures, the two designed to shake up the way city government works — Measure U, the so-called Sunshine Ordinance, and Measure V, which would have required biannual reporting of liabilities and a freeze on taxes and laws without certification — were roundly defeated.  … Continue reading »

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