Tag Archives: Measure S

Mayor Bates hails election as harbinger of change

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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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Remaining Berkeley votes could change close contests

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Update, 11:45 a.m.: According to election law, the remaining votes must be counted and reported within 31 days of the election, so by Dec. 7. Councilman Gordon Wozniak, writing in our Comments section, says it will likely take about one week: “It takes about a week to count all the absentee ballots that arrived on Election Day or were dropped off at a polling place, plus provisionals,” he says.

From the Secretary of State website: “In close contests, a clear winner may not be apparent for many days, as county officials verify and count millions of unprocessed ballots that include vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots cast at polling places, and others. By law, counties have 31 days to complete their official canvass and certify final election results to the Secretary of State, and they often need that full month to finish the work.”  [Hat-tip Alina.]

Original story: The vote tallies announced by the Registrar of Voters last night are probably missing at least 20,000 Berkeley votes, which means some of the close Berkeley races could be affected.

The vote on Measure T, the West Berkeley zoning changes, is particularly close. Only 123 votes separate the two sides. Measure S, the sit ordinance, is also close, with 1,055 votes between the sides.

Last night, 32,661 votes were recorded in the mayoral contest. Four years ago, over 56,000 Berkeleyans voted for mayor. Given the high turnouts observed in Berkeley yesterday, it’s clear there are plenty of votes remaining to be counted. … Continue reading »

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Still undecided about the election? Let us help

Will you miss all the lawn signs on Berkeley medians after tomorrow? Photo: Alan Tobey
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Over the last several months, Berkeleyside has run many dozens of articles on Berkeley’s mayoral election, council seat races, the school board contest, the rival rent board slates and most of the 10 city measures on the ballot tomorrow. On top of that, our collaboration with MapLight on Voter’s Edge Berkeley provides a handy one-stop site for information about the ballot measures. And our Opinionator op-ed section has overflowed with rival views about various election issues.

What Berkeleyside is not going to do is make any endorsements in the election. There are two reasons why. First, we believe in an educated, informed citizenry. Newspaper endorsements are a relic of a pre-Internet era when readers had to rely on insiders to tell them what was what. Our goal is to make sure you have as much information as we have, so you can make up your own mind. We don’t feel the urge to make it up for you. Second, we work hard to be impartial in our news reporting of Berkeley. Even if we convince ourselves that we could create neat compartments between our opinions and our reporting, our readers would be understandably skeptical. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-Ed: We can do better with civil sidewalks

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My support for Measure S, the Berkeley Civil Sidewalks ordinance, was not an easy decision for me. I came to it after many hours of conversation with people from all parts of the community, and a careful reading of the ordinance to see what it actually does and doesn’t do.

I have come to the conclusion that Measure S is good for Berkeley. It helps all our residents, and balances rights and responsibilities in three important areas:

Measure S is being done … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-Ed: Measure S doesn’t measure up

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“Helps People. Saves Jobs.” This is the campaign slogan in favor of Measure S, the “Civil Sidewalks” ordinance on Berkeley’s ballot next Tuesday. Proponents argue that by banning sitting in commercial areas during business hours, Measure S will increase economic activity and help homeless people access social services. Like anyone who lives in Berkeley, we have grappled with issues related to homeless people on the sidewalks. A law that would help people get the services they need and help the economy sounded good to us.

Then … Continue reading »

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Measure S: Will it help or hurt the homeless?

Measure S would prohibit sitting on the sidewalk, during certain hours, in Berkeley’s commercial districts. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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On Nov. 6, Berkeley voters will decide whether to approve a controversial ordinance to ban, in most cases, sitting on sidewalks in the city’s business districts from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Measure S is Berkeley’s second attempt to pass a law limiting where and when people can sit on sidewalks. (A 1994 attempt, which included lying on the sidewalk as well, later was repealed by the City Council, after initial approval by voters. The ACLU challenged the law before it went into effect and, in 1997, “a newly elected Berkeley City Council voted to repeal the sit-and-lie ban.”)

Supporters of Measure S have poured more than $90,000 into the campaign, while those opposed have raised just under $16,000, according to campaign reports filed with the city clerk’s office. (See a breakdown of the contributions at Berkeley’s Voter’s Edge.)

The proposed ordinance counts among its proponents developers such as the Beacon Group (which owns 2150 Shattuck, the old Power Bar building) and Panoramic Interests (which sold its large property holdings to Sam Zell’s Equity Residential REIT and now is involved in infill development); opponents include the ACLU of Northern California and Patricia Wall of the Homeless Action Center.

Posts related to the measure have resulted in more than 1,000 reader comments on Berkeleyside. The proposed ban has spurred coverage in local, regional and national media outlets. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Santa Cruz is a model for Berkeley civil sidewalks

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In the early 1990s, Pacific Avenue merchants were suffering in Santa Cruz. We had encampments of youth sitting on our sidewalks in front of businesses and in our public spaces, often with pit bulls and belongings. They engaged in unwelcoming aggressive panhandling and rowdy behavior, frequently fueled by drugs and alcohol. Many Santa Cruzans—particularly seniors and parents with children—felt uncomfortable in our Downtown, and so they stayed away, or would make their visits short, because they did not want to … Continue reading »

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Bates outraises opponents by 70%; Yes on S gets $90k

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Incumbent mayor Tom Bates has raised nearly 70% more than his two most prominent challengers combined, according to the latest campaign filings available through the City Clerk’s election portal. In the first three weeks of October, Bates raised $28,913 taking his total to $84,339. Councilman Kriss Worthington raised $8,459 in the period, bringing his total to $27,489. Jacquelyn McCormick garnered $5,970, for a total this year of $22,480.

In the heated District 5 race between incumbent Laurie Capitelli and Sophie Hahn, the two candidates are closely matched in fundraising, with less than $2,000 separating their totals. Capitelli has dramatically outspent Hahn in the three-week period, $8,356 to $3,492, nearly catching up with Hahn’s earlier spending.

In other races, incumbent Darryl Moore has vastly outraised his challengers, Denisha DeLane and Adolfo Cabral, in District 2, and incumbent Max Anderson has raised nearly double the amount challenger Dmitri Belser has raised in District 3, although Belser has stepped up both fundraising and spending in the first three weeks of October. … Continue reading »

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Say yes on Measure S: help those living on the streets

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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 »

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Opinionator

Five lies about Measure S — from both sides of the debate

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According to Goebbels, you could establish a lie as true by repeating the lie often, and loudly. This worked until the collapse of the Third Reich.

Berkeley is presently up to its eyeballs in an emotional debate over a proposed sitting ban in business districts — Measure “S.” To read the pros and cons on what has become a melodramatic spectacle, you would almost think you’re at the Biden-Ryan debate. Who was big-lying?

In order to lie, you have to deliberately … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Yes on Measure S mailer is full of falsehoods

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Recently a mailer went out across Berkeley that puts a false ‘kinder, gentler’ spin on Measure S than actually lies at the heart of this ordinance. The language on the mailer sounds good, naturally. “Yes on S: Helps People. Saves Jobs.” A grand claim that warrants some fact-checking.

“Helps People”. Moving homeless people away from storefronts does not help them. Measure S will have “ambassadors who will conduct outreach to connect people to social services.” Homeless people by and large … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Sunday Streets every day in Berkeley?

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On Sunday Oct. 14, people experienced public space in a new way in Berkeley by strolling, cycling, and skating along a car-free Shattuck Avenue from Haste to Rose. I really had no idea what to expect with the first Sunday Streets Berkeley, but the experience was energizing and wonderful. Based on the attendance numbers from other cities, I assumed about 10,000 people might show up. All my expectations were exceeded when over 40,000 people spent their day in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Measure S is a step backwards for Berkeley

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When I told my five-year-old that it could soon be illegal to sit on a sidewalk in Berkeley, he said, “But we sit on the sidewalk!” I saw him imagining the police arresting him and his two-year-old sister and reassured him.

“They’ll probably mostly give tickets to homeless people,” I said.

“Why will they give tickets to only some people?” he asked.  He paused. “And, if homeless people don’t have houses, where can they sit down?”

This November, voters in … Continue reading »

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