Tag Archives: Measure S
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Craig Becker, owner of Caffe Mediterraneum on Telegraph Avenue, says that since an encampment of young travelers, including their dogs and belongings, made their home a block from his coffee shop, his business has seen negative growth and declining sales. In an Opinionator piece published today, he argues that the nomadic youth are not to blame — it’s the city’s fault for allowing this behavior to continue year after year, and he encourages people to vote yes on Measure S.
Berkeleyside welcomes … Continue reading »
Like most people I wear several hats. In my case that includes Telegraph Avenue small business owner, Berkeley resident, local shopper, member of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID), and commissioner on the Berkeley Homeless Commission. The different roles can have different biases. However I feel confident endorsing Measure S from all of these perspectives.
Measure S prohibits sitting on commercial sidewalks in Berkeley between the hours of 7am and 10pm. It has the expected exceptions: medical reasons, parades, permitted … Continue reading »
Under bright blue skies, an arc of orange balloons, and the sound of the Brass Liberation Band, the “No on S” campaign held its campaign kick-off rally in Constitution Square near the Berkeley BART station on Sunday.
About three dozen people, ranging from City Council member Max Anderson to homeless advocates, from those living on the street to Scoop Nisker, the author and former KFOG news announcer, gathered to express opposition to Measure S, which would make sitting on a sidewalk in a commercial district illegal between 7 am and 10 pm.
“The business community may be distressed about the financial prospects of their businesses, but this isn’t an answer to that,” said Anderson. “I refer to it (the sitting ban) as snake oil. It’s a kind of non-applicable solutions to problems that don’t exist.” … Continue reading »
Mayor Tom Bates said Thursday that the vote the City Council took on Tuesday during a raucous and unruly meeting was legal, and that he has no intention of bringing the matter back to the council, despite critics’ complaint that the vote violated the Brown Act.
Bates said that City Attorney Zach Cowan reviewed the tape of the meeting and determined that there were no violations.
“There is no need for a special meeting” to take another vote, Bates said from northern California, where he is on vacation. … Continue reading »
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Carmen Francois was on a mission.
“We’re supposed to say hi to 60 people in 60 minutes,” she said.
Francois, one of Berkeley’s downtown “ambassadors,” didn’t have any trouble meeting the quota. She ducked into businesses and greeted employees by name, asking if they had any safety issues. She waved to police officers and directed tourists. She hugged homeless panhandlers, asking if they had gotten in touch with the Berkeley Mental Health Center counselor she had recommended the previous week. She pointed others toward the nearest public shower.
For the last three years, Francois has been walking up and down Shattuck Avenue interacting with those who spend their days sitting on blankets or leaning against walls, part of a larger effort to make downtown a more amenable area. But her stomping grounds have now become the center of a new debate: whether or not Berkeley should adopt a measure that makes it illegal to sit on the sidewalk in a commercial district between 7 am and 10 pm. … Continue reading »
In a contentious meeting that lasted until the wee hours of the morning and exposed deep divisions in Berkeley, the City Council voted early Wednesday to proceed with a measure that would put a sit-lie ordinance on the November ballot.
In a 6 to 3 vote, with City councilmembers Kriss Worthington, Jesse Arreguín and Max Anderson dissenting, the council directed the city manager’s office to come back July 10 with wording for a ballot measure. The council will then have to vote again whether to actually place the measure on the November ballot, but its placement is expected.
City Council chambers and a downstairs hall were packed early in the evening with scores of people who wanted to speak for and against the measure, which would make it illegal to sit on a sidewalk in a commercial district between 7 am and 10 pm. Violators would be given two verbal warnings to get up, and if they didn’t comply, could get a $50 ticket. If voters adopt the measure in November, it would go into effect in July 2013. … Continue reading »
Update, 4: 50 pm: At a press conference convened today at 3 pm, Mayor Bates, accompanied by councilmembers Linda Maio and Laurie Capitelli sought to reassure prospective voters on the Civil Sidewalks measure that its intent was not to criminalize the homeless, but rather “get people out of a debilitating street life and into a better future.” They announced that they would factor more time into working out how to implement the measure — moving the implementation date from March … Continue reading »
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is asking that the City Council consider putting a sit-lie ordinance on the November ballot and the issue will be discussed at the council’s June 12 meeting.
“We’ve been making substantial progress making our streets more civil,” Bates told Berkeleyside. “We want to have people feel comfortable when they walk in the city.”
Bates said an ordinance could be similar to those in force in Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica. Unlike the San Francisco ordinance, however, his intent is to have an ordinance that would only apply in Berkeley’s commercial zones from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Berkeley law currently makes lying on sidewalks an offense, but Bates said “it’s very difficult to enforce” that provision. … Continue reading »