Tag Archives: Measure S
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 »
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 »
“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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
As the Lerner and Loewe song goes, “I have often walked on this street before,” and now as a Berkeley reporter.
Often is 36,960 times, or up to three times a day for 35 years, and the street is Telegraph Avenue, above Dwight to Bancroft, in Berkeley’s scary south side. I live two blocks from the start of the Teley stroll.
Before the 70s, before the sexual revolution, and the drug revolution, and all the evolutions, Telegraph was a hippy … 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 »