Fifty years ago Berkeley birthed the Free Speech Movement when Mario Savio stood atop a police car in the middle of Sproul plaza on the UC Berkeley campus and called for moral action. He shouted out:
The city of Berkeley was basking in glory Wednesday over its passage of the nation’s first soda tax, an accomplishment that the beverage industry dismissed as just a whacky — and inconsequential — victory.
2014 will go down in history as the most expensive election ever held in Berkeley, with around $3.6 million spent on two ballot items alone.
In February, 1999 my first grandson was born in Berkeley. He arrived early and underweight, and came home from the hospital 6 weeks after birth. That same year, coincidently, the City of Berkeley issued a Health Status Report, which included the fact that my grandson had a 40% less chance of living to the age 40 than children his age born to households in the hills above the flatlands where we lived.
You are a busy person taking time to be informed and I respect that. So I’m going to let you in on my line of reasoning here: corporations impact what we drink, what we drink impacts our health, “our health” includes “your health”, you can vote, therefore vote “Yes” on D!
On behalf of all Berkeley teachers, I ask you to vote yes on Measure D for the health of our children.
Remember when people could smoke in restaurants, on airplanes, and at work? This changed, thanks to tireless efforts by health advocates like me.
On Nov. 4, Berkeley voters will show where they stand on Measure D, the so-called Soda Tax. The proposed tax on sugary beverages has been one of the most hotly debated Berkeley issues in the city’s history, and certainly one that has brought in record levels of campaign expenditure. The No on Measure D lobby has spent $2.3 million in an attempt to defeat the tax, according to campaign finance reports. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has contributed $532,071 in support of the soda tax. (That includes $265,235 for network advertising for commercials during the World Series, $96,836 for cable ads, and a cash donation of $170,000 to the Yes on Measure D effort.) UC Berkeley’s Robert Reich has been vocal in his views — writing a blog post about the issue titled “In its battle with Big Soda, Berkeley may once again make history,” and shooting a video on the same subject.
Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, contributed another $285,000 in support of the Yes on Measure D campaign in the last few days, bringing his total contribution to $370,000. More may be coming, according to Howard Wolfson, his senior aide.
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has sent out 27,000 postcards to Berkeley voters informing them that the date of the election printed on their mail-in ballots is wrong. The date reads Nov. 5, when of course the actual date is Nov. 4.
Absentee ballots have arrived and the November 2014 election is just around the corner. Berkeleyside has been covering the issues for months, and we’ve collected some of our best Berkeley election coverage in a single post to help readers get informed before they cast their votes.