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Let the mayor be proud of her cutting-edge city

Maris Arnold
Saturday September 29, 2001


Kudos to Mayor’s staffers Tamlyn Bright and Jennifer Drapeau for adroitly handling the overwhelming number of hate calls the Mayor’s office received concerning flags on fire trucks. (Daily P, 9/26). Knowing Tamlyn and Jennifer, I’m sure they handled each call with their usual aplomb, intelligence, and patience. No small feat. 

However, I’m a little troubled by the Mayor’s statements, putting on the same level Barbara Lee’s courageous stand and the Scout skirmish in the cultural war with the anti-Muslim Daily Cal cartoon and the flap over fire truck flags, saying in effect these events cast her in a strange role when she attends national, state, and county meetings.  

I can sympathize with her receiving weird looks, but the city of Berkeley is world famous for its cutting edge social services and impassioned democratic participation by its citizenry. The mayor is, if you will, our “ambassador” to less progressive cities. I wish she’d feel proud of Berkeley’s reputation and the actions that earned it instead of feeling apologetic. 

Maris Arnold