Students claim that it is nearly impossible for them to get elected to the Berkeley City Council, and that they should receive preferential treatment via the creation of a student district (Berkeley Daily Planet Jan. 24).
I would suggest that students take a cue from the Northern California black community which has no representation in the State Assembly.
Instead of clamoring for their own assembly district, they are challenging the status quo with a viable candidate that has the support of both moderates and progressives such as Mayor Shirley Dean and council member Maudelle Shirek.
He is Democratic candidate Charles Ramsey, an African-American who is running against Loni Hancock.
The 14th Assembly District contains large – and growing – minority populations, but has been represented by white elected officials such as Dion Aroner and Tom Bates.
Just like the African-American community in Assembly District 14, students need to field candidates for city council that are bridge builders to the community at large.
Redistricting and gerrymandering have not been viewed favorably by the electorate as the recent referendum effort showed; what this city clamors for is good leadership, not balkanization in the form of enclaves with narrow political interests.