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Mayor grandstands on hate-free Berkeley measures

Dona Spring
Saturday May 04, 2002

To the Editor: 

It pleased me that Kriss Worthington put a recommendation on the April 16 City Council agenda: “Vandalized Berkeley Hillel and Other Incidents Aimed at the Jewish Community. He proposed that we follow up on our designation of Berkeley as a hate-free zone by bringing together representatives of different groups and individuals that have been the target of hate actions in Berkeley, in a city-sponsored public event embracing all the affected communities.” (This item was pulled by Council member Armstrong and held over to April 29.) Then on April 16th, Kriss Worthington submitted a Council item proposing a hate crime unit in the Berkeley Police Department. 

I was saddened but not surprised to read a Daily Cal headline, “Violence Directed At Jews Prompts Mayor To Propose Hate Crimes Unit”: 4/26. It is apparent that the Mayor is now trying to take Councilmember Worthington’s ideas and take credit for them. Worthington’s proposal has already generated over 100 e-mails in support of the idea. 

While it is desirable for the Mayor to support this idea, it is unfortunately divisive and negative to claim it is her proposal without crediting Kriss and many others already working on this. Can’t we all just work together – on those issues where we agree? 


Dona Spring 

- Berkeley City Council