Berkeley Briefs

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday December 09, 2003

A group of Berkeley citizens have filed ballot arguments against the March charter amendment referendum that would change requirements for running for office in the city. 

City Council authorized the ballot measure last month that would, among other things, require prospective candidates for mayor, City Council, school board, and other city offices to turn in any combination of 150 dollars and signatures to earn a spot on the ballot. 

Berkeley Peace and Justice Commissioner Elliot Cohen, who authored the argument against the proposed electoral changes, called the charter amendment “self-serving, undemocratic, and...an abuse of power.” 

The argument against the measure was co-signed by vice-chair of both the Commission on Aging and Commission on Disability Charlie Betcher, former City Council candidate Budd Dickinson, Berkeley Association of Neighborhood Associations President Marie Bowman, and local musician and teacher Hali Hammer. 

The citizens contend that while “winning against an incumbent is extremely rare, ... the ability to campaign against sitting incumbents allows a candidate to call attention to issues. ... This Charter Amendment will prevent potential candidates from participating in the debate and endorsement process. All of Berkeley [will be] worse off...” 

—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 


Berkeley’s youngest artists will be showing their works Thursday evening when Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge St., unveils its 5th Annual Preschool Art Show from 5 to 7 p.m. 

The exhibition features the creations of children between the ages of 2 and 7. There is no admission charge, and refreshments will be provided. Call 667-1111 for information.