Public Comment

Berkeley Mayoral Candidate Statements: Zachary RunningWolf

Zachary RunningWolf
Friday October 20, 2006

Come Run with the Running Wolf 

The mayoral race of Berkeley pits four candidates, who have substantially differing views about the best policies for the city. However, there is a more serious problem afoot that demands vigilance on the part of the voter. Essentially, the broader picture reveals that serious consideration must be directed towards policies of the state and national government as well. After all, those policies have the impetus to affect us in unacceptable ways. Indeed, given the ugly state of politics in this country, it is imperative that we must become actively involved in national affairs whether we like it or not. Otherwise, we face the growing possibility of allowing political terrorism and fascism to replace our cherished democracy. By now, many of us have heard the complaints about how corrupt our politicians have become. It follows that this election marks a time when the voter alone can send those corrupt politician into early retirement.  

As a native American leader, who values honesty, freedom and good leadership skills, I, Zachary Running Wolf, have decided to throw my feathers into the race to change the course of politics from the bottom to the top. It has become painfully obvious to me that our country is headed in the wrong direction. Everywhere one looks corporate greed is at an all time high. Even the board members of the University of Berkeley have given themselves an undeservedly high pay hike ($300 million in perks alone). Plainly, it would be detrimental to our city if these board members are allowed to decide in what manner the growth of our city will proceed. Therefore, it is instructive to ask: How then can they be trusted to spend our monies wisely after exhibiting such unbelievable greed? Surely, their greed will force them to spend in a manner that will not be in the interest of Berkeley‘s residents? 

It is obvious that the university has gained too much power. Under normal circumstances, this would not have been an unacceptable state of affairs. However, the control of the University diminishes the role of the Berkeley residents. Especially with matters related to deciding the future development, Berkeley residents may soon discover that they have little or not right to voice their input. Therefore, I am not only supporting the current lawsuit against the University. Nay, I am also demanding that the University negotiate with the residents in good faith. The truth of the matter is that the projects that benefit the University has little to do with the welfare of the residents. Yet, the residents will have to pay billions in taxes to support these projects. For this reason I plan to undertake an hunger strike if the University disregards the wishes of the people of Berkeley. 

Next, there seems to be little or no effort on the part of the Berkeley officials to address the number one problem on this planet - global warming. Instead one discovers that Mayor Tom Bates has scrapped a promise to fully implement a much needed bio-diesel program. Global warming - as Al Gore has correctly pointed out - is an unmistakable reality. This problem will be solved when cities such as Berkeley take the lead in showing the world a way out. So far, the solution is not forthcoming because the mayor is not fully committed. I can guarantee that global warming will receive the highest priority when I become the mayor. My native American heritage compels me to value the gifts of nature. Therefore, it is only natural that I give my life’s blood to ensure that future generations will enjoy a planet that is committed to eradicating pollution. 

Then there is the issue of an out of control President. Clearly, the Bush administration has sought to deprive us of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. There can be no doubt that any President who wishes to make a citizen disappear will want to have complete control over our police forces. Therefore, it is imperative that we have control over our local police force. Generally, the local police is under the control of the mayor. However, our police force is not only out of control but is also hardly under the control of the mayor. One witnesses that our police officers have on two occasions stolen drugs. We are compelled to ask therefore: Who are they selling these drugs to? Is it to our kids? Furthermore, the police are also involved in other criminal activities including stealing monies in what turned out to be an FBI sting. The current mayor, Tom Bates, has done little to address the situation. Instead, at a time when we should be screaming for oversight, the Bates administration has scrapped the Police Review Commission. How then will innocent citizens be protected? How indeed would corrupt officials be prosecuted? This situation takes on added importance especially since the Bush administration’s push to eradicate the right to habeas corpus? As we have witnessed in South Africa, the corrupt police departments were that best institution to violate rights of the citizens.  

The residents of Berkeley can be assured that a vote for me will ensure the return of complete transparency in city governments. Consequently, there will certainly not be any backroom deals which in the past have worked in the favor of big corporations. For this reason I strongly support the Sunshine Ordinance. I also support the right of every resident to approach city officials with their complaints. In addition, resident can be assured that anyone who wishes to address the City Council must and will be able to do so. 

Furthermore, I support the following: 

A) instant runoff voting 

B) Clean money initiative 

C) Return to 100 percent bio-diesel use 

D) Safeguarding the Ashby flea market 

E) Banning genetically altered foods in Berkeley 

F) opposing RFID in Berkeley libraries 

G) Supporting the Landmark Ordinance - Measure J 

Among my achievements I am proud to list my efforts in changing the Columbus School to Rosa Parks School. In 1999 I led a drive to prevent UC Berkeley from dropping its ethnic studies. Probably, my greatest victory came when I spearheaded a drive to force A C Transit to use bio-diesel. Consequently, there will be at least 700 buses that will no longer spews dangerous carbon into our atmosphere. When I am mayor I will work to retrofit all city vehicles with the latest innovations such as hydrocarbon or electrical engines. Very definitely fossil fuels will become a thing of the past in Berkeley. Among all the issues that bear watching, it is evident to me that Bates has sold out to the University of Berkeley. It is no wonder that we now need a lawsuit to correct the situation. In addition, Zelda Bronstein’s plan to engage the city attorney to rescind the University’s plans is a non-starter It ought to be understood that the city attorney is the chief culprit in assisting the University in the first place. It is doubtful that he will help her to find a remedy for the problem. Therefore I ask the voters to choose carefully if he or she wants to stop these corrupt people. We must preserve the flavor of Berkeley by implementing our solutions.  

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