Public Comment

In Support of Kriss Worthington

By Ruth Michaels and Sydney Vilen
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM


We write in support of Kriss Worthington for the state Assembly seat in the 14th District. We’d like to tell you some of our reasons. Kriss is a strong, progressive, people-oriented, 11 year Berkeley City Councilmember who has worked tirelessly to secure higher pay for teachers, protect our kids’ education from Schwarzenegger’s cuts, achieve affordable housing and access to affordable public transportation, protect funding to health and social services for women, seniors and veterans, support labor and workers’ rights, and build an ecologically sound environment. 

We have a grand opportunity on June 3 to elect someone who will truly be on our side. Kriss has gone out of his way time and again to help people even if they are not in his council district. Here at Strawberry Creek Lodge, a senior apartment complex in Berkeley for about 160 people, not in Kriss’ district, we were having difficulty getting a “City Car Share” parking place. Kriss came to our aid, and we now have a “City Car Share” vehicle in our parking lot. It’s better for the environment and more economical for seniors who could then sell their cars and use the car share program. 

Strongly committed to single payer, Kriss will carry on the important work of termed-out State Senator Sheila Kuehl to enact universal healthcare. He will never cave in to Schwarzenegger by voting for tens of thousands of additional prison beds at the expense of funding for education, jobs, and basic economic justice, as too many Democrats have done. Kriss has opposed Schwarzenegger’s budget priorities and will continue to do so in Sacramento. 

Two environmental programs spearheaded by Kriss, the Eco-Pass program and the Zero Waste Ordinance, have become models for city programs nationally. He lives what he preaches; Kriss is a familiar sight as he bicycles around Berkeley to meeting after meeting. 

Kriss has stood up repeatedly for issues of human rights and dignity and is the only candidate to have served on the boards of the NAACP, the LGBT Democratic Club, NOW, and the Sierra Club. 

May 2, was the City of Berkeley’s sixth annual Holocaust Remembrance Day to honor the Jews murdered during the Nazi reign of terror. This memorial was initiated and coordinated by Councilmember Kriss Worthington. He had gotten to know so many Holocaust survivors who had chosen Berkeley as home that he felt the city should commemorate their past. 

Holocaust survivor Ruth Michaels recalls all these memorials: 

“The first year, we were six people sitting in the hallway of city hall. We read some holocaust poetry. The second year, we were twelve; we told our own Holocaust stories to each other. The third year, Old City Hall was filled to overflowing; and we have continued there ever since. We sing and listen to music, read poetry, and listen to survivors’ stories, as well as stories of the children and grandchildren of survivors. 

“Kriss talked about other groups murdered in concentration camps: gypsies, gays, communists, the disabled and dissenters. We also talked about other genocides such as Armenia, Rwanda, Darfur. Towards the end of the Memorial every year, the Holocaust survivors present step forward; each lights a candle to remember the dead and to celebrate the sanctity of life. 

“This Memorial means a lot to us, and we are grateful to Kriss Worthington for founding and continuing the Memorial every year.” 

Kriss has stood for peace and justice, in opposition to Bush’s wars on Iraq, civil liberties, and the middle class. He will stand with us and fight for us. 

He is a very gentle, caring soul. You can only wonder where he gets all his tireless energy. I think it comes from his quiet, solid strength. A friend, who saw his gentle side, asked me if I thought he was strong enough. I could only respond, “Yes! Absolutely!” Kriss embodies the steady, quiet, solid strength of always being there, of always being present, of steadfastly hanging in until the job is done. He’s as constant as they go. The phrase that comes to mind is one we frequently hear used an as essential quality for judicial nominees: he has Judicial Temperament. 

Please join us in voting for Kriss Worthington for the 14th District on June 3rd. 

For more information on his positions, issues, and information in general, see 


Ruth Michaels and Sydney Vilen are Berkeley residents.