District 2 City Council Candidate Statement: Jon Crowder

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

My great love for politics, which is based in love, has more to do with being in touch with people. Rather than go on and on here (I will see you as I make my rounds), I have instead taken this opportunity to present to you some information about myself.  

Being elected to the City Council of Berkeley would be a dream come true. If elected, in the end, I can guarantee you that the District, and hence the city, will be a demonstrably different place, and this for the better. I look forward to being your next representatives. Thank you. 


Biographical summary 

I offer unique attributes and experiences that I will bring to the Berkeley City Council. This includes coming from rural Yazoo City, Mississippi and earning degrees at UCSC and Tufts University, and beginning a Ph.D. program at Stanford. Right now, public service is more important than more education for this phase of my life. 

As a child in the 1960’s Deep South, I had no contact with white people until I entered the newly-integrated public school system. As a child, I knew there was something dreadfully wrong with the reality of our lives, with the racial climate of the time and place. Like the mythological King in Oedipus Rex, I knew that there was injustice awaiting me, and that it had the capacity to destroy my hopes and dreams, if I allowed it. 

As I got older, I realized I would have to leave Mississippi to create opportunities to realize my potential. While traveling throughout the country as a younger man, I began to dream of California. I felt a particular pull to Berkeley because of its liberal reputation and the lasting impact of the Free Speech Movement. 

Ultimately, I found myself at UC-Santa Cruz where I received a B.A. in 1986 in Theatre Arts. I then received an M.A. in History from Tufts University, and was accepted into a doctoral program at Stanford. 

I’ve learned and grown from some tough experiences 


Need for big changes in Berkeley  


Berkeley has a global reputation for being the most progressive City in the world. I'm deeply proud to call it my home, as I am proud of the great history of innovation this city has given to the world. Sadly, the current crop of leadership does not reflect well on this great history. They trade on Berkeley’s progressive reputation, while doing nothing to contribute to it. This is what motivates me to run for city council. Since becoming involved in Berkeley politics in 1993, I have observed brazen corruption including nepotism and favoritism. My elected representatives have been huge disappointments, most notably my opponent. 

I’ve found them to be unresponsive to phone calls and e-mails, and full of haughty condescension when I speak with them. District 2 deserves better representation, and that’s what I’m offering. They talk big about green issues, but their actions reveal a different agenda. 

Like many Berkeley citizens, I mourn the loss of Dona Spring as a wonderful woman and Councilmember. She was one of the few members with integrity and whom I found to be responsive. And I recognize other council members I can work with to make improvements. Despite its rich history, Berkeley is beset by serious urban problems. This includes homelessness, drug trafficking, and corrupted elements within City government. 

I do not intend to become a career politician like my opponent. Rather, I intend to accomplish as much as I can in a one four-year term, and then evaluate whether I should remain on council. Hopefully, I can accomplish my goals within four years and go on to another phase in my life. Another driving motivation is to give our children all the opportunities and advantages to which they are entitled. This means riding the neighborhood of gang and drug activity. A parallel goal is improving the education and day care opportunities for our youngest citizens. 


We need your help 

I need your help in order to be your councilman. I ask you to consider making a financial20donation to my campaign so I can be more effective in getting my message to more people. So any financial contributions will be gratefully appreciated. If you can’t give money, I’ll ask you to help by volunteering a few hours of your time to help get the word out, or consider some form of in-kind contribution. 

Please send your check or money order to Committee To Elect Jon Crowder to City Council, 2930 Shattuck Ave. Suite, #200-14, Berkeley, CA 94705. (510) 666-8810. E-mail: