Election Section

Press Release: Cultural Trust Hosts Berkeley City Council Candidates Forum on Oct. 20

From Lisa Manning, Chair, Berkeley Cultural Trust Marketing Director, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
Friday October 15, 2010 - 10:11:00 AM

Berkeley Cultural Trust (BCT) hosts a Berkeley City Council candidates forum, moderated by the League of Women Voters, from noon-1:30 pm October 20, 2010 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94704. The forum is open and free to the public. 

The BCT, with over 75 members, is a consortium representing cultural organizations within the City of Berkeley. Our purpose is to advocate for policies and action that contribute to the well-being of artists and cultural organizations that are so important to the unique intellectual and spiritual life of the community. The Trust works cooperatively with and as an advisory body for the Berkeley Arts Commission. 

Seven candidates have indicated they will participate in this forum. The format of the meeting will be as follows: Sherry Smith, our moderator from the League of Women Voters, will open the meeting and explain the format and the procedures we will use. Each candidate will then have five minutes for an opening statement. The order of presentations will be determined randomly. The opening statements should address the following:

  • What policies/ideas would you suggest to support artists and strengthen cultural organizations in Berkeley?
  • Your approach to ensuring the planning department actually implements policy recommended by the Civic Arts Commission and approved by the city council such as the definitions of 'artist' used by developers.
  • Cuts to the City’s budget and how this impacts the Civic Arts Grant program. Given the significance of Berkeley cultural organizations as employers, our role in making Berkeley a destination, and the profound impact of the grant recipients on Berkeley’s economy, will you commit to ensuring that any cuts or increases to the Civic Art Grants program will be in line with the overall budget?
  • Many of the cultural groups in Berkeley serve a regional community and therefore are significantly impacted by issues related to the availability of parking & public transportation for their patrons. How will your policies reflect these considerations?
Members of the audience will be given cards for writing questions, which will be collected and reviewed before being passed to the moderator. The purpose of reviewing the questions is to ensure that a wide variety of topics will be covered, and to edit out any personal attacks or inappropriate comments. Each candidate will have a maximum of two minutes to answer every question, and the order in which candidates are called on to respond to questions will be rotated.
Before the close of the meeting, each candidate will have two minutes for a closing statement. The order of these presentations will be the reverse of that used in the opening statements. The forum will end at 1:30 pm.