Election Section

Election Coverage to Date

Thursday October 21, 2010 - 03:12:00 PM

Below voters can find a list with links of everything that's previously appeared in our "Election Section", in reverse chronological order. 


Re-Elect Karen Hemphill for School Board 2010  

By Karen Hemphill 

Thursday October 21, 2010 

As current School Board President, what distinguishes me from the other candidates is that I have proven leadership in what it takes to advance student achievement in these difficult economic times. During my tenure and leadership, through careful fiscal oversight and fostering of creative partnerships with the City and other public as well as non-profit agencies (and with the continued support of our community school taxes), the School District has maintained a balanced budget every year for the past four years, while retaining small class sizes; art and music programs; and student support services. Most importantly, with the adoption of the first District-wide student achievement plan (which I championed and led in developing) overall academic achievement has risen, while the District has started to make real progress on the achievement gap that has historically existed among racial groups in our schools. With the decision not to seek re-election of two long-term Board members (Shirley Issel and Nancy Riddle, who both endorse my re-election, as well as do continuing Board members Beatriz Levya-Cutler and John Selawsky), my experience and proven leadership in conducting an open and transparent budget process and advancing data-based, systematic academic growth strategies will be particularly important in continuing the good work, we as a Board have accomplished in the past few years. -more- 


The Willard/Bateman Election Forum and the Unanswered Questions  

By Judith Epstein
Wednesday October 20, 2010 

I’m sure that many of us who attended the Willard/Bateman election forum hoped for informative and lively debates. In some cases, we were not disappointed. But in addition to the speakers and the audience, there was another notable presence in the room: the Willard Courtesy Policy. When invoked, this policy silenced debate and left some of us to go home with our questions unanswered. -more- 


Contributions to the Yes on H and I Campaign (Commentary)  

By Albert Sukoff
Wednesday October 20, 2010 


The information comes from the City Clerk’s office. I have sorted it as it now appears. Many of the filings did not identify the contributor as to occupation but I went on line and found most of them and placed them in the appropriate category. Over 86% of the funds for H and I come from potential beneficiaries (no…not the kids). -more- 


Why It Is Important To Vote NO on Measures H and I (Commentary)  

By Peter Schorer
Saturday October 16, 2010 


In these two Measures, the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) is asking taxpayers to let it borrow a total of $260 million for various projects, only some of which are actually concerned with education. But let me state at the outset that the total that taxpayers will wind up paying if the Measures pass is not $260 million but over $610 million when the cost of debt service (interest, etc.) is taken into account. (See the BUSD's "Plan for School Maintenance and Reconstruction in the Coming Decade" (the so-called "Blue Book").) That's more than half a billion dollars. -more- 


Press Release: Shirley Dean Endorses Jones, McCormick--not Wozniak  

From the Berkeley Democratic Club
Sunday October 17, 2010 


The Berkeley Democratic Club today indicated that it made an incorrect statement indicating that former Mayor Shirley Dean had endorsed incumbent Councilmember Gordon Wozniak for City Council District 8. Ms. Dean has not endorsed Mr. Wozniak and has, in fact, endorsed his two opponents. -more- 


It's Really a Billion Dollars: $100,000 per Student for Capital Improvements (Commentary)  

By Albert Sukoff
Wednesday October 20, 2010


If you have been driving around Berkeley this election season, you could not help but notice the preponderance of signs on both private and public property which support rather than oppose Measures H and I. That is because the relatively few people who have managed a modicum of time and energy to fight these measures do not have even a small part of the resources available to those in support. Those promoting H and I have been given over $100,000 from various unions, architectural design and engineering firms and building contractors, all of which stand to benefit from the passage of these measures. The proponents have all the signs they need and paid help to put them up (and to sabotage the few signs posted in opposition). What they do not have is a much of a case for passage of these measures. -more- 


Three State Propositions That Aren't Getting Enough Attention  

By Paul Hogarth (from Beyond.Chron.com)
Wednesday October 20, 2010


With the November election less than two weeks away, the media buzz is all about Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. At the grass-roots level, activists have been organizing for Proposition 19 (marijuana) – and environmentalists have focused on defeating Prop 23. But the three propositions that arguably have the greatest impact on California’s future – Propositions 24, 25 and 26 – are barely getting any attention at all. The state budget may be a boring subject, but Sacramento will remain a dysfunctional cesspool that generations of elected officials cannot fix until we make structural changes. Getting rid of the two-thirds budget rule by passing Proposition 25 is a critical first step, and passing Prop 24 will undo some of the most recent damage that is driving the state to bankruptcy. But even passing Props 24 and 25 is not enough, because Proposition 26 threatens to make a terrible situation worse – by extending two-thirds to all fee hikes. In fact, Prop 26 could make the passage of Prop 25 and the defeat of Prop 23 virtually meaningless. -more- 


Election Letters  

Friday October 15, 2010 


Measure R Will Not Prevent Sprawl; Where There's Smoke, There's Fire; Yes on Measure I; District 4 Funding; Worthington, not Beier; Yes on Measure H; Against Sierra Club's Endorsement of Measure R; Supporting H & I; Republicans and Women; No on 26, Polluter Protection; Voting for Beier -more- 


A Reluctant Vote for Measure I and Other Endorsements  

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday October 19, 2010


Someone at some civic event last week asked me if I’m voting for Measures H & I, the tax and bond measures designed to support the Berkeley public schools. The question was phrased in the form of an incorrect premise, “I know the Planet doesn’t make endorsements, but…” -more- 


Who Paid for "the Sierra Club's" Yes on R mailer? (News Analysis)  

By Daniella Thompson
Tuesday October 12, 2010


If you’re a Berkeley voter, you’ll have received the colorful mailer from the Yes on Measure R campaign conspicuously designed to look as if it had come from the Sierra Club.

Like Measure R itself, the mailer harps on the word “green” numerous times. Of course, there is nothing in the ballot language that guarantees any green (or even rosy) outcome for downtown Berkeley.

What we have here is a case of flagrant greenwashing, financed by developers. -more- 


The Will of the People: Measure R is Debated (Sort of) Yet Again  

By Christopher Adams
Wednesday October 13, 2010


Is the air too “dramatic” in the block of Addison which houses the city’s self-described “arts district;” is there something that fuzzes minds and prevents rational discourse? In January I went to a panel discussion about downtown development in the Aurora Theatre where not one of the panelists mentioned most of the activities which draw people downtown (like retail or restaurants or libraries or gyms). This Tuesday I went to a panel discussion in the same venue about Measure R, characterized by drama, if drama means “artifice,” “fictionalizing,” and “upstaging,” but mostly not including discussion of Measure R. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce, which had organized the panel, wanted it that way, but I went wanting to learn more, and I left as flummoxed as I had been in January. -more- 


League of Women Voters Hosts Lively Measure R Forum  

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday October 12, 2010


A forum on Measure R, the controversial downtown high-rise development proposal on Berkeley’s November ballot, provoked a sharp exchange of views last Tuesday.

More than 50 people attended the event that was held in the Berkeley City College building on Center Street and was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. -more- 


"Gerrymandering”: The Movie, the Proposition, the Conflict of Interest  

By Gar Smith
Tuesday October 12, 2010


“You don’t pick your representatives; your representatives pick you.”— A popular definition of the “gerrymandering” process -more- 


An Open Letter to Professor Robert Reich Regarding Berkeley Measure R  

By Susan Cerny
Friday October 08, 2010


Dear Professor Reich,

On September 30, 2010 I wrote you regarding your endorsement of Measure R and my observation that your endorsement conflicted with statements you make on public radio and on your blog site. (The letter is included below) -more- 


Support Education and Accountability—Yes on H…No on I  

By Priscilla Myrick
Wednesday October 13, 2010


Measure H is a parcel tax that will provide approximately $5 million per year for 10years (from 2013 to 2023) at a total cost of $50 million. The revenues from the parcel tax will be used to maintain school facilities.

Measure I authorizes the District to issue $210million in school construction bonds that will be used to construct classrooms and renovate district facilities over the next ten years. However, the cost to repay the bonds (principal and interest) will be $611 million over 50 years through 2060. -more- 


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


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. -more- 


Berkeley Measure R: 2 Cons and a Pro  

By B. Soffer
Saturday October 09, 2010


[EDITOR’S NOTE:The Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury. Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, West County Times, Berkeley Voice and more) has come out against Berkeley’s proposed Measure R.

Here’s a link to their editorial

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wrote an op-ed in response supporting Measure R.

Now B. Soffer of the Green Party has sent us his rebuttal, reprinted below:] -more- 


Measure R: Claims and Facts  

By John EnglishTuesday October 12, 2010 


Measure R is a deceptive attempt to slip through some highly controversial specifics by linking them to a parade of nice-sounding vague generalities and an alleged “green vision for the Downtown.” Don’t be fooled by proponents’ greenwashing rhetoric. Read the fine print. -more- 


Marijuana Measure T is not the Solution  

By Shirley Dean, Former Mayor, City of Berkeley and Sophie Hahn, Community and School Leader
Wednesday October 13, 2010


This week we got our first look at the “Yes on T” flyer currently being distributed. We support the efforts of those Berkeley advocates for medical marijuana who have acted responsibly to help people find their way through the complex legal and practical problems that the chaos of State law around this issue has created. However, the assertions in the flyer urging a “yes” vote on Berkeley Measure T are so misleading that we feel compelled to reply. -more- 


Privatizing VA Medical Care: Another Tea Party attack against blacks, Latinos and poor whites  

By Jean Damu
Wednesday October 13, 2010


The Republican Party and the Tea Party Express are on a roll, if the pundits and pollsters are to be believed.They say the opportunity will exist after the mid-term elections for them to be in a position to undo some of the positive legislation passed by Democratically controlled congresses. At the top of their hit list- undo the healthcare reforms and privatize social security, as well as the VA hospitals. -more- 


Sierra Club Local Endorsements = Machine, NOT Green  

By Merrilie Mitchell
Wednesday October 13, 2010


The Sierra Club, terrific on national issues like BP, has a Berkeley based local Chapter that seems to have eclipsed our own UC - BP horror story without a peep. UC-BP plans massive Research and Development (R and D) in biofuels here, and they are planning for Berkeley to become the world capitol for this research. -more- 


George Beier in His Own Words: A Cautionary Tale for Neighborhoods  

By Judith Epstein
Wednesday October 13, 2010


The first time I met George Beier, he was charming, friendly, and he told me exactly what I wanted to hear. It just wasn’t the truth. Beier is a self-described “neighborhood activist,” but when Elmwood residents and merchants needed a champion, he took the side of the developer who would have destroyed our neighborhood. -more- 


New: “Sierra Club” Yes on R mailer financed by Sam Zell  

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 07, 2010


If you’re a Berkeley voter, you’ll have received the colorful mailer from the Yes on Measure R campaign conspicuously designed to look as if it had come from the Sierra Club.

Like Measure R itself, the mailer harps on the word “green” numerous times. Of course, there is nothing in the ballot language that guarantees any green (or even rosy) outcome for downtown Berkeley.

What we have here is a case of flagrant greenwashing, financed by developers. -more- 


How I'm Voting on the State Propositions  

By Stu FlashmanMonday October 04, 2010 


[Editor’s Note: Stu Flashman is a Rockridge-based environmental attorney and an avid follower of local and state politics. He’s a normal East Bay progressive, but just to keep you confused, here’s also a link to the web site of a Los Angeles progressive organization, which differs with Stu on some propositions.]

My sample ballot came today, which says to me it’s time for me to share my opinions on the ballot measures and candidates. It is, as it usually is in a statewide November election, a pretty long ballot. I’m going to start with the ballot measures. This year, they’re a pretty easy group for me to decide on. Maybe not so much for you. For the first time I can remember, I’m 100% in agreement with the positions of the California League of Women Voters, where they’ve taken a position. You can find their analysis here: I go beyond the League, however, by sticking my neck out on the other ballot measures as well. -more- 


Updated: The Berkeley Democratic Club's Endorsement Meeting (Opinion)  

By Abigail Surasky
Monday October 04, 2010


[Editor’s Note: A reader saw my plea for a report of what happened at the endorsement meeting of the Berkeley Democratic Club (formerly known as The Moderates) and she volunteered this report of what she saw. We asked her if she is supporting any candidate or issue. “Sure,” she said, “I'm endorsing Jesse Arreguin (because of his presentation on Measure R, which I previously knew nothing about); Measures H&I; and for School Board I'm endorsing Julie Holcomb and Leah Wilson.” She seems to have done her best to be fair to all however.]

City Council Highlights

As a whole, the city council candidates were a colorful crew, reflecting a healthy diversity of opinions and styles (though disappointingly not race) that make Berkeley what it is. -more- 


Why I Support Julie Holcomb for Berkeley School Board  

By David Manson
Tuesday October 05, 2010

I have worked on the "front lines" of youth and community development work in Berkeley ever since I moved here in 1991. During my time with the South Berkeley YMCA, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, and Berkeley Boosters Police Activities League, I have worked with some of Berkeley's most at-risk youth in programs designed to support their success in our public schools and help move them to higher education and to become successful, contributing members of our community. -more- 


BAHA Election Information Available Online: BAHA endorsement: Vote No on Measure R  

Tuesday October 05, 2010 



BCA Endorsements  

From Dave Blake
Tuesday September 28, 2010

Berkeley Offices:


Council 4: Jesse Arreguin

Council 7: Kriss Worthington

Council 8: Stewart Jones
School Board: Hemphill, Holcomb, Wilson -more- 


Le Conte Neighborhood Views District 7 Berkeley Council Candidates  

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday September 28, 2010

The three candidates for Berkeley’s District Seven Council seat currently held by Kriss Worthington presented themselves to the Le Conte neighborhood at a candidate’s forum sponsored by the Le Conte Neighborhood Association on the evening of Thursday, September 16, 2010. -more- 


Press Release: BAHA Election Information Available Online  

Tuesday September 28, 2010 

In an effort to provide election information concerning preservation issues to its members and the voting public, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) has published the following three items on its website. 

Candidates' responses to BAHA questionnaire -more- 


Press Release: Priscilla Myrick announces candidacy for Berkeley, CA School Board Director  


Tuesday September 28, 2010 

Public education advocate and veteran chief financial officer Priscilla Myrick has launched her second run for a slot on the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) board in the November 2nd election. -more- 


Pacific Steel Castings (PSC):Politicians Protecting Polluters  

By Merrilie Mitchell
Tuesday September 21, 2010

Community members have real health concerns re pollution from Pacific Steel Castings company located at 2nd and Gilman. Here are a few of the problem chemicals: -more-