Public Comment

Thank-you, Downtown Berkeley Association for the Controlled Space Program!

By Carol Denney
Saturday July 14, 2012 - 10:34:00 AM

Some of you who have struggled for permits of various kinds will find it unfair that the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA) has acquired not just one permit for amplified sound, but what appears to be an eternal permit for the prime territory near the BART Station on Shattuck Avenue. But consider that, as the most powerful political group in town, they really, really want to control what goes on there. 

Face it; they care more than the rest of us do. And just because they are the best-funded business association in town and control hundreds of thousands of dollars doesn’t mean it is selfish of them at all to expect musicians to play for free. Musicians are well-known for this kind of civic generosity, and why would the DBA, as well-heeled as many of its board members are, want to interfere with that? 

Mean-spirited observers might suggest that the DBA has “occupied” this prime busking territory to supplant non-compliant musicians and performers, but nothing could be further from the truth. Why, everyone is welcome to apply for an opportunity to display their talents, for free, of course, at this carefully controlled space and enjoy the benefits of the selection process trusted to the DBA staff. What could be fairer than that? And if the DBA gets some good publicity, for free, mind you, out of the process, don’t they deserve it? Of course they do. Musicians would only waste the money anyway. Here’s to the controlled space program!