Public Comment

Berkeley City Council vs.The Public

Harry Brill
Thursday December 31, 2015 - 04:04:00 PM

Did you listen to the recent Democratic Party Presidential candidates debate? If so, I regret to say that if anyone of these candidates became a member of the Berkeley City Council, they would be on the losing side on a very important issue. In contrast to the majority of the City Council, all three candidates, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley, who was a former governor of Maryland, unequivocally and strongly support paid family leave for working people. 

The City's own Labor Commission proposed to the conservative leaning City Council paid sick leave. But the majority of the Berkeley City Council members, including Mayor Bates and Laurie Capitelli, who is a candidate for mayor next year, wouldn't budge. The three Presidential candidates would be more at home in San Francisco, Emeryville, and Oakland, where paid sick leave is now law. 

Paid sick leave is not only a labor issue. It is a public health issue as well. Since many low wage sick workers feel financially compelled to go to work, they are exposing their customers and other workers to health risks. Do the majority of members of the Berkeley City Council lack the compassion for the well being of the majority of the public? It seems so. 

What we do know is that we have the compassion for others. Please express your concern by insisting that the members of the Berkeley City Council enact a good paid sick leave ordinance. Also contact mayoralty candidate Laurie Capitelli. 

To reach all members of the Council, email to: 

To reach Capitelli, send email to: or contact him at one of the following phone numbers: (510) 981-7150 or (510) 981-7155