Open Letter to U.C. Berkeley Professor Robert Reich

Charlene Woodcock
Saturday September 24, 2016 - 08:53:00 PM

Your endorsement of Laurie Capitelli for Berkeley mayor is a betrayal of progressive principles. This man represents a very scary future for Berkeley should he be elected—as it is, the Bates machine and city council majority including Capitelli have invited developers to come to Berkeley to make profits, not to provide the low and middle income and student housing we so desperately need. They support the demolition of our greatly loved and very successful Shattuck Cinemas, a part of the landmarked Shattuck Hotel block, and the disruption of our city center for years, so that an LA developer can profit from more market rate housing and further the gentrification and loss of diversity our city is already suffering. 

The infrastructure of Berkeley is clearly inadequate to serve the many new buildings and thousands of inhabitants that are being added. Our city government is prepared to sacrifice amenities valued by residents such as the parks needing attention, new open space for all the new residents such as the American Rock & Soil property which should be added to Aquatic Park, not developed; the warm pool, the city pier, the fine old civic buildings that need retrofitting and reuse, in favor of cheap, ugly, quickly-built housing for those who can pay thousands a month. This does not reflect the values of the Berkeley we love. For that reason, many of us are working to change the city council majority and to elect a mayor who will serve the interests of Berkeley residents, not fund their campaigns with outside money from speculators, developers and real estate interests.