Monthly Archives: October 2015

Berkeley’s Housing Crisis

HousingCrisis4cSunday, November 22nd, 2pm-4:30 pm, Berkeley Arts Festival Space, 2133 University (between Shattuck & Oxford Streets)

Soaring rents and home prices have made Berkeley an increasingly unaffordable place. People can’t find housing, live in fear of eviction. We’ve lost much of our city’s diversity.

 

Come learn more about this crisis and what can we do:

What can our local elected officials do?

How do we prevent displacement of lower income folk and people of color?

Discuss ways to get funding for affordable housing:

  • increase business license fee paid by large landlords
  • city density bonus
  • housing impact fees and inclusionary housing
  • new revenue, such as a proposed tax on short-term rentals

Speakers include:

  • Stephen Barton, Ph.D., Former Director of the Housing Department and Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Program in Berkeley
  • Moni Law, Affordable Housing Activist
  • Rick Lewis, Executive Director, ­­Bay Area Community Land Trust, former Housing Advisory Commission Member
  • Austin Pritzkat, President, Berkeley Student Cooperative
  • Katherine Harr, Berkeley Tenants Union
  • Facilitated by Paola Laverde, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner

There will be an opportunity for questions and comments

Sponsored by the Ad Hoc Committee for a Progressive Berkeley with support from Berkeley Citizens Action, the Berkeley Tenants Union, Berkeley NAACP and the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/896111150438591/

Public Forum on Fair Elections in Berkeley

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Common Cause forum on Fair Elections in Berkeley

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: UC Berkeley (Valley Life Science Building, Room 2040)
                 Harmon Way
                 Berkeley, CA 94720
Campaign spending is out of control. In Berkeley, 7 of the last 8 City Council races went to the candidate who raised the most money, as did the last mayor’s race. We need a system where candidates can successfully run for office even if they don’t have connections to wealth.

Join Common Cause for an open forum to discuss the Berkeley Fair Elections Act, a small donor matching funds proposal. Hear first hand from supporters of the measure and ask questions about how the system would work.

Hope to see you there!

Support the Berkeley Fair Elections Act (Common Cause)

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Campaign spending is out of control. In Berkeley, 7 of the last 8 City Council races went to the candidate who raised the most money, as did the last mayor’s race. We need a system where candidates can successfully run for office even if they don’t have connections to wealth.

Take action today by signing our petition below!

https://secure2.convio.net/comcau/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=3DCE4B5FC57E35C83379D4BAE7D4AE53.app267a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=976 

Together, we can amplify local voices and empower candidates to run small donor campaigns. Sign onto our petition, and join us for a public forum on October 28 and for the council hearing on November 10.

PETITION: Amplify Local Voices. 

Support the Berkeley Fair Elections Act.

Dear Berkeley City Council,

California Common Cause, its members and allies urge the Berkeley City Council to place the Fair Elections Act on the ballot, which would magnify the role of average voters and empower candidates to run small donor campaigns.

When candidates have to spend most of their time fundraising, it can distract them from talking to voters and working on policy solutions that prioritize the public’s priorities. The high costs of campaigns are threatening to price out candidates without personal wealth or connections to wealth. The Fair Elections Act works to remedy the problem by allowing candidates to spend more time talking to voters and less time dialing for dollars.

The goals of the program are to:

1. Encourage more Berkeley residents to get involved in local elections.
2. Diversify the donor pool by increasing the number of small contributions.
3. Drive candidates to spend more time listening to voters.
4. Prevent candidates from appearing or becoming beholden to large donors.

The City of Berkeley needs a campaign system that prioritizes the public interest and reduces the amount of time candidates spend dialing for dollars. Vote to put the Fair Elections Act on the 2016 ballot and give Berkeley voters the opportunity to create a more equitable political system.