BCA Forum on Fair Berkeley Elections – Saturday, September 19, 12:15 to 2:30 pm, West Branch Library (Meeting Room), 1125 University Avenue
Berkeley Needs to Take Action to Make Elections Fairer
Recent Berkeley elections have given little voice to minority views in city council. The elections have been marred by illegal campaign contributions, and massive contributions from developers an d corporations. In addition, the 2014 gerrymandered student district resulted in an abysmal voter turnout of just 21% for their city council seat, (compared with 43-59% in the other city council contests.)
We must do better! Join us to make plans to get out the progressive vote in the important 2016 elections, and increase representation of minority voices in Berkeley elections. Speakers/Topics include:
- 12:00-12:15 pm: Registration, meet and greet
- 12:20 pm: Call to order (MC)
- 12:25 pm: Introductions
- 12: 30 pm: Why and how Berkeley should switch to proportional representation. Jim Lindsay, a founder of Californians for Electoral Reform (CfER), will explain how to strengthen minority voices in Berkeley City Council elections. CfER was involved in the successful 2004 Berkeley ballot measure enabling Instant Runoff Voting, which was first used in 2010.
- 12:55 pm: Berkeley’s proposal for Public Campaign Financing. Speakers include Daniel Newman, a founder and current President of Maplight & Dean Metzger, vice-chair of the Berkeley Fair Campaign Practices Commission. They will speak about the Berkeley Fair Elections Act, a proposed measure for the 2016 Berkeley ballot which would make it possible for good candidates to run for office and win, without access to wealthy donors. If approved by voters, this measure would provide matching funds for qualified candidates for mayor, city council, auditor, school board, and rent board.
- 1:25 pm: Update from Move to Amend, by Bernard (Ben) Simmons and Phoebe Anne Sorgen, on efforts to build the massive movement it will take to legalize US democracy and get a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and money being equated with speech.
- 1:50 pm: Discussion: What actions do Berkeley progressives need to take to prepare for the 2016 election season. How can we work to improve voter registration and turnout by students and residents of South and West Berkeley.
- 2:30 pm: Adjourn. space reservation ends at 3 pm