Berkeley Citizens Action – June Newsletter
Competing Minimum Wage proposals, Police Review Commission with teeth and more. Location: Council Chambers, 2135 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Competing Minimum Wage measures on the November Ballot?
After years of intense debate on minimum wage, we face a chance of having two competing minimum wage ballot measures this November. After a resident initiated measure, the Council majority placed a competing measure that will likely cause serious voter confusion and lead to the failure of increasing to an equitable minimum wage.
Kriss Worthington writes that he has proposed for the June 14th Council meeting that Council adopt its own minimum wage proposal as an ordinance rather than create voter confusion in November.
Mike Donaldson from SEIU and the Central Labor Council has asked for support from BCA member for their minimum wage initiative, which would lift the minimum wage to $15 on October 1st, 2017. He explains that their measure means minimum of more than $3,000 a year in income for a full-time worker, more sick leave, fewer restrictions, better wage theft protections, more income for youth, less confusion, and does not allow the City Council to arbitrarily change provisions. Attached please find links to the minimum wage flyer for June 14th council meeting and their community minimum wage initiative.
Other items of interest on the June 14 docket:
33. Petition President Barack Obama to Grant Clemency to Leonard Peltier
35. Honor the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant for its 3000th Asylum Grant
50. Ballot Measure to Lower the Voting Age of School Board Elections to Sixteen
…and many more!
Please attend June 14, but don’t wait until then to contact the mayor and council about items you support or oppose on the council agenda: Here is the link to the city council agenda for next Tuesday, and the emails for council and city clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org, c
Game-changer for police accountability in Berkeley?
Item 52 would refer the current Oakland community proposal for a similar Police Commission to the city manager to draft a charter amendment to be considered by the voters. There is not yet Berkeley-specific language, and the floor is open for your ideas.
Please review the item in the agenda packet including the Oakland language and come out June 14 to voice your support, giving input into how the Commission should function.
You might consider these questions:
* How is the current role of the PRC insufficient to provide oversight and transparency for Berkeley police?
* Would the Oakland model provide sufficient independence for the commission?
* Is the Selection Panel described in the model ordinance the appropriate way to select some of the commissioners?
* Are the scope and procedures of investigations appropriate?
Beyond the June 14 meeting, if the referral does pass, I believe there will have to be a second vote (July?) to review the City Manager’s language and decide whether to put it on the November ballot. There will be a need for community mobilization at that point, and for a strong campaign through the fall to win the vote.
Other upcoming accountability initiatives:
* Racial profiling: new statistics from this year have been released by the BPD which shows that the biased patterns revealed last year continue into 2016. The PRC has established a subcommittee to look into this issue, and community people are invited to participate.
* Body cameras: new policy draft will be finalized at the June 8 PRC meeting, 7pm, South Berkeley Senior Center.
* Crowd control: ongoing PRC subcommittee meetings on use of force, mutual aid, etc.
* Privacy/surveillance ordinance, using the ACLU template as modified for Berkeley (as in Oakland, Richmond, Santa Clara County etc.)