Mitch Kapor

Mitch Kapor, the philanthropist and founder of Lotus, has not allowed the difficulties he is facing building a home in Berkeley to deter him from channeling his money into good causes based in our city.

The Mitchell Kapor Foundation recently announced a five year renewable gift of $250,000 to UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science to support the launch of the Berkeley Science Network (BSN).

BSN’s stated aim is to strengthen the pipeline of students of color in the science disciplines where African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are most severely underrepresented in academia and industry – mathematics, physical science and computer science.

BSN is also establishing  an additional connection between UC Berkeley and the Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy, a program of the Level Playing Field Institute which was founded in 2001 by Kapor’s wife, Freada Kapor Klein, to promote innovative approaches to fairness in education and the workplace.

Meanwhile, Kapor’s application to construct a new home on his property at 2707 Rose Street is in the hands of the courts after a group of local residents, Berkeley Hillside Preservation, issued a suit asking that Berkeley City to conduct an environmental impact review on the property. The hearing is scheduled for December 2 at the Alameda Superior Court.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...