Downtown Berkeley, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Downtown Berkeley: the subject of the inaugural B-Side talk, part of a news series of conversations organized by Berkeleyside and Impact Hub Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

This week, Berkeleyside, in collaboration with Impact Hub Berkeley, launched a new talk series designed to facilitate conversations about issues going on right here, right now in Berkeley.

The B-Side kicks off on the evening of July 15 at Impact Hub Berkeley with a talk titled “Downtown Development Initiative: Boon or Bane?” Jesse Arreguín, councilmember for District 4, will go head to head with  planner and smart growth advocate Eric Panzer in a discussion moderated by Berkeleyside co-founder Lance Knobel. Given all the plans for downtown Berkeley, and the vocal arguments for and against them, this promises to be a lively debate, and one participants will be encouraged to join.

Before you leap to buy a ticket, however, be aware that the event sold out within 24 hours. First dibs on the 40 available tickets went to Berkeleyside Members — the supporters of independent journalism who contribute to the site either monthly or with regular contributions. Impact Hub members were also given priority registration. Entrance to this and all future B-Side talks will be free to members of both organizations. Regular tickets price is $10.

Berkeleyside will announce the dates and topics of future talks in the coming weeks. We may cover local business issues, homelessness, parking, open spaces, crime — what are the areas you feel strongly about? Leave us your ideas for discussion issues in the Comments. All B-Side talks will dig deep into both sides of the story, and the opinions of all who attend will be welcome.

Meanwhile, going forward, if you want to attend The B-Side talks for free, and to get priority registration, consider becoming a Berkeleyside Member. This opportunity is just one of the ways we thank our members during the year for their invaluable support. The more our readers give us that support, the better Berkeleyside will become, and the longer we will stick around! Become a Berkeleyside Member here.

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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...