Downtown Berkeley: at the heart of a ballot initiative and a lawsuit. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguín filed a lawsuit against Berkeley on Wednesday seeking to overturn ballot language that will be used to describe a downtown zoning initiative.

Arreguín wants an Alameda County Superior Court judge to take up the matter immediately, since final ballot language for the November 2014 election is due Sept. 2.

In the lawsuit, Arreguín alleges that the City Council voted to use misleading and inaccurate wording to describe the downtown initiative for the November ballot. State law requires that ballot language be neutral and non-argumentative, Arreguín said in the lawsuit.

The initiative will be known as Measure R.

The City Council rejected ballot language put forth by Arreguín and City Attorney Zach Cowan and instead adopted a description created by Mayor Tom Bates, who opposes Measure R. Many of the terms in the ballot language are intended to dissuade people from voting for the measure, Arreguín said. He would now like to have the city adopt the city attorney’s ballot language.

In July, when news broke that Arreguín intended to file a lawsuit, Bates said he thought his ballot wording was fair. He called the 28-page-long measure “extremely complicated,” and “difficult to understand.” Bates said it was not easy to craft the wording from such a dense document. Bates stands by the summary, and welcomes the court’s decision, he said.

See the Berkeleyside downtown initiative cheat sheet.

The lawsuit contends that Bates’ wording is factually incorrect and partisan. For example, Bates’s wording states that Measure R would “reduce height limits.” That is untrue because it suggests the measure would lower limits throughout the entire downtown, rather that just in two buffer areas, according to the lawsuit.

The initiative actually increases height limits because it allows developers to built extra 10-foot-tall “penthouse units” on buildings if they add all the parking spots currently required by law, plus 10 extra spaces for the public to use, the lawsuit contends.

Developers have said building parking spaces is so expensive that that incentive is no incentive at all.

Arreguín also expressed concern in the lawsuit, among many other issues, that one of Measure R’s most important provisions — the creation of a zoning overlay for the Civic Center district — is relegated to the center of the ballot paragraph where it gets lost. There is no real description of what it will do either.

“The ballot label is full of misstatements, negative characterizations, and highlighting of relatively minor features while omitting mentions of features with more significant reach or impacts which create an unlawful bias against the Initiative which must be corrected,” reads the lawsuit.

Arreguín was joined in the lawsuit by Austene Hall, chair of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, Stefan Elgstrand, a recent UC Berkeley graduate who was one of the defendants in a lawsuit filed by Berkeley concerning new redistricting lines, Sarah B. Nelson and James Massar. Sophie Hahn, the city Zoning Adjustments Board commissioner who helped draft the initiative, is not a party to the lawsuit.

No court date has yet been set.

Read the lawsuit.

Read Berkeleyside’s coverage of the downtown initiative.

Related:
Berkeley hotel halted pending initiative vote (08.07.14)
Wording of ballot initiative headed to court (07.31.14)
Council member says Berkeley ballot is biased (07.23.14)
At B-Side: Implications of the downtown initiative (07.22.14)
Berkeleyside launches new talk series, the B-side (07.03.14)
Downtown initiative put on ballot; city may lose millions in fees (06.26.14)
Berkeley mayor will push for civic center overlay (06.09.14)
Would new green initiative kill two downtown high-rises? (05.14.14)

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...

124 replies on “Berkeley zoning ballot language heading to court”

  1. For those who are interested, the hearing on this matter takes place at 1:30 p.m. TODAY, Aug. 29, in Department 31 of the Alameda County Superior Court.
    Department 31 is located on the second floor of the U.S. Post Office Building, 201 13th St. (between Alice and Jackson), in Oakland. Berkeleyside will be there.

  2. Actually, there’s nothing “simple” about it. The ABAG proposal is 1300 fricking pages long, and I’d be willing to bet money that if a majority of these people who voted for it listened to a moderated debate from both sides, there’s be a lot more contention. What you see if the result of huge private interest money behind measures and candidates which benefit *them*, along with a steady campaign of just anyone who wants to modify the more developer-whoring elements of it to benefit a wider variety of people “NIMY” or “obstructionist.” Are you going to just keep calling names hoping it will stick, or do you really want to look at what people are upset about and maybe learn something?

    I would love to see what would happen if there were caps put on campaign spending, wouldn’t you?

  3. As part of the democratic process, do you think it is okay to disrupt the meeting by singing and yelling, so the democratically elected majority could not speak?

  4. You don’t see Kriss blocking the possibility of voting on a measure??? When he started leading the crowd in singing and making noise, he was blocking off discussion of the measure – much less voting on it. Or do you think that disrupting a meeting a proper parliamentary procedure?

  5. No one is addressing your points because they’re ridiculous.

    a. Families aren’t the only people looking for housing.
    b. Not building any new housing to meet the demand will only make things MORE unaffordable.
    c. Why would any of us clamor for development in other communities where it won’t help Berkeley?
    d. There aren’t any.
    e. Arreguin’s ballot measure is a deceptive attempt to undo a popularly approved measure that he disagrees with.

  6. When you say that you believe commenters here who support smart growth must be profiting from development, that is a personal attack – just as when you say the same thing about Mayor Bates. It shows you will just make up personal attacks off the top of your head, with no basis.

  7. LOL, Zelda Bronstein has a track record of being AGAINST almost every POSITIVE thing that has ever happened in Berkeley.

    Did you know that Zelda Bronstein was a loud OPPONENT of the extremely popular new Berkeley Bowl West, which provided an excellent and much-needed grocery store to the residents of West Berkeley?

  8. What a weird way to characterize it when the democratically elected Mayor sides with the majority of the democratically elected city council and enacts policies that a majority of Berkeley residents approve of.

  9. Um, no. I see Kris Worthington as being better informed than most. I had questions about city regs I didn’t understand. Did Bates’ office or Linda Maio’s get back to me. Of course not. But Kris Worthington wrote back–two detailed pages, with citations of specific statutes. I’m not in his district, I don’t know him personally, but he personally did it. The bar is high with him.

  10. I don’t see Kris blocking off the possibility of even voting on a measure–something Bates regularly does.

  11. Trying to have any kind of reasonable discussion with you is starting to feel absurd. At least I post specifics, which is more than can be said for most of the posts labelled “guest,” which the apparent numbers of you seem to think I should be able to psychically differentiate between.

  12. I’m very familiar with his career, thank you very much, and if you bothered really reading my comments, you would have seen that I believe his realty connections have made him completely unwilling to even hear anyone who wants to tweak his so-called plan.

    Obviously you haven’t read anything I’ve said–I’m not anti-housing, but I’m very against displacing poor people to make more upper income units, particularly when the ones we already have had rammed down our throats aren’t even full yet. Affordability and broken promises related to it are but one aspect of it, but it’s tied for the number 1 spot.

    I know all about the part he narcissistically named after himself–but that doesn’t change the fact that he runs the council in an undemocratic manner and has had to be threatened with legal action more than once for attempting to gag other elected officials. Funny how you always seem to gloss that over.

    No, I don’t think all Bates’ supporters got a developer handout, but I know who funded the hype on this debacle, and I know opponents were outspent tens of thousands of dollars by developers. The second filing by the Yes on Measure R campaign of California Form 460, Monetary Contributions Received, reveals that between 1 and 16 October 2010, the campaign received $21,950, bringing the total contributed so far to $54,400. http://baha-news.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-developers-finance-yes-on-r.html. Here’s a little NYT expose on one of the ones with the deepest pockets. For all of you who say Anthony doesn’t get an opinion because he now lives in Walnut Creek, Zell lives in Chicago. Does that give him more of a right? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/media/06tribune.html

    And yes, I am a homeowner, but I’m not “making money” from any of this because I intend to live here until I die, and I’m not into borrowing against my home. I absolutely have an interest in this not just because I’m a homeowner, but because this is my community, and I want to be able to have neighbors who don’t have 6-figure incomes as well as all the rich techies who can come here no matter what. I want to be surrounded by the kind of community I moved to Berkeley to be around, and those people don’t necessarily do things that are rewarded with buckets of $$$ (artists, teachers, social workers, etc.). Just because I’m not renting doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for people who are.

    I want to be able to have long-term neighbors and families around me, and a sense of community. I don’t want rich people further lining their pockets at the expense of our community, our vulnerable renters, and the small businesses that make Berkeley unique. he way Bates’ plan is imagined, that will be increasingly difficult.

    No, I’m not a manufacturer, but I was once a small business owner, and I understand how those people will be hit as well. I am no longer a small business owner, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stand up for others.

  13. I frankly “grossly misinformed” seems like a pretty accurate assessment for someone who just keeps recycling vague innuendo without bothering to address specific differing points of view with actual facts.

    So do you consider Kriss Worthington do be “grossly misinformed”? After all, recycling vague innuendo without bothering to address specifics is basically all he’s done on the City Council for the last 14+ years.

  14. He/she is trying to prevent more housing from being built. We all know that the best way to deal with the high cost of housing and to help people without housing is by preventing more housing from being built.

  15. “We’re going to have to get lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the third abstention and the first council member to join the impassioned community members in song.

    So that was over two years ago. Did Kriss ever “get the lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it”? Either Kriss was blowing smoke (again), or the lawyers didn’t give him the answer he was hoping for.

    But Kriss is often confused by basic elements of parliamentary procedure.

  16. Uh, you are aware of the large-scale displacement of vulnerable communities currently taking place throughout the Bay Area due to the acute and ongoing housing crisis? Maybe you’re not aware, since you’re a homeowner just kicking back and watching his equity skyrocket, but I can personally introduce you to working-class and minority families who have lost their Berkeley housing and have been forced to move to outlying communities.

    I’ve spoken to Carl Pope about this personally. He called me one night to ask why I had dropped my Sierra Club membership.

    One wonders why Carl Pope, who stepped down from the Sierra Club in 2011, is taking the time to call a single one of the Sierra Club’s 2.1 million members regarding a canceled membership.

  17. So do you agree that People’s Park should be either fenced off and have a curfew, turned into a parking lot, or shut down and turned into a site for UC Berkeley student dormitories?

  18. 1.) One incident =/= a pattern. Arreguin and Worthington cry wolf about everything and constantly make groundless accusations.

    2.) Bates didn’t make any of the maps. The only gerrymandering was from Kriss Worthington who tried to violate the due process for creating new districts by submitting a gerrymandered district that split up communities of interest well after the submission deadline.

    3.) Perhaps if you replied to arguments instead of constantly attempting to engage in ad hominem attacks you might not have so much trouble crafting reasonable, logical responses.

    The only anti-democratic actions being taken by anyone on the city council are those of Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington who repeatedly try to use their status as council members to violate public process and undo popularly approved ballot measures with misleading and dishonest campaigns.

  19. Um, do mean to ask if I think it’s OK for the Mayor to stop Jesse Arreguin from engaging in yet another filibustering tactic trying to endlessly delay the vote? Yes, I do. Kriss Worthington’s groundless complaints and empty threats about legal action resulting in absolutely nothing because the Mayor did nothing wrong.

    Funny how you only complain about someone ignoring the rules of order when you disagree with their politics. No complaints about Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin filibustering council meetings with sing-alongs and a complete disregard for the rules of order.

  20. You mean do I think it’s OK for the Mayor to stop Jesse Arreguin from engaging in yet another filibustering tactic trying to endlessly delay the vote? Yes, I do. Kriss Worthington’s groundless complaints and empty threats about legal action resulting in absolutely nothing because the Mayor did nothing wrong.

    Funny how you only complain about someone ignoring the rules of order when you disagree with their politics. No complaints about Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin filibustering council meetings with sing-alongs and a complete disregard for the rules of order.

    SaveWestBerkeley? More like PreserveWestBerkeleyInHippieAmber.

  21. I am not surprised that Carl Pope found it impossible to talk to you.

    The point you miss is that your opposition to more housing near transit would make sprawl, traffic, and displacement of vulnerable communities even worse than ABAG’s plan.

    I don’t think anyone takes your personal attacks on Tom Bates’ profiteering seriously, now that you have shown that you will make the same personal attacks on people you don’t even know.

  22. And I’m curious, as part of the democratic process, do you think it’s okay for the Mayor to refuse to allow the Council to vote on competing plans?

    Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, who had been planning to presented an alternative proposal to the council that Bates did not allow to be discussed – but was not permitted by Bates to do so – said the spontaneous vote was “the most outrageous thing I’ve seen the council do.”

    “We’re going to have to get lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the third abstention and the first council member to join the impassioned community members in song.https://www.berkeleyside.org/2012/07/11/berkeley-sitting-ban-goes-to-ballot-after-raucous-meeting/

  23. I left the link at the end of the page, so the source of it is not news to anyone who actually bothered reading it or scrolling down to the bottom. I copied and pasted for those who are too lazy to go and read. There is nothing “plagiarized” about it: you’re just looking to fling mud at it because you don’t agree, and you haven’t bothered coming up with a single credible rebuttal.

  24. I did read the comment, which clearly states “I guess they must be fans of sexual assault and violence, since those seem to be the main things “People’s Park brings to the community.”

    The wording is quite different from what you imply, and grossly inflammatory. To suggest that somehow I have misconstrued it is both crass and disingenuous. Did you learn to debated from jr. high playground bullies, or would you like to have a discussion about issues instead of insults?

  25. How long ago was “Fourth and U” open for renters? Or any of the other new mega buildings? Yet they are all riddled with vacancies because they are NOT affordable to anyone making a low to modest income. $2600 studios languish while people are forced out for yet more development.http://www.trulia.com/for_rent/Berkeley,CA/

    You may get property tax revenue, but the units are so obscenely expensive that not having full occupancy is still very appealing to developers while not helping the community. They’ll wait for more high paying techies to avoid having to deal with stable, long-term tenants with rent control rights at lower levels.

    Then there’s what the developers are supposed to do (and are often allowed NOT to do if it isn’t “profitable enough,” such as broken promises about arts spaces:

    In Berkeley, a developer was granted a density bonus in exchange for agreeing to provide ground-floor retail space to a progressive women’s bookstore, Gaia Books. But the bookstore went broke prior to the completion of construction, and, while the developer got the benefit of the density bonus, the projected cultural space has remained vacant for years.

    The reason the space has remained vacant is that the developer, having gotten the benefit of the bonus, had no financial incentive to offer the cultural space at an affordable rent level, or with the necessary tenant improvements. Similarly, there is nothing in the Mid-Market Plan requiring developers to make affordable space available for arts or entertainment uses. After developers make their tax-deductible donation and get the right to build more units, the community arts benefit of these funds—both visually and economically-could well be slight.
    http://quartz.he.net/~beyondch/news/index.php?itemid=676

    I don’t understand how all those grossly expensive, VACANT spaces are a boon to the City, and they certainly won’t make it more liveable for anyone.

    As for measure R, that had a shit ton of out of town developer money (Chicago) behind it, and I don’t think most local voters were very informed about the issues and instead just bought the empty rhetoric.

    I notice that not one single person arguing with me here has bothered addressing the many issues I’ve brought up: sewage issues, affordability issues, or the competing plan I have referenced multiple times that would address these concerns and lead to smarter growth that benefits more than upper income earners. Why is that exactly? Because you can’t?

    From the article: The second filing by the Yes on Measure R campaign of California Form 460, Monetary Contributions Received, reveals that between 1 and 16 October 2010, the campaign received $21,950, bringing the total contributed so far to $54,400.
    It will come as no surprise to anyone that a good many of the contributors are the familiar developers whose names are perpetually linked with controversial land-use projects in Berkeley.http://baha-news.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-developers-finance-yes-on-r.html

    A little more background on the main money force behind R:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/media/06tribune.html?_r=0

  26. Apparently not very long experience, since you appear to be basically unfamiliar with Bates’ career. Bates worked in real estate prior to his election to the state assembly in 1976, nearly 40 years ago. Prior to being drafted out of retirement to run for Mayor in 2002, Bates taught a few courses at Cal and was active in advocating for improved childhood nutrition programs in Alameda Co. He has never been a realtor.

    It’s amusing that you repeatedly challenge your opponents to deal with “facts,” and then fail to actually present any, instead pushing the same old litany of tired anti-housing demagoguery.

    Here’s a fact: Tom Bates wrote the legislation establishing the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. I’m not sure when you moved to the Bay Area, but when I was a kid, the eastshore was a stinky polluted mud flat.

    I also quite enjoy how the anti-housing crowd incessantly accuses Bates’ supporters of personally profiting from development projects. Do you think that all 28,635 people who voted for Tom in 2012 got a check? You think Bates is personally profiting? You should see his house, check out how he lives. Sit down next to him on the bus after work sometime and ask him about his extravagant and privileged lifestyle.

    On the other hand, a significant number of the tiny handful of people opposing housing development in West Berkeley actually do have financial commitments from the status quo. Are you a homeowner? Then you are making money from restrictive residential zoning in West Berkeley. Are you a West Berkeley manufacturer? Current zoning is specifically designed to reduce your business costs.

  27. 1. I have plenty from the last decade to complain about. I was establishing a pattern of unethical (and often) illegal behavior. Here’s a more recent example, and one that has zip to do with development (well not directly anyway). You who are so enamored of the democratic process must be outraged when elected officials are denied the opportunity to present competing initiatives for a vote, whether you agree with the content of said initiatives or not, right? From the article:

    Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, presented an alternative proposal to the council that Bates did not allow to be discussed said the spontaneous vote was “the most outrageous thing I’ve seen the council do.”

    “We’re going to have to get lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the third abstention and the first council member to join the impassioned community members in song.

    https://www.berkeleyside.org/2012/07/11/berkeley-sitting-ban-goes-to-ballot-after-raucous-meeting/

    2. The gerrymandering was an attempt to get rid of Kris Worthington by Tom Bates, and Worthington’s own constituents came to the rescue on that (in spite of the fact Bates attempted to make the 30 days they had to respond occur during a student break, with students being the majority of Worthington’s constituents): https://www.berkeleyside.org/2014/01/22/opponents-of-redistricting-gather-enough-signatures-to-force-vote/

    3. How would I not be “confused” if you and all these other people use the same handle? Would it *really* be so hard to identify yourself more clearly, or does this just make it easier for you to make ridiculous attacks against my arguments without using real specifics?

    As far as “strong moderate liberal” goes, uh, I guess that’ would have to b e in the eye of the beholder, because I don’t see anti-democratic actions (of which I’ve only given you three HUGE examples, including the one above) as “liberal” by any definition.

  28. Here’s something rather recent. Does it bother you that Bates won’t allow votes on opposing measures, in spite of strong community demands to do so? BTW, this example isn’t about development–I use a different subject to further establish an illegal, grossly unethical pattern of behavior. Do ya care now?

    Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, who presented an alternative proposal to the council that Bates did not allow to be discussed – but was not permitted by Bates to do so – said the spontaneous vote was “the most outrageous thing I’ve seen the council do.”

    “We’re going to have to get lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the third abstention and the first council member to join the impassioned community members in song.https://www.berkeleyside.org/2012/07/11/berkeley-sitting-ban-goes-to-ballot-after-raucous-meeting/

  29. No, what I “seem to think” is that one or several people have not bothered to give themselves a pseudonym that distinguishes them from all the other people who are cheering on non-environmentally sound development that doesn’t protect the poor WITHOUT USING SPECIFICS OR FACTS in their rebuttals.

    If you would like me to differentiate between you and someone else when you have posted under the same name as him/her/them, then don’t be so lazy you can’t be bothered to distinguish yourself with a different sign in.

    And please, come up with something a little more thoughtful than a personal attack when your own actions have muddied whether you are “Guest” or “guest.”

  30. I apologize for using the term “troll,” but I frankly “grossly misinformed” seems like a pretty accurate assessment for someone who just keeps recycling vague innuendo without bothering to address specific differing points of view with actual facts.

    I still haven’t heard you apologize for calling me a liar, in spite of the fact that what I have said has been corroborated by others and is widely documented. Seems to me that you aren’t interested in having a fact-based debate at all.

    Oh, and here’s more evidence of Bates’ unwillingness to address community concerns, and on a different issue than development, so that we can establish that this is the Mayor’s modus operandi:

    Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, who presented an alternative proposal to the council that Bates did not allow to be discussed – but was not permitted by Bates to do so – said the spontaneous vote was “the most outrageous thing I’ve seen the council do.”

    “We’re going to have to get lawyers to look at this tape and evaluate it,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the third abstention and the first council member to join the impassioned community members in song.https://www.berkeleyside.org/2012/07/11/berkeley-sitting-ban-goes-to-ballot-after-raucous-meeting/

  31. I’ve spoken to Carl Pope about this personally. He called me one night to ask why I had dropped my Sierra Club membership. I told him, and asked him to address my concerns about ABAG. He couldn’t do it. He did not have a response to any of my concerns.

    Here, in a nutshell, are several of them, from the article no one who disagrees with me seems to want to read:

    “ABAG “focused housing and jobs growth around transit areas, particularly within locally identified Priority Development Areas,” the draft environmental impact report on the plan notes.

    The draft EIR is more than 1,300 pages long, and it looks at the ABAG plan and several alternatives. One alternative, proposed by business groups, would lead to more development and higher population gains. Another, proposed by community activist groups including Public Advocates, Urban Habitat, and TransForm, is aimed at reducing displacement and creating affordable housing; that one, it turns out, is the “environmentally preferred alternative.” (See sidebar).

    But no matter which alternative you look at, two things leap out: There is nothing effective that ABAG has put forward to prevent large-scale displacement of vulnerable communities. And despite directing growth to transit corridors, the DEIR still envisions a disaster of traffic congestion, parking problems, and car-driven environmental wreckage..”http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/28/planning-displacement?page=0,2

    So, does it make me a “NIMBY” for insisting that people and the environment come before big developer profits? I don’t think so. THe fact that you refuse to acknowledge any reasonable argument having to do with tempering big development money in favor of community issues makes me think you’re profiting in some way–or just determined to dig into your position no matter what evidence to the contrary anyone else presents.

  32. “do you *really* believe that long and repeated experience
    with someone who behaves in the way I documented makes me “biased?””

    No, I think your NIMBYism makes you biased. You give yourself away when you say:

    “Do you have a problem with a Mayor who is an obvious tool of big
    developers? IF not, why not? Do you profit from this boondoggle
    personally?”

    You have no understanding at all of the issues involved, if you don’t know that smart growth is supported by the Greenbelt Alliance, the Sierra Club, and many other environmentalists who do not profit from it personally.

  33. Me too. I was using that as an example to avoid spending hours making a clip show of Bates’ bad (and often not even legal) behavior in Council, which you obviously haven’t bothered to acknowledge.

  34. Yes, I am “still complaining, ” because this incident illustrates an extreme lack of character, and one that shows up at Council meetings all the freaking time when Bates is ready to ram something through. Why are your standards for an elected official so pathetically low?

    I think if more Berkeley voters actually paid attention to what’s going on, things would be seriously different here. But then, Bates has the mouthpiece (Gammon) and the money from big developers to squash any and all reasonable opposition.

    As far as “undoing” a ballot measure, I would counter that if you actually look at what R does, it maintains the spirit of that measure while eliminating many of the taxpayer subsidized perks to big development. What’s not to like?

  35. Seriously, do you *really* believe that long and repeated experience with someone who behaves in the way I documented makes me “biased?”

    My “bias” is against greenwashing, glossing over HUGE, very serious issues without acknowledging valid concerns, refusing to negotiate in good faith, and illegal behavior on the part of the Mayor.

    As far as “digging up” election history, I posted that because whichever of the many “guests” you are, you seem to wax on about the wonderful Mayor and his sterling job performance while refusing to even acknowledge his numerous ethics violations. You won’t even acknowledge what happens regularly at City Council, and has happened for years.

    What does this remind me of? The behavior of climate change deniers and anti-vaxers who will put their fingers in their ears and just yell louder when facts challenging their beliefs are presented.

    Do you have a problem with a Mayor who is an obvious tool of big developers? IF not, why not? Do you profit from this boondoggle personally? Just curious.

  36. And what else do you suggest people do when their “democratically elected” so-called leader acts like a tyrant when it comes down to actually doing his job? What you’re describing is the only recourse left.

  37. Sure, but I’m a lot more concerned with what’s happening RIGHT NOW than I am with things that happened MORE THAN A DECADE AGO.

  38. And what about when the opposition refuses to allow others to speak by engaging in sing-alongs and trying to filibuster votes? Why don’t you complain about that?

  39. All you have to do is watch the videos of the council meetings on the city’s website, going back years, and you can see it all for yourself. Totally true.

  40. “I’ve actually had her say things to me like my concerns don’t matter to her.”

    No, you haven’t. I’m not sure why you would be so blatantly dishonest.

  41. The comment you are replying to is a reply to a comment that says “Why are Berkeley progressives so opposed to prosperity? Is People’s Park really so wonderful that it remains their model?”

    Try reading comments before responding to them. It might clear up some of your confusion.

  42. None of the projects that Arreguin’s anti-democratic measure would kill are “developer giveaways.” All of them require significant concessions and would add tons of money to the general fund through new taxes.

    Bates has been reelected by a strong majority every time. Measure R passed handily and was popular with Berkeley voters. You and Arreguin represent a very small, noisy minority.

  43. What does any of this have to do with People’s Park? And why on earth would you assume that because I don’t agree with displacing vulnerable renters and throwing environmental regs to the wind for Bates’ favorite developers that I am somehow a “big fan of sexual assault and violence?”

    That statement is nothing more than an adhominem attack dressed up as indignance for an issue you obviously have not taken the time to review all sides of. And we wonder why we get morons like Bates running the show.

  44. No one is “perfectly okay’ with sexual assault and violence. What planet did you pull that from?

  45. Would displacing vulnerable renters and small businesses be a good enough reason for you? How about holding developers to decent environmental standards?

    For once, just actually read what Arreguin is trying to do, rather than blindly towing the greenwash line. Tom Bates’ plan is based on ABAG recs., and we are facing the exact same issues SF is in this. ABAG itself admits that all t his overdevelopment will lead to “substantial numbers” of people being displaced. HEre’s an in-depth article with interviews: http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/28/planning-displacement

  46. It’s only a “slur” if it isn’t true. I stand as witness.

    While we’re on the subject of the Mayor’s sterling ethics. how’d you like his theft of Daily Cals endorsing his opponent? Unethical and slimy, as you put it., is what I’d call it. I can give you multiple sources, if you like, but let’s just start with the one for now: http://archive.dailycal.org/article.php?id=10530

  47. Perhaps you weren’t at the same meetings I was, but Bates had to be threatened with legal action the last time I went if he didn’t give opposition council members a chance to speak. I haven’t been in quite awhile. Too hard on my blood pressure.

  48. I was THERE when I saw this on at least three occasions. Calling me a liar is an ad hominem attack and low even for you.

  49. In recent weeks a broad array of progressives has rallied opposition to Plan Bay Area, a state-mandated proposal to reduce the region’s carbon emissions and still accommodate massive increases in jobs and population by encouraging dense infill development close to transit, i.e. Smart Growth. Drafted by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Plan Bay Area claims to “be taking equity into account.” However, the plan’s own assessment concedes that its implementation “could result in residential or business disruption or displacement of substantial numbers of existing population and housing,” and that those who cannot pay the “higher prices resulting from increased demand” for new housing and commercial space will be forced out.

    So far, progressive critics have focused on residential displacement. But inflated land values also threaten low-rent business, including small and medium-sized industrial firms and the well-paying middle-income jobs they provide. Those who care about equity and, for that matter, about the environment, should be concerned about the vulnerability of the region’s industrial enterprise and employment.

    Aerial view of the Port of Oakland. Photo credit: Robert CampbellFor years we’ve been told that the Bay Area has gone post-industrial, that its stagnant “old” economy, anchored by low-tech manufacturing and brute strength, was long ago banished by an innovative “new” economy driven by high technology and brainpower – and, most importantly, that this change is inevitable.

    That the region’s industrial sector has shrunk and its economy undergone a transformation is undeniable. But to frame this makeover in terms of low-tech vs. high, stagnation vs. innovation, brawn vs. brains, and bad vs. good is a mistake. For one thing, the line between the “old” and “new” economies often zigzags and blurs. For another, there’s still a significant amount of industry in the Bay Area. According to MTC/ABAG, in 2010 manufacturing and wholesale enterprise accounted for 460,200 jobs or 14% of the region’s employment.

    Contrary to “new” economy hype, industrial decline isn’t inevitable, and the health of the industrial sector is critical to both broad regional prosperity and environmental amelioration. But for industry to thrive, public officials have to support its essential role in the region’s well-being.

    Instead, Plan Bay Area puts industry at risk. Not overtly, to be sure. The document’s most substantial statement about industrial issues appears under the heading “New vitality of industrial lands,” a phrase that might lead you to think that the plan heralds an industrial renaissance.

    That cheering impression is undercut by the paragraph-long statement that follows. First it says that “manufacturing and wholesale distribution have experienced declining employment in many of the region’s key industrial areas.” Then it asserts that the Bay Area’s industrial lands owe their “new vitality” to the incursion of “a different and very diverse mix of businesses whose “building and space needs” make “traditional industrial lands attractive.” Those needs remain unspecified, as do the “jobs, “essential support” and “vital services” that these businesses offer “to other sectors of the economy” and “nearby residents.” But the plan’s concluding defense of rezoning industrial lands singles out the jobs factor: “It is in the region’s best interest to ensure that new businesses have access to industrial lands, so that the jobs they create remain in the Bay Area.”

    That conclusion is strikingly at odds with the findings and recommendations of three MTC reports, the 2003-4 Regional Goods Movement Study, the 2006-8 Regional Goods Movement/Land Use Project and the Goods Movement Initiatives 2009 Update. These reports examine industrial land use and employment, traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and economic diversity and equity in relation to the movement of goods in the region by trucking, rail, marine and air facilities and services.

    All three reports emphasize that, in the words of the 2006-8 study, goods movement businesses “are typically lower-density uses that cannot pay to compete with higher-density, more intensive residential and commercial uses.” For that reason, they need industrially zoned land. Like Plan Bay Area, the goods movement reports foresee growing demand for such land. But whereas the plan simply applauds that growth as a sign of economic revitalization, the MTC studies see it as a mixed blessing.

    The good news: the increased interest in the Bay Area’s industrial lands partly reflects the robust state of the region’s goods movement sector. The 2003-4 report found that manufacturing, freight and wholesale trade account for nearly 40% of regional output, and that Bay Area businesses spend over $6.6 billion on transportation services. The 2006-8 report identified 5,400 goods movement establishments located along East Bay I-80-880 from Richmond to Fremont and North Peninsula U.S. 101 from the San Mateo County line to Millbrae/Burlingame and supporting 177,200 jobs. That report also forecast a 59% growth in central area goods movement industries employment between 2006 and 2035. The realization of that growth, however, depends on the ability of those industries to locate on industrially zoned land in the central Bay Area.

    The bad news: “central area industrial land supply is declining.” The Goods Movement/Land Use Project explained that decline in a passage the likes of which is rarely found in an official planning document and certainly not in Plan Bay Area:

    The decline of central area industrial land is not an issue of the structural decline of production, distribution, and transportation industries, but the result of the demand for land by other, higher-density land uses and the pressures of a speculative real estate market and by land use policies that allow or encourage changes in land use.

    In another gutsy move, the study identified the speculation-inducing policies with Smart Growth, which “encourag[es] a more compact development pattern … in central areas, often along or near the major goods movement corridors,” and that disregards goods movement and indeed industrial business in general.

    Unable to compete with the high-density, high-rent residential and commercial uses that zoning changes are allowing into formerly industrial districts, goods movement businesses are migrating to the edges of the Bay Area and beyond, with dismaying results:

    greater truck travel and congestion on already congested roads

    worse air pollution

    higher transportation costs translating into higher cost of goods

    the permanent loss of industrial land supply (conversion from low to high rent land use is a one-way street)

    fewer well-paying blue/green collar jobs in proximity to the urban workforce residing in the central Bay Area

    less economic diversity

    Calling the situation “urgent,” the 2003-4 Regional Goods Movement Study put forth a host of remedies, including better regional planning that incorporates the following “guiding principles”:

    preserve central location options for goods movement businesses while applying best practices off-site impact mitigation

    accommodate the region’s growing needs for warehouse and regional distribution facilities in some suburban locations by integrating current land uses without creating major auto/truck/rail conflicts

    ensure a diversity of job opportunities through land use policies and transportation investments that preserve “good-paying jobs at the lower end of the skill range”

    Reiterated by the two subsequent MTC reports, these guidelines do not appear in any form in the draft Plan Bay Area. And while the regional agencies have initiated some improvements in the transportation infrastructure that supports goods movement, they have continued to pursue the Smart Growth land use policies that exacerbate industrial displacement.

    But things may be about to change. In their June 7 response to public comments on the draft plan, ABAG and MTC staff flagged “Goods Movement and Industrial Lands” as one of the issues that merit “additional work by ABAG and MTC.” To my knowledge, the subject had elicited only two comments, a plaintive appeal from the owner of a Hayward trucking firm and a long critique from myself. But at the June 12 meeting of the ABAG and MTC Administrative Committees, ABAG Commissioner and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said that he’d met with ABAG Director Ezra Rapport and told him that the plan’s treatment of goods movement needed major improvement.

    The June 7 memo promised that ABAG/MTC staff would “evaluate the needs related to the development, storage and movement of goods through our region and identify essential industrial areas to support the region’s economic vitality” so as to “permit these issues to be considered more fully in the 2017 update of Plan Bay Area.”

    That wasn’t good enough for Haggerty, who asked for immediate action. At ABAG’s Executive Board meeting on June 14, he got what he wanted. In a last-minute addendum to the original agenda, ABAG staff recommended that their agency:

    Work with MTC to hire a full-time freight planner at MTC to focus on freight, sea and airport planning, coordination and grant funding

    Support MTC in implementing the latest Federal transportation bill, MAP-21, which addresses the performance of the national freight network; and “actively participate … in the California Freight Mobility Plan, a new Caltrans-led freight initiative.”

    Ensure that the areas prioritized for development “support adjacent viable industrial land and avoid negative impacts on goods movement businesses”

    Support local zoning that “guide[s] new residential development to other locations and that limit[s] stand-alone office and retail development”

    Haggerty praised these recommendations and then offered an amendment to incorporate their immediate funding and implementation into Plan Bay Area. Thus amended, the staff proposals were unanimously approved by the ABAG Executive Board.

    Let’s hope they pass muster on July 12, when the MTC and ABAG Administrative Committees will meet to review and approve the final plan, and then again on July 18 when the plan is set for final approval by the ABAG Executive Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

    Even if these changes make it into the final plan, their implementation is no sure thing. That’s especially true for the industrial retention measures, which run smack up against Smart Growth’s disregard of the industrial economy; the region’s red-hot speculative real estate market; and local officials’ urge to convert industrial land to high-rent uses in hopes of more revenue and bigger campaign contributions.

    These are formidable obstacles. Overcoming them will require a long and concerted effort. Progressive activists should lead the way.

    Zelda Bronstein is former chair of the Berkeley Planning Commission and a Bay Area activist and writer.http://www.californiaprogressreport.c

  50. “Ain’t great” is an understatement. She refuses to deal with anything that might conflict with her agenda. Her rude staff doesn’t return phone calls. I have yet to see her accomplish ANYTHING that has benefitted our neighborhood.

    I’ve actually had her say things to me like my concerns don’t matter to her. WTF? Linda Maio is someone who is clearly not interested in representing me. I don’t insist that someone walk lockstep with my views, but I do insist that my elected officials hear me out and make a well-reasoned response. I have never gotten that from her.

    Want to know why I like Kris Worthington and Jesse Arreguin so much? Because they will actually answer questions in a polite, thoughtful manner. I can’t even get that much from Maio, and I’m in her district.

  51. So would I, but I think that big developer giveaways are not the way to do that, and I have yet to see anyone make a convincing argument otherwise (unless they blithely ignore who this new housing goes to and who will be paying for the all the subsidies. Hint: it’s you and me, not the megadevelopers.

  52. Sure we were all out of towners once, unless we’re from the local First Nations tribes, okay. However, there is a maximum capacity for any area, and we don’t have adequate sewage or transit options for all of this, nor have Oakland, Albany, and EC done their part, nor have numerous concerns been addressed, including the number of low-income people who will be displaced under ABAG’s plan both here and in the City to make room for an increasing number of tech yuppies.

  53. Good for Soto-Vigil, who I will be voting for. However, that statement is like saying your friend won the lottery, so why don’t we just go out and do that? It’s possible, look at my friend!

    Possible it may be. Extraordinarily difficult, it definitely is, particularly if you are in a time crunch with a baby on the way.

  54. Bearparent, that seems to be logical, until you look at the kind of housing they are building and who they are building it for. The Mayor’s attempts to ram this through are for big developers, not for us. They are based on ABAG models, the same models that ABAG admits will actually displace “a substantial number” of renters and small businesses.

    The other argument Bates uses is that it’s going to somehow save pastureland from development in say, Tracy. Most people buying 5 bedroom houses out there can’t afford it here and want to have families. You aren’t going to be able to house those people, with their 2.5 kids and dogs, in a “luxury” studio for $2400, no matter how hard you try.

    This really just isn’t about supply and demand, it’s about changing demographics in favor of the haves (big developers first). http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/28/planning-displacement

  55. I guess a lot of voters don’t give a rat’s ass if they get someone with the ethics of a sewer rat. Who would vote for this ridiculous man and his lying spin? People who are uninformed. Or, do you consider stealing and destroying free papers who endorse the competition to be acceptable behavior for an elected official? Just more of the same old Bates from where I sit: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-08-berkeley-mayor_x.htm

    Of course, there’s also the gerrymandering scandal. http://www.dailycal.org/2014/06/25/berkeley-city-council-holds-independent-redistricting-commission/

    Are you a developer, or do you profit from Bates’ actions in any way? Just curious.

  56. Here’s another source for you, guest. Just because you deny it doesn’t make it not so. THis would be more interesting and productive if you bothered informing yourself before launching and attack:
    http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/28/planning-displacement

    Bates consistently uses the ABAG plan as justification for his greenwashing, and in the case of measure R, as a rationale for trying to inject inflammatory language into a measure that is attempting to mitigate some of the damage he signed on for. The SF problems cited in the article are exactly what Bronstein is referring to, and have been very well documented in the article.

  57. Do people who truly believe in free speech steal and destroy free papers that have the unmitigated gall to endorse their opponents? Because that’s what Tom Bates has done. Yet that seems to concern your tender democratic sensibilities very little, Bearparent. Could this be because you one care when the outcome suits YOU? http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-08-berkeley-mayor_x.htm

    I would say make the same accusation you made about Arreguin about Mayor Bates, who regularly shuts down any opposing views in Council meetings (he did when I was there, when they were trying to ram through overdeveloping San Pablo without reasonable affordable housing or environmental protections). I was there. I was outraged by this egregious behavior. I’m sorry I ever voted for Bates, but I will never make that mistake again.

    So tell me, do you learn from your mistakes, Bearparent? Or would you prefer to just trumpet generalizations devoid of facts?

  58. Your failure to understand how the laws of economics apply to housing clearly indicate that you are not informed.

  59. I’m a democrat and “prosperity” for me means: one last chance to get the City’s financial house in order before we start making massive budget cuts.

    Given that I live here, I’d rather the City be economically viable over the long term.

  60. Correct. Anthony Sanchez has repeatedly positioned himself as Jesse Arreguin’s mouthpiece on Berkeleyside. As such the rules that would apply to Arreguin should apply to Sanchez as well.

  61. When I clicked the link that shows what “even ABAG” admits, I expected to find something by ABAG. Instead, it links to a quote by Zelda Bronstein that gives us this quote from ABAG with no attribution – and she is not exactly an impartial observer.

  62. Maio ain’t great, but she’s a damn sight better than Soto-Vigil, who would be guaranteed to vote in lockstep with the NIMBY, obstructionist minority.

  63. Voters who vote for Tom Bates – a very strong majority of Berkeley voters – prefer his vision to the future to that of obstructionists like Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington.

    It’s as simple as that.

  64. I was addressing your slur that Bates “attempts to ram a vote through before Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington, or anyone else can say boo about it,” which is simply a lie.

    Yes, I am aware that “there are a significant number of people” who criticize the new housing, and I am also aware that there are a larger number of people who support it.

  65. I don’t feel like I “deserve” Bates or Linda Maio–I’m informed, and I regularly vote against them. I will be voting Soto-Vigil and whoever walks the walk for Mayor.

  66. I regularly hope yours are, but alas, they just seem sadly uninformed. I have yet to see you comment substantively on the issues.

  67. If you’ve seriously been to council meetings and you’re going to deny that Bates regularly shuts down the opposition, you must not live in Berkeley either, but along a very long river in Egypt.

    1. Are you aware of the sewage issues we’re already facing that have not been addressed yet?

    2. Are you aware that there are a significant number of people that point out that these new housing units are

    a. The wrong type of units, if your honest goal is to stop the spread of McMansions in Tracy. People out there have families, can’t afford $2400 “luxury studios,” and need more than 300 sq. ft. for themselves, their 2.5 kids, and their partner and dog(s).

    b. The units will actually displace a “substantial number” of vulnerable renters and small businesses.

    c. The building will displace what industry we have now, and force it all to be trucked in.

    Rather than just toss out an ad hominem label, why don’t you try something novel, like informing yourself. Here’s a detailed assessment of ABAG’s plans for SF. It is more detailed than the op ed I have on Berkeley, but the issues are essentially similar.

    http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/28/planning-displacement?page=0,3

  68. Is “prosperity” right-wing speak for “gentrification?” “Eviction?” “Greenwashing?”

  69. 1. Voters who elected Tom Bates rarely bother going to City Council meetings. If they did, they would see he regularly violates the rules in order to attempt to silence opposition to his plans.

    2. I have struggled to live in Berkeley for a very, very long time, and I still do. YOu are seriously misinformed about how much so-called “affordable” housing costs (I can’t afford it, and I live in my own condo) as well as the effects that this will have on vulnerable residents. Even ABAG admits that the types of units being built will displace “substantial numbers” of vulnerable residents and small businesses: http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/does-industry-have-future-bay-area

    Bottom line, from where I sit, is this looks like just one more greenwashing piece of BS by Bates wrapped up in a big bow to his fave developers. And even if you elected him and you generally agree with his policies, you would be appalled at the seriously undemocratic way he tries to bully his own council. It’s a disgrace.

  70. I live in West Berkeley, and I’m sick to death about how anyone not on the ABAG bandwagon is ignored, often at their own peril.

  71. Anthony,

    Sincere best wishes to you and your growing family.

    Your colleague, Alejandro Soto-Vigil managed to find housing in Berkeley for his own family. They chose to rent, which is apparently a concession you were unwilling to make. That’s fine, but it’s not like you had no options.

    When you chose to move out of Berkeley, you gave up your right to a say in how Berkeley should conduct its affairs. Please respect our community’s right to discuss and debate the events and policies that affect our homes. We can’t afford to finance the moral obligations that you’ve moved away from and I don’t want my community to be a theme park for your ideological projections.

    Were you a resident, I would defend your right to have input into the community’s direction. As a non-resident aide, you’re paid for your output.

    You exaggerate your importance in the discussions at BerkeleysNide, by the way. The topics there are varied and informative and have only addressed you because, until recently, you’ve been presenting yourself as a stakeholder in the community. I’m glad that’s settled, at least until you decide to move back.

  72. That’s a distinction that Anthony Sanchez hasn’t often honored. His posts here frequently refer to what “we” (himself + Jesse) think/say/do. He can’t have it both ways.

  73. Frances, the issue is that Anthony has repeatedly posted here about how we have a moral obligation to spend our time and money on his agenda. Were he a citizen of Berkeley, that would be his right. As someone who has pulled up his tent stakes and left the city, he no longer deserves a seat at the table.

  74. I remember reading it before. I noticed it because the commenter doesn’t know what “cohort” means.

  75. I have been to council meetings and it is not true. The mayor gives all the councilmembers ample opportunity to speak.

    When you talk about addressing “community concerns,” you mean the concerns of the anti-development minority.

  76. I do want to move back to Berkeley, but it takes two to make a decision (or so I am learning with my fiancee). She prefers Walnut Creek.

    I will send my kids to whichever school district I live in, so we will see.

  77. Wow. ONLY rebutted the unfounded assertion that Jesse is not progressive. The writing is pretty clear in responding to the short comment: “there’s nothing progressive about Jesse Arreguin.”

    I am sorry you read something else.

  78. Have you ever actually *been* to a city council meeting? Because I have. Let me tell you a little bit about how it works.

    Mayor (I use that term loosely) Bates proposes something he wants. He then proceeds to ignore or overrule Bartlett’s Rules of Order in order to shut down any opposing discussion. He attempts to ram a vote through before Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington, or anyone else can say boo about it. Then he condescendingly accusing any opposed to *his* vision as being a NIMBY, not caring about the environment, etc.

    To add insult to injury, most of the proposals I’ve been present for have been greenwashing initiatives designed to benefit his personal favorite big developers (he was a realtor before he was mayor) and do zero to address community concerns, or provide viable long-term housing for any but the forever single. “Affordable” housing units that are required for these “bonuses” cost more than we could afford, and we own a condo! Make no mistake, the only people this very undemocratic minor despot wants to help are his rich developer cronies.

  79. Seriously????? Have you actually priced some of the so-called “affordable housing” that Tom Bates touts? Because I have, and as a homeowner, *I* couldn’t afford it if we needed to move.

    This is once more nothing but a hideous joke that Bates is trying to spin as being a boon to “green” and “affordable” housing when in fact, it is neither and benefits nobody but his big developer pals.

  80. Congrats to team Jesse for scaring away all competitors. I certainly don’t agree with many (most?!) of your positions, but I know you work hard for your constituents.

    And of course, the final question. Will you be sending your child to Berkeley Unified schools (judging from some posts on BS, it appears to be a time honored tradition for some public sector employees in Berkeley)? The new portables at Washington now have a lovely color scheme to match the main building. I can almost picture the families on the first day of school, scanning the postings to see if their child has been assigned to an “overflow” classroom.

  81. recurring tendency to deride comments left anonymously

    When the comments drift towards obsessive levels of harassment, or hostilely posting details (accurate or not) from a person’s private life, and so forth — and there is not even any social accountability for the people doing this — I think it tends to become frustrating, intimidating, and sometimes frightening.

  82. Notice how the number of comments increases when there is an opportunity to express hatred against an individual – either Anthony or Jesse. The haters are not convincing anyone except other haters.

  83. Also, what’s so wrong with out-of-towners?

    I thought Frances made a good case for not criticizing someone based on where they’re from.

    Many / most of us were out-of-towners once.

  84. Congratulations on your pending new addition to the family.

    There is actually a considerable body of evidence that suggests when the quantity of housing stock increases, housing becomes more affordable. So, there may be hope if Measure R is defeated.

    On the other had, if Telegraph gets any worse, prices may decline anyway.

  85. ah yes, the joys of anonymous commenting…. YOU chose to be in a publicly visible position. the rest of us did not. the legitimacy / illegitimacy of anonymous commenting speaks for itself – as you pointed out re: copy and pasted comments – but your recurring tendency to deride comments left anonymously is really tiresome. not all of us opted for life in the public eye. that’s what the internet is for.

  86. Jesse Arreguin is the elected representative. Anthony Sanchez is a city of Berkeley employee. As I said in my previous comment, almost anything anyone writes about an elected representative is protected by law. But Berkeleyside’s guidelines ask commentators to avoid personal attacks (and comments) and to stay on topic.

  87. i think it’s actually very important that we discuss where our elected representatives are coming from. if they are representing our city, then whether or not they live in our city is significant. i don’t see how that discussion is not also protected by law. is this slander? as far as i can tell these are serious concerns and discussions that need to happen.

  88. Frances and Anthony,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    I wasn’t aware that I was criticizing Anthony – based on his choice of residence or any other factor. It has been mentioned a number of times that Anthony lives in Walnut Creek. I was genuinely seeking clarification on the issue. I’m not a member of any conspiracy – sorry.

    While I laud Anthony’s commitment to public service, I hope you and he respect others’ right to question his views, especially if they seem inconsistent with his actions.

    Many people who have stayed on in Berkeley and struggled to raise a family (you’re not the only one Anthony) see irony in his and Jesse Arreguin’s attempts to nullify the outcome of democratic processes that reflect the views of persons who actually live here.

    This is meant as no criticism against Anthony but, given his public role, I think it does introduce questions on his views towards the community.

    Frankly, it never occurred to me that living in Walnut Creek would be considered a black mark against anyone.

    Many thanks

  89. (there’s a reddit run by Sharkey dedicated to talking about my personal life)

    You have posted in that group many times and know that isn’t true so why would you say this, Anthony? Why do you find it acceptable, time and time again, to spread false information?

    The Reddit group is about general Berkeley area news and was neither created by nor is run by The_Sharkey.

  90. I think it SHOULD be acceptable for Berkeley citizens to question why people who live in other cities are coming into Berkley to tell us how we ought to live.

    I don’t want people from Walnut Creek telling me what I ought to do here in Berkeley, no matter who they are or what they do for a living.

  91. So NO, they have not supported Jesse Arreguin’s position on THIS ISSUE, even though you are attempting to make it appear as though they do.

    Slimy, misleading statements as usual.

  92. Thank you! This has been going on for a while on multiple sites, most of which is coordinated and originates from a reddit called berkeleysnide with anonymous characters such as Sharkey, Pragmatic Progressive, etc.

    It’s rather unhealthy.

  93. Who is “our” interests? While I respect that Jesse doesn’t perfectly represent your interests in a district of 14k residents, he has won every single precinct in 2010 as a 25 year old and now has no opposition after 4 years of growth and hard work. That is not to say that there a no people unhappy with Jesse, but it means that there is not enough unhappiness to manifest as someone running against Jesse.

    As for his endorsements, they reflect years of work -UFW and Dolores are from his work as a 9 year old and Cesar Chavez Street in SF; Newsom is from his time in high school working for him when he was then a Supervisor; Bonta is someone we work closely with on the County Democratic Party Committee.

  94. It is a STRONG suggestion that all of these groups and people taken together make it excruciatingly unlikely that Jesse is not progressive. If the one metric is the monied issue of development, strange that someone who wants development to include adequate affordable housing is somehow is not progressive -is it progressive to subscribe to the free market to build only for the upper demands until it trickles down for the rest of us as rent relief decades into the future?

  95. Look, here’s the run-down so you no longer have to look anonymously terrible for attacking me:

    I have lived off and on in Berkeley since 2004. I only recently had to fully move out of Berkeley and to Walnut Creek because my fiance and I were tired of sharing a small room and we now have a BABY on the way.

    Our beautiful new BABY who will be here soon is deserving of a better space, one that we cannot afford here in Berkeley since they do not build for us -we’re only building luxury units for out-of-towners. We’ve tried looking, but 1 bedrooms at Trader Joe’s or even the new Berkeley Central are insanely ridiculous -who are they for if a young professional couple cannot afford it?

    I do not “keep” a rent-controlled unit in Berkeley. I lived here until my fiance finally convinced me to move in with her where she is from.

    No stop the creepy stalking (there’s a reddit run by Sharkey dedicated to talking about my personal life) and stick the issues.

    Thank you.

  96. Our local professional activists seem to be perfectly okay with sexual assault and violence, as long as they can see the perpetrators as underdogs and victims.

  97. I should have spoken up here. It is not okay to criticize a legislative aide for where he lives. In the future we won’t allow these comments. It is fair to say almost anything about an elected official – that is protected by law – but questioning where people (except elected officials live) is not okay as it appears like a personal attack. My apologies Anthony. We will do better next time.

  98. Is the suggestion that all of these groups & individuals endorse Jesse’s efforts on the new measure R? Or just that they have endorsed him or been friendly with him in the past? As you may discover, endorsements come and go in politics. Especially when the politician gets ahead of himself.

    Regardless of whether Jesse is a progressive, based on this episode his commitment to honoring democratic processes appears contingent on whether the outcome suits him.

  99. As his constituent, I’m in a better position to assess his actions and not merely his words. Jesse does not represent our interests and it is clear from your list of regional endorsements that he has ambitions beyond District 4.

  100. Yes. He’s in the phone book. He also admitted it on the daily cal recently. He also maintains a Berkeley address in a rent controlled apartment that a current student might wish to use. Bottom line is that he’s a professional political operative who tells glibly Berkeley how to behave, but has personally opted out of our community.

  101. This is literally a copy and paste comment that has already been posted here and Daily Cal.

    Brought to you, again, by anonymous commenting.

  102. Jesse Arreguin and his cohort Sophie Hahn, do not have the best interest of Berkeley. Anthony Sanchez is a hypocrite, he lives in Walnut Creek, talk about developed, anything he says about development cannot be taken seriously.

    Too bad no one is running to oppose Arreguin, hard to believe. This man lives at the edge of his district, not downtown at all, speaks for downtown yet has zero clue about what it is like to live there.

    The initiative pretends it will save the Post Office, it will not. That is not what the initiative is about. The initiative is against development, against jobs and against a downtown that is safe and livable. Just vote NO and teach this man a lesson.

  103. To anonymous:

    Dolores Huerta, East Bay Young Democrats, Green Party, Sierra Club, SEIU, California Nurses Association, Building Trades Council, Assembly Rob Bonta, Lt Gov Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Keith Carson, etc. may disagree with that.

  104. I guess they must be big fans of sexual assault and violence, since those seem to be the main things that People’s Park brings to the community.

  105. Why is Jesse Arreguin wasting taxpayers’ time and money with his inflexible position?

    Why won’t he acquiesce to the majority decision of the democratically elected Berkeley city council? It seems silly that such a thing needs to be decided by a court: don’t people talk and reason with each other anymore?

  106. Way to go, Councilman Arreguin, on your praiseworthy efforts to reduce [current] Mayor Tom Bates’ ballot-wording FUD-play!!
    FUD (=Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) threats such as here: http://www.berkeleyside.org/2014/06/26/downtown-initiative-put-on-ballot-report-says-if-it-passes-city-will-lose-millions-in-fees-and-1300-housing-units/

    Councilman Jesse was also on the RIGHT SIDE of the Gordon Wozniak-dominated power-struggle to redistrict — and ultimately to try to eliminate(!) — Progressives such as himself (Jesse) and Councilman Kris Worthington. See http://www.berkeleyside.org/2014/04/30/judge-rules-for-council-majority-approved-map-in-bitter-berkeley-redistricting-battle/ for his laudable past efforts here.

    It’s ultimately turning into the struggle of Tho$e Gentrifying Developer$ vs. We The People, with current Mayor Bates clearly in the camp of the former!!

  107. Sick and tired of Arreguin’s cry baby postures. Now he is costing the City thousands of $s for no good reason. It is time for Jesse to grow up and act like an adult.

  108. Why are Berkeley progressives so opposed to prosperity? Is People’s Park really so wonderful that it remains their model?

  109. Legislation through litigation. Typical bullshit Berkeley politics. As someone said once, we get the democracy we deserve.

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