Downtown Berkeley, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Downtown Berkeley: the subject of heated debate. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Recently, Berkeleyside has published two op-ed pieces in its Opinionator section on Measure R, the ballot initiative supporters say will put more “green” in local development, but which opponents argue will stop new projects that are contributing to a downtown renaissance and are bringing critical amenities to the city.

On Sept. 9, Jacquelyn McCormick, the President of the Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association and a candidate for City Council in District 8, wrote about why she was supporting Measure R.

McCormick argued that the City Council has not delivered on its promises made with the 2010 Measure R. “Back in 2010 there were those of us who believed the Downtown Plan would not deliver the environmental and community benefits that it promised,” she wrote. “And we were right: the 2010 Downtown Plan “greenwashed” the right to develop tall buildings and did nothing to ‘help make Berkeley one of the greenest cities in the United States.’”

Six days later, Tim Frank, Director of the Center for Sustainable Neighborhoods and Chair of the No on R campaign committee, wrote an op-ed in which he argued that McCormick’s article was “filled with misinformation about Measure R.”

“McCormick claims that Measure R would assure that new buildings in Berkeley’s downtown provide new community benefits,” he wrote. “What she didn’t admit is that measure R is full of poison pills that would stop construction of the new buildings that are supposed to provide these benefits.”

What do you think? Join the conversation by leaving comments on both of the op-eds — McCormick’s and Frank’s.

Confused? Read Berkeleyside’s Measure R cheat sheet.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don’t publish anonymous pieces. Please email submissions to us. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions? Email