Homeless people in Berkeley: two op-ed pieces published recently on Berkeleyside address the recent vote by City Council to tackle the impact of homelessness. Photo: Ted Friedman
Homeless people in Berkeley: two op-ed pieces published recently on Berkeleyside address the recent vote by City Council to tackle the impact of homelessness. Photo: Ted Friedman

In the past few days Berkeleyside has published several opinion pieces worth highlighting.

Robert Reich, Laurie Capitelli and Dr. Vicki Alexander put their names collectively to an op-ed in which they argue that, while Berkeley may have passed a historic soda tax in November, the campaign has not ended for Big Soda. “Having spent over $2 million (almost $50 per voter!) during the campaign, Big Soda has embarked on a campaign to discredit Measure D even before it has a chance to take effect,” they write, citing as an example concerns expressed by soda distributors in an article published on Berkeleyside. Read the full op-ed in our Opinionator section.

Local architect Patricia Motzkin argues in an op-ed published yesterday that it is time to remedy the planning code to facilitate the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units. “The requirement for a second on-site, non-tandem parking space often makes these units impossible to permit without a variance or protracted review process. As the need to build more of these units is becoming increasingly acute, to accommodate both an aging population and many families’ economic needs,” she writes. The issue is set to come to Council tonight. Read the full op-ed in our Opinionator section.

And two people tackle the recently passed vote by City Council to curb the impact of homelessness.

Sonja Fitz believes Berkeley embarrassed itself on “the substantive issue of caring for some of its neediest community members, opting for style over substance in the form of tidy sidewalks.” She writes: “The Berkeley City Council rejected the will of Berkeley voters by resurrecting and moving forward with anti-homeless measures that were voted down in 2014 with the defeat of Measure S.” Read the full op-ed in our Opionator section.

Meanwhile Nora Isaacs argues that there is such a thing as too much tolerance. “With the revival of Measure S, there is a chance to improve downtown, like dozens of cities across the country have done, by asking the city manager to review totally reasonable rules from people on the street: no panhandling near a parking pay station, no urination and defecation in the street, no cooking on the sidewalk, and no sleeping on sidewalks and the plaza during daytime hours,” she writes. Read the full op-ed in our Opinionator section.

What do you think? Add you voice to the conversation in the Comments on the individual op-eds.

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 staff

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