This month is not over but Berkeleyside has already published several op-eds of note in its Opinionator section.
Two tackle Berkeley’s parks and facilities. Diz Swift says it’s time for a coherent plan to maintain city facilities. “We need priorities and the realization that maybe we can’t afford to keep it all. If we just go on like this, our beautiful public spaces will gradually decay,” she writes.
Meanwhile, Isabelle Gaston questions why the increase in the amount spent on parks in Berkeley is not proportional to the increase spent on salaries, benefits and running the city. “Why are clubhouses, public swimming pools and senior centers routinely being closed in Berkeley — one of the richest cities and most highly taxed in all of California?” she asks.
Nancy Bickel argues that the Berkeley Public Library, which voted Wednesday not to rename its South Branch after civil-rights activist Tarea Hall Pittman , should apply a more generous view in its naming policy for its buildings — “one that gives the opportunity to honor past community leaders who can inspire and encourage younger people to educate themselves and to work for justice and other difficult goals as earlier leaders have done.”
In an op-ed published on April 21, BUSD parent and activist Erica Etelson argues that one of the most efficient and fair ways to help our underfunded public schools is to push for tax reform, specifically Prop 13, which, she says, is “one of the biggest blunders ever to plague the Golden State.”
Finally, Neal Eckard asks us how water should be priced in Berkeley. Given the scope of the drought California is experiencing, the fact that Berkeleyans pay less than a penny per gallon no matter how much we use, is, he argues a cause for concern.
Join the conversation by leaving your comments on the individual opinion pieces.
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. Email submissions to email@example.com. The recommended length is 500-800 words. Please include your name and a one-line bio that includes full, relevant disclosures. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.