Berkeley Progressive Alliance

Join Tenants Together to work for real rent control in Berkeley

Thursday, January 11 at 8 AM – 12 PM at the California State Capitol, 1315 10th Street in Sacramento

Victory! A first vote on the bill to to repeal the state restriction on rent control – the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act – AB1506 – is scheduled! This was hard fought. Housing justice groups across the state have been pressuring Housing committee chair Assemblymember Chiu, lead author Assemblymember Bloom, and Assembly Speaker Rendon to bring this to a vote. Huge props to Bay Area based groups San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Tenants Together, San Francisco Tenants Union and others for bringing our demand to the doorstep of Assembly member Chiu.

Meet us in Sacramento at the state capitol on Wednesday January 11th at 8:30am in State Capitol, Room 4202 at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee meeting. It’s important to get their before early so we can get seats in the hearing room. Stay tuned for lobby days prior to the vote!

#RepealCostaHawkins for real #RentControlNow!

Go to their Facebook page to sign up.
What: Public Hearing on AB1506 Costa Hawkins Repeal Bill
When: Thurs Jan 11, 9am-12pm (GET THERE EARLY 8am!)
Where: State Capitol, Thursday, Room 4202 Sacramento, CA

Save the Date: Endorsement Meeting for Assembly District 15 and District Attorney: Sunday February 11, 2-5:30 pm

The Berkeley Progressive AllianceBerkeley Citizens Action and the Berkeley Tenants Union are co-sponsoring a meeting on Sunday February 11 to endorse candidates in the June 2018 Primary Election  for California Assembly District 15, which includes all of Berkeley, and is which is currently represented by Tony Thurmond who is not seeking re-election.  We will also be considering endorsement of a candidate for Alameda County District Attorney.

BPA-BCA-BTU Endorsement Meeting, South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street, corner of Ashby, Sunday February 11, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Who Can Vote: To vote on the endorsement of candidates, you must be a member in good standing of at least one of the sponsoring organizations.

BPA members must pay dues for calendar year 2018 to receive ballots. Those dues, as adopted at our October membership meeting are $25.00 a year regular dues; $10.00 low income and student. Dues may be waived in cases of hardship. People may also pay at a sustaining rate of $50.00 (or more) if they wish. Anyone who is already a member (you have paid dues at some time since the organization’s founding in Nov. 2015) may renew their membership at any time prior to the meeting and may pay their 2018 dues when they sign in.

How To Renew Your Memberhip: We encourage members to renew their membership in advance of February’s meeting by using our online payment page: https://berkeleyprogressivealliance.org/joinrenew/

Any dues payment from this date forward will be considered payment for calendar year 2018 and will entitle the member to participate in voting at all membership meetings and nominating and endorsement meetings that take place in 2018.

We have a questionnaire for candidates and we will post their responses online prior to February’s meeting.

Candidates for AD-15:

Judy Appelhttps://www.judyappel.com

Ben Bartlett,  https://www.benbartlettca.com

Jovanka Beckles  http://www.jovanka.org

Dan Kalbhttps://www.dankalb.net

Andy Katz,  http://www.andykatz.com

Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, http://www.rochellead15.com

Owen Poindexterhttps://www.owenpoindexter.com/about/

Cheryl Sudduthhttps://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/338340/cheryl-sudduth

Buffy Wicks,  https://buffywicks.com/home/

 

 

Email: bpa2016@aol.com

Phone: (510) 486-8010

Berkeley Progressive Alliance
1300 A Shattuck Ave 
Berkeley, CA 94709
http://berkeleyprogressivealliance.org

General Membership meeting and bylaws adoption

Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 PM
South Berkeley Senior Center- 2939 Ellis St, Berkeley

Keynote speaker: “Trump, the Right Wing and What To do” with Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, of UCB Center for Right-Wing Studies

Berkeley Housing Update from Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Council Member Kate Harrison, and Taylor Harvey, President of the UCB Homeless Student Association.

Vote on Bylaws (See below) and Dues: BPA members will ratify BPA bylaws in preparation for endorsements of local candidates in a BPA meeting in January. Bylaws were drafted by a committee of BPA Steering Committee members meeting over the last several months. The proposed bylaws are pasted below this note. If you have comments on the bylaws, please submit them by e-mail by Thursday October 26 to BPA2016@aol.com.

Proposed dues for Berkeley Progressive Alliance are $25.00 per calendar year; $10.00 if low income (with bylaws stating that dues can be waived in cases of hardship). Members are encouraged to pay more and become Sustainers. If approved, higher dues would take effect in 2018. People wishing to vote at a BPA meeting in 2018 must pay 2018 dues. Comments on our proposed dues are welcome to BPA2016@aol.com.

To vote on Oct 29th, you must be a member of BPA and have paid your dues of $10.00 for this year. If you are already a member you may pay your 2017 dues when you sign in at this meeting or you may pay in advance HERE .

Please click HERE to become a member of Berkeley Progressive Alliance
You may pay online, or mail a check to: 1300 A Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Contact information for Berkeley Progressive Alliance
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/172758219757361/
Email: bpa2016@aol.com
Phone: (510) 486-8010
Website: http://berkeleyprogressivealliance.org

 

Bylaws, adopted 10/29/17

I. Organization
BPA is an unincorporated non-profit grassroots organization that nominates and supports local candidates and approves local ballot measures. BPA members work to elect and support the mayor of Berkeley and Berkeley city council members who champion BPAs progressive agenda and who implement that agenda.

II. BPA Membership
A. Membership is open to all residents of Berkeley who agree with BPAs progressive mission and core values and who pay BPA dues.
B. Non-residents of Berkeley who work or go to school in Berkeley, who agree with the progressive mission and core values, and who pay the basic dues of the BPA may become associate members. Associate members cannot vote on the endorsement of local candidates or ballot measures.
C. Members are encouraged to participate actively in the community and the BPA organization.
D. Members are expected to be respectful of each other and generally to promote the BPA and its progressive mission in public.
E. Members may attend and vote at membership meetings, receive membership emails, join committees, and be considered for BPA leadership positions.
F. Members may have their membership terminated by the Steering Committee for cause.
G. No members shall have rights to the assets of the organization or of the BPA.

III. Membership Meetings
A. Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times a year.
B. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final auth . ority in the BPA on policy.
C The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the first
membership meeting of the year. Officers serve a one year term.

IV. Dues
A. Membership dues shall be paid by members at the time of their joining BPA and their memberships are valid for that calendar year, January 1 through December 31.
B. The dues for membership in the BPA will be proposed by the Steering Committee and approved at a Membership Meeting.
C. Dues will be waived for members with extreme financial hardship
D. Given that we are a donation-based organization members are expected to contribute more than the basic dues if they are financially able.
E. Members whose dues are paid for 60 days shall be eligible:
1. to vote in membership meetings, endorsement elections, and other BPA events.
2. to hold office in BPA.
3. Current members can renew their membership at the first membership meeting of the year and vote.
F. Members may contribute financially to the BPA to support its causes above the basic dues level if possible.

V. Committees
A. Steering Committee
1. The BPA steering committee will have a chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair, and a member at large. It will be responsible for planning and convening meetings, directing the actions of the organization and record keeping.
2. The Steering Committee is comprised of elected officers and chairs of BPA Action Teams. Representatives of community groups and allied organizations may participate in the steering committee and vote on steering committee decisions.
3. The Steering Committee will meet six times a year, usually in Jan March May July, September and November, and more often if needed.
4. A quorum is half the number of the Steering Committee members.
5. The Steering Committee meetings are open to all BPA members.
7. Electronic communications may be used to vote on decisions that are time sensitive
8. The Steering Committee may replace an officer, permanently or temporarily, and bring the newly appointed officer up to the membership for ratification at the next scheduled general membership meeting.
9. The Steering Committee will develop a procedure for each election period for nomination, vetting, and endorsement of candidates in the upcoming elections of public bodies.
10. If members or proxies miss 3 consecutive steering committee meetings they lose their voting privileges until replaced or reinstated. They can request reinstatement after resuming regular attendance.

B. Action Teams
1. Action Teams will be formed by the steering committee to address topics in depth for BPA consideration, to plan events and take on specific responsibilities.
2. Action Teams are open to all members of the BPA and may be open to nonmembers interested in activity around the specific topic, at the discretion of the committee.
3. Action Teams can initiate strategy and policy discussions within the BPA. Those that require a decision or endorsement by the whole BPA or effect the BPA significantly will be submitted to the Steering Committee.
4. Action Teams will work closely with elected officials in researching,mobilizing
and implementing policy.
5. Action Teams will each have a chair/co-chairs, at least 3 members, and will be responsible for convening meetings, record keeping and presenting their work to the Steering Committee for approval and action.

VI. Membership Meeting
A. General Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times per year.
B. The Steering Committee shall announce membership meetings broadly by electronic means at least three weeks in advance, giving the date, time, place, and a draft of the agenda items.
C. The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the BPA at the first membership meeting of the year.
D. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final authority in the BPA on policy.

VII Officers
A. BPA officers are chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair and a member at large.
B. Officers will be elected by the membership and should be members of BPA in good standing for 60 days.
C. The Chairs will moderate meetings, oversee the organization and facilitate its functioning.
D. Secretary will keep minutes of the steering committee and membership meetings and post them by email or website for all to see.
E. The treasurer will keep track of membership dues, funds donated and expended, make regular reports to the Steering Committee and the Membership Meetings, and make sure that BPA complies with election laws.

VIII. Standing Committees
A. Membership Committee
1. Help welcome new members into the BPA
2. Plan and schedule Membership meetings in consultation with the Steering Committee.
3. Initiate other membership events as appropriate.
4. Maintain membership records
B. Communications Committee
1. Edit and produce the BPA newsletter and keylist
2. Maintain and produce the BPA website
3. Maintain and expand BPA social media communication
C. Other Committees as established by the Steering Committee

IX. Voting
A. In all bodies of the BPA we strive to reach consensus and inclusion. Where
this is not possible, votes are determined by a simple majority of the ayes and nays. There is no quorum requirement for properly noticed membership meetings.
B. BPA will follow Roberts Rules of Order in the conduct of its formal business. However, the Chair may call for informal discussion when appropriate.

X. Elections for Steering Committee and Officers
A. Elections for the Steering Committee and Officers
1. Will be held yearly at the first Membership meeting of the year.
2. The Steering Committee will set the date and provide the proposed slate from the Nominations Committee with at a least 30 day notification to the membership
B. Nominations for Office
1. The Steering Committee will put out an electronic call for nominations three weeks before a BPA election.
2, Nominations will be submitted to the Steering Committee, who will then forward them to a Nominating Committee.
3. Ballots with nominations will be prepared for the membership meeting when the election is held.

XI. Endorsements

A. The membership of this club may endorse any issue, ballot measure, and candidates for any office.
B. Important criteria to be considered in any candidate endorsement will be sharing this club’s values, agreement with the club’s platform, and a commitment to an ongoing working relationship with a grassroots constituency.

XII. Amendments
A. Amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted by the Steering Committee to a membership meeting with the content provided at least 30 days in advance. Any 10 members can submit a proposed amendment to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will submit the amendment to a membership meeting with 30 days’ notice.
B. Any amendments to the submitted Bylaws amendment must be circulated no later than 15 days prior to the membership meeting. C. The Membership meeting may adopt the Bylaws amendment by majority vote.

XIII Dissolution
Upon dissolution, the Steering Committee will decide how assets will be donated to a qualified [501(c) (4) ) organization, as prescribed by California law and the Office of the Secretary of State. * * *

Respectfully submitted,
Margot Smith
Margots999@aol.com

Post-meeting update:
Again thanks to all for the great success of today’s meeting. About 45 people attended, as people came and went, 30 folks signed in. Bylaws and dues structure for 2018 were approved. It was noted that the numbering of sections was off, the numbering is corrected in this posting.

 

Signups were taken for initial Action Committees: Environment and Sustainability, Elections, Affordable Housing, The Homeless and Police Reform/Urban Shield.

A general membership meeting to elect officers and endorsements for State Assembly candidates are planned for early in 2018, with local endorsements to follow.

Kate Harrison endorsed – let’s help elect her!

20170108_141528_1483925237901_resized

Jesse Arreguin and Gus Newport congratulate progressive candidate Kate Harrison. Photo by Christina Schwartz

At the joint endorsement meeting on Sunday, January 8, members of Berkeley Citizens Action, the Berkeley Progressive Alliance and the Berkeley Tenants Union voted overwhelmingly to endorse Kate Harrison for the District 4 City Council seat that became vacant when Jesse Arreguin was elected mayor.

A special vote by mail election is set for Tuesday March 7. Voting begins on Monday, February 6. If you live in District 4 and don’t receive a ballot in the mail by Friday, February 10, let us know, and let the City Clerk know. Ballots may be returned to the drop-off box in front of City Hall or mailed in the postage paid envelope that comes with the ballot. Ballots must be postmarked no later than March 7.
How you can help Kate:
 
Volunteer your time: http://electkateharrison.com/volunteer/  Kate needs volunteers to knock on doors, especially on weekends, and for phone banking. You can sign up online to help on specific days. It’s essential to contact every voter. A grassroots campaign is essential for victory.
 
Give whatever you can afford. You can contribute up to $250 total. We expect Kate’s opponent to have a well financed campaign and Kate needs to raise enough money to get her message out effectively to voters in District 4.
Put up a window or yard signhttp://electkateharrison.com/request-a-sign/
If you live in District 4, please put up a sign in your yard or window.
Add your name to the growing list of endorsers, which includes the Sierra Club, labor and progressive student groups in addition to BCA, BPA and BTU, not to mention progressive elected officials.

Reminder: Progressive Endorsement Forum for District 4 Council Race: Sunday, January 8th

The event will be held at the East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison Street, in downtown Berkeley at 2 p.m.

Qualified Candidates

 

From a field of 6 interested citizens, two people, Kate Harrison and Ben Gould have qualified for the ballot, per the city’s website. Read their responses to our progressive questionnaire below:

Kate Harrison’s Response     Ben Gould’s Response

Review the Finalized Ballot and Voting Rules, by clicking the links below:

Ballot for January Endorsement meeting                    Voting Rules

Come to our January 8 Meeting to endorse a Candidate for Berkeley District 4 City Council

Berkeley Progressive Alliance, Berkeley Citizens Action, and  Berkeley Tenants Union are jointly sponsoring a meeting on Sunday, January 8 at 2 p.m. to endorse a candidate for the District 4 City Council seat that became vacant when Jesse Arreguin was elected mayor. The new City Council member will be elected by mail. Voters must mail their ballots by Tuesday, March 7.

kate-harrison-for-d4  ben-gould

The January 8 endorsement meeting will take place at the East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison Street, in downtown Berkeley at 2 p.m.  An agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting.

Two candidates have filed for the office: Kate Harrison and Ben Gould. Questionnaires have been sent to candidates and their responses will be posted on the BPA Web site as soon as they are received.  There will also be an opportunity for questions from the audience at the meeting.

To vote for endorsing a candidate at the January 8 meeting, you must  already be a member in good standing of BPA, BTU or BCA. You do not have to be a resident of District 4 to participate in the endorsement meeting.

Election Results – Progressive Wins in Berkeley

jesse-speaking-with-candidates

Arreguín Elected Mayor; Bartlett, Hahn, CALI Slate Win

While thousands of vote by mail ballots remain to be counted, it is clear that Jesse Arreguín has been elected mayor of Berkeley by large margin. His convincing 47% to 34% margin over District 5 council member Laurie Capitelli is too large to be affected by counting of additional ballots.

Similarly, Sophie Hahn has a commanding lead over Capitelli-endorsed Stephen Murphy for the District 5 Council seat and Ben Bartlett has a very solid lead in District 3 over Mark Coplan and Deborah Mathews who are running neck and neck for second place.

This is the biggest progressive electoral victory in many years. There will be a special election for Jesse Arreguín’s District 4 Council seat. If a progressive wins, Jesse will have four allies on the Council and may have a fifth depending on the outcome in District 2. It’s too bad that this comes with a disastrous presidential election result.

District 2: It ain’t over – still a tight race: In District 2, the initial ranked choice count gives Cheryl Davila a narrow 42 vote lead over incumbent council member Darryl Moore. It’s 1838 to 1796, or 50.6% to 49.4%. Darryl had 40% of the first choice votes. Nanci Armstrong-Temple is finishing third so far with 1116 votes, only 82 votes behind Cheryl Davila. When Nanci’s votes were apportioned, 640 went to Davila and 245 to Moore (231 did not make a second choice). As counting continues, Moore could regain the lead; it’s also possible that Armstrong-Temple could overtake Davila for second place, in which case Davila’s second choice votes would be apportioned.

CALI slate sweeps Rent Board: The gap between Igor Tregub, now in fourth place and Judy Hunt, the landlord-backed incumbent, who was the only elected official in Berkeley to opposed affordable housing measure U1, is over 2,500 votes, large enough to ensure victory for Tregub even with thousands of vote by mail and provisional ballots to be counted.

Measure U1, aka the Landlord Tax, has won easily despite the BPOA’s $800,000+ campaign against it. It currently has 74.1% of the vote.

See below for more details on the Candidate results and local measures. All counts are as of 1:40 a.m. November 9. The next update will be Friday at 4:30pm. The County will continue updating over the next week or so until all ballots are counted. Check here for more:  http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/230/index.htm

Candidate Results Details

Mayor  Winner with ballots counted so far: JESSE ARREGUIN
First Choice votes

Jesse Arreguín 15,885 votes (47.44%)    51.84% with ranked choice

Laurie Capitelli 11,262 votes (33.64%)
Kriss Worthington    2,816 votes (8.41%)
Bernt Wahl       952 votes (2.84%)
Ben Gould   937 votes(2.80%)
Zachary Runningwolf    881 votes (2.63%)
Mike Lee       508 votes (1.52%)
Naomi Pete       225 votes (0.67%)
Ranked choice result: Jesse at 51.84%, after second choice votes of others were counted; Kriss second choice votes were not needed. These results will update as remaining ballots are counted, but there is no likelihood that Jesse won’t win. http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/230/rcvresults_6767.htm
District 2 City Council   Winner with ballots counted so far: CHERYL DAVILA  50.58% with ranked choice
Darryl Moore   1,545 (40.0%)
Cheryl Davila 1,194 (30.9%)
Nanci Armstrong Temple    1,115 (28.9.%)
Ranked choice result:  Cheryl Davila with 50.58% when Nanci’s second choice ballots were counted; this is close; could change when additional ballots are counted. http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/230/rcvresults_6868.htm
District 3 City Council
Ben Bartlett 2260   56.9%
Deborah Matthews  81320.5%
Mark Coplan   812 20.5%
Al Murray      81    2.0%
District 5 City Council
Sophie Hahn 3451 61.9%
Stephen Murphy 2122 38.1%
District 6 City Council
Susan Wengraf 2683 60.7%
Fred Dodsworth 1186 26.8%
Isabelle Gaston   553 12.5%
Rent Board  Winners: all members of CALI slate; no chance that further results will change this.
Leah Simon Weisberg 17,275 votes
Alejandro Soto-Vigil 17,201 votes
Christina Murphy 16,853 votes
Igor Tegub   14,691 votes
Judy Hunt 12,111 votes
Nate Wollman   8,158 votes

 

9th State Senate District: Nancy Skinner is way ahead of Sandre Swanson in the Alameda County portion of the district, 60.6% to 39.4%; it’s 63-37 in the district as a whole.

Berkeley School Board: the two incumbents, Judy Appel (22,967 votes) and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler (17,336) were easily re-elected over challenger Abdur Sikder (4552 votes).

Local Measures Results

E-1, BSEP, parcel tax for schools, YES 30,204 votes, 88.3%

U1, tax on big landlords for affordable housing YES  24,394 votes,  74.1%  (not so different from 76.2% for the soda tax in 2014)

DD, phony landlord sponsored alternative to U1, NO  22,810 votes, 70.8% (that’s the NOs)

T1, Bond measure for infrastructure, parks, senior centers YES 28,865,  86,5%

X1, Public Financing of Elections for Mayor and Council YES  19,356 votes, 64.2%

Y1, 16-17 year olds vote for School Board YES, 21,518, 68.5%

AA, regulating owner move in evictions, YES 22,309 votes, 72.3%

BB, minimum wage $15 in 2019, NO 20,789 votes, 66.0%

CC, minimum wage $15 in 2017, NO 20,573 votes, 65.9%

A1, County Bond for affordable housing, YES  264,499, countywide votes, 72.3%

CI, AC Transit parcel tax, YES, 190,019 votes in the district, 81.9%

RR, BART bond, YES, 253,175 votes, 70.9%

–by Rob Wrenn

Other Election Results:

In other local election news, measures initiated by citizens to establish rent control programs appeared headed for victory in Richmond and Mountain View but were losing in Alameda, San Mateo and Burlingame. Similarly, soda tax measures were headed to victory in Bay Area cities, with all precincts reporting. The measures, on the ballot in San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay suburb of Albany, place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Richmond’s Measure M, a new property progressive transfer tax, did not pass. Seventy percent of voters said ‘No’ to the little-discussed ballot measure.

BPA Local & Regional Ballot Measure Endorsements, Endorsements of Regional Candidates

Ballot Measures

Renewal of BSEP School Tax     Berkeley Measure E-1–YES: This tax was first passed by Berkeley voters in 1986 (Measure C).  Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) revenues in 2014-15 totaled  about $25 million, representing about 20% of the budget. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass. Things it funds include school libraries, music programs, and support for struggling students. Crucially it helps fund enough teachers to keep class sizes small. It would be a disaster for the schools if the tax were not renewed. More info: http://www.bsep2016.org

Tax on larger landlords for affordable housing   Berkeley Measure U-1–YES YES YES, Berkeley Measure DD —NO NO NO NO:  Measure U1 increases the business license tax on owners of five or more units. It would generate about $4 million annually in new revenue for affordable housing.  The Housing  Advisory Committee would advise the City Council on how to spend the money and would track how it’s used. Over time revenues would increase as the tax is applied to newer housing. The revenues generated could help fund as many as 40 affordable units per year, and more in later years.Don’t be fooled by deceptive mailers from the BPOA supporting Measure DD, which features a much smaller tax increase that would fund many fewer units and would not exempt smaller landlords. Vote YES ON U1; vote NO on phony DD.  U1 is fairly complicated; more info here: http://www.fundaffordablehousing.org

Public Financing of Elections for Mayor and Council –Berkeley Measure X-1–YES: This measure would reduce the influence of special interest contributions and
outside money in our local elections. Candidates who reject money from special
interest PACs and accept contributions of only $50 or less would receive matching funds.
This is important as it would help progressive candidates be competitive in races
where their major opponents are often receive money from special interests. For more info: http://www.yesonx1.org

Rent Stabilization Board Amendment on Evictions – Berkeley Measure AA–YES: Will prohibit owner move-in evictions of families with children during the academic year;
increases the amount of relocation assistance for owner move-in evictions to $15,000
since moving in Berkeley is very expensive. There is no organized opposition to this measure.

Minimum wage measures – Berkeley Measure BB–NO NO NO, Berkeley Measure CC–NO NO NO: Supporters of both BB and CC reached a compromise and both have withdrawn
support for their respective measures. The City Council voted unanimously to adopt
an ordinance that will increase the minimum wage so that it reaches $15.00 an
hour in October 2018. For the details: https://berkeleyprogressivealliance.org/2016/09/25/how-the-15-minimum-wage-was-won-in-berkeley-the-details-back-story/

 Affordable Housing Bond – Alameda County Measure A-1–YES: Most of the money from this bond will go to creation and preservation of  affordable rental housing. Also includes down payment assistance loans  for middle income working families loans to help disabled, seniors and other low-income homeowners to remain in their homes.  Berkeley would get upwards of $15.8 million from this bond. More info: http://www.affordablealameda.com

AC Transit Funding – Alameda County Measure C-1–YES:  This would extend the existing parcel tax to maintain essential bus service for the East Bay. Revenues for this tax are essential for maintaining bus service in Berkeley and in neighboring cities served by AC Transit. For more info: http://www.transformca.org/transform-blog-post/keep-ac-transit-affordable-and-reliable-vote-yes-measure-c1

BART Bond Measure–YES on RR: To rebuild BART to make it safer and more reliable. Will fund new train cars,  replace worn track, make earthquake safety and structural repairs, new maintenance facilities to keep the maximum number of trains in operation, a modernized train control system to reduce waiting and delays. More info: http://www.yesforbart.com. Also click here: http://www.transformca.org/transform-blog-post/transform-endorses-barts-2016-funding-measure

Regional Candidates

Peralta Colleges Board Area 4 –  Nicky Gonzalez Yuen: Nicky has spearheaded  the Peralta District’s Environmental Sustainability policies and deserves re-election. In addition he has been active locally in efforts to increase the minimum wage and has
endorsed Jesse Arreguin for mayor of Berkeley and the CALI Rent Board slate. More info: http://nickygy.org

BART Board of Directors, District  – Lateefah Simon: A BART rider, Lateefah is running against an incumbent who has adopted an anti-union stance and was the only BART director to vote against the contract settlement with BART unions in 2014. Lateefah is endorsed by the Sierra Club. More info: http://www.lateefahforbart.com

How the $15 Minimum Wage Was Won in Berkeley – the Details & Back Story

Faced with a citizen ballot measure on November’s ballot, on August 31, the Berkeley City Council unanimously voted for to increase the minimum wage in Berkeley to $15 an hour on October 1, 2018.

Progressive Councilmember and mayoral candidate Jesse Arreguin has been a leader in the effort to raise the minimum wage. In 2013, he was one of the sponsors of the Council item referring an increased minimum wage to the Labor Commission.

Jesse’s opponent for mayor, Laurie Capitelli, delayed action to achieve the $15 wage. In May 2014, he reneged on promises made to community members who have worked tirelessly for a higher minimum wage.  In September, 2015 he again voted against a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 in 2018, while Jesse Arreguin and Council progressives voted for it. This year, he supported an alternative ballot measure that would have delayed the increase to $15 and added loopholes and exceptions. Finally, when it was too late to take the competing measures off the ballot, he and his council allies decided to join progressives on the council and action was finally taken to bring the minimum wage to $15.  Only with extensive citizen pressure and lobbying did he (and his Council allies) do so.

Berkeley is now one of four Bay Area cities that will achieve the $15 minimum wage for all employees, regardless of the size of the business, in 2018.

City When $15 takes effect
Mountain View January 1, 2018
San Francisco and Emeryville July 1, 2018
Berkeley October 1, 2018
El Cerrito January 1, 2019

Berkeley’s minimum wage will be $12.53 effective October 1 this year, rise to $13.75 on in October, 2017 and then to $15 in October, 2018. The ordinance mandates sick leave, with a cap of 48 hours for employers of fewer than 25 workers and 72 hours from larger employers, starting right away.

As a result of this compromise, the Berkeley Progressive Alliance has withdrawn its support for Measure CC, the citizen measure.

 

San Francisco Leads the Way

In 2003, San Francisco voters approved Proposition L, establishing an indexed minimum wage beginning at $8.50 an hour.  By 2014, San Francisco’s minimum wage was $10.74 an hour, the highest in the United States. In 2014, faced with a ballot initiative backed by unions and activists to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2017, a compromise initiative was placed on the ballot to raise it to $15 in 2018, with future inflation increases. The measure passed with 77% of the vote.

 

Berkeley: First Steps 

Councilmember Worthington first referred a Berkeley minimum wage to the Labor Commission in 2004. The Commission created a Minimum Wage and Living Wage subcommittee, but no proposal emerged and the Council took no further action.

Efforts to enact a minimum wage were revived in 2013 by advocates, including Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Wendy Bloom and Ellen Widess. In April, 2013 Mayor Bates and progressive council members Arreguin and Worthington asked city staff and the Labor Commission to draft an ordinance similar to San Francisco’s.[1]

 

The Labor Commission proposal

In April, 2014, the Labor Commission proposed, effective June, 2014, a $10.74/hour minimum wage for most employers and $13.34/hour for large employers,[2]  essentially adopting San Francisco’s minimum wage . Annual increases based on the Consumer Price Index[3]  would continue until the minimum wage equaled the living wage. Beginning June, 2015, a health care requirement would have been in place.

The proposal would have established the highest minimum wage in the country.

At a May 1, 2014 Council meeting, Councilmember Capitelli proposed slowing the Labor Commission proposal; only in 2020, would the minimum wage equal Berkeley’s living wage, estimated at a bit higher than $15.00 an hour.

 

Capitelli Reneges

At a May 6 Council meeting, Capitelli outraged minimum wage supporters by reneging on his proposal. The Council instead passed the first reading of an ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $10 in January, 2015 and $10.75 in January, 2016. A Council task force would be formed to consider what should happen after that. Effectively, had this been adopted, Berkeley would have been two years behind San Francisco and Oakland.

Capitelli’s broken promise and the Council’s vote on May 6 provoked a firestorm of protest from citizens. Berkeley Citizens for a Fair Minimum Wage announced their intention to place a $15 minimum wage on the ballot. Former city councilmembers Carla Woodworth and Ying Lee and activists Margot Smith, Marty Schiffenbauer and David Fielder signed a letter to the City Clerk indicating their support.

 

Efforts by Councilmembers Anderson, Arreguin, Moore and Worthington to increase the minimum wage further after 2016 were rejected by Councilmember Capitelli and a majority of his colleagues. Instead, the Council decided to raise the minimum wage to $12.53 an hour by October 2016 with a one-year exemption for non-profits and a permanent exemption for youth in job training.

 

Stalling and Delays Continue – Activists Keep Pushing

In June 2014, the Council discussed but dropped the idea of having a Minimum Wage Task Force. In September 2014, the Council directed the Labor Commission to come back with additional minimum wage and sick leave recommendations.

After a year spent drafting a new ordinance with business, labor, community and Council member input, on September 15, 2015, the Labor Commission presented a new proposal to the Council. It included bringing the minimum wage to a living wage; cost of living increases; paid sick leave; service charge rules, and clarification/ removal of exemptions.

Progressive Councilmembers Worthington and Anderson made a series of motions, all of which failed, to increase the minimum wage. One would have raised the minimum wage to $15 on October 1, 2018, the same amount that the Council ultimately agreed to. It was supported by Councilmembers Anderson, Arreguin, Moore and Worthington, but opposed by Mayor Bates, Councilmembers Capitelli, Droste, Maio and Wengraf.

The Council majority then voted to delay any action until a special meeting on November 10, 2015.  There, instead of discussing the Commission’s proposal, Capitelli presented a totally new, much weaker proposal after public comment was closed. This proposal would have delayed the $15 minimum wage for all employees in Berkeley until 2020.  The Labor Commission proposal was abandoned and Capitelli’s proposal later just faded away as well.

During that year activists were not sitting on their hands.  They had seen how delays had effectively led to missing the deadline for taking an initiative to the voters.

A community-labor coalition, the core of Berkeley for Working Families, had early-on formed to work in parallel to craft a citizen’s initiative.  Encouraged by the powerful national fight for $15 and the support from local low wage workers, Berkeley activists persisted in crafting a ballot measure.  Wendy Bloom, Mike Donaldson, David Fielder, Steve Gilbert, Matt Lewis, Ned Pearlstein, Judy Shattuck and others, with funding and legal support from SEIU 1021, drafted the measure and tried to negotiate with each of the City Council majority members.   In November 2015, when the Council refused even to discuss the Commission’s proposal, they were ready.  The coalition filed an initiative and gathered 4,400 signatures to qualify what is now officially named measure CC.

Dueling Ballot Initiatives

Measure CC would have raised the minimum wage to $15 in 2017 and, through modest annual increases, gradually caught up with the city’s official Living Wage ($16.81 in today’s dollars). It would also improve sick leave requirements, enhance enforcement, and phase out any exemptions – so all workers would be protected

The Council majority placed its own initiative on the ballot, delaying the increase to $15 to October 2019, well behind San Francisco, Emeryville, Mountain View and El Cerrito. Their measure, Measure BB, would also allow employers who provide health benefits to pay only $13.50 an hour, mandate less sick leave than what other cities require, and allow private employers to pay a sub-minimum “training” wage to those under 22. And BB contained a poison pill: it required a two thirds super majority of the Council to enact further increases or make other improvements.

Despite this negative response, Berkeley for Working Families exhausted all efforts to secure a better deal for working families.  After weeks of frustrating negotiations, they thought an acceptable solution was at hand. Capitelli agreed to call a special meeting of the City Council on August 11 but at the very last minute again reneged, issued a statement through the Downtown Business Association and did not show up to his own meeting.

That would have been the end of it but other elected officials, notably EBMUD director Andy Katz and former Assembly member Nancy Skinner, made a final effort resulting in an agreement not very different from the one rejected several weeks earlier, including a $15 minimum wage in 2018.

After Council passed the ordinance, Berkeley for Working Families issued the following statements. The proponents of both initiatives have agreed to call for a “No” vote on both as it is too late to remove them from the ballot:

As the coalition that drafted Measure CC and gathered 4,400 signatures to get it on the Ballot, we are pleased with the agreement passed by Council today … We would not have gotten to this point without the powerful national fight by fast food and other low wage workers for $15 an hour … [and] the years of effort from community activists, Labor and of course Council members Jesse Arreguin, Max Anderson and Kriss Worthington, who have been consistent champions for working families in Berkeley… the ordinance passed today … will help thousands of low wage workers immediately [and] be one of the most progressive minimum wage laws in the nation …  This November we will be asking voters to support this legislation by voting No on Measures BB and CC. [4]

Prepared by Rob Wrenn & Kate Harrison

Berkeley Progressive Alliance  –  PO Box 2961, Berkeley, CA 94702  – http://berkeleyprogressivealliance.org

Please click HERE to become a member of Berkeley Progressive Alliance

Join us on Facebook 

More on the Minimum Wage

For research related to impacts of raising the minimum wage in San Francisco and Oakland, check out:

 Impact of Minimum Wage on Three Cities

San Francisco Proposed City Minimum Wage Law – A Prospective Impact Study

The Impact of Oakland’s Proposed Minimum Wage Law- A Prospective Study

[1] http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Clerk/City_Council/2013/04Apr/City_Council__04-30-2013_-__Regular_Meeting_Annotated_Agenda.aspx

[2] Larger businesses employing 50 or more employees or franchises would pay the city’s living wage.

[3] With increases of 55 cents an hour for small business on top of the CPI-based inflation adjustments.

[4] The language opposing BB and CC is signed by the Labor Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley for Working Families, and mayoral candidates Jesse Arreguin and Laurie Capitelli. See:

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Clerk/Elections/Election__2016_Ballot_Measures_Page.aspx.

 

 

 

 

Quick Links to our Progressive Candidates Websites

Our progressive Candidates need your donations and support. Click the links below to go to candidates websites and support their campaigns

Our Progressive candidates have raised significant amount of funds, but this election year is very competitive, as there is an opportunity to elect a progressive majority. Your contributions of money and time are very important. We urge you to DONATE to their campaigns, WALK IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS & CALL VOTERSCLICK THE LINKS ON CANDIDATES NAMES, BELOW, TO GET REACH THEIR WEBSITES. 

MAYOR: Jesse Arreguín

CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 2: Nanci Armstrong-Temple

CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 3: Ben Bartlett

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5: Sophie Hahn

CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 6: Fred Dodsworth 

THE PRO-RENT CONTROL RENT BOARD CANDIDATES, Christina Murphy, Leah Simon-Weisberg, Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Igor Tregub