Alameda County Labor Council Opposes Measure R – Latest in Growing Ranks of Opposition

The opposition to Measure R – the Downtown Berkeley rezoning initiative – was joined by a major ally Monday night, Sept. 8, when the Alameda County Labor Council voted to oppose the measure. The Council represents 100,000 East Bay workers.

Labor leaders recognize that Measure R’s promises of new jobs with prevailing wages for workers are empty campaign rhetoric. Measure R’s prohibitive development requirements would kill new housing and other building projects, along with the new jobs they would bring.

“Measure R is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Andreas Cluver, Executive Board Member of the Labor Council and Secretary Treasurer of the Alameda County Building & Construction Trades Council. “It claims to support prevailing wage construction jobs, but is full of poison pills that would stop the very projects that are supposed to provide these good jobs.”

Other organizations opposing the measure include:

Individuals opposed to Measure R include Berkeley’s leading elected officials – including State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Mayor Tom Bates with five other members of the Berkeley City Council, UC Prof. Robert Reich (former U.S. Secretary of Labor), East Bay MUD Board President Andy Katz, BART Board Director Rebecca Saltzman and many others.

Measure R would kill our Downtown revival, block affordable housing and reverse our progress in combatting climate change.

It is 28 pages of anti-growth regulations that would prevent hundreds of transit-friendly housing units near BART, according to the . This loss of Downtown housing would exacerbate Berkeley’s critical housing shortage, undermine Downtown revitalization and harm the environment by increasing auto commuting and greenhouse gases.

Measure R also would shackle the city with rigid ballot-box planning.Small details and illegal provisions – such as requiring public restrooms in large residential buildings and reducing City flexibility in providing affordable housing – could not be fixed without another election.

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