Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Opposes R – City’s Leading Business Voice

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce has joined the growing coalition of groups and community leaders who oppose Measure R.

“Defeating this measure is of critical importance to the smart growth and development of downtown,” said Erik Holland, Board President of the Chamber.

The Chamber’s “No on R” endorsement is the latest among leading civic, environmental, labor and professional organizations who recognize that the stringent restrictions of this anti-growth measure would block transit-oriented housing and sabotage Berkeley’s remarkable Downtown revival.

Measure R backers deceptively claim that the “No on R” campaign is a tool of developers.  But their disinformation campaign is easily refuted by the broad alliance of organizations and community leaders who have studied Measure R and concluded that it poses a serious danger to Berkeley’s future well-being.

Organizations:

Individuals:

  • State Senator Loni Hancock (representing Berkeley)
  • Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (representing Berkeley)
  • Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
  • Berkeley City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli
  • Berkeley City Councilmember Linda Maio
  • Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore
  • Berkeley City Councilmember Susan Wengraf
  • Berkeley City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak
  • East Bay MUD Board President Andy Katz (representing Berkeley)
  • BART Board Director Rebecca Saltzman (representing Berkeley)
  • UC Prof. Robert Reich (former U.S. Secretary of Labor)
  • Downtown Berkeley Association President Susan Medak
  • And scores of others! See longer list here

Measure R backers say the measure will provide green community benefits that are not being delivered by our award-winning Downtown Plan, and that it will save the historic Main Post Office.

Measure R will not deliver any community benefits. In reality, it is an anti-growth Trojan horse painted green. It is 28 pages of legally flawed regulations and prohibitive fees that are so draconian that they would choke off the new housing and office projects that are being proposed for Berkeley’s Downtown. Hundreds of units of transit-oriented housing designed to be located near BART would not get built, resulting in more auto commuting and greenhouse gases, thus undermining the battle against climate change.

Berkeley’s current Downtown Plan incorporates some of the strongest local requirements for green and community benefits in the nation. Measure R would overturn the Downtown Plan, which recently won a prestigious national honor from the American Planning Association – the Achievement Award for a Best Practice.

As for saving the Post Office, Measure R would require that the Post Office building be reserved exclusively for “civic use” if the U.S. Postal Service ceases operations there. The City Council has already approved this requirement, rendering Measure R redundant with regard to the Post Office.

For the facts and evidence supporting the case against Measure R, please see our FAQ .

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