Daily Cal Endorses “No on R”

The Daily Californian , the UC Berkeley student paper, is the latest of the many local institutions urging voters to say NO to Measure R.

“Measure R stifles development,” the Daily Cal wrote in its No-on-R endorsement published today (Oct. 31).

“Vote no on Measure R,” the paper said. You can see the paper’s full statement by clicking here .

No newspapers or major local institutions have endorsed R, which would impose prohibitive fees and restrictions on new housing and other building projects in Berkeley’s Downtown.

The East Bay Express also endorsed “No on R,” while a lead front-page story in the San Francisco Chronicle by the paper’s urban planning writer, John King, exposed the real intent of Measure R – to block new housing and office buildings.

Also endorsing “No on R” this week was the East Bay’s foremost affordable housing coalition, East Bay Housing Organizations , following many leading environmental, labor, business, professional, law enforcement and civic groups, not to mention the preponderance of Berkeley’s elected officials and community leaders, who oppose Measure R.

For the full list of the extraordinarily diverse coalition opposed to R, please see our Endorsements page .

Get the facts on Measure R and the danger it poses to Berkeley’s future in our FAQ and Why Vote No page .

No on R Wins Key New Ally – Berkeley Food & Housing Project

Another important community institution – the 44-year-old Berkeley Food & Housing Project – has joined the large coalition of organizations that oppose Measure R on the Berkeley ballot.

The Food & Housing Project’s endorsement reflects the growing public understanding that Measure R’s draconian zoning restrictions would make Berkeley a much less desirable place to live.

There are many reasons why a broad spectrum of environmental, labor, business and non-profit organizations, along with the Berkeley’s leading elected officials, have come out solidly against Measure R.

It would kill new housing Downtown, thus exacerbating the city’s critical housing shortage. And since the lost housing would have been centered around Berkeley’s Downtown transit hub, Measure R would force more people to rely on automobiles that pollute the atmosphere and increase greenhouse gases.

The City’s study of Measure R concluded that it would eliminate $1.3 million a year in future tax revenues for the City, thus reducing the City’s ability to insure public safety and fund social services for those in need. It would also cost Berkeley schools $1 million a year, the study found.

Measure R touts itself as the “Green Downtown” initiative, but those who have analyzed its 28 pages of legally flawed, poorly drafted changes to the zoning code can see that it’s an antigrowth wolf in sheep’s clothing. It deploys the familiar ruse of “green-washing” by adopting an environmentally friendly mask, when in fact, its prohibitive new fees and restrictions on large housing and office projects are so burdensome that they would be financially unfeasible, according to the City’s study of the measure.

To see the extraordinary spectrum of those who endorse “No on R,” please click here . We hope you’ll add your name too.

For other recent news about Measure R, please click here .

You can find more information about Measure R and the danger it poses to Berkeley’s future in our FAQ and Why Vote Note page .

East Bay Express: Measure R’s “Pivotal Role” in Council Races

Measure R “appears to be playing a pivotal role this November in the three contests for city council,” the East Bay Express reported today (Oct. 1).

The Express coverage reflects the growing media attention to the measure, whose real intent – to block new housing and office space – was exposed in the lead front-page article this past Sunday in the San Francisco Chronicle .

The Express said:

“Measure R would overturn past council decisions that were designed to increase density in downtown and attract more residents to the city’s urban core. Arreguin [the measure’s sponsor] contends that the measure would require developers to build greener projects in downtown. But opponents of the measure, including a majority of the council, contend that the ballot initiative is too restrictive and would block Berkeley from developing smart growth projects that limit greenhouse gas emissions.

“As a result,” the Express reported, “the outcome of Measure R and the three Berkeley council races this year could have a significant impact on the future of downtown development.”

The article identified three City Council races where Measure R is an issue:

  • Southeast Berkeley District 8, with four candidates – Michael Alvarez Cohen, George Beier, Lori Droste, Jacquelin McCormick – for the seat being vacated by Gordon Wozniak
  • South-of-campus District 7, with Sean Barry challenging incumbent Kriss Worthington
  • Northwest Berkeley District 1, with incumbent Linda Maio facing challengers Merrilie Mitchell and Alejandro Soto-Vigil.

The article reported the positions of seven of the candidates on Measure R: five opposed (Alvarez Cohen, Barry, Beier, Droste, Maio) and two in favor (McCormick, Soto-Vigil).

Click here to read the full article.

For other recent news about Measure R, please click here .

You can find more information about Measure R and the danger it poses to Berkeley’s future in our FAQ and Why Vote Note page.

Yard Signs Are Here – Here’s How to Get One

Your yard can help protect Berkeley’s future well-being from Measure R! Join the growing number of residents disp laying the newly arrived “No on R” yard signs.

If you’d like a yard sign, please email your name and address to [email protected] .

The stakes are high, and every citizen’s assistance is important.

Measure R is an anti-growth wolf in sheep’s clothing. It pretends to offer a greener Downtown than we already have, with developers forced to provide even more community benefits than they are currently required to do.

In fact, its draconian constraints would do just the opposite. They would choke off future transit-oriented housing and sustainable development near BART, exacerbating our critical housing shortage and forcing more people into relying on auto commuting and generating more greenhouse gases. The City’s study of Measure R concluded it would conflict with the environmental policies of our Climate Action Plan.

Measure R is a legally flawed 28-page confusion of insertions and deletions to the existing zoning for Berkeley’s Downtown. It was drafted by three self-appointed individuals without public review or community input.

It would overturn our award-winning Downtown Plan, which was developed through an extensive community process involving more than 200 public meetings. The Downtown Plan embodies one of the nation’s strongest sets of environmental building standards and requirements for community benefits.

It’s no surprise that Measure R is opposed by a broad coalition of environmental groups, labor unions, civic organizations, businesses, professional associations and other groups, as well as virtually all of Berkeley’s top elected officials and a large proportion of the city’s community leaders and urban planning experts.

Learn more on our FAQ page and our Why Vote No page .

See the list of opponents on our Endorsements page .

Berkeley Police Association Joins Growing Ranks of No on R Endorsers

The Berkeley Police Association has joined the large coalition of civic, environmental, labor, business and

professional organizations who warn against the disastrous consequences that Measure R would bring.

“The Berkeley Police Association recognizes that Measure R could stifle the Downtown’s welcome revitalization and significantly reduce City revenues needed to ensure public safety and provide other City services,” said Chris Stines, Association President.

The Association’s “No on R” endorsement coincides with the growing community understanding that this stringent anti-growth measure threatens Berkeley’s future well-being in several ways.

One of the biggest losses would be reduced City government revenue, meaning less funding for vital City services, including police and fire. The impacts estimated that the measure could reduce potential City tax revenues by $1.3 million and Berkeley schools revenue by $1 million.

Measure R backers deceptively claim that the measure will force developers to deliver more green community benefits than they provide now under the City’s award-winning Downtown Plan. Don’t be fooled by this green-washing subterfuge. The true impact of Measure R would be fewer benefits because its new fees and requirements are so prohibitive that major new housing and office buildings would be financially infeasible, according to the .

Similarly, Measure R backers falsely claim that the “No on R” campaign is a tool of developers, a claim easily refuted by the broad alliance of organizations and community leaders who have studied Measure R and taken public stands against it:

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 Would be Bad News for the Environment

Measure R would increase greenhouse gases and block transit-oriented housing. The City’s impact report on the initiative found that the measure would make buildings over 60 feet tall financially infeasible, thus eliminating an estimated 1,300 units in Downtown housing capacity near the Downtown BART station and major bus lines.
By dispersing population and increasing auto-caused pollution, Measure R would undermine Berkeley’s critical climate action strategy of increasing housing density near major transit hubs. This displacement  translates into 225 million pounds of carbon emissions over 15 years, according to the Environmental Impact Report on the City’s Downtown Area Plan .