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 .

Union Deceived by “Grossly Misleading” Measure R, Labor Leader Says

Union Deceived by “Grossly Misleading” Measure R, Labor Leader Says

Measure R sponsor Jesse Arreguin misled union members, and the Measure R campaign is engaged in a “grossly misleading” claim of union support, according to a leader of the Alameda County Building Trades Council and the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union.

“Measure R isn’t what Arreguin claimed it would be,” said Rob Stoker, president of the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council (representing 28 affiliated unions) and business representative for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 104.

Arreguin promised Stoker that Measure R would benefit labor, Stoker said in a letter to the editor published Oct. 22 in the Berkeley Voice. (The letter is published also in other member papers of the Bay Area News Group, which includes the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury News.)

“What we didn’t anticipate, and were disappointed to discover, is that this Measure R includes catastrophic planning errors that would prohibit construction of the projects we would gain the most work from,” Stoker said.

“We believe Arreguin’s continued use of our name in promoting Measure R is grossly misleading and have asked him to stop doing so,” his letter said.

“It would kill a downtown revitalization guided by an AIA award-winning plan to create one of the most beautiful and green downtowns in the state.”

You can read the full letter by . (It’s the second letter on the page.)

For other examples of Measure R’s deceptive propaganda, please see our FAQ and Why Vote No page.

You can find the exceptionally broad coalition of organizations and community leaders who oppose Measure R by clicking on our Endorsements page .

Express Identifies Real Agenda of Measure R: Anti-Growth

Measure R is backed by “by anti-growth activists who have consistently opposed the construction of tall buildings in downtown,” the East Bay Express reported in an article published Wednesday , Oct. 15.

The article’s assessment parallels the conclusion reached in a prominent, front-page San Francisco Chronicle article that Measure R is a “disingenuous” attempt “to pull the rug out from under future projects.”

News reports reinforce the positions taken by leading environmental, labor, business and professional groups who have all concluded that Measure R’s prohibitive fees and zoning restrictions would kill pending housing projects that are intended to realize Berkeley’s smart-growth policy of concentrating transit-oriented housing near the Downtown BART. The City study of the Measure R concluded that it would reduce Downtown housing capacity by 1,300 units.

As a result, Measure R means more auto commuting, pollution and greenhouse gases.

The Express notes that Measure R is an attempt to reverse the major community decision reached in 2010 to allow up to five relatively tall buildings – with three up to 180 feet – in the Downtown to help ease Berkeley’s critical housing shortage and combat global warming through transit-oriented housing. That plan was put to the voters in a ballot measure in 2010 – also coincidentally named Measure R – and won with resounding 64% approval.

The result of the 2010 mandate was incorporated into our current Downtown Plan – the product of six years of community participation, including more than 200 public meetings.

This new Measure R, which would overturn the Downtown Plan, was concocted by three self-appointed individuals without any public review or community input. Its chief sponsor is Jesse Arreguin, who actively opposed the 2010 Measure R. In fact, he was the lead signer of the ballot argument against the 2010 Measure R, but now he is straining the public’s credulity by claiming that he’s proposing the new Measure R to realize unfulfilled promises of the 2010 Measure R.

Don’t be hoodwinked by this cynical ploy.

See the extraordinarily broad coalition of organizations and community leaders who oppose Measure R on our Endorsements page by clicking here .

Get the facts on Measure R and the danger it poses to Berkeley’s future in our FAQ and Why Vote Note 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.

SF Chronicle Exposes Measure R’s Real Aim – to “Roll Back the Clock”

The offered a high-profile corroboration of Measure R’s true intent – to block growth.

The article called Measure R a “disingenuous” attempt “to pull the rug out from under future projects.”

The article – by the paper’s well-known urban design critic, John King – was headlined, “These development measures are really antigrowth.” It alluded to similar measures in several Bay Area cities, but Berkeley’s Measure R received top billing.

The article contrasted Measure R’s “noble-sounding bullet points” to its real intent – “to roll back the clock” and “erect hurdles to new buildings over 60 feet.”

To read full the article, please .

The Chronicle’s report reflects the growing public understanding that Measure R is an antigrowth wolf in sheep’s clothing. It deploys the familiar ruse of “green-washing” by painting itself as the “Green Downtown” initiative, 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 .

No wonder Measure R is opposed by leading environmental, labor, business, civic and professional groups, as well as Berkeley’s top elected officials and many prominent citizens.

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

“No on R” Blends Summer Fun with Election Info at Solano Stroll

Photos by Joseph Taecker-Wyss

One of the best reasons to vote “No on R” was expressed by a Berkeley man who stopped by the “No on R” booth at the Solano Stroll this past Sunday (Sept. 14).

“If you don’t understand it, don’t vote for it,” he said.

His reaction echoed a typical response to the confusing and legally flawed 28 pages of deletions and insertions into the Berkeley zoning code otherwise known as Measure R.

Photos by Joseph Taecker-Wyss

Those who take the time and trouble to understand it find even greater reason to oppose this anti-growth measure whose stringent restrictions would block transit-oriented housing and sabotage Berkeley’s remarkable Downtown revitalization.

Photos by Joseph Taecker-Wyss

Many curious Berkeley voters stopped by the “No on R”  booth, and the vast majority of them acknowledged that they were confused by the conflicting messages from “No on R” and “Yes on R,” especially since both claim to insure a “green” Downtown.

But when they learned the facts, they understood why labor unions, environmental organizations, Democratic Party organizations , professional associations and Berkeley’s top elected officials all belong to the broad community coalition opposed to Measure R.

Here is a sample of the endorsers of “No on R”:

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

Another Major Endorsement for “No on R” – Democratic Party of Alameda County

The Democratic Party of Alameda County has joined the growing coalition of groups and community leaders who oppose Measure R.

The Alameda County Democratic Party joined the anti-R alliance on Sept. 13 when its Central Committee voted to oppose the ill-conceived, anti-growth measure on the November ballot.

The vote by the county’s umbrella Democratic organization came two days after the ”No on R” vote by the Berkeley Democratic Club, the county’s largest and oldest Democratic club.

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 coalition of labor, environmental and civic organizations that have studied Measure R and concluded that it poses a serious danger to Berkeley’s future well-being.

Organizations that oppose Measure R include:

The leading elected public officials representing Berkeley and community leaders also oppose Measure R:

    • 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 deliver green community benefits that are not being delivered by our award-winning Downtown Plan, and that it will save the historic Main Post Office.

In fact, Measure R 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.

Another Key Endorsement Against Measure R – Largest & Oldest Democratic Club in Alameda County

The Berkeley Democratic Club – the largest and oldest Democratic club in Alameda County – voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 11 to oppose Measure R, the anti-growth rezoning initiative on the Berkeley ballot in November.

After presentations from both sides and many audience questions, the club agreed by an 82-percent majority to oppose the legally flawed, 28-page measure that would impose prohibitive new requirements on large new housing and office buildings in Berkeley’s Downtown.

The club joins a growing coalition of labor, environmental and civic organizations, as well as community leaders, who oppose Measure R.

Others include:

Organizations:

  • Greenbelt Alliance
  • Transform
  • League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay
  • Alameda County Labor Council (representing 100,000 East Bay workers)
  • Alameda County Building Trades Council (28 affiliated unions)
  • Hotel. Food Service and Gaming Workers Local 2850 (also known as Unite Here!)
  • Downtown Berkeley Association
  • Livable Berkeley
  • Berkeley Design Advocates

Individuals:

  • State Senator Loni Hancock
  • Assemblymember Nancy Skinner
  • Mayor Tom Bates and five other Berkeley City Council members
  • 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)
  • and many others

Opponentsrecognize that Measure R’s promises of green community benefits and new jobs with prevailing wages are empty campaign rhetoric. Measure R’s myriad fees and restrictions would kill new housing and other building projects. Measure R would also kill our Downtown revival, block affordable housing and reverse our progress in combatting climate change.

“Measure R is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Andreas Cluver, Executive Board Member of the Alameda County Labor Council, which represents 100,000 East Bay workers and which voted on Sept 8 against the measure. “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.”

Measure R would prevent an estimated 1,300 units 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.

For more information, please visit NoOnMeasureR.org .