Do you support redistricting plans that would require charter reform creating two student council districts?

Neighborly posts that include your name and district number will appear within 24 hours of submittal.  Any other personal information provided to Berkeley Council Watch will remain confidential.

25 Comments

  1. Nothing good will come from this… I tell ya

  2. Great justification. I like to see clearly Marcy

  3. Victoria Peirotes |

    No … while respecting students and their desire to participate in local politics, the fact is they are, for the most part, short-term and non-tax-paying residents. Historically the student community votes overwhelmingly for any measure/bond that increases services to them. And of course, why shouldn’t they? Individually there are no financial consequences and as a group they profit. Unfortunately for the community, they are “long-gone” when, for the next 30 years, the rest of Berkeley inherits their decisions is left to pay the piper.

    That said, I believe the city council and permanent residents could do more to structure a voice for the university constituency. Why not create a permanent advisory but non-voting position on council meetings and have that position be assigned to a campus-wide elected representative?

    My thanks to Berkeley Council Watch for a forum where residents can weigh in on local issues and where individuals can propose opinions and ideas that merit discussion.

  4. NO! They are here and then they are gone.

  5. Paul M. Schwartz |

    No. The students are basically transient, most of them are here for anywhere from 2 to 4 years and then leave. Their votes are often not in the interest of the city as a whole. They elect candidates and push issues which in the long term are detrimental to the City of Berkeley. Most of the measures they favor are costly to the taxpayers. The students don’t foot the bill. The leave us with heavy expenses and then they leave the immediate area and the financial consequences of their self indulgent interests.
    Another student district would be a serious mistake.

  6. No. I support a simple redistricting in time for the November 2012 vote — any excuse to delay that is a lame excuse by the current majority to disenfranchise people who tend to vote for the current council minority.

    In the longer term, we have to remember that district elections were established in an off-cycle election not so much to uphold district-specific interests — but rather to beat back the slate politics of city-wide elections in which a more liberal / left / progressive majority dominated.

    Many of the reforms implemented in the final years of slate politics have been some of the best things that ever happened to this city and, since then, governance has devolved to a neglect of basic infrastructure and a kleptocratic free-for-all for developers and government consultants. Districts have been largely a failure.

    It’s time to begin considering charter reforms to move past the foolish districting system we have. Playing around with “student districts” is nothing but a distraction and a lousy excuse to delay redistricting past the Nov. 2012 vote.

    • I agree with almost all of this, but I would suggest that we retain districts in order to get the attention of some of the councilmembers for local problems, but add 3 or more at-large councilpeople who are charged with considering the best interests of the whole city. It would indeed be a charter amendment–time to get started.

      • Thanks Becky, I also agree with Thomas. Do you think this could happen? How can we make it happen? Thanks for keeping the Planet going.

    • I agree. Will the city council listen? I doubt it. They would love to get our most progressive member off the council.

  7. Definitely yes! Students are underrepresented and seeing as we make up 25% of Berkeley’s population and yet don’t have a seat at the political table speaks volumes to Berkeley’s supposed commitment to protecting communities of interest. Also, seeing as we have very different issues than the rest of Berkeley residents, its imperative we have a voice!

  8. NO. UC Berkeley continues to over enroll and continues to expand, which is
    taking too much land, housing and community resources. The growing student
    population already has increasing voting power. There is no need for a special interest district. What more do they want?

  9. NO, UC Berkeley continues to over enroll and continues to expand, taking too
    much land, housing and community resources. The growing student population
    has increased their voting power, so there is no need for a special interest district.

  10. NO. There is no need for a special interest student district.
    The UC Berkeley’s continuous over enrollment and continuous expansion has taken too much land, housing and community resources already. With the increasing student population their voting power increases.
    What more do students want?

  11. No. There is no reason to give them even more privilege. A large majority of students live in property that is exempt from taxes, exempt from City regulations, including zoning and planning, exempt from surcharges, fees, and assessments that every other citizen of Berkeley is required to pay, and while they use many City services, most pay almost nothing for them. They already have representation on the University campus that other citizens of Berkeley do not have access to or a voice in, no matter how much their actions affect all of us. They already have the privilege to vote here, and are arguably responsible for having passed numerous idealistic policies with little or no regard for the long-term costs or consequences that the rest of us now face.

    They should pay to play. If every student, and the University as a whole as well, paid their fair share for every cost the City has, and allows the City and its citizens to have representation in the student government and campus policies, then we should consider this. Otherwise, they need to learn to work more closely with all other citizens, and not expect greater isolation and privilege.

  12. no

  13. No. just because it depend who’s student are we talking about..now we talking about this current student whom is related to board director or managers may perhaps should seek identity background and if is privately identified then I won’t considered it. The community and the student diffently deseved a lot more that placing someone that have no interest in Berkeley education program. charter or not let’s have something that would help cut education spending limit.

  14. Yes. Students form a unique, compact, and large (25% of Berkeley’s population) community in Berkeley, and it is a shame that for so long they have been deliberately diluted across 4 council districts. This isn’t about special treatment or even who students are, this is about democracy. Students represent a unique community of interest as much as any minority group that deserves to be given representation through redistricting. Students live here, they use services here, and they are affected by every decision the City Council makes that affects Berkeley, yet there hasn’t been a student on the council for nearly three decades. This should be a no-brainer.

  15. Yes. Students educated and enthusiastic members of the Berkeley community, whose voice deserves to be heard.

  16. Given that students are such a large part of Berkeley, I think this could be a great idea. It’s not as if they are going to have a majority in the council — this way they would get a more effective voice and legitimate say.

  17. The students and University are a critical part of the Berkeley community and deserve a voice in City affairs. We would be foolish to not tap into the intellectual resources the students and staff of a world class University provide.

  18. Yes! The student community of interest is the only one that is currently split over 4 Council districts. They make up a full quarter of the population in Berkeley, but they can’t elect a Council member because they’re so split up.

    I agree with Jim from the Bateman Neighborhood Association – the neighborhood should not be split up. Neither should the student neighborhoods!

  19. No. Students are transients who have no responsibility for the community in which they go to school. They can vote in their districts and elect whom they choose, but no special treatment should be given to them to give them more voice than any other constituency.

Leave a Reply