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Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure S
Redistricting: City Council Proposal
City of Berkeley

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 21240 / 63.81% Yes votes ...... 12048 / 36.19% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 28 11:38am, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (107/107)
Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments |

Shall Ordinance No. 7,320-N.S. authorizing the adjustment of Berkeley City Council district boundaries pursuant to Section 9, Article V of the Berkeley City Charter, to equalize population in the districts as a result of population changes reflected in the 2010 decennial federal census be adopted?

Official Sources of Information

  Nonpartisan Information

California Secretary of State's Office

City of Berkeley League of Women Voters News and Analysis

East Bay Express

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Arguments For Measure S Arguments Against Measure S
"Redistricting" is the redrawing of Berkeley's Council district boundaries. To protect equal representation, federal law requires that populations across districts be rebalanced every 10 years following each national Census.

Voting Yes on Measure S supports citizen participation. Berkeley citizens were encouraged to submit their own map proposals. The City Council considered a total of seven (7) maps drawn by Berkeley residents. The City Council and the League of Women Voters held seventeen (17) forums, community meetings, and public hearings on redistricting. In the end, the Council adopted a map drawn by Berkeley citizens.

Voting Yes on Measure S protects communities of interest. The City Council chose a map that met all the criteria in the Berkeley City Charter: populations are rebalanced across all districts, district boundaries are compact and easy to understand, communities of interest are protected, and no incumbent has been drawn out of his/her district. This map meets all federal, state, and local rules for redistricting. This map is the only map whose use has been affirmed by the courts.

Voting Yes on Measure S allows Berkeley to move on and saves taxpayers' money. We have been working on our redistricting process for over three years. Without your Yes vote, Berkeley will need to spend additional years and tens of thousands more dollars to redo redistricting for the third time in just four years.

Voting Yes on Measure S ensures equal representation and supports a vote for fair districts. The new map's population deviation is less than 1 percent and the City Council approved these Charter-compliant districts with a supermajority vote (6 "yes" votes to 2 "no" votes).

Vote Yes on Measure S to approve the redistricting map and keep Berkeley City Council districts fair.

Senator Loni Hancock
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner
Mayor Tom Bates
UC Berkeley ASUC President Pavan Upadhyayula
UC Berkeley ASUC External Affairs Vice President 2013-2014 Safeena Mecklai

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't be fooled by claims of "good government" from the very politicians responsible for subverting redistricting.

Only two maps from the "community process" were independent of Council. All other maps were submitted by proxies directly connected to Council; none were modified to reflect any public input.

Redistricting has been deliberately prolonged to influence elections. Council delayed redistricting to protect incumbents in 2012, and gain this year. Council purposely placed redistricting on the ballot in order to sue themselves and community members, temporarily imposing its gerrymander this election without voter approval.

Measure S is the result of backroom deals and broken laws. Council never intended to resolve redistricting; they had already secretly hired lawyers with tax dollars well before opting for the ballot and suing themselves. Their decision was timed to bypass process, avoid transparency and enable their lawsuit in violation of the City Charter and open government laws.

Council's Gerrymander divides communities for political gain. In creating a fraternity-dominated Student district, many low-income and minority students were intentionally excluded, dividing major neighborhoods, and favoring certain incumbents.

Independent Redistricting will save money, spare the bickering, and bring this saga to a fair end. By rejecting Council's gerrymander, a permanent Citizens' Redistricting Commission will be created to draw fair lines without regard to incumbents, and prevent future deadlocks. The "foxes will no longer be in charge of the henhouse."

Reject Council's Gerrymander. Support the Citizens' Redistricting Commission. Join neighbors, students, and good government advocates in voting No on S.

Roy Ulrich, Lecturer, School of Public Policy, Political Reform Expert
Viveka Jagadeesan, Student and Co-President of Berkeley Common Cause
Karl Reeh, President of LeConte Neighborhood Association
James Chang, Vice President, Berkeley Student Cooperative (2013-14)
Stefan Elgstrand, recent graduate, author of alternative redistricting plan, sued by City
Jesse Arreguin, author/proponent of referendum

Vote No on S. Reject Council's gerrymander that has disenfranchised voters, protects incumbents and divides neighborhoods and communities of interest, and empower a Citizens' Independent Redistricting Commission to draw fair lines once and for all.

Redistricting in Berkeley has become a sordid saga stuck on repeat. Every ten years, boundaries are manipulated for political gain, protecting select incumbents and punishing political enemies to the detriment of neighborhoods and communities of interests.

But this time, the decennial debacle has gotten worse with Council breaking laws to impact certain Council races.

In 2012, Council delayed redistricting under the guise of creating a Student District; conveniently, certain Councilmembers benefited from unchanged districts in their election races that year, disenfranchising over 4,300 voters from electing their Councilmember for 6 years.

After Council was granted unprecedented control, a "community" process was initiated where 4 of 7 maps were submitted by the same group of insiders, stacking the deck in favor of their controversial gerrymander. The gerrymander unnecessarily divided neighborhoods, such as Halcyon, West Berkeley and LeConte, and split students to create a Fraternity-dominated District. All other maps were not considered--it was fait accompli from the beginning.

Subsequently, neighbors, students and community leaders successfully gathered 7,867 signatures to compel Council to make things right. But rather than do its job, Council chose to violate the Charter and open government laws to punt its gerrymander on the ballot and then absurdly sued themselves and community members with taxpayer money. You're now asked to approve a map that Council has already imposed through a series of egregious misdeeds.

It's a conflict of interest when we allow politicians to draw their lines, cherry-picking winners and losers. Break the cycle: Reject Council's gerrymander and let a Citizens' Redistricting Commission draw a fair map. Vote No on S.

Nigel Guest, President, Council of Neighborhood Associations
Shirley Dean, on behalf of Berkeley Neighborhoods Council
Viveka Jagadeesan, Berkeley student and Co-President, Berkeley Common Cause
Jesse Arreguin, author/proponent of referendum
Spencer Hitchcock, Berkeley Student Cooperative President
Mansoor Id-Deen, President of Berkeley NAACP

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Berkeley does not have a redistricting commission, nor does Measure S create one. For opponents to claim that voting "no" on Measure S will "let a citizens' redistricting commission" draw a new map is entirely dishonest. Read the language for yourself: the word "commission" is never used.

The purpose of Measure S is to allow voters to approve the fair redistricting map that has already been passed by the City Council and affirmed by the courts.

The fair redistricting map was chosen through the public and transparent process set up by Measure R in 2012, which passed citywide with 66% support. The City Council, League of Women Voters, and UC Berkeley's ASUC held a total of seventeen (17) community forums and public hearings to allow citizens to review and comment on map proposals.

After 17 meetings, the City Council chose one map drawn by Berkeley residents and adopted it with no modifications. The map balances population across districts, protects communities of interest, and has easily-understandable lines.

If Measure S does not pass, Berkeley will have to restart its redistricting process from the beginning. This will mean our district lines will be 12 years out of date and will have an unconstitutionally high population deviation. We will have to spend additional years and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to redo redistricting for the third time in just four years.

Vote Yes on Measure S to approve the redistricting map and keep Berkeley City Council districts fair.

Senator Loni Hancock
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner
Mayor Tom Bates
Councilmember Darryl Moore
ASUC President Pavan Upadhyayula

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