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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Council Member; City of Berkeley; Council District 7

The questions were prepared by the LWV Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on District Problems, The City as a whole, Measure R

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. What do you see as your District's biggest problem and how would you address it?

Answer from Kriss Worthington:

For District 7, there are three main issues: increasing affordable housing, improving both the reality and the perception of public safety, and revitalizing Telegraph Avenue. I am addressing each of these issues with specific proposals. We are working with the Housing Commission to implement the NAACP coalition's report that urges for more affordable housing. On Public Safety, I am working to increase neighborhood watch in the campus area, to get the beat officers to be walking/biking the beat, and to improve pedestrian lighting. Also, I want us to seek funding for the implementation of the BPD's newest Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design report. I am fighting for a comprehensive Telegraph Livability plan to shape the street in a new direction, one that meets both student and community needs. This plan includes all-ages entertainment, late night businesses, Free Speech Walk of Fame, pedestrian lighting, and more retail options.

Answer from Sean Barry:

The biggest challenge facing District 7 is the affordability, availability and quality of housing. The addition of hundreds of new apartment units downtown, coupled with the construction of dormitory Units 1 and 2 in the early 2000s, have helped ease the shortage, though many new units are unaffordable for many. Cooperative housing and the Greek system offer affordable space to tens of thousands every year, but these options are either not a good fit or remain out-of-reach for too many students. New construction and support for small landlords can help improve quantity and affordability, while increased tenant outreach and resources about on non-campus apartments can educate incoming students about their various options. All ideas should be on the table.

? 2. What would be your highest priority for the good of the City as a whole?

Answer from Sean Barry:

Berkeley can and should do a much better job of creating living wage jobs for people of all socio-economic and educational backgrounds. We already have a strong commitment to K-12 education and to helping students on the path to higher education or job training. Good jobs should be available to those with and without college degrees. Committed corporate citizens such as Bayer, which offer apprenticeships and regularly give back to the community, are crucial to connecting employers with potential employees. Many of the jobs of tomorrow will be in green energy, and Berkeley can and should be at the forefront of these industries. Strengthening partnerships between the City of Berkeley, the university and Berkeley City College -- along with Berkeley Unified School District -- is also critical.

Answer from Kriss Worthington:

Bringing a progressive and independent perspective to every issue that comes up and ensuring that we consider use of technological innovation and the real world impacts of proposals. My philosophy is that city government has a couple of principal functions. First, to protect the citizens through strong regulations and ordinances (but only as needed) and second, to make it safe for people to express and enjoy a wide diversity of life styles. Berkeley has been, and must continue to be, a place where people of every age, race, sexual identify, political inclination are safe and can be productive. For instance, we must be responsive to constituent service issues, and we must help small businesses survive the poor economy. We must work with landlords to find reasonable solutions to housing needs and we must find new sources of funding for affordable housing. I want to continue my own efforts to diversity Council appointments, including the hiring of women, people of color, and students. We must support small arts groups and individual artists. And we need to find practical cost-effective public safety improvements. In many aspects of the city, technological innovation to allow information to be shared more readily should be a priority. I should say that I began my public work in the civil rights movement and the peace movement, and these two movements still form the core of my philosophy.

? 3. The Downtown Initiative, Measure R [Initiative Ordinance Amending Downtown Zoning Provisions and Creating Civic Center Historic District Overlay Zone] proposes detailed changes to the current zoning rules. Do you support or oppose it and why?

Answer from Sean Barry:

I'm joining the Greenbelt Alliance, League of Conservation Voter East Bay, Alameda County Labor Council, Alameda County Building Trades and others in opposing Measure R, which would dismantle Berkeley's pro-transit, pro-housing downtown plan. Tenants in District 7 and throughout the city are still feeling the effect of the severe limitations on apartment construction during much of the 80s and 90s. We can't make the same mistake again. Measure R is also an example of ballot box zoning at its worst. Height limits and hours of operations for bars ought to determined through the legislative process, where trade-offs can be properly assessed and revisited.

Answer from Kriss Worthington:

I am neutral on Measure R. I believe that the practical common sense solutions that I have introduced for Telegraph Ave, like one hour free parking, and increased the floor area ratio to 5.0, will actually attract tens of millions of dollars of investment in more significant ways than most of the existing debates about various downtown plans.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:55 PDT
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