Category Archives: Opinion

Opinion pieces written by members that reflect the values and position of the Club.

Two upcoming meetings with the Racism & Criminal Justice Reform Committee

The Racism & Criminal Justice Reform Committee, working together with people from several other community groups including the Berkeley NAACP, has 2 upcoming meetings:
TUESDAY, Aug. 20th, 7:00-9:00 p.m., 1301 Walnut St., North Berkeley–regular meeting
SUNDAY, Sept. 15th, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Sports Basement (formerly Iceland), 2727 Milvia St., South Berkeley–special large meeting to launch a broad community campaign to get a charter amendment for a stronger police review commission in Berkeley on the 2020 ballot.

Phase 1 of our ongoing campaign:
-Recruit more people, from different sectors of the community, to get involved with this issue.
-Educate the public about the need for a stronger police review function in Berkeley, especially given the continuing racial disparities in policing.
-Build public pressure on the Mayor and City Council to put the charter amendment (Arreguin/Harrison version, which is currently under consideration) on the 2020 ballot. The vote on this could come as early as September.

If you are a Berkeley resident, please call the Mayor and your City Council member to ask that they proceed with placing the Berkeley Police Commission Amendment on the November 2020 ballot. For contact information, see: Hope you will join us at these upcoming meetings.

For more info (including a flyer and a background info sheet) and/or to be added to our email list for occasional updates on this campaign, contact Berkeleyans for Safe Communities at:

P.S. Mayor Arreguin has promised to convene, shortly, a broad-based Task Force to develop an (overdue!) action plan for addressing the racial disparities in police stops and related issues. Members of our group are gathering suggestions to him about people from the community to appoint. Public pressure will be necessary to keep the momentum going, so please refer to this matter too when you call the Mayor’s office.

Racial and Criminal Justice Committee working with five other orgs for justice reform! Next meeting 6/20!

Did you know the Racial and Criminal Justice Committee ​of Wellstone is working with ​more than five other organizations to advance criminal justice reform? ​They include Indivisible Berkeley, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Berkeley chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, ​and Democratic Socialists of America. We work mostly on local issues but also on county, state, and federal issues. Currently, we are concentrating as a group on Berkeley policing (getting a stronger Police Review Commission, addressing racial inequities in policing), but members also are involved in the Audit Sheriff Ahern Coalition, advocacy for state criminal justice reform legislation, and other initiatives. The next meeting is June 20th​; see event details here – newcomers welcome!

Summer Picnic & Potluck on June 22nd with Block by Block Organizing Network!

Block by Block Organizing Network invites you to our Summer Picnic & Potluck on June 22nd! The picnic will be held on from 11 am to 3 pm, at Dimond Park, Oakland (Picnic area at the end of Dimond, above MacArthur. Entry from Fruitvale Avenue as well.) We will provide paper supplies, grilled meat and veggie burgers. Please bring dishes according to your last name (see event post for details). Everyone is welcome. Please rsvp to We hope to see you there!

Comprehensive Report on Creating an Equitable Low-Carbon Future

Researchers at two southern California universities have created a comprehensive report on how we can create a low-carbon future without burdening poor people who are already suffering the most from climate change. From an article in ScopeLA:

“Last year, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a groundbreaking report which found that countries must take drastic action within the next twelve years in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Specifically, we must transition to a low carbon economy and we must do this faster than we previously thought. We must make investments in clean energy and green career training opportunities at a scale that we have not yet seen before. But how do we make sure this shift happens in a way that’s equitable for workers and communities? Researchers at USC PERE and Occidental College have teamed up to help answer this very question in a new report, “A Roadmap to an Equitable Low-Carbon Future: Four Pillars for a Just Transition”, which is out today!”