Category Archives: Opinion

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

Legislative Report From State Senator Nancy Skinner (SD9)

See her most recent legislative report here. From her report:

“My colleagues and I wrapped up our 2018 legislative session on August 31st. This was a session Californians can be proud of. Groundbreaking bills passed this year include SB 822, restoring Net Neutrality; SB 100, setting a 100% renewable energy goal for California; SB 10, putting an end to money bail; and SB 1421, my bill that breaks open a 40-year lock on public access to police records. “

Two Endorsements for Prop 13 Reform

This month our campaign to reform Prop. 13 received two big endorsements. The California Teachers Association and SEIU California voted unanimously to endorse the Schools and Communities First initiative. These two labor unions are the largest in California and represent more than one million workers.

These endorsements come at a time when teachers from Oakland to Los Angeles are shining a spotlight on how drastically underfunded our public schools are. These teachers are helping to raise awareness about how Prop. 13’s corporate loophole has robbed our schools and public services of over $100 billion in the last 40 years.

Racial and Criminal Justice Committee Updates

We are continuing to meet jointly with activists from Indivisible Berkeley, Democratic Socialists of America, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and other progressive organizations who also are working on issues of racial justice and criminal justice reform. We focus mainly on the local level but to some extent on the state and federal levels. These meetings are a great way to keep informed about developments, strategies, and actions in this whole arena, and you can participate further to the degree you choose.
About future meetings: From here on, we will be meeting on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. We are seeking a meeting place that would be more convenient for those in Oakland/South Berkeley. If anyone has a suggestion for such a location, please pass it along.
For further info or to be added to our email list:

Rivka Polatnick, Committee Representative

Support the End of Urban Shield!

The Ad-Hoc Committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors has provided powerful recommendations to the Board of Supervisors geared toward community-based emergency preparedness, de-escalation, and demilitarized disaster response. The recommendations include:
· Eliminating SWAT teams and competition from emergency preparedness exercises
· Eliminating the weapons expo that puts private interests and weapons manufacturers above the goals of whole community preparedness
· Ensuring that the majority of people responsible for implementing exercises are from the key disciplines of Fire and Emergency Managers, as well as community organizations serving vulnerable populations, rather than most being law enforcement
· Changing the name “Urban Shield” for exercises
· Dedicating $5 million of funding for the Health Care Services Agency and Social Services Agency to carry out emergency preparedness training and exercises
Let’s be ready to defend our tremendous victory this year, and build the demilitarized, community-centered alternative to Urban Shield!

Call Your Supervisor!
Please make your call before February 26th.
How to Contact:
District 1: Supervisor Haggerty – (510) 272-6691, ask for Josh Thurman
District 2: Supervisor Valle – (510) 272-6692, ask for Chris Miley
District 3: Supervisor Chan – (510) 272-6693, ask for Dave Brown
District 4: Supervisor Miley – (510) 670-3691, ask for Erin Armstrong
District 5: Supervisor Carson – (510) 272-6695, ask for Shahida Lacy

Two meetings added for the Racial and Criminal Justice Committee

We’ve added two meetings to the calendar for the Racial and Criminal Justice Committee, one for Thurs, Feb 21st at 7pm in north Berkeley, and one two weeks later on Thurs, March 7th in south Berkeley near the Oakland border. Click on the events in the Events listing for more details, or for more info, contact Rivka Polatnick (