I would have no problem with building luxury apartments if we weren’t in a housing crisis. Build for the rich, I would say. Build crazy stuff with gold-plated toilets and let them buy it. But we are in a housing crisis. The Downtown Berkeley Association tried to outlaw sitting on the sidewalk.
Business organizations in Berkeley have adopted the Block by Block approach to erode the human rights of the poor. The Measure S initiative was the most expensive campaign in Berkeley’s history. It was funded almost entirely by large property-holding companies which play an influential role in the Downtown Berkeley Association.
I want to thank you, Berkeley, for seeing through the B.S. surrounding Measure S. As City Councilman Jesse Arreguin said, Berkeley’s spirit is better than this law. And some said he was naive. But no, he was right, and the defeat of Measure S was one of Berkeley’s finest moments.
Berkeley’s so-called “Downtown Ambassadors” demonstrate their hostility towards freedom of speech by going after activists who post political messages in public. They seem unable to grasp that there is no law in the land that allows them to remove certain posters based on the political content of their message.
In voting to place this discriminatory sitting ban on the November ballot, the Berkeley City Council has betrayed the very concept of equal rights for all. Laws that banish certain groups of people from public spaces — whether based on appearance, economic class, or race — are modern-day segregation decrees, plain and simple.