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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

City Council, District 6Berkeley City CouncilNovember 8, 2016California General Election

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November 8, 2016California General Election

Berkeley City CouncilCity Council, District 6

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (15/15).

About this office

Members of the city council draft and vote on city laws and appoint certain municipal officers and employees.
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Who’s Running?

This office uses ranked-choice voting, or “instant run-off voting.” When marking your ballot, instead of voting for just one candidate, rank up to three candidates in order of your preference.See the Voting info section for more.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
Incumbent
4,358 votes (58.4%)Winning
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  • The safety of my constituents is my first priority.
  • Working towards putting our city finances on a sustainable footing
  • Moving forward with a plan to underground utility wires city-wide
Profession:City Council member, Berkeley CA
City Councilmember District 6, Berkeley City Council — Elected position (2008current)
Chief of Staff, Council member Betty Olds, City of Berkeley (19922008)
Planning Commissioner, City of Berkeley — Appointed position (19912008)
Film Director, Red Hen Films (19721983)
Teacher, Contra Costa School District (19691977)
Teacher, NYC Board of Education (19641968)
Hunter College, CUNY Masters Degree, Special Education (1969)
  • Loni Hancock, State Senator
  • Nancy Skinner, former State Assemblymember
  • Betty Olds, former Councilmember District 6
  • Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley
  • Laurie Capitelli, Berkeley City Council
  • Linda Maio, Berkeley City Council
  • Darryl Moore, Berkeley City Council
  • Alameda County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club
  • Alameda County Democratic Committee
  • Berkeley Firefighters Association
  • East Bay Women’s Political Caucus
  • Michael Lewis, Writer
  • George Perezvelez, Chair, Police Review Commission
  • Colleen Neff, President, Berkeley Path Wanderers
  • Terry Roberts, Police Review Commission
  • Susie Medak, Executive Director, Berkeley Repertory Theater
  • David Mayeri, Berkeley Music Group/UC Theater

Housing

Summary

My position on housing in Berkeley. 

The entire region is struggling with very high housing costs. Supply cannot keep up with demand. Young people cannot afford to live in or near their work, and families cannot afford to purchase homes. Houses selling for millions of dollars threaten the very essence of our City – the cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity of Berkeley. I want my children to be able to afford to live here; I also would like teachers and librarians and nurses who work in the community to be able to live here.

So as a leader in Berkeley, what do I think we should do?

  • We need to build more housing near BART and bus lines, in a way that protects our neighborhoods.
  • Our zoning needs to provide for transition zones from commercial transit corridors to neighborhoods so that negative impacts are minimized.
  • We need to find a way to build moderate-income housing so our artists, seniors, and others who work in Berkeley can live in Berkeley.
  • We need to ensure that every new building that is constructed provides at least 20% of their units at below market rents, or pays a fee into the Housing Trust Fund to be used to build low income units by a non-profit housing developer.

With careful and sensitive planning, all of these goals can be achieved.

 

Homelessness

Summary

My position paper on homelessness in Berkeley

Every day when I walk or drive around Berkeley, I am overwhelmed by the number of people living on the streets. Berkeley is compassionate and  generous and does more for the homeless population than many neighboring cities. We spend millions of dollars on mental health services, medications, shelters, etc., yet it is insufficient to meet the needs of all those living on the streets. Many of our chronically homeless population are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction; others are suffering from mental illness; others have made a lifestyle decision to live on the street.  Whatever the cause, we need to make efforts to provide housing for people living without a roof over their heads and access to toilets and showers.

My frustration is that as a community, we do not have sufficient resources to meet all the needs. I strongly believe that the federal, state, and county governments, as well as our neighboring cities, need to partner with Berkeley in finding solutions to this problem so that our effectiveness can be maximized. Currently, we are using the Police Department and the Fire Department to respond to the calls for help from our street population. I think we need to explore the idea that social workers and mobile crisis workers be the first responders and that Police and Fire should be called only after an evaluation.

I support a collaboration with other cities to implement a regional Housing First program – proven to be the most effective approach to reducing  homelessness – to get our most vulnerable citizens into safe, supportive housing.

One step Berkeley is taking, that I supported, is the formation of a Homeless Coordinated Entry or “HUB”: a one-stop entry program for mental health services, temporary financial support, substance abuse assistance, job training, and housing referrals.

The “hub” will help to identify, evaluate, track, and provide services to the people in need.

I also supported the funding of YEAH!, a year-round shelter for our homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.

Berkeley cannot solve homelessness alone. Working with other cities in the region, we can pool our limited resources and explore innovative
programs that can be models to the rest of the Bay Area and the nation.

For more information on what Berkeley is doing to meet these challenges, click on these Berkeleyside articles about The Hub, and a Fact Sheet on Homelessness in Berkeley.

 

Fiscal Policy

Summary

My position paper on Fiscal Policy

Addressing The Fiscal Condition of the City

Like almost all cities in California, Berkeley’s unfunded liabilities have become a serious issue. In order to understand how this developed, we have to go back in time to the 1990’s, when California was experiencing an economic surge. Convinced that economic prosperity was here to stay, local governments, including the City of Berkeley, authorized very generous retirement and health benefits for their employees. In retrospect, this was a near-sighted approach which did not take into consideration the long term liabilities that were being created for future generations. That was the legacy that I inherited when I was elected to the City Council at the end of 2008. The Great Recession which hit in 2008-2009 resulted in the decline of every major revenue source. CALPERS investments suffered serious losses and unfunded liabilities increased dramatically. As a result of the Great Recession and the CALPERS mismanagement fiasco, the City Council, in collaboration with the City Manager and Finance Director, pursued innovations, consolidations, and reorganizations which helped to realize savings without reducing services. In addition, employees agreed to go without pay raises for several years. Highlights of some of the steps that we took during my tenure on the City Council include:

  • Reducing the number of full time employees by 222 through consolidation and reorganization. All departments took 10% cuts.
  • Creating a two tier system: classic employees and new hires. The new employees receive reduced health and pension benefits.
  • Negotiating with all 6 union bargaining units to pay 8% into pension benefits by 2017. Fire and Police are paying 9%. New employees hired since 2013 are paying 14.25 %.
  • Increasing the reserve fund to more that 16%.
  • Negotiating to replace the Cadillac health plan with a more reasonably priced health plan. This will save the city millions of dollars in future years.

To ensure that Berkeley is as lean and efficient as possible, we need to make cost reductions that won’t materially impact our critical core services or diminish our quality of life. Since the city only has a specific amount of money available, hard decisions will be necessary to address the many issues that we face. My plan to accomplish this is as follows:

  • I will push the council to support a study to review the entire city budget from top to bottom, to find and maximize ways that efficiencies can be made or priorities changed to save money in the current and upcoming budgets.
  • Review all staffing levels and benefits to ensure that we are competitive and appropriately staffed for the services and programs we provide.
  • Explore ways to increase revenues without raising taxes, such as obtaining more grant funds, investing in economic development to bring more tax paying business into Berkeley, getting the University to pay their fair share of services provided, etc.
  • Create a special fund that could only be used for paying down the CALPERS debt. CALPERS claims that every million paid off is 5 million less in debt

The City has begun the process of reducing unfunded liabilities, and we are moving in the right direction. I believe our unfunded liabilities are out of proportion to what they should be, and that this should be addressed as a priority to reduce the long term burden to future generations of Berkeley residents. Therefore, I will push the council and city manager to move forward with a plan by the end of 2017.

 
Journalist/Teacher/Businessperson
2,175 votes (29.1%)
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  • It's time to end homelessness here. Berkeley spends more than $17,500,000 per year criminalizing and policing homelessness (37% of all police calls). Our officers aren't social workers, there is a better solution.
  • Housing affordability in Berkeley can be addressed rather simply: Demand the university provide adequate affordable housing for its students; build limit-equity coops for educators and city workers; create a "Dignity Village" for the homeless.
  • Keep Alta Bates and Herrick Hospitals up and running in Berkeley. Stop Sutter's land speculation.
Profession:Businessman-journalist-teacher
Co-Host, The Annual San Francisco Beatnik Poetry Festival — Elected position (2015current)
San Francisco State University Bachelor's Degree (Magna Cum Laude), Creative Writing with a concentration in gender studies. (2013)
  • Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club John George Democratic Club Alameda County Green Party Berkeley Progressive Alliance B
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Fred Dodsworth:

It’s time to solve our homeless problem like so many other cities have.

It’s time to build truly affordable housing for the rest of us... affordable housing for our children, our friends, for our parents.

I say NO WAY to Sutter’s plans to close and sell off Alta Bates Herrick Hospitals

I say it's time to address climate crisis now, not some day.

I say we need stop asking taxpayers for Blank Check Bond Measures ... Every bond measure needs to have specific targets, amounts, and time lines for success. No more of the shell game the city has been playing.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Fred Dodsworth:

Homelessness, affordable housing, keeping Alta Bates Hospital and Herrick Hospital in Berkeley

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Fred Dodsworth:

I'm not interested in MTC's autocratic demands. I will cooperate to the minimum possible. Local decisions can't be dictated by an unelected regional board. 

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Fred Dodsworth:

We need to demand more from our largest developers and from the University of California. Expecting the city of Berkeley to bear the burdens created by for-profit developers and by the university is a false choice. We're in this together. We sink or swim together and we all have to work together and contribute to solve these issues. 

Who I am, what I intend to address

Summary

It’s time to solve our homeless problem. It’s time to build truly affordable housing for the rest of usI say NO WAY to Sutter’s plans to close and sell off Alta Bates Herrick Hospitals. I say it's time to address climate crisis now, not some day. I say we need stop asking taxpayers for Blank Check Bond Measures.

 

Hello. My name is Fred Dodsworth and I want to represent district 6 on Berkeley City Council.

I spent 30 years in journalism, including 11 years as publisher of Bay Area Business Magazine, northern California’s largest, which I merged with California Executive.

I was a front page columnist for the SF Examiner and covered Berkeley for the East Bay Daily News.

I sat on the board of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.

I know what it’s like to meet a payroll.

I’m what I like to call a HARD HEADED BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL. I don’t tolerate wasted tax dollars and I am committed to solving Berkeley’s long term unresolved problems.

It’s time to solve our homeless problem like so many other cities have.

It’s time to build truly affordable housing for the rest of us... affordable housing for our children, our friends, for our parents.

I say NO WAY to Sutter’s plans to close and sell off Alta Bates Herrick Hospitals

I say it's time to address climate crisis now, not some day.

I say we need stop asking taxpayers for Blank Check Bond Measures ... Every bond measure needs to have specific targets, amounts, and time lines for success. No more of the shell game the city has been playing.

 

As a fiscal conservative I am chair of Berkeley Unified Measure H Oversight Committee.

As someone concerned about future I served on the Disaster & Zero Waste Commissions. 

As someone concerned about education on the Superintendent’s Commission on the Future of Education reducing school transitions from four to three and helped select the Principal at Arts Magnet where I was Vice President of the PTA.

As someone concerned about culture I’m a widely published poet and I’ve hosted Oakland’s Beast Crawl Poetry Festival (4000 attendees on July 16) for 5 years now,

and founder of Bay Area Generations,  (a multigenerational reading series Berkeley City Club in Berkeley)

and on the board of the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival (Oct 1 … our 26th annual fest),

and help put together the Northern California Book Awards with Joyce Jenkins,

this past weekend I hosted the 9th Annual SF Beatnik Poetry Festival,

 

As a human being I work with at risk children through California Poets in the Schools,

and taught adults in the SF Jail’s Reentry Program for men being released from prison.

Like I said I’m a HARD HEADED BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL.

…and I can’t stand how we waste millions of dollars every year on criminalizing homelessness. Nearly 40% of all police calls are for homelessness services —which is more than $17.5 million a year.

Our police are not social service workers. Berkeley has a mobile crisis team and a mental health department. We need to better utilize these services sign the homeless up MediCal, for Social Security, drug and alcohol programs, housing and charge the state of California rather than waste these millions out of our budget … feeding our very own Police-Council-Homeless Industrial Complex. 

I believe we can end chronic homelessness in Berkeley by acknowledging that this is a social problem, not a criminal problem. Utilizing our Mental Health Department and expanded Mobile-Crisis Teams we can get these people the help they need without bankrupting our city. 
I know luxury housing only exacerbates our housing crisis by stimulating more artificial demand while failing to provide affordable "Housing for the Rest of Us." We must create housing outside the traditional "whatever the market will bear" mindset.

It's time for new leadership with new ideas. Mindless groupthink has crippled our ability to resolve these problems. 

 

Email fredfor6@comcast.net
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Isabelle Gaston

Medical Writer
929 votes (12.4%)
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Email info@isabellegaston.com

Videos

Candidate forum for Berkeley City Council District 6 — October 2, 2016 League of Women Voters—Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville

Forum for candidates for Berkeley City Council District 6 (combined with District 5), hosted by the League of Women Voters.

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