Trump will not halt Berkeley’s fight for justice

CITY AFFAIRS: Abysmally disappointing national election of ridiculous despot places greater impetus on local officials to ensure Berkeley remains equitable.

While the country leapt backward last week, Berkeley and California inched forward. Berkeley voters elected the first-ever Latino mayor and the youngest mayor in nearly a century. And voters approved a slew of progressive local and statewide ballot measures that will expand enfranchisement, help the environment and increase education funding.

Moreover, Berkeley voters proved largely immune to false and misleading campaigns, easily selecting measure U1 over DD, increasing landlord taxes for Berkeley’s wealthiest landlords while still protecting both tenants and small landlords.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t intense work left to do. It just means that even though the White House will likely neglect the people of this country who need support the most, Berkeley and California will continue to champion the rights of marginalized people while creating sound economic policy that doesn’t leave anyone behind.

In some ways, the work has already begun. Alameda County voters approved a housing bond measure that will increase the local stock of affordable housing, and California extended a tax that primarily affects the rich for the benefit of everyone else.

So while we remain on sure footing, mayor-elect Jesse Arreguin has a bigger duty than he may have anticipated to ensure the protection of liberties for low-income communities and communities of color.

Despite these progressive policies, even Berkeley is not immune to the uptick in hate crimes that has accompanied Donald Trump’s election. Recent reports of spitting and egg-throwing cast a terrifying shadow on what has been one of the country’s more accepting communities. Berkeley residents can be better, and Berkeley officials ought to condemn these attacks with the strongest rhetoric.

Widespread progressive majorities and policies in Berkeley and throughout California prompt haters to dub this area a bubble or echo chamber, where only a uniform set of ideals merits acceptance. But there’s no denying that strong local and state policies, rooted in liberal ideals, have improved the lives of millions.

In fact, in 2014, Berkeley was the first city in the country to institute an extra tax on sugary beverages. Since then, Philadelphia, Oakland and San Francisco have instituted similar taxes.

It proves beyond doubt that oftentimes the best way to effect wide-reaching change is to start local. Considering the remarkable political upset by a ridiculous orange hat, leaders in the Democratic party should re-emphasize the party’s grassroots appeal. Fighting for change serves as the very hallmark of that ideal, and Berkeley voters prove again and again that every aspect of national politics they hate can be combated first on a local level.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

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  • TheOne BillyGunn

    Clinton lost because of all her dirty laundry exposed her for a person with questionable ethics. Accepting money from countries unsympathetic to Women’s Rights was a real black eye an the second one came after the DNC was exposed to be rigging the nomination in favor of Clinton. Get a clue.

  • Mr. Chow

    So is the DC also condemning the documented violent attacks on Trump supporters or are they just going after hate speech, many of which turns out to be a hoax?

  • Kurt VanderKoi

    Long live the “The People’s Republic Of Berkeley”.

  • I can’t believe that people drape the veneer of social justice over their defiance of federal immigration law.

    • lovelylotus

      I cannot understand why our Congress for 8 years has not put forth legislation for a pathway to citizenship. Our country benefits from the undocumenteds labor and then scapegoats primarily undocumented peoples of color for trying to make a living.No to deportations

      • lspanker

        I cannot understand why our Congress for 8 years has not put forth legislation for a pathway to citizenship. Our country benefits from the undocumenteds labor

        Tell that to millions of minimally-skilled and unskilled workers in this country for whom illegals compete and drive down wages. Tell that to hospitals and school districts in small border towns that are going bankrupt because their primary patrons work under the table and don’t pay into the tax base. Tell that to the victims of violent crime in California and other states where felons are being given early release from local jails due to overcrowding, with a significant number of those same felons being illegal aliens. You really don’t have a clue, do you?

        • lovelylotus

          “Tell that to millions of minimally-skilled and unskilled workers in this country for whom illegals compete and drive down wages. ” Who pays them, Ispanker?
          “Tell that to the victims of violent crime in California and other states where felons are being given early release from local jails due to overcrowding, with a significant number of those same felons being illegal aliens.”
          Victims of violent crime by anyone need compassion and`our support. I am not going to double down on your nastiness and mischaracterization of what I meant. I will say I am for minimally-skilled and unskilled workers working. There are many jobs they can do and employers should hire them and pay a decent wage. Love trumps hate. Lets create a pathway toward citizenship and a sensible immigration policy not a deportation fiasco. You can be snide all you want, that’s all on you.

          • lspanker

            Here’s a clue for you: an economy based on high tech doesn’t need millions of manual laborers. We have too many unskilled or marginally skilled people in this country while the jobs available for them are gradually shrinking, so why again do we need more and more illegals?

  • ShadrachSmith

    The Feminist Star Chamber, a creation of Obama’s Title IX, OCR activists, is in big trouble, legally. The legal justification for denying students due process is now dust in the wind. So Berkeley better start changing that form of ‘justice’ because it’s illegal, but no longer protected by a lawless prezy.

  • lspanker

    I have to laugh when people who beat up their political opponents whine and cry about “despotism”. The Senior Editorial Board of the Daily Cal for 2016-2017 is clearly the biggest bunch of unhinged, hysterical loonies in the history of student journalism.

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