Landlord coalition may threaten tenant rights

CITY AFFAIRS: A recently formed Berkeley group to advocate the rights of property owners is troubling in its stark opposition to the rent board’s pro-tenant policies.

The nascent formation of a coalition to lobby for landlord rights, complete with its own political action committee, is concerning. We are troubled by the idea of powerful people pooling their resources and wealth for causes that may further cripple affordable housing and regulations meant to protect tenants. The coalition
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Police report on protests falls short of expectations

CAMPUS ISSUES: Review excludes many meaningful recommendations

Berkeley Police Department’s report on its actions during the December protests disappointed many members of the community. It cherry-picked facts, lacked accountability and failed to include many meaningful recommendations. Few events affected Berkeley as much this past year as the December protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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Lecturers deserve better benefits, greater job security

UNIVERSITY ISSUES: Current union contract negotiations should improve lecturers' job stability

Lecturers represent a vital portion of the University of California’s teaching community. As such, they deserve to receive benefits comparable with those of other faculty and staff employed by the university. Improved benefits, job stability and shared governance are the three platforms that the University Council-AFT, a union representing many
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City budget proposal will negatively affect at-risk groups

CITY ISSUES: Berkeley's budget proposal suggests cuts to programs that provide important services to homeless youth

At a time of relative economic upswing, coupled with growing concerns about the displacement of low-income populations, it is troubling that the city of Berkeley would propose cuts to extremely valuable nonprofits that serve homeless, low-income youth and the mentally ill. The proposal has already garnered opposition from community members,
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Students with dependents watch sinking SHIP

CAMPUS ISSUES: UC Berkeley student-parents and those with spouses are forced to walk the plank into a sea of insurance programs

UC Berkeley’s plan to terminate health insurance for dependents of students will cut off a valuable option for a population that is already marginalized on our campus and faces a greater degree of responsibility than most. Beginning in the fall, UC Berkeley’s Student Health Insurance Plan will no longer cover
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Recent funding agreement not a sign of great progress

UNIVERSITY ISSUES: The tuition agreement, though it provides support for in-state students, doesn't address the issue of state divestment from public higher education.

Though last week’s funding agreement between the University of California and the state has been touted as a success for the university, it fails a large portion of the student population and only weakly addresses the issue of state divestment from public higher education. The compromise between Gov. Jerry Brown
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Issues behind forum protests obscured by tactics of a few

CAMPUS ISSUES: Of two protests held at a campus event, one successfully conveyed protesters' message while the second damaged an opportunity for constructive conversation.

An outbreak of protests at a campus forum last week illustrated both the constructive and destructive methods of demonstrating against the administration. While a group of silent protesters in front of the stage effectively denounced recent student arrests, the tactics of another group of students heckling the speakers stunted dialogue
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UC Berkeley needs more gender-inclusive bathrooms

CAMPUS ISSUES: Everyone should have easy access to restrooms on campus that they feel comfortable using.

The campus administration needs to publicly and systematically address the need for widely accessible gender-inclusive restrooms. The issue is prevalent enough that a group of students, self-titled as the Bathroom Brigade, formed in order to bring attention to these concerns after some faced challenges to find inclusive restroom facilities. Last
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Act now, every day to mitigate drought’s consequences

STATE ISSUES: We need to change our mindset and habits to conserve water

In weathering the ramifications of four years of drought, whole portions of Strawberry Creek may soon disappear. According to Tim Pine, who oversees the campus’ surface water quality program, the creek’s level is dropping and its flow dwindling, exposing rocks that would, in any other year, be under water at
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