Berkeley Global Campus working group appoints subcommittee to edit draft recommendation

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The Berkeley Global Campus community working group appointed a subcommittee at its Thursday meeting to edit a draft recommendation that will be presented to campus leaders.

MIG, a Berkeley-based community development group, was chosen to draft the official working group’s finalized recommendation, with members of the new subcommittee set to edit the document before sending it to campus officials.

At the meeting, the education and procurement subcommittees responded to questions and concerns — regarding the language of their recommendations — raised at the group’s Dec. 10 meeting and presented revised language to better represent the Richmond community’s needs.

The education subcommittee added that UC Berkeley must commit a minimum of $3 million annually to the Richmond Youth and Adult Education Opportunity Fund as a prioritized recommendation. Additionally, the procurement subcommittee revised its recommendations to request that UC Berkeley set a 25 percent spending goal for expanding procurements from Richmond businesses.

In addition, the community working group voted to hold a formal meeting with Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and other campus representatives to present its recommendations in person.

“It’s a marker for the community to show also that we’ve accomplished something,” said Tammeil Gilkerson, vice president of Contra Costa College and member of the working group, in favor of an in-person meeting.

Campus leadership, including Dirks and department heads, will review the final recommendation and identify which of its components UC Berkeley can accommodate without violating federal or state law, according to Ruben Lizardo, campus director of local government and community relations.

The community recommendations asking UC Berkeley to expand services and increase partnership with Richmond will be easier to implement than new programs that request a large amount of funding, Lizardo added.

“I think it’s important for a university to fund our priorities,” Gilkerson said. “So that means readjusting what you are funding now to fund initiatives like this.”

If UC Berkeley agrees to a recommendation not currently funded by the university, the campus would have to look at alternative ways to cover the cost, such as through an increase in student fees or private donations, Lizardo said. He also emphasized the potential of collaboration between the campus and the Richmond community to fundraise.

Lizardo said, however, that UC Berkeley will work diligently to figure out which of the working group’s prioritized recommendations the campus can meet with its existing budget.

The community working group plans to finish the recommendations in February, and the subsequent deliberation process among campus departments will take two to three months, according to Lizardo.

The working group will hold a special community work session, presented by Julian Gross, an attorney working alongside Richmond community members, to clarify a memorandum regarding a community benefits agreement. The session will be held Feb. 10 at Richmond City Hall.

Contact Jason Tran at [email protected].