Judith Brown 
Member since Aug 27, 2012


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Re: “"Liberal" Doesn't Always Mean Liberal

I agree with your point in “UC Berkeley Student Guide: ‘Liberal’ Doesn’t Always Mean Liberal.” Your article, which described Mayor Tom Bates as a “progressive” and Jesse Arreguin as an opponent of change, is a perfect example.

I recently attended several Berkeley City Council meetings to get a sense of the quality of city government after having been away from Berkeley for decades. In that time I’ve seen the ways many city officials in different parts of the country respond to the citizens who come before them. To my dismay, in comparison to them, Mayor Bates is by far the most openly contemptuous and rude. At one meeting, for example, despite the many empty seats available in the chamber, he would not allow entry to a large number of West Berkeley residents who wanted to express their opposition to his plans for that neighborhood. Thanks to councilmember Jesse Arreguin, the police outside the chamber let the people in. The meeting then proceeded in a civil and democratic manner despite the mayor’s obvious displeasure.

Berkeley students and members of the public don’t need to take your word, or for that matter mine, for what kind of politician Mayor Bates is. They can make up their own minds by watching him in action on the archived videos of past city council meetings as well as live on Cable C-TV – Channel 33, when council meetings resume on Tuesday evenings starting September 11th. If they do so, I am confident they will see that when someone is in power too long, he acts as if he believes “l’état c’est moi.” It’s time for a change. Let's hope it comes in November.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Judith Brown on 08/27/2012 at 10:10 PM

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