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PEOPLE'S PARK ALERT
TEXT OF PEOPLE'S PARK REFERENDUM
ON ASUC (UC BERKELEY STUDENT GOV'T) BALLOT APRIL 11-13, 2000
Do you think the People's Park area should remain a park as opposed to having UCB explore alternative uses for the space/land?
UC Berkeley's Chancellor Robert Berdahl told members of the Residence Hall Assembly Monday night [April 5, 1999], that People's Park is a "wonderful site" to build additional university housing -- especially when the city's housing shortage is taken into consideration... Berdahl said building student housing at People's Park would be an ideal solution to the housing problem because it would not reduce parking, it would help eliminate crime and it would make the area more useful for students... After hearing about Berdahl's comments, other university officials denied that there were any proposals to build on the plot of land... Some students also said that developing the People's Park site would be politically unfeasible and incredibly time-consuming.
(excepted from Laurel Westbrook article in Daily Californian, 4/6/99)
January 1999 - University continues to threaten to removal of freebox.
(Emanuel Sferio's Freebox article)
Berkeley City Council Votes Unanimously:
People's Park should be Permanent, Public Open Space
January 14-21 proclaimed David Nadel Week
On January 14, 1997, Councilmembers Spring, Shirek and Worthington
submitted to the Council a resolution in honor of David Nadel, supporting
People's Park as a future City Park and reaffirming the Council's commitment
to make People's Park a permanent public open space and to work cooperatively
with the University of California. The measure passed unanimously.
Councilmember Spring also proposed that the Council adopt a resolution
of the Peace and Justice Commission proclaiming January 14th through the
21st David Nadel Week in the City of Berkeley and requesting that the City's
flags be flown at half mast during this week. The measure passed unanimously
Memorial for David Nadel
David Nadel, long time People's Park activist and co-sponsor of this
page, died December 21, 1996, victim of a senseless murder (police have
identified a suspect). A memorial music and dance festival is being held
at David's nightclub, Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Boulevard, Berkeley, Saturday
and Sunday, January 18th and 19th, 11:00am-1:30pm (admission free).
Volleyball Courts Demolished
On Saturday, January 4, 1997, the detested volleyball courts in People's
Park were finally removed by a combination of a university-contracted bulldozer
and people's demolition parties. The university had first agreed to the
removal of the courts back in January of 1995, but then shilly-shallied
for two years. The gaping muddy pit will be filled with dirt and covered
The U.C. Regents meeting: Jan 17-19, 1996
Affirmative Action took center stage as People's Park became a side
show at the University of California Regents meeting on January 18th in
The Regents refused to modify their controversial decision to abolish Affirmative
Action (See Daily
Bruin Affirmative Action Page) - and with one rather bizarre exception
(One Regents' Opinion), the Regents more or less
refrained from discussing People's Park.
As best can be ascertained from news reports, the Regents have approved
Chancellor Tien's plans for the Park,whereby the University pays for "capital
improvements" and the city "manages" the Park as permanent
According to U.C. Berkeley spokesman Jesus Mena, the chancellor can go
ahead and enter into an agreement with the City of Berkeley as long as
the agreement doesn't cost more than $1 million. No further consultation
with the Regents may be necessary.
Will the Park remain permanent public open space? Or will it become
intramural sports courts? On March 21st, the City's lease of the East and
West ends of People's Park will expire. The City has still not negotiated
a new lease. Both City and University officials claim the new plan will
make People's Park permanent public open space, but there is still no legal
agreement which guarantees this.
Will U.C. tear out the free clothing box and prohibit serving food to the
After hundreds of citizens packed January 9's City Council meeting, the
rejected the most odious provisions the University had demanded: removal
the free box and a ban on food distribution. Mayor Shirley Dean has since
recanted these threats.
Will the City Council keep its backbone? Now is the time for Berkeley residents
to E-Mail their Mayor and City Council members.
Of course, any agreement by the City to "manage" the Park is
only a temporary, partial solution. As U.C. spokesperson Irene Hegarty
said, the Regents "can always decide to take up People's Park at any
time." A lasting solution requires that the U. C. Regents call off
their 26-year-long game of political football and turn ownership of the
Park over to the people who built it and use it. Pledge
Update on Berkeley City Council Vote on U.C.'s Conceptual Plan:
Berkeley City Council voted for U.C.'s Conceptual Plan for the Park on
January 9 (Tuesday) 7 P.M.
At yet another over-capacity City Council meeting dealing with People's
Park, the Berkeley City Council voted 8-1 on January 9 to endorse a modified
version of U.C.'s "Conceptual Plan." In a nutshell.... A broad
coalition of Park supporters, the Religious Community, Food Not Bombs,
and Merchants forced the Berkeley City Council to substantially modify
the "UC Conceptual Plan." But until UC relinquishes ownership,
there is no guarantee that People's Park will survive as public open space.
For more information check: " CLIFFORD FRED'S
Under new pressure from Berkeley's religious community, the Council
deleted explicit references to removing free food and clothing services
for the poor. How long the Free Box's reprieve will last is anybody's guess.
[For more information check : LETTER FROM RELIGIOUS
The Council added the word "public" to the Plan's goal of
preserving the Park as "permanent open space." As Clifford Fred
explained to the Council, a private golf course is open space, but it is
not public open space -- one could got shot for trespassing.
In another significant development, City Councilmember Donna Spring, seconded
by Maudelle Shirek, made a motion to explore acquisition of the Park. She
withdrew the motion but vowed to bring it back to the Council in March.
Note: DONA SPRING voices her support for People's
Park and shares an early People's Park experience in a short article for
the web site.
MAUDELLE SHIREK also expresses her support for
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