Mobs of high school students caused disruption and chaos in Downtown Berkeley on Friday, May 9.
Berkeley police officers were deployed to the area, and three students were arrested for “disturbing the peace.” The students were later released to their parents. An Oakland Technical High School (Oakland Tech) student was arrested for the use of pepper spray.
The Berkeley community held a National Advancement for the Association of Colored People (NAACP) forum on account of alleged cases of racial profiling in Berkeley on May 12.
The forum was held to pass a bill stating that race, age, and gender must be recorded in all police vehicle and pedestrian stops.
Proponents hope this bill will make officers evaluate their bias and provide more data that could reveal racial profiling in police arrests.
The city of Berkeley is in the early stages of planning for a major renovation of the Downtown Berkeley Bay Area Rapid Transport (BART) station and adjacent plaza located on the corner of Shattuck Ave and Center St.
After being tossed around as a possibility since 2007, the project was recommended $12.7 million in federal grant funding by the Alameda County Transportation Commission in May of 2013. The project will most likely come before the council for a final decision in the upcoming spring and summer months.
Seven year old Baylor Fredrickson, who lives in Albany, CA, likes basketball, cooking and Minecraft, but has faced something most kids have not; he has already battled leukemia twice in his few short years. After being diagnosed two years ago with acute myelogenous leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, his leukemia was eliminated. However, this April Fredrickson relapsed. The best option now is a bone marrow transplant, and finding a match is difficult because of his German and Japanese mixed-race background.
The annual Berkeley High School Associated Student Body (ASB) elections took place last week. Hammad Zahid was elected ASB President, and Finn Collom is serving as ASB Vice President.
Plans for the next school year are already beginning to take shape among the new officers. Zahid has big plans for the next school year. “One thing that I really want to do is improve staff and student communications so that students have a little more say in what goes on,” said Zahid.
Berkeley was ranked tenth in income inequality nationwide and first statewide, according to data released by Bloomberg News on April 15.
Bloomberg calculated the Gini coefficient of three hundred cities with populations of over one hundred thousand in order to to measure distribution of income. The coefficient is calculated by looking at the distribution of wealth between quintiles of the population, as recorded by the United States Census.
On Tuesday, May 6, the Berkeley City Council voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $10.75 by January 2016.
The decision meeting included hours of public comment, from supporters of a plan to increase the wage even further to $15.25 by 2020, as well as local business owners who spoke of concerns about sustaining the increased cost of wages. Previously, Berkeley’s minimum wage was the same as California’s, eight dollars an hour.
Berkeley was recently named 2014 Solar Champion by the Environment California Research and Policy Center Berkeley, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization that works to protect California’s air, water, and natural spaces.
The award was accepted by Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates on April 30 at the new, solar-powered West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library.
This library is also the city’s first ever net-zero energy building.
On Wednesday, April 30, the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) School Board reviewed the first draft of a new Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), a comprehensive plan designed to aid high-need students in the district through a variety of programs.
The LCAP, which has similarities to existing district plans such as 2020 Vision, is mandated for all districts to accompany California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). It is loosely based on a template provided by the state and is designed to last for three years, after which a new plan will be formed.