BHS Jazz Ensemble playing at Yoshi’s in Oakland this month (above) [BHS]
City grapples with historically contentious Downtown Plan [Daily Cal]
Photographed: sweetness in Berkeley [Spicy Green Mango]
Undocumented Cal student sheds light on life in the shadows [KTVU]

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Thanks for linking Berkeleyside readers to I am enjoying reading the embryonic journalism, seeing how unpolished, aspiring journalists misrepresent the stories they tell, or try to tell.

    In the story about the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) , the dailycal makes it sound like Berkeley City Council approved the DAPAC recommendations but the crazy, difficult citizens of Berkeley fought the city council’s vote just because that is what the intransigent locals ‘do’.

    If the city council had adopted the DAPAC plan, I doubt if there would have been a signature campaign to put the downtown plan to a citywide vote this November. The dailycal story completely fails to disclose that after DAPAC submitted the plan that had been created in a transparent, highly paritcipatory process, with all sides making countless and difficult compromises, a bunch of developers, chums with city planning staff because they are developers, I guess, collude with city planning staff to significantly alter the DAPAC plan.

    If the city council had respected the transparent, public process that was the product of the public-ly participatory DAPAC plan, Berkeley would have a downtown plan.

    I have followed this story closely. I am weary of reading unsubstantiated statements based on vague projections (most economic projections are guesses, right?) on what our city NEEDS. All such economic guesses are rooted in the capitalist assumption that (1) capitalism is always right even though this is just another guess, no one knows if market-driven capitalism is good for humanity, it’s like our national religion but it is just guesswork and (2) that someone knows better than the citizenry what is best for the citizenry.

    Let’s do something different. Let’s create the city that people want, ignoring economic guesswork and fortune telling. Maybe embedded within the collective unconscious of Berkeley citizens we would find wisdom. Maybe some choices that people instinctively ‘like’ but which don’t guarantee a profit to someone based on economic guesswork would turn out to be the right thing.

    No one knows what is right. I would like to try living in a world that reflects people’s hopes and dreams without being constantly seeing human hopes and dreams packaged to turn a profit. What if our economic life is only supposed to support the pursuit of happiness and what if profit is wrong? We don’t know. And I am not naive. I know people are fearful about money and greed is rooted in such fear and economic fear runs the world and economic fear is going to shove some skyscrapers down the throats of Berkeleyites. . .

    but, come, at least, dailycal, report the whole story. Greed caused developers to lobby the city planning staff to change the DAPAC recommendations. If the city council had adopted the DAPAC plan, this years-long process would be over.