Policy Positions

The League adopts policies at every level of League to match each level of government.
You can read summaries of each level of policy positions by clicking below. But it is essential
to read the full position including the introduction to the whole policy area and to the specific
policy position before taking action.

LWVUS Impact on Issues 2014-16 A Guide to Public Policy Positions
LWVUS Impact on Issues 2014-2016 A Guide to Public Policy Positions Full PDF 

Impact on Issues 2014-16
Chapter by Chapter PDF downloads   at http://lwv.org/content /impact-issues

LWVUS 2014-16 Impact on Issues-Online Edition

LWVC Action Policies and Positions Updated 2011, with 2012 and 2013 additions
LWVC Action Policies and Positions updated through 2013 lwvc_positions pdf download
LWVC Action Policies and Positions for public use available on line here

LWVC & LWVUS Combined Brief Policy Positions as of 2012–needs updating

LWV Bay Area Policy Positions 2012

LWVBAE Local Support Positions –open as searchable PDF or read below.
Alameda County Council of Leagues of Women Voters–included in Local Support Positions.

Notes concerning Local Policy Positions:
1. These Local Policy Positions include positions adopted by the Alameda County Council of LWV.
2. When considering taking action on public issues, LWVBAE consults League policies adopted at all levels– by the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, the League of Women Voters of California and the League of Women Voters of the United States.
3. These policy positions were adopted on 5/18/02, re-adopted 5/17/06; A new section A8 was adopted 5/17/06, modified language for it was adopted on May 18, 2010
4. POSITIONS PRINTED IN CAPS APPLY TO BERKELEY, ALBANY AND EMERYVILLE.
Those in regular type apply to Berkeley and Albany. Those in italics apply to Berkeley alone.

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS of BAE SUPPORTS:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE

POLICIES THAT PROMOTE EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT, ECONOMICAL AND VISIBLE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, REPRESENTATIVE OF AND RESPONSIVE TO ALL CITIZENS.

A. CITY CHARTER
The City Charter should be clear, concise, useful and flexible, containing only basic
guidelines. All unnecessary detail should be eliminated.
1. Elections should be nonpartisan.
2. The Berkeley City Council should be composed of a combination of members elected by
district and members elected at large.
3. “INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING” SHOULD BE USED IN ALL ELECTIONS INVOLVING MORE THAN TWO CANDIDATES FOR A SINGLE POSITION.
4. The number of signatures required to qualify an initiative or referendum should be 10% of
the total votes cast for the Berkeley mayoral candidates in the preceding general municipal election.
5. LOCAL SPECIAL ELECTIONS SHOULD BE HELD BY MAIL BALLOT WITH RETURN POSTAGE PROVIDED. ADEQUATE TIME SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR VOTERS TO BECOME INFORMED ABOUT THE ELECTION AND TO RETURN THE MAILED BALLOTS. PROCEDURES SHOULD BE INSTITUTED TO ENSURE WIDESPREAD PUBLICITY AND EFFECTIVE DISTRIBUTION OF THE BALLOTS.
6. CRITERIA FOR DECIDING BETWEEN MAIL BALLOT AND POLLING PLACE ELECTIONS AND SELECTING ELECTION DATES SHOULD:
a. MAXIMIZE VOTER TURNOUT,
b. MINIMIZE COSTS,
c. ALLOW ADEQUATE TIME FOR THE CITY CLERK AND COUNTY REGISTRAR’S OFFICE TO ORGANIZE ELECTIONS,
d. ALLOW ADEQUATE LEAD TIME FOR CANDIDATES TO CAMPAIGN AND RAISE FUNDS,
e. CONSOLIDATE ELECTIONS WITH OTHER ELECTORAL BODIES (NATIONAL, STATE, COUNTY, OTHER), EXCEPT WHEN A MAIL BALLOT IS MORE APPROPRIATE,
f. COMPLY WITH STATE AND COUNTY ELECTION REQUIREMENTS,
g. AVOID THE RISK OF LEGAL CHALLENGE.
7. The Berkeley Mayor should be elected for a four-year term, the Council members for fouryear
overlapping terms.
8. Compensation for Mayor and Council members should be in line with that of comparable
California cities.
a. Compensation factors include supplemental resources, such as availability of staff,
office space and equipment, supplies, expense allowances, and fringe benefits.
b. Comparable factors include demographic and economic data, such as population,
geographic area, economic and ethnic diversity, and tax base.
c. Changes in compensation should be adopted by ordinance. Where a standing
Charter Review Commission exists, changes should be recommended by that body.
d. To the extent possible, dollar amounts should not be stipulated.
9. Accounting should be separated from auditing, with accounting under the direction of
the City Manager / City Administrator.
10. Auditor should be appointed by the City Council rather than elected. Professional
qualifications should be required.

B. COUNCIL-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT
The city should continue its Council-Manager / City Administrator form of government, with
policy the responsibility of elected officials and administration the responsibility of the City
Manager / City Administrator, whose staff should be appointed under the merit system.

C. OPEN MEETINGS
Governmental agencies should use all possible means to publicize their deliberations and
decisions. The principle of open meetings should be strictly observed.

D. BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES — STANDING AND AD HOC
To ensure citizen awareness and effective work by Boards, Commissions and Committees:
1. Widespread publicity about meetings and vacancies should be provided.
2. Uniformity in rules to conduct business should prevail.
3. The commission system should be organized so that each commission appointed by the
Council relates to a current major function of city government and/or meets legal
requirements. A commission may form subcommittees to handle specific areas within its
function.
a. Every commission appointee should be required to have orientation and training on
the function and scope of that commission, whether it is a standing or an ad hoc
commission.
b. Legal and technical orientation should be required for all appointees to standing
commissions.
4. There should be policy governing ad hoc committees and task forces appointed by the
Mayor and/or the Council that defines the circumstances in which a committee may be
needed and also defines for each:
a. length of term of the committee,
b. makeup,
c. method of appointment,
d. provision for staffing,
e. relationship to standing city commissions.
5. The City Council should regularly review each ad hoc committee and standing
commission to assess whether:
a. its function is still needed,
b. its objectives could be better achieved in a different structure,
c. there is coordination among commissions with overlapping scope.
6. There should be limited terms of office for all members
7. Staff should receive training on how to work with commissioners.

CITY FINANCES

POLICIES THAT SUPPORT A TAX STRUCTURE THAT IS FLEXIBLE, BROAD-BASED, EQUITABLE,ECONOMICAL, EASY TO ADMINISTER AND CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
ADEQUATE REVENUE.

A. CITY BUDGET
The city should have a budget process and formats which are accessible and understandable to Council and citizens and which facilitate the Council’s responsibility for making policy.
1. Council should set broad guidelines and priorities before budget-making begins.
2. Council should set levels of services for basic City services and for such additional services
as it wishes to provide.
3. Council should define the criteria to be used in making these decisions; e.g., services not
otherwise provided in the City, services that fill the greatest unmet needs and services
fairly distributed.
4. Budget decisions should be made on the basis of long-range projections.
5. The city should have long-range budgets for maintaining existing capital facilities.

B. REVENUE AND TAXATION
The city should seek new revenue sources to expand its tax base and should encourage intergovernmental coordination. Revenue generating methods should be: flexible, broad-based,
equitable, economical, easy to administer and capable of producing adequate revenue.
1. The city should coordinate sources of revenue (such as business license tax) with other
governmental units in the region and should encourage creation of a central statistical
office for local tax data.
2. The cost of certain municipal services should be recovered through reasonable service
charges.
3. The City Council should consider the city’s capacity to use and manage new funds from
outside sources. Matching funds or outside grants should not be sought at the expense of
priority needs of the total community.
4. Berkeley should raise revenue from the following sources in addition to the property tax:
a. Admissions Tax: Events which collect donations in lieu of an admission charge should
be exempt.
b. Business License Tax: Receipts should be the basis of the tax.
c. Employee License Tax: A low-income exemption should be provided. A graduated
rate is preferred to a flat rate.
d. Local Income Tax: A graduated rate is preferred to a flat rate.
(Permission to act on this position must be obtained from LWV-California because it conflicts with a State position and the State Constitution.)
e. Special Benefit Assessment District: Optimum equity and economy of implementation
should be considered.
f. Square Footage Tax: Possible adverse effects on business and the local economy
should be considered.
g. Utility User Tax: A low-income exemption must be provided.

PLANNING

PLANNING POLICIES AIMED AT ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING A HEALTHY, SAFE AND LIVABLE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FOR A DIVERSE POPULATION. THE CITY SHOULD HAVE BALANCED RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL USES, A VARIETY OF DENSITIES AND HOUSING TYPES, AND PROGRAMS TO ENLARGE ITS ECONOMIC BASE.

A. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The city should have an up-to-date Economic Development Plan.
1. The city should plan to enlarge its economic base by actively promoting and facilitating
appropriate economic development.
2. There should not be direct expenditure of City funds for economic development projects.
3. Land use policies should eliminate barriers to economic development by:
a. clarifying and specifying permit procedures and regulations;
b. reducing the need for discretionary review of applications (Board of Adjustments); and
c. revising inflexible demolition and conversion controls in industrial, manufacturing and
commercial zones.
4. The character of residential neighborhoods should continue to be preserved, particularly
with respect to adverse effects of growth in neighborhood commercial centers.
5. Land use regulation should be exercised through a process which maintains a balance
between special interests and city-wide needs.

B. TRANSPORTATION
The city should try to reduce dependence on the private automobile; avoid more traffic
congestion, noise and air pollution; and alleviate the city’s parking problem by:
1. developing and implementing a city-wide Transportation Management Plan that is
regularly reviewed and updated;
2. fostering an efficient transit system operating frequently throughout the city, with
a. various types of transit services to meet different needs,
b. more feeder service to and from BART stations;
3. implementing traffic management techniques;
4. developing and implementing a city-wide permit parking program and constructing
additional parking structures, where feasible, with particular consideration given to
increasing parking availability on the outskirts of the city, along major transportation routes
at points with convenient access to public transit;
5. enhancing of bicycle riding with separate bike lanes;
6. promoting better coordination of University and City transportation policies.

C. ZONING
1. Zoning regulations should be updated by periodic revision of permitted uses.
2. HIGH DENSITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE LOCATED NEAR MAJOR
TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES, ALONG WELL-SERVED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CORRIDORS,
AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE PLANNED WITH A VIEW TO MINIMIZING COMMUTER TRAFFIC.

D. HOUSING
1. THE CITY SHOULD PRESERVE AND IMPROVE THE CONDITION OF ITS EXISTING HOUSING STOCK, USING SUCH MEASURES AS THE FOLLOWING:
a. ENFORCE COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSING AND BUILDING CODES.
b. SEEK FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS THAT MAKE FUNDS AVAILABLE AS LOW COST LOANS AND GRANTS FOR REHABILITATION AND CONSERVATION OF HOUSING FOR LOW-AND MODERATE-INCOME RENTERS AND
HOMEOWNERS.
c. ENCOURAGE WIDER PARTICIPATION IN SUBSIDY PROGRAMS FOR HOUSING
REHABILITATION AND CONSERVATION.
d. PROMOTE EARTHQUAKE REINFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND DISASTER AWARENESS FOR ALL RESIDENTS.
e. RETURN VACANT AND BOARDED-UP HOUSING TO USE WHERE ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE.
f. Arrange basic shelter for Berkeley’s share of the population without shelter in Alameda
County. Priority should be placed on helping people remain in their home community.
g. PUBLICLY FUND TENANT/ LANDLORD INFORMATION AND MEDIATION SERVICE AND
MAKE IT AVAILABLE CITY-WIDE TO BOTH TENANTS AND LANDLORDS, WITH EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION.
2. THE CITY SHOULD EXPAND ITS HOUSING STOCK TO MEET ITS SHARE OF THE REGION’S GROWTH PROJECTIONS, USING SUCH MEASURES AS THE FOLLOWING:
a. ENCOURAGE PRODUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL UNITS IN COMMERCIAL AREAS.
b. ENCOURAGE MIXED INCOME HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS.
c. IDENTIFY AND LIMIT CONSTRAINTS ON NEW HOUSING CONSTRUCTION, SUCH AS DELAYS IN PROJECT REVIEW AND APPROVAL, POWER OF RESIDENTS TO BLOCK PROJECT APPROVAL, OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS, AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS. DETERMINE A CONSISTENT PROCEDURE FOR PERMIT PROCESSING TO PROVIDE PREDICTABILITY AND TIMELINESS.
d. REVIEW THE ZONING CODE AND CONSIDER REVISIONS THAT WOULD PROMOTE
PRODUCTION OF NEEDED HOUSING, WHILE MAINTAINING HEALTH AND SAFETY
STANDARDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
e. ENCOURAGE CONSTRUCTION OF SECONDARY UNITS IN SINGLE-FAMILY AREAS, SUCH AS BY ELIMINATING PUBLIC HEARING REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATIONS THAT CONFORM TO ZONING STANDARDS.
f. INITIATE AND SUPPORT PUBLIC AND PRIVATE EFFORTS TO INCREASE RESOURCES FOR EXPANDING HOUSING FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN, ELDERLY, DISABLED, HOMELESS AND OTHER PERSONS WITH SPECIAL HOUSING NEEDS.
3. THE CITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SHOULD COORDINATE EFFORTS TO MEET THE HOUSING NEEDS OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND STAFF, THROUGH SUCH MEASURES AS THE FOLLOWING:
a. WORK TOGETHER TO CONSTRUCT MORE HOUSING FOR UC STAFF AND STUDENTS.
SUPPORT UC EFFORTS TO GENERATE PRIVATELY FINANCED STUDENT AND STAFF
HOUSING.
b. ENCOURAGE HOME-OWNERS TO RENT ROOMS TO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS.
c. ENCOURAGE THE USE OF AIR RIGHTS ABOVE PARKING LOTS TO BUILD STUDENT HOUSING.
4. THE CITY SHOULD PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES TO PRESERVE AND INCREASE HOUSING AFFORDABLE TO LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, USING SUCH MEASURES AS THE FOLLOWING:
a. MEET GOALS FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSING ALLOCATED BY THE
ASSOCIATION OF BAY AREA GOVERNMENTS; COORDINATE LOCAL PLANS WITH ABAG
REGIONAL PLANS.
b. PARTICIPATE FULLY IN FEDERAL AND STATE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS THAT MAKE FUNDS AVAILABLE AS LOANS AND GRANTS TO DEVELOPERS OF LOW- AND MODERATE-PRICED RENTAL HOUSING, AND TO LOW-INCOME RENTER HOUSEHOLDS.
c. ASSIST NON-PROFIT DEVELOPERS TO FIND APPROPRIATE AND AFFORDABLE SITES FOR NEW MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING, TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS OF NEIGHBORS AND
POTENTIAL RESIDENTS, AND TO APPLY FOR LOW-COST FINANCING.
d. SEEK ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO ENABLE THE CITY TO EXPAND HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS.
e. PROMOTE MEASURES THAT WOULD MAKE PUBLICLY ASSISTED HOME OWNERSHIP AND RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES PERMANENTLY AFFORDABLE AND AVAILABLE TO LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS; SUCH MEASURES WOULD INCLUDE LIMITED EQUITY COOPERATIVES AND DEED RESTRICTIONS.
f. OFFER INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE THE PRODUCTION OF HOUSING FOR LOW- AND
MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, SUCH AS REDUCED DEVELOPMENT FEES, “FASTTRACK” PERMIT PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS AND PLAN REVIEW, AND REDUCTION OF REQUIRED AMENITIES.
g. IDENTIFY SITES ABOVE ONE- AND TWO-STORY BUILDINGS ON TRANSPORTATION
CORRIDORS, AND OFFER GRANTS OR LOW-INTEREST RATE LOANS IN EXCHANGE FOR A PERCENTAGE OF PERMANENTLY AFFORDABLE UNITS BUILT THERE.
h. SUPPORT AND STRENGTHEN INCLUSIONARY ZONING LAWS TO PROVIDE MORE HOUSING FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME PEOPLE.

E. BERKELEY RENT CONTROL
1. The goals of Berkeley’s rent control program should be to:
a. Regulate rent increases and protect tenants from unwarranted rent increases while providing fair return for landlords;
b. Protect tenants from arbitrary, discriminatory, or retaliatory evictions while protecting the right of landlords to evict for just cause;
c. Maintain the diversity of the Berkeley community, including low- and fixed-income persons, minorities, students, handicapped, and the aged;
d. Maintain the quality and quantity of housing in Berkeley and improve compliance with the housing code.
e. Improve the quality of life for both tenants and landlords by alleviating the adversarial climate surrounding rent control.
f. Develop public education programs to help achieve the above goals.
2. Rent control should be effective, efficient, economical, visible, and fair, with:
a. Competent personnel with clear responsibilities;
b. Orientation for new Board members;
c. An appeals process that is simple, clear, speedy, and widely publicized;
d. Legislation regulating the program that is clear, concise, and provides consistency and predictability.
e. Expenditures of funds raised by the rent control program limited to implementing the goals of the program, and with fees adjusted to provide only this level of funding.
3. The Rent Control Program should be a department of the City administration. The Rent Stabilization Board (RSB) should function as a regulatory body.
a. The RSB shall be appointed by a super-majority of the City Council.
b. The RSB shall be composed of seven (7) members, all residents of Berkeley. There shall be two representatives of tenants, two of landlords, and three from neither special interest but with expertise in housing matters. Individuals shall apply to serve on the RSB and be recommended to the Council by the City Manager.
c. A Program Director shall be hired by and responsible to the City Manager.
d. The functions of the RSB are to write regulations to implement existing laws, to hear appeals and to be the final arbiter of appeals.
4. The law should include a formula for Annual General Adjustments (AGA), and a simple process for Individual Rent Adjustments (IRA).
5. The law should not allow decontrol of rents upon vacancy, or should allow very limited decontrol/re-control on the amount and frequency of rent increases only if the Annual General Adjustments and Individual Rent Adjustments do not provide a fair return to the landlord.
6. Single family homes that are the principal residences of the owners would be exempt from
rent control.

F. INFRASTRUCTURE
The city should have and implement a long-term program, adequately funded, for improving and maintaining the city’s sewers, storm drains, streets, sidewalks, public buildings and structures, parks and other existing capital facilities. Such a program should be designed and financed to facilitate achievement of short-, as well as long-, term program goals.
1. Berkeley should raise additional money for infrastructure needs when existing revenues are
not adequate, making sure that:
a. the costs of proposed improvement and maintenance programs are borne principally by the most immediate beneficiaries of the programs, with provision for low- and fixedincome residents;
b. full consideration is given to the widest possible range of revenue generating options compatible with a proposed project, including:

  • a combination of user fees and revenue bond sales;
  • increases in local property taxes to finance general obligation bonds for improvement of real property; and
  • seeking continued federal support for federally-mandated improvement and maintenance programs.

2. Financing should be sufficient to cover all municipal and private costs of major infrastructure improvement programs.
3. Priority should be given to:
a. improvement and maintenance programs mandated by the courts or the state and federal governments;
b. correcting problems in those areas where Berkeley could be held liable for injury or damage;
c. restoration of heavily-traveled streets.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES

BASIC CITY SERVICES AND AMENITIES FOR ALL RESIDENTS BASED ON AN OVERALL EVALUATION OF NEEDS AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES.

A. RECREATION
Berkeley should have a City-School District recreation program.

B. LIBRARY
The city should have a public library service responsive to community needs.
1. Governance by the Berkeley Board of Library Trustees should be retained.
2. The public should have access to information on all library services.
3. The Library should provide information on the availability of social services, but it is not the
role of the Library to provide the services.
4. Inadequate Library facilities in Berkeley should be updated and given more space. Staff
work space should be improved wherever needed.
5. Before funding expanded facilities, the Berkeley Library and City Administration should
make a careful study of all options for improvement.
6. As long as local government’s ability to finance services is severely restricted by state laws
such as Proposition 13, use of earmarked funds should be continued.

C. HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
1. The following health related services should be available in Berkeley:
a. Emergency medical services;
b. Programs dealing with substance drugs, including alcohol use and abuse;
c. Comprehensive mental health services and care for seriously disturbed children.
2. Berkeley should continue to operate its own health department until Alameda County
gives assurance of:
a. At least the present level quality of services;
b. Accessibility of services;
c. Safeguards of personnel rights and benefits;
d. Meaningful citizen participation in program decisions.
3. Mental health services provided by the County through contract with Berkeley would be
acceptable if the four criteria in #2 are met.
4. Residents of Berkeley should not be excluded from use of County health services because
of regulations or practices of the Alameda County Health Care Agency or its departments.
5. Alameda County should reimburse Berkeley, in some form, for taxes paid by Berkeley
residents for County health services.

D. SERVICES AND RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
The City of Berkeley should have policies which give leadership and direction for services to
children and youth, with an emphasis on basic and preventive services for all Berkeley children.
1. Desirable program characteristics include:
a. Holistic approach which includes multi-program collaboration;
b. Parent, children, youth and community involvement through policies which restore or
reinforce a positive connection with the home;
c. Youth and their families are involved in planning, operation and evaluation of
programs, when such evaluation is appropriate and in accordance with guidelines;
d. Availability, accessibility and affordability, including use of publicity and outreach services;
e. Staff with the following requirements:

  • adequate training combined with in-service and inter-program training on
  • awareness of services and methods of delivery of other programs;
  • continuity;
  • ability to use initiative under appropriate guidelines and standards.

f. Adequate funding, including adequate staff salaries;
g. Environment that promotes non-violent solutions to problems;
h. Accountability with regular evaluation based on goals and outcomes, as well as statistical data.
2. There should be integration of the schools with the wider Berkeley community, including
cross-institutional collaboration.
a. Collaboration should:

  • result in efficient and effective partnership to better serve all youth and children of the community;
  • involve the City of Berkeley, the Berkeley Unified School District, U.C. Berkeley, the local community college district, city, county, and community-based agencies, the private sector, community organizations, parents, and youth;
  • provide for inter-agency cooperation in securing funding and avoiding duplication of services;
  • be supported by a point person within Berkeley city government for whom this would be the highest responsibility.

b. There should be a community partnership between business and schools to smooth the way into the world of work for young adults, especially those not college bound, and for this purpose there should be an on-going dialogue between schools and businesses on a regional basis.
3. To promote cooperation, each city and its school district should have a joint policy with an
agreed-upon process for working together which includes:
a. Regular communication between the staff and the elected representatives of both the
city and the school district;
b. Semi-annual joint meetings of the city council and the school board;
c. A joint city council and school board (2×2) committee, which meets regularly and is charged with exploring areas of cooperation and related planning, but which has no legislative powers:

  • responsibility for meeting arrangement, agenda preparation and meeting summaries should be shared by the city and the school district, alternating, for example, on a yearly basis;
  • agenda items should include relevant background information;
  • a summary of the disposition of agenda items should be distributed after each meeting to council and board members and be made available to interested members of the public.

4. Criteria for cooperation between the city and school district should include:
a. Improving and maintaining service;
b. avoiding unnecessary duplication;
c. better utilization of plants and equipment;
d. effective use of personnel.

EDUCATION

A SYSTEM OF PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT MEETS THE NEEDS OF ALL CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS, EFFICIENTLY ORGANIZED AND ADMINISTERED, AND SUPPORTED BY ADEQUATE FUNDS FOR OPERATION AND FACILITIES.

A. ELEMENTARY THROUGH HIGH SCHOOLS
1. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHOULD CONTINUE TO HAVE FIVE MEMBERS.
2. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SHOULD BE EDUCATIONALLY AND FINANCIALLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE CITIZENS. The district should consider its capacity to use and manage new funds from outside sources. Matching funds or outside grants should not be sought at the expense of the priority needs of the total community.
3. ADEQUATE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE BUDGET OF THE SCHOOLS SHOULD BE
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.
4. THE SERVICES OF GUIDANCE WORKERS, COUNSELORS AND LIBRARIANS SHOULD BE PROVIDED.
5. SECONDARY STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE:
a. Academic & vocational counseling, with appropriate support services, designed to:
[1] give students and parents information and support to ensure that students are able
to take full advantage of the extensive educational opportunities offered by the district;
[2] provide class schedules which enable each student to start the semester promptly;
[3] assist students in setting career goals.
b. Counseling for personal problems, including short-term psychological and referral
counseling available at the school site and in the community.
c. School-based health programs which would bring health services for teenagers directly
to the school site to address critical health and social problems.
6. THERE SHOULD BE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION THROUGH ADVISORY COMMITTEES TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
a. Ad hoc committees should be created as needed. Standing committees should exist in
areas of curriculum, rights and responsibilities of students, budget and finance,
negotiations (annual ad hoc) and physical plant needs.
b. Policies should be written to include clearly defined guidelines.
7. ALL ASPECTS OF SCHOOL DISTRICT EVALUATION OF CERTIFICATED EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE STRUCTURED TO ENCOURAGE COOPERATIVE ATTITUDES AND TO IMPROVE SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES OF EVALUATORS AND EVALUATEES. THE DISTRICT SHOULD DEVELOP A SPECIFIC POLICY FOR DEALING WITH EVALUATION RESULTS.
a. The Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) should develop a clear definition of
expected student progress and ways it will be measured.
b. The standards for evaluating performance of BUSD certificated staff should be detailed
and specific and should include precise definitions.
c. BUSD standards for evaluating performance and evaluation forms should correlate.
d. All BUSD standards for evaluating performance and evaluation forms should be
appropriate to grade level.
e. BUSD rating scales on the final evaluation forms should incorporate five levels, including
“excellent.”
f. BUSD should encourage written explanation on each item rated.
g. BUSD should require adequate on-site observation of all those being evaluated.
h. BUSD evaluators should have training in effectively observing staff, rating their
performance, providing constructive comments and encouraging outstanding work.
i. BUSD should provide in-service training on the evaluation process. This training should
respond to needs determined by teachers & administrators.
j. BUSD should provide a step-by-step process to improve inadequate staff performance.
k. BUSD should actively search for, encourage, recognize and reward excellence among its staff.
8. CIVICS INSTRUCTION SHOULD BE A PRIORITY IN THE K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO PREPARE ALL STUDENTS TO BE INFORMED, ACTIVE CITIZENS.
a. BASIC CIVICS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS SHOULD BE TAUGHT AT LEAST BY THE END OF THE 8TH GRADE AND SHOULD INCLUDE CIVICS INSTRUCTION WITH COMPONENTS THAT:

  • MOTIVATE STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CIVIC LIFE AS INFORMED, ACTIVE CITIZENS;
  • ACCOMPANY ACADEMIC LEARNING WITH PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE;
  • TRAIN STUDENTS TO USE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS TO IDENTIFY AND EVALUATE PROPAGANDA (WRITTEN, SPOKEN, VISUAL), DISTINGUISH FACT FROM OPINION AND BELIEF AND VERIFY ASSERTION;
  • TEACH STUDENTS HOW TO FOLLOW ISSUES AND LEGISLATION, AND HOW TO MONITOR ELECTED OFFICIALS;
  • PRESENT ALL SIDES OF AN ISSUE FAIRLY AND IMPARTIALLY IN THE CLASSROOM;
  • SUPPORT A HIGHER PRIORITY FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF CIVICS INSTRUCTION.

b. TO ACCOMPLISH THE ABOVE, CIVICS INSTRUCTION SHOULD

  • USE A VARIETY OF CURRICULA AND RESOURCES TO MAKE ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
  • TEACHABLE TO STUDENTS, WHATEVER THEIR BACKGROUND OR LITERACY LEVEL;
  • PROVIDE IN-SERVICE TRAINING IN EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES FOR
  • IMPARTING CIVICS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AT BOTH ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
  • LEVELS.

B. COMMUNITY COLLEGE
1. BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE
a. BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE SHOULD BE A PERMANENT PRESENCE IN BERKELEY TO SERVE THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF THE RESIDENTS OF ALBANY, BERKELEY, AND
EMERYVILLE.
b. FOR BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE TO CONTINUE TO PROSPER WITHIN THE PERALTA
COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT AND APPROPRIATELY SERVE THE COMMUNITY, BCC
SHOULD RECEIVE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES FROM THE DISTRICT TO ACHIEVE OVERALL EQUITY RELATIVE TO THE OTHER COLLEGES IN THE DISTRICT. EQUITY SHOULD BE MEASURED BY THE DISTRICT’S COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES TO ACHIEVE THE FOLLOWING GOALS:

  • TIMELY CONSTRUCTION OF A PERMANENT FACILITY FOR VISTA, WITH ADEQUATE SPACE AND EQUIPMENT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF CURRENT AND PROJECTED ENROLLMENT.
  • DEPENDABLE, PROPORTIONAL FUNDING BASED ON STATED CRITERIA TO DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN VISTA’S PROGRAMS.
  • AN APPROPRIATE BALANCE OF AUTHORITY BETWEEN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND THE COLLEGE.
  • A REASONABLE ALLOCATION OF FACULTY-STAFF POSITIONS COMMENSURATE WITH VISTA’S PROPORTION OF TOTAL PERALTA DISTRICT STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND CONSISTENT WITH STATE REGULATIONS.
  • A LIBRARY BUDGET ADEQUATE TO PROVIDE BOOKS, SPACE, STAFF, SERVICES, AND EQUIPMENT TO THE VISTA STUDENT BODY, COMPARABLE TO THAT AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS ON THE OTHER PERALTA CAMPUSES.
  • DISTRICT SUPPORT FOR VISTA’S PRIVATE-SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS.
  • ADHERENCE TO PROPER PROCEDURES FOR MAJOR CHANGES IN PERSONNEL AND PROGRAM, WITH ADEQUATE AND TIMELY PUBLIC NOTICE TO ENSURE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC INPUT.

c. IF BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE IS UNABLE TO PROSPER WITHIN THE PERALTA
COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, AN APPROPRIATE ALTERNATIVE FORM OF
GOVERNANCE SHOULD BE SOUGHT.
2. PERALTA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
a. IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH ITS EDUCATIONAL MISSIONS, THE PERALTA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SHOULD ACTIVELY DEVELOP INITIATIVES TO SUPPLEMENT THE FUNDING IT RECEIVES FROM THE STATE.
b. THE PERALTA BOARD SHOULD IMPROVE ITS FISCAL MANAGEMENT BY TIGHTENING
OVERSIGHT AND ESTABLISHING BOARD-APPROVED STANDARDS, PROCEDURES AND
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTRACTS AND FOR EXPENSES INCURRED BY TRUSTEES ON DISTRICT BUSINESS.
c. THE PERALTA DISTRICT SHOULD EXPAND ITS EFFORTS TO PUBLICIZE ITS MISSION, ITS PROGRAMS, ITS SUCCESS STORIES AND THE WAY IT CONDUCTS ITS BUSINESS.
d. THE PERALTA BOARD SHOULD ENHANCE ITS INTERACTIONS WITH AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE GENERAL COMMUNITY. THE BOARD SHOULD REPORT FULLY TO THE PUBLIC ON FISCAL MATTERS.
e. THE DISTRICT SHOULD ACTIVELY SEEK TO IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS BY
INCREASING ACCESS TO SUPPORT SERVICES, COURSES AND FACILITIES.
f. THE DISTRICT SHOULD INCREASE ASSISTANCE TO ENTERING STUDENTS WHO NEED
REMEDIAL CLASSES.
g. THE DISTRICT SHOULD MAINTAIN ITS COMMITMENT TO PROVIDE A RICH ARRAY
OF PROGRAMS FOR LIFELONG LEARNING AT EACH CAMPUS BY IDENTIFYING AND
ELIMINATING OBSTACLES TO ONGOING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES.

SOCIAL POLICY

PROMOTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE BY SECURING EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL AND PROVIDING SERVICES TO MEET SPECIAL NEEDS.

A. EQUAL RIGHTS
The City should have policies to assure equal rights and opportunities for everyone.

B. SENIOR CITIZENS
A choice of services should be available to improve the physical, emotional and financial
condition of the elderly and encourage their optimal participation in the community. Services
should include:
1. Low-cost door-to-door transportation.
2. A central source of information about senior services and programs.
3. Assistance for independent living arrangements.
4. Expansion of health maintenance services.

C. JUVENILE JUSTICE
To best meet the needs of youth, the city should have:
1. Policies that result in a police force which deals effectively and sensitively with juveniles.
2. Counseling services in the community to which the police can refer juveniles because the
role of the police as law enforcement officers sometimes limits their effectiveness as
counselors.
3. Youth diversion projects available with some or all of these components:
a. Staff and volunteers with strong ties to the cultural community of the juvenile.
b. Programs that integrate delinquent and non-delinquent youth.
c. Direction by a staff that serves as youth advocates who can work cooperatively within
the community.
d. Adequate project facilities.
4. Local decisions about disposition of youth in trouble with the law.

 

SUPPORT POSITIONS OF THE ALAMEDA COUNTY COUNCIL OF
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

THESE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADOPTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETINGS OF EACH OF THE LEAGUES OF ALAMEDA COUNTY. CHANGING OR DROPPING ONE OF THESE POSITIONS MUST BE APPROVED BY FIVE OF THE SEVEN LEAGUES OF ALAMEDA COUNTY. ACTION ON ANY OF THESE POSITIONS MUST BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE LEAGUES.

JUVENILE JUSTICE
POLICIES WHICH PROMOTE SERVICES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALAMEDA COUNTY YOUTH AND MINIMIZE DELINQUENCY

A. THE COUNTY COUNCIL SUPPORTS EFFECTIVE AND RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING FOR YOUTH AT THE COUNTY LEVEL. SPECIFICALLY THE COUNCIL SUPPORTS:
1. Continuing evaluation of the Alameda County Probation Department Juvenile Division, to
ensure that its goals and functions are clear and effective.
2. Continued citizen input into all County-wide juvenile justice programs.
3. Coordination of all community programs for Alameda County youth to ensure that the
needs of the communities are met and that duplication of services is avoided.
4. Citizen involvement in setting priorities for diversion and prevention services.
5. Continued evaluation and accountability to the public of programs funded by public
moneys.
6. County decision-making bodies:
a. Appointments to commissions that reflect the diversified population of the County.
b. Guidelines for commission members which are clear statements of their responsibilities
and authority.
c. Adequate staff.
d. Assessment of limited number of terms.
e. Reimbursement to commissioners for personal expenses; e.g., transportation or babysitting.

B. THE COUNTY COUNCIL SUPPORTS A COORDINATED MULTIDIMENSIONAL CONCEPT OF SERVICES WHICH COULD INCLUDE:
1. Vocational training.
2. Programs that provide jobs and job training for youth.
3. Recreational opportunities.
4. Counseling for youth and their families, both long-term and for crises.
5. Mental health services which meet the needs of youth, supported by adequate funding;
e.g., residential treatment centers for juveniles.
6. Youth diversion programs:
a. Staff and volunteers having close ties to the community of the juveniles being
served.
b. Involvement of youth in program planning, implementation and evaluation.
c. Integration into projects available with other than just delinquent youths.
d. Adequate program facilities.

C. THE COUNTY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH PUPIL WELFARE AND PUPIL ATTENDANCE; e.g., TRUANCY, CHILD NEGLECT, CHILD ABUSE AND SEVERE BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS.

D. THE COUNTY COUNCIL SUPPORTS GREATER COMMUNITY AWARENESS OF THE PROBLEMS AND NEEDS OF YOUTH AND PROGRAMS THAT ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

A. INCREASE THE PRIORITY GIVEN CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE COUNTY PROGRAM AND BUDGET.

B. RETAIN PRESENT SERVICES AND ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO DAY TREATMENT SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY.

C. FOCUS ON PREVENTION AND EARLY INTERVENTION BY:
1. Increased education of parents and public.
2. Utilization of school resources where feasible.

D. FINANCE THESE SERVICES BY:
1. Active pursuit of all available sources of funds.
2. Coordination of County, State and Federal Budget deadlines.
3. Sufficient funds for a service from the level of government that mandates service.

E. MAKE MOST EFFECTIVE USE OF FUNDS BY:
1. Retention and expansion of contracts with private providers.
2. Support for case management system of service.
3. Increased co-ordination and communication among all public and private service
providers and continuation of the Interagency Council.

ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION and
ALAMEDA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

ASSIGNMENT OF EDUCATION SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED TO THE MOST APPROPRIATE LEVEL (LOCAL DISTRICT OR COUNTY OFFICE) WITH THAT DETERMINATION BASED UPON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  • Most economically feasible, as related to size and wealth of district
  • Availability of funding
  • Economy of scale
  • Best meets the needs of students
  • Best meets the needs of local districts, their interest and demand for service
  • Frequency of use of the service at the local district
  • Priority of local districts
  • Equality of distribution of services to all students in both large and small districts
  • Makes best use of expertise
  • Enables the teacher to best utilize the services
  • Services are not duplicated at another level.

PROGRAMS SHOULD BE EVALUATED BY:

  • Comparing performance against pre-determined goals
  • Placing “sunset” provisions on those services which performed below expected outcomes.

RECOMMENDATION TO LWVC:
The County Office of Education Services should be consolidated into the ten districts outlined
in the Frazier Report, but with great caution, using the criteria above.