Vote with the League 2020 – Berkeley


FF Fire, Emergency Services and Wildfire Prevention      YES
This is a new parcel tax that would appear on our property tax bills at the rate of $0.1047 per sq. ft. of buildings on the parcel. This is broad-based, equitable, easy to administer and would provide much needed revenue for the purpose. Since this is dedicated to a special purpose, it requires a 2/3rds vote, will be audited to make sure it’s appropriately spent and includes an exemption for low income owners.

HH Utility Users Tax      YES
This measure increases the use tax for gas and electricity on your PG&E bill from 7.5% to 10%. The dollar amount can be found on the line item labeled Berkeley utility users’ tax on your bill. It includes a low income exemption. Much of the increase in revenue will be spent to reduce Berkeley’s carbon footprint.

II Police Accountability Charter Amendment      YES
This measure would replace the current Police Review Commission with a Police Accountability Board having increased powers, including the power of subpoena . It would also establish a Police Accountability Director. Complaints about police conduct could be filed with, and investigated by the Director. Members of the Board are intended to represent an inclusive cross-section of Berkeley’s population and the selection process will be public.

KK Administrative Provisions and City Attorney Charter Amendment      YES
Berkeley often makes minor changes to and cleans up its City Charter. This time that includes eliminating the residency requirement for members of the Fire Department, conforming eligibility requirements for the redistricting commission to State law, removing gender-specific language and adding terms and duties of the City Attorney.

LL Gann Limit Spending Authority      YES
This measure does not include any new taxes or any increases to existing taxes. It is here because every 4 years Berkeley voters must grant the City authority to spend taxes and fees that have already been approved. A “yes” on this measure will cover fiscal years 2021 through 2024.


JJ Mayor and Council Compensation Charter Amendment      NEUTRAL
This measure would raise the Mayor’s salary from $5,180 per month to $8,941 per month and raise a Councilperson’s pay from $3,224 per month to $5,633 per month. Although the mayor and council should be compensated for all the work they do, this measure does not include a funding mechanism to make it possible to balance the city’s budget at the present time.

MM Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Amendment      NEUTRAL
This measure implies that it removes payment of rent from the list of reasons a tenant can be evicted for just cause. But the city and the state have already made that temporarily true. This does not extend the time. This measure primarily relates to ADUs, Accessory Dwelling Units, or “in-law” cottages, and how to regulate them especially new ones. ADUs used to be in single family homes’ backyards, but now many apartment owners are adding them on their property as well. The League agrees that these ADUs need some regulations, but those presented here are a mixed bag and some of them may discourage property owners from building new ones.

GG Tax on Transportation Network Company Trips      NO POSITION
The League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville has not studied the topic of charging a fee for hiring private means of transportation for rides which originate in Berkeley. Therefore, we take no position.