In the 2012 Voter Guide

The Secretary of State’s official Voter Guide is mailed to every registered voter at the beginning of October, about one month before Election Day. This is what you will see in the Voter Guide about Measure R.

 

Argument In Favor of Measure R

  

Twenty six years ago, Berkeley voters changed the way City Councilmembers are elected by implementing district elections. The problem we face now is that when the District Elections Charter Amendment was approved, it put in place boundaries that could only be changed to a limited degree, regardless of population changes. Over the decades, population changed but the boundaries didn’t, so that the system became increasingly outdated and unfair.

By federal law the Berkeley City Council is required to adopt new Council district boundaries following each decennial census to reflect changes in population and ensure the principle of “one person, one vote,” so a simple and equitable system is needed.

Measure R keeps in place our system of district elections but provides common sense changes to Berkeley’s redistricting process to replace the outdated rules put in place decades ago. Under the Measure, redistricting will base City Council district lines on 1) geographic boundaries and major streets so that lines are clear and easy to follow; 2) respect for communities of interest (such as neighborhoods), topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory; and 3) will keep in place the policy that Councilmembers cannot be redistricted out of office.

This measure simplifies the City Charter by removing geographic restrictions of district boundaries, makes redistricting easier, and setting clear and fair rules to make sure that district boundaries follow state law and consider communities of interest.

Measure R is a good-government measure, which creates a fair and inclusive process, at no significant cost to the City. Please join a unanimous City Council and good government groups in supporting Measure R.

Signed,

Sherry Smith
President, League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville

Aryndel Lamb-Marsh
President, Berkeley Common Cause

Nancy Skinner
Assemblymember, 15th District

Tom Bates
Mayor, City of Berkeley 

Connor Landgraf
President, ASUC