Why Vote Yes on Measure R 2012?

The problem: Berkeley has the most regressive redistricting rules in the country.  

This is because Berkeley has a uniquely restrictive requirement: when we redraw our council districts, the law says the lines must change as little as possible. Our districts were set in stone nearly 30 years ago; they are no longer representative of the way our neighborhoods and communities look now.

As Cal Professor Bruce Cain, the nation’s foremost redistricting expert, says in the video at right: The way the Berkeley Charter is written is truly unique because the law grandfathered in the original council districts. This is the opposite of how redistricting should work.


 
Measure R will give all Berkeley residents the opportunity to draw new, fair, and representative council districts.

In recognition of the current, broken redistricting process, Measure R has been endorsed by the League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, the East Bay Express, Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, Mayor Tom Bates, all eight members of the Berkeley City Council, Cal’s ASUC student government, and local Democratic and Republican clubs.


Measure R will bring our redistricting rules into the 21st century. It will finally do away with the outdated districts and the archaic rule that districts must change as little as possible.

The new rule will set a sensible process and fair criteria for drawing new district lines, including:

Lines must follow easily understood geographical boundaries and major traffic arteries;

Lines must respect communities of interest, especially neighborhoods. Any plan that keeps neighborhoods together will be preferred over a plan that splits neighborhoods apart.


 

 
Measure R will not change the rules that are already fair and inclusive. The following rules currently apply to council redistricting and will not be changed:

Districts must be redrawn every 10 years in order to be equal in population;

Sitting Councilmembers cannot be drawn out of their districts and thus redistricted out of power;

The public can submit maps  for consideration by the Council and comment on all maps during the Council’s discussion of redistricting.

Please join the League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, the East Bay Express, Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, Mayor Tom Bates, a unanimous Berkeley City Council, the Berkeley Democratic Club, and Cal students in voting YES on Measure R.