‘Effort to right wrongs of the past’ could end single-family housing in Berkeley in the next year

BERKELEY, CA- The future of Berkeley could be denser and less segregated as the city considers proposals to end single-family house zoning by December 2022. 

In 1916, Berkeley was the first city to enact single-family zoning, which had the effect of pushing non-white people to more impoverished neighborhoods in southern and western California. 

On February 23rd, the City Council will vote on a resolution to eliminate “exclusionary zoning,” which is typically viewed as the RI or single-family-only zones that predominate in richer, whiter neighborhoods in North and Southeast Berkeley.

In a separate proposal, the council and the mayor are considering allowing multiplexes in places zoned for single families, which could essentially open the door for residents of more diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the policy targets safe and prosperous neighborhoods:

“Berkeley is the latest city looking at opening up these exclusive neighborhoods to more housing as the region struggles with exorbitant rents and home prices and increasing homelessness.

Sacramento recently took a big step in allowing fourplexes in these neighborhoods and one San Francisco politician is pushing a similar plan.”

The Chronicle added:

“Berkeley may also allow fourplexes in city neighborhoods. Next month, the council will consider that proposal, which will likely spark push-back from tenants groups fearful it could fuel displacement if more protections aren’t included.”

It said:

“For Berkeley, which has historically been anti-development, the moves are the latest shift as the city slowly embraces more density, including plans to add housing around the North Berkeley and Ashby stations.”

According to reports, councilwoman Lori Droste, who introduced the resolution and who considers single-family homes “racist,” grew up in the Elmwood neighborhood established in 1916 and developed to put one house on each lot. She said:

“I live in the Elmwood area where it is sort of the birthplace of single-family zoning. I thought it was incumbent upon me as representing this neighborhood to say that I want to change something that I think is detrimental to the community.”

She added:

“We saw these zoning practices originate because Berkeley didn’t want African American dance halls or Chinese laundromats. I felt particularly morally compelled to address this issue.”

Councilman Terry Taplin, who also authored the resolution, said the same reforms that need to be made to policing should apply to housing. He said:

“This is really a historical moment for us in Berkeley because now the racial justice reckoning really has come home.”

Berkeley joins a wave of cities that are dismantling their single-family zoning and propagating cheaper housing options. In 2020, Portland legalized fourplexes in nearly every residential corner of the city.

Minneapolis passed its own law tripling housing capacity in single-family neighborhoods and in January 2021, Sacramento proposed spreading fourplexes everywhere for reasons of “inclusion and equity.”

Since then, there has been a flurry of interest in the government halls of other California municipalities, including San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego. David Garcia, policy director for UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation said:

“It’s almost like a bit of arms race to see which cities can loosen single-family zoning restrictions first.”

He added:

“Coupled with the relatively recent recognition of the fraught history of single-family zoning, I think a lot of city leaders are understanding that reforming their zoning codes to allow for more housing opportunities is a way to reckon with the exclusionary and racist nature of some of these single-family zoning policies they’ve had for decades.”

Garcia also warned of harming current housing. He said:

“It’s important to be thoughtful about these decisions because they cannot be easily reversed.”

Jassmin Poyaoan, director of the Community Economic Justice Clinic at East Bay Community Law Center said that policies should start with the idea that “housing is a human right.”

Reportedly, the plan will bring 1,450 new housing units, about 50 percent of which would be for low-income families. 

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San Francisco wants to rename Abraham Lincoln High School: says it’s ‘stained by racism’ from President Lincoln

December 16th, 2020

This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– Just when you think the nonsense from the liberal left could not get any more extreme, they always seem to kick it up a notch to cause a ‘shake my head’ response. 

In San Francisco, a self proclaimed renaming committee has chosen to erase the name the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, from a local High School because he lived a life “stained by racism.”

The racism they are referring to however, is not against African American people, as it is well known Lincoln is credited with freeing the slaves, but rather racism against Native Americans. 

Jeremiah Jeffries, chairman of the committee and a first grade teacher in that California city, said:

“Uprooting the problematic names and symbols that currently clutter buildings, streets, throughout the city is a worthy endeavor,”

Jeffries continued: 

“Only good can come from the public being reflective and intentional about the power of our words, names and rhetoric within our public institutions.”

San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lincoln High School was one of many that the San Francisco School Names Advisory Committee found to have a problematic title. Some of the other names that they found issue with included George Washington High School, Herbert Hoover Middle School and Paul Revere K-8.

Since all of this madness of the “snowflakes” raging a war on every historical landmark they feel offends them in this country began, a criteria has been set of what is, and is not, offensive. 

There are a variety of things that would cause historical figures to be listed on the “unacceptable” list, including being slave owners, known racists or white supremacists. Additionally, anyone directly involved in colonization and people connected to human rights or environmental abuses would make the list.

Committee chairman, Jeremiah Jeffries, told the Chronicle in the article published on Monday, December 14th: 

“The discussion for Lincoln centered around his treatment of First Nation peoples because that was offered first,”

Jeffries continued:

“Once he met criteria in that way, we did not belabor the point.”

Despite the fact that Lincoln famously led the Union’s defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War, and signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in rebellious states to be free, Jeffries still had a problem with the former President, stating:

“[t]he history of Lincoln and Native Americans is complicated, not nearly as well known as that of the Civil War and slavery.”

He told the Chronicle that:

“Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that Black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building.”

Lincoln has come under fire for constructing the transcontinental railroad, which affected indigenous lands. He also declined to commute the sentences of 39 Native Americans who were sentenced to hanging. Thirty-eight were ultimately hanged in a mass execution after one was granted a last-minute reprieve, Fox News reported.

The group has even attacked their own liberal kind, when they went after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. The committee sought to remove her name from an elementary school, based on the fact that she allegedly flew a Confederate flag at City Hall when she was mayor.

Jeffries reportedly said:

“On a local level Dianne Feinstein chose to fly a flag that is the iconography of domestic terrorism, racism, white avarice and inhumanity towards Black and Indigenous people at the City Hall,” 

He went on to say:

“She is one of the few living examples on our list, so she still has time to dedicate the rest of her life to the upliftment of Black, First Nations and other people of color. She hasn’t thus far.”

As expected, the decision to remove Lincoln was not going to sit well with many, and received backlash online. 

Senator Ted Cruz, (R-TX) took to Twitter to say:

“Abraham Lincoln…George Washington…even Diane friggin’ Feinstein: NONE are woke enough for the America-hating radical Left,”

He continued:

“This will never stop, until Americans say ‘ENOUGH!!’ and call it out for the ignorant nonsense that it is.”

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Washington DC “task force” recommends renaming, removal, ‘contextualizing” of national monuments

September 2, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC- Democrats don’t want to erase history, huh?

That isn’t the case in Washington, D.C., where a committee commissioned by Mayor Muriel Bowser has listed dozens of historical monuments, schools, parks and government buildings which they recommend renaming, removing or “contextualizing” because of alleged connections to slavery or racism.

The list includes the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, Fox News is reporting.

'Effort to right wrongs of the past' could end single-family housing in Berkeley in the next year
DC Memorial Commission Screenshot

Those named, besides Washington and Jefferson include former presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.

Others included are men such as Benjamin Franklin and George Mason, two of the Founding Fathers, along with Alexander Graham Bell and Francis Scott Key, who composed the National Anthem.

While some of the facilities mention fall under the purview of the city, such as Jefferson Field, named for Thomas Jefferson and the Franklin School, named for Benjamin Franklin, most fall under federal jurisdiction.

The commission recommended that the federal government “remove, relocate or contextualize” several famous tourist attractions, including the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and the Benjamin Franklin statue.

The Washington Post reported that the release of the report had an outpouring of criticism, especially one suggestion which called for adding plaques or other context to the aforementioned national memorials.

The White House in particular sharply criticized the recommendations, which led Bowser’s administration to remove those recommendations Tuesday night.

In a statement, the White House called Bowser, a Democrat “the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C.,” and said she “ought to be ashamed for even suggesting” the revisions to the monuments.

“President Donald J. Trump believes these places should be preserved, not torn down; respected, not hated; and passed on for generations to come.”

In Congress, Republicans were outraged by the suggestions, which led to the original 24-page report being reduced to 23 after the page which listed eight federal sites had been removed. The original .pdf still had the original recommendations later on, the Post reported.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican tweeted, “Hey D.C.—they’re not your monuments to rename or remove. They’re America’s monuments.”

White House aide Alyssa Farah said in a tweet:

“I’m not even sure what relocating the Washington Monument would entail.”

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, under whose jurisdiction the monuments fall, was clear that no such removal would occur under the Trump administration, tweeting in response to Bowser:

“Not on my watch. Never going to happen.”

As Democrats continue to try to destroy history, just as a famous German madman did in the 1930’s, they use the subject of racism and slavery in order to justify undermining our country’s history.

This all came about recently, of course because of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died in police custody, originally believed to be at the hands of Minneapolis police. Information released recently has called the original narrative into question.

While in the past liberals and anti-American zealots cast their eyes upon men such as Christopher Columbus and to a lesser extend Jefferson, nowadays they have widened their criticism even to the “Father of our Country,” George Washington.

President Washington of course was a slave owner back in the 1700’s when it was commonplace. That has led to Bowser’s committee seeking to make changes to the Washington Monument and George Washington University considering changing the school’s nickname, the Colonials.

Ben Franklin was a slave owner early in his live, however he later came out against it and actually founded the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1774. Despite that, the liberals on Bowser’s committee recommended his statue be removed.

The committee’s chairs wrote, “We believe strongly that all District of Columbia owned public spaces, facilities and commemorative works should only honor those individuals who exemplified those values such as equity, opportunity and diversity that DC residents hold dear.”

Under those guidelines, the whole value of “equity,” shouldn’t the BLM mural adjacent to the White House be removed? Just asking.

According to the committee’s charge, they took five factors into account in deciding if something should be removed or taken down: did they participate in slavery, were they involved in systematic racism, did the person support oppression, was the person involved in a supremacist agenda, and did the honoree violate the city’s human rights law.

“Our decision-making prism focused on key, disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities, and violation of the DC Human Right Act.”

Was LGBTQ even a thing in the 1700’s? Didn’t think so.

So, people who lived in the 1700’s are supposed to have lived under laws that were not implemented until several hundred years later? They are supposed to have lived under a set of values that were not in place at the time they lived and implemented later on in history?

The whole process makes ZERO sense.

Since many of these statues and monuments are on federal land, Bowser has no authority whatsoever to touch them.

There is apparently someone who works for Seton Hall University, Travis Timmerman who spends his time researching monument removals. He of course as an academic is totally down with the revolution.

“They’re going after historical figures that by and large have gotten a pass previously for their moral transgressions,” Timmerman said.

He claims that the “appropriateness” of a monument changes over time.

“Thomas Jefferson, for instance, was a vicious slaveholder,” he said. “But most people think of him as the primary author of the Declaration of Independence…If that’s what people think of Jefferson, then it’s not necessarily harmful to have a school named after him.

If people become more aware of his moral shortcomings, and that’s what they think of when they see Jefferson’s statue or a school named after him, well then it becomes harmful.”

For any city-owned building or facility to be renamed, the city council would have to approve the move. Once councilor, Mary Cheh, a Democrat (honestly, they’re all Democrats in DC) said:

“I never really thought about Stoddert or Key Elementary as an issue. They were just schools, and that’s their name,” referring to the schools named after Francis Scott Key and secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert.

“African American women, civil rights leaders—people ought to know about others. This gives us an opportunity to honor them.”

However another councilor, Chairman Phil Mendelson urged some caution, saying:

“I totally get why someone like John Tyler, even though he’s a former president, is someone we don’t want a school named after. But I don’t get why Benjamin Franklin is someone we don’t want anything named after. I think we need to see the detail,” he said.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary lit up Bowser’s committee, saying:

“The radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C. is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots; destroying our history and destroying our great heritage,” going on to describe the report requested by Bowser as “ludicrous,” Breitbart News reported.

A White House statement said:

“President Donald J. Trump believes these places should be preserved, not torn down; respected not hated; and passed on for generations to come. As long as President Trump is in the White House, the mayor’s irresponsible recommendations will go absolutely nowhere.”

Thank you President Trump.

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