Some gems from the condo conversion meeting last night:
Andre Spearman, city employee union director: "We need an income conversion program!"
Man from Tenants' Union: "This is the first proposal I've ever seen that intends to increase homelessness."
Helent Hutchinson: "The League of Women Voters believes we need to protect the rental housing we have."
Woman from Just Cause: "We need fair and equal housing for everyone."
Eddie Ytuarte, tenant and teachers' union activist: "Ignacio, Henry - why do you like evicting people?"
Anti-condo audience: "Yay Berkeley!"
Woman from Movement Strategy Center: "We will lose 1000 students a year!"
Sanjiv Handa: "Because people get only one or two minutes to speak, the council makes bad, bad policy!"
At the end of the comment period, Ignacio de la Fuente pointed out that many of those speaking against the condo conversion ordinance are homeowners.
In other news, a recent transplant to Berkeley (from Philly) tells the Daily Planet about volunteering for Aimee Allison. After pontificating about a Dellums victory she wasn't here for and a city she has barely visited, Beandrea Davis explains Pat's sweeping victory (echoing Allison spokesman Ben Wyskida) was because "more of Kernighan’s supporters voted and not enough of Allison’s supporters did." Yup, 923 more.
Speaking of recent transplants, EBASE labor activist (and Allison volunteer) Brooke Anderson, who spoke against condo conversion last night, writes on her blog about supporting Just Cause's sign and billboard campaign against "gentrification" and new people moving to Oakland. Brooke recently moved here from Illinois, but that doesn't stop her from condemning new Oaklanders. Zennie Abraham has a discussion about it on his blog.
Speaking of people who recently moved here, Mayor-Elect Ron Dellums was back in DC this week promoting a study his commission did about minorities. What fresh new ideas does he have, with which he has been too busy to meet with his task forces or Lew Wolff? Well, the media negatively stereotypes black men, he concludes, and the government needs to increase the minimum wage.
Speaking of pointing out the obvious, NovoMetro is launching their new online journalism experiment tonight! The party is at Swarm Gallery, 560 Second Street (at Clay).