Referendum Coalition SUCCEEDS!
Berkeley Tenants and other supporters rejoiced Tuesday as the Berkeley Referendum Coalition turned in 7,876 signatures, much more than the 5,275 necessary for the referendum. Alameda County has 30 business days to make sure the signatures are legitimate, but volunteers already combed the sign-up sheets to validate the petitions.
City Council reportedly has until April 1 to offer a compromise redistricting plan – otherwise the districts go on the ballot for voters to decide. Stefan Elgstrand, a student leader who worked on the referendum, told City Council on Tuesday night that he and other referendum group leaders are looking forward to working out a plan everyone can support.
Rob Wrenn in Comments: “Measure R, a poorly thought-out measure, supported by everyone on the Council if I remember right, makes gerrymandering much easier. Whoever has a majority on the Council can more easily create districts that make re-election difficult for their opponents….
Maybe the City should follow the lead of the state of California and create some independent body to set Council districts. Otherwise we may have redistricting referendum petitions every ten years.”
Inside Bay Area
“If the referendum is successful, the city still must equalize its districts. The City Council can choose to place a redistricting ordinance before the voters, or it can write a compromise redistricting plan that won’t face a new referendum.”
“If the council reaches agreement before April 1, it will still meet the deadline for putting new district lines into effect by the November election. If the council decides not to create a new map, its other option is to put the BSDC map on the June or November ballot.”
BTU’s newsletter was also quoted here by the Planet: