We Live Within Our Means : Our City Council Should Too
Berkeley City Council wants you to approve $650 million in new spending this November. Here is what you should consider before voting!
Berkeley by the Numbers
Spending per resident is more than double some neighboring cities. Among cities with comparable populations, Berkeley ranks 3rd in spending per resident. This new bond, costing $1.1 billion, will take our children 48 years to repay.
Despite spending the most, Berkeley's infrastructure ranks near the bottom. Our maintenance deficit exceeds $1.2 billion. Rather than making vital repairs, City Council now wants to borrow hundreds of millions more for new projects with no maintenance plan.
In 2018, we approved $135 million for subsidized housing. Now City Council wants to spend another $200+ million (out of $650M) for the same purpose. Let's work with our existing subsidies without taking on new debt.
There is no concrete plan for how the funds will be spent or gurantees that vital repairs will be made. Dedicated infrastructure funding has regularly been diverted for other uses.
Our Lived Experience
We are Berkeley residents from all walks of life: young professionals, families and retirees. We are united in calling Berkeley "home." We have invested in our community socially, culturally and economically. Collectively, we are challenged by the increasing cost of living and the tradeoffs it brings for our housing, education and employment choices. We are feeling squeezed financially by a City Council that has deferred basic maintenance while asking us to borrow more for expensive new projects. This trajectory is not sustainable and has already displaced many residents, so WOM Berkeley asks City Council to live within its means just as we must live within ours. See our community endorsements.