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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Use City online forum designed for civility

Berkeley, California (Friday, March 22, 2019) - Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to inform City Council discussion about the environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s increased enrollment, which would lead to a new baseline for the campus population.

The University in 2005 had estimated having 33,450 students in 2020. Now, the University anticipates that in 2020 it will have 44,735 students -- a 33.7 percent increase.

The Council will use your input at its April 2 meeting as it gives policy guidance to the City Manager about how to formally respond to the University’s draft supplemental Environmental Impact Report, which is required by state law but which is not subject to City approval.

The report also addresses the impacts of two proposed buildings on the northwest corner of Hearst and La Loma avenues – a 4-story, 37,000 square-foot academic building over a subterranean level; and a residential building of up to six stories and 150 units on top of a mostly underground parking structure.

The City’s online forum is not a substitute for official comments, which should be submitted directly to UC Berkeley. See the University’s public notices to get more information about the university’s project, and submit comments to them by 5pm on Friday, April 12.

The University’s report aims to identify:

  • each significant effect with proposed mitigation measures and alternatives that would reduce or avoid that effect
  • areas of controversy known to UC Berkeley
  • issues to be resolved, including the choice among alternatives and how to mitigate significant effects.

Post comments on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 15 on the April 2, 2019 agenda.

Registered users on Berkeley Considers can post their comments online with or without their name. Anyone can view registered comments. The goal of the forum is to broaden civic discourse in a constructive and civil manner.

On Berkeley Considers, each person on Council-focused topics will be allowed one comment, a feature enforced through registration and through the platform operator's analysis of 25 different fraud detection data points, such as IP addresses, browser identity and similarity between email addresses.

The forum will also be moderated so that comments comply with our guidelines for civility, which prohibits elements such as hate speech, personal attacks or obscene materials.

In the process, the intention is to create a more informed community and provide Council with a broader array of voices.

The platform is operated by OpenGov, which has used its software and services to broaden civic discourse around the country and Canada.

When registering, you will be asked for your name and home address. This confidential information is used only by OpenGov to identify statements from residents in and near Berkeley - so that users know which statements are from local residents. They will keep your information confidential, they do not accept advertising, and they will not share contact information, as noted in the company's Privacy Policy.

Of course, community members can, at any time, mail the full City Council through one email address: council@cityofberkeley.info.

Online forums are not social science, nor scientific polling. But, as with public comment, it is intended to provide the Council with additional data to help in its decision making process.

Look at the question before you. Consider what others are saying. Let the City Council know what you would like them to consider for Berkeley.


Keep up with City of Berkeley news via our News page, email or .

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