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

Use City online forum designed for civility

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, July 09, 2019) - Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on whether the City Council should refer priorities for investment in specific parts of downtown, south and west Berkeley that have been designated by the state as "opportunity zones." 

The identified priorities would be used by City Staff for proactive outreach and marketing to investors, who would get federal tax benefits for reinvesting capital gains into the five Berkeley census tracts designated as opportunity zones. The priorities would also guide any discussions or negotiations regarding development projects in those areas - which you can see on the state map for opportunity zones.

The proposed priorities are:

  • Construction of new Affordable Housing units or acquisition and preservation of affordable housing;
  • Preservation of historic buildings;
  • Cultural Institutions and Performing Arts Venues;
  • Civic Uses (Government Offices, Libraries, Schools, Public Safety)
  • Public Open Space and Recreation Facilities;
  • Health Care Services;
  • Transportation Demand Management features;
  • Job training or employment opportunities

City staff would use the guidelines to develop a prospectus for marketing community development projects in these areas. The guidelines would also be used for any other tools created to attract equitable investment in Opportunity Zones.

Map of Berkeley with designated opportunity zones highlighted in green
Berkeley's opportunity zones shown in green

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 14 on the July 16, 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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