A beautiful rainswept autumn day in the classic old Berkeley home of John and Linda Cage was the site of those invited to support Tom Bates in his reelection for mayor. His special guest Barbara Lee strongly supports his election. A warm reception with many old time Berkeley residents who have participated for many years in Berkeley politics were present and many had shared a lot of history over the years together of life in Berkeley. Loni Hancock, state senator and wife of Mayor Tom Bates, Nancy Skinner and others sat nearby as Barbara addressed those present.
It was also the day the death of George McGovern was announced, and Barbara and Tom gave reference to the fact that they had all worked together with McGovern, as well as John Burton back in the day. Their comments about McGovern, were very much like the cable news had reported in reviewing McGovern’s life. Though McGovern did not get elected and in fact won only one state in his bid for election for President, his policies, and his ideals, his commitment to no war was a turn in the road for the country. Barbara Lee reported that McGovern never stopped working for the country he loved so much, and what he thought was right for the country. The strong line of commitment among the colleagues seated in the living room that Barbara spoke of was a moving acknowledgement of the loss of McGovern and the need and the place for elected officials taking unpopular stands even at the loss of popular vote.
Barbara Lee is known for those acts of courage and integrity. Barbara fully acknowledged Tom Bates and the accomplishments he has achieved in his years as mayor, and saw his continuing as mayor as the best direction for a “vibrant and thriving Berkeley” in the road ahead. In particular she credited Mayor Bates for the significant increase in affordable housing and the number of start ups that he has been responsible for supporting and developing in the community. She spoke of his love of children and the work that has had the impact of achieving a significant drop in the number of drop outs at Berkeley High School and a significant decrease in the achievement gap in the schools. The schools now have a AA+ rating both in kindergarden outreach and secondary schools, much to Berkeley’s credit and future. She acknowledged the work of Tom Bates and the vision that has been consistent in the delivery of the programs that have made measurable differences in the lives of Berkeley children, and community.
Loni Hancock and Nancy Skinner spoke in reference to the measures that are going to be on the ballot, and their positions on those Propositions, as follows:
Yes on Prop 30, 34, 37, 39 No on Prop 31, 32, 33, 35
The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial came out for Tom Bates for Mayor, even as he faces two mayor challengers “fiscal hawk Jacquelyn McCormick and progressive City Councilman Kriss Worthington who may topple Bates after 10 years due to the the first time use of ranked choice voting.” Over 50% of the vote is required in the first count for a win, after that “the tallying gets complicated.” Still the chronicle saw Bates has the “clear choice and has given their endorsement to him for re-election.