Monday, October 10, 2011

What is courageous in Berkeley, CA

City Councilman Gordon Wozniak wants to repeal key portions, if not all, of that most hallowed of Berkeley legislation: the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act. ...

Wozniak is working on an ordinance to overturn the portion of the act that bans the city from investing in U.S. Treasury bonds, notes and bills. ...

Ideally, he wants to eliminate the entire law, which is a wide-ranging ban on anything dealing with nuclear energy or companies that have connections to nuclear power. That includes the U.S. government as well as research facilities and even purchases of nonnuclear products from energy companies. ...

Wozniak's proposal has riled some of Berkeley's left-leaning politicians and activists.

"I'll fight this in the streets, at City Hall, anywhere it needs to be fought," said Peace and Justice Commissioner Bob Meola. It "is total nonsense that the act is a relic left over from the Cold War. The threat of nuclear war is very real and, unfortunately, will continue to be so as long as nations and unknown players have possession of nuclear weapons." ...

City Councilman Kriss Worthington agreed. ...

However, Councilwoman Susan Wengraf said the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act might not be the effective political statement it once was. ...

"Maybe we're a place where this has become an outdated notion," she said. "I think this is a gutsy thing for Gordon to do."
--Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, on Berkeley activism