BERKELEY -- The battle for the city's southwest City Council seat is, to a great degree, a fight over development in West Berkeley.
Two-term District 2 Councilman Darryl Moore supports Measure T on the Nov. 6 ballot, which allows more intensive development he says will bring tax revenue and jobs to the city.
But challengers Denisha DeLane, a program associate with the Allen Temple HIV/AIDS ministry, and Adolfo Cabral, a retired facilities and operations supervisor at United Business Media, are both against the measure, arguing that the current development standards allow for slower, more sustainable development.
Measure T allows construction of buildings up to 75 feet on six large parcels of at least four acres or one city block on San Pablo Avenue and to the west of San Pablo. The six-site cap would be lifted after 10 years.
Measure T "will bring vibrancy to the district and to the city," Moore said, pointing to Berkeley's need for tax dollars.
"We have pools and all kinds of things," he said. "But unless we have the tax base, those things won't be funded."
DeLane said Measure T will cause rents to go up.
"What scares me most is the land speculation it creates," DeLane said, arguing that intense development will cause skyrocketing rents that will displace the community's small businesses, artists and apartment dwellers.
Cabral agreed, contending that Moore hasn't listened to community concerns on development
"The community was invited very late into the process" around proposed changes to West Berkeley that were debated at City Council in the last couple of years, he said.
Both DeLane and Cabral contend Moore favors developers over his constituents, something Moore vehemently denies.
"What proof of this do they have?" he said.
Moore countered that he's in touch with constituents, having held more meetings with residents than any other council member. He further pointed to his work in getting $2 million in upgrades at San Pablo Park and getting federal stimulus funds to repave Sacramento Street.
Both Cabral and DeLane say what West Berkeley and the city need are affordable family housing, not the studio and one-bedroom housing Moore has supported.
"People talk about affordable housing, but no one ever puts the word family in there," Cabral said.
DeLane, who has lived most of her life in Berkeley, worries that the district is losing its diversity because there is not enough affordable housing.
"We should do more to provide affordable housing and innovative homeownership programs for young African-American families so they can remain in the communities in which they were raised," DeLane said.
Moore said he too supports affordable housing, citing a new facility in his district that provides transitional housing for foster youth who might otherwise become homeless once they turn 18 years old.
Name: Darryl Moore
Occupation: Berkeley city councilman; senior management analyst, Oakland Housing Authority
Professional background: Current chair of National Black Justice Coalition; former member of Berkeley library board; Berkeley mental health commission; Peralta Community College board; Berkeley Public Works Commission; Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission; Berkeley Zoning Adjustment Board
Personal: Partner of 17 years Bradley Johnson
Education: Bachelor's degree in sociology from UC Santa Cruz; master's degree in public policy from University of Chicago; certificate from Harvard University's Senior Executives in State and Local Government program
Name: Adolfo Cabral
Occupation: Retired facilities and operations supervisor for United Business Media
Professional background: West Berkeley Redevelopment Project Area Commission; interim chair of Rosa Parks Neighborhood Association
Education: Associate degree in broadcast communications from City College of San Francisco
Name: Denisha DeLane
Occupation: Program associate, Allen Temple Baptist Church HIV/AIDS prevention program
Professional background: Berkeley Telecommunications Task Force; national board member of NAACP; advisory board of Berkeley Black Infant Health Program; board of Berkeley Young Adult Project
Education: Graduated from Berkeley High in 1996