First community briefing for the Berkeley Global Campus
on December 3, 2015
An advisory committee of Richmond residents decided on the broad outline of recommendations to University of California officials planning a new campus project.
UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are planning the new Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. The committee wants the university to sign a legally binding agreement aiding those such as disadvantaged workers, emancipated foster youth, homeless people and individuals with criminal records, and requesting the university pay a fee to the city as to improve affordable housing and displacement issues, among other suggestions.
A final vote on the community-defined recommendations will be held December 10, after a yearlong process. The committee members offered a recap on Monday, when Richmond residents looked at what amounts to the community’s own vision for the global campus.
UC officials set up the advisory process to satisfy Richmond’s requirements to be heard before the new campus is built. The campus could be a game-changer for neighbors and city business leaders looking for a boost to the local economy.
“[We] set up a process that allows the community of Richmond to be joint partners with us,” said Ruben Lizardo, UC Berkeley director of local government and community relations, speaking for Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.
Members of four subcommittees—devoted to business, housing, workforce and education issues—will draft final recommendations to campus leadership.
The planned project raised concerns as well as hope from Richmond residents.
“Do they actually believe that Richmond residents deserve to have opportunity as a result of the development of this campus? I haven’t had any of them say ‘no,’ they don’t believe benefits should be afforded to residents, but I also haven’t heard them make a firm commitment to actually do anything yet. So I’m just waiting to see what that’s going to be like,” said Tamisha Walker, a voting Berkeley campus working group member.
Next, the UC Berkeley chancellor and national lab director will receive the final draft later this month.
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Will Cal make a commitment to finally complete the clean-up of the area identified as a superfine site? Every time the wind stirs up the soil, all the staff at Regatta and the Field Station receive warning emails to stay inside. That’s just not right for people to be exposed to that level of hazardous material at work or in their neighborhood.