WEBAIC  West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies

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WEBAIC Endorsements for Berkeley Mayor and City Council

For the first time in our history WEBAIC undertook an endorsement process for the 2016 Berkeley City Council and Mayoral elections. 

Our unanimous endorsements are:

Mayor:  Jessie Arreguin

District 2:  Dual Endorsement:  Sheryl Davila & Nanci Armstrong-Temple

District 3:  Ben Bartlett

District 5:  Sophie Hahn

District 6:  Dual endorsement:  Fred Dodsworth & Isabelle Gaston

After trying for 12 years to get a fair shake from the Berkeley City Council, we came to the conclusion that staying neutral on these races did not best serve the interests of WEBAIC’s West Berkeley sustainable industrial maker and arts constituency. 

The City Council majority’s perspective that industrial protections should be minimized and/or removed has led WEBAIC into constant conflict with these elected officials. The perspective driving this conflict was clarified by Mayor Tom Bates’ public statements that “People need to get over this manufacturing thing”, and “We don’t need to make anything here anymore.”  The City Council majority and Mr. Bates’ ally Laurie Capitelli fell in line lock-step behind this perspective.

Instead of valuing the revenue, goods and services, robust culture, and thousands of good jobs West Berkeley provides, for the last 12 years there have been constant efforts to upzone the area in the service of real estate and development interests, despite the fact that the industrial zones are thriving with 1% vacancy rates on manufacturing and warehouse space. 

After much deliberation, WEBAIC decided that our constituency would be better served by having elected officials that understand and value what the existing economy and culture of West Berkeley’s industrial zones have to offer.

Toward this end, we sent questionnaires to all the major candidates and subsequently interviewed many of them, including mayoral candidates Jessie Arreguin and Laurie Capitelli.  There are many details that went into why we did and did not endorse candidates, but the choices from WEBAIC’s perspective ultimately became clear:

Incumbent office holders Laurie Capitelli, Susan Wengraf and Darryl Moore consistently voted against the interests of West Berkeley industry and arts over the last 12 years, including their robust support for the failed Measure T that would have let to massive gentrification of the industrial zones.  Darryl Moore’s lack of any support for the businesses in his district that provide good jobs to disadvantaged populations is particularly egregious.  District 3 Candidate Deborah Mathews was the head of the destructive Yes on T campaign. 

Also telling is the fact that real estate and development interests are the one sector that has given the most campaign donations to all these candidates, including Stephen Murphy. These sectors succeed when reasonably valued industrial land is upzoned for office towers, high-end condos, and retail.  Real estate interests do not donate without a clear logic and purpose.

In contrast, the candidates we have endorsed have either shown strong leadership on the Council or Planning Commission in support of West Berkeley’s sustainable industry and arts - Jessie Arreguin and Ben Bartlett, strong community action in support of our issues – Sophie Hahn, Fred Dodsworth,  or a strongly stated in-person commitment to the maintenance of our sectors – Sheryl Davila, Nanci Armstrong-Temple, and Isabelle Gaston.


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West Berkeley Works!

Meet Panache lighting

Panache Lighting, owned by Jana Olson, is a specialist in the repair and renovation of antique lighting fixtures. Jana repairs all types of residential lighting, from simple table lamps to complicated chandeliers and she fabricates lighting to order for designers and other customers. She also manufactures lights of her own design, some of which are from historic references, others are her line of one-of-a-kind whimsical "Kitchen Lights" from old coffee and teapots, cups and saucers, and the like. 

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WEBAIC started in 1993 with logistical and economic support from the City of Berkeley's Office of Economic Development.  The OED believed the West Berkeley Plan's mandate to maintain a robust industrial economy in West Berkeley would be well served by the industrial community having a single, unified voice.
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WEBAIC Mission Statement

West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WEBAIC) is an alliance of industrial and cultural enterprises formed to:

  1. Educate the public and policymakers about the contributions of industry and the arts to Berkeley's sustainability through the economy, equity, environment, and culture;

  2. Serve as a liaison between WEBAIC members, the larger community, and local government;

  1. Maintain a viable land base for our uses through equitable zoning policies as outlined in the West Berkeley Plan;

  1. Promote the network of interrelationships among West Berkeley production, distribution, repair, reuse, and cultural businesses;

  1. Work cooperatively as good neighbors with the larger community, so we can say tomorrow what we say today

West Berkeley Works