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Berkeley Measure KK: Updating Four City Charter Amendments

By Flickr user Wayne Hsieh / used under CC / resized and cropped
Berkeley City Hall


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.


Berkeley Measure KK would change four things in the city charter. Let’s take them one at a time. 


Measure KK would no longer require firefighters to be Berkeley residents. Since 1995, Berkeley has mandated that all of its firefighters live within 40 miles of the city. But supporters of Measure KK claim the rising cost of housing has pushed many first responders to live beyond Berkeley’s city limits.


Measure KK would also allow any residents age 18 or older to serve on the Redistricting Commission. Currently, Commission members need to be “Berkeley registered voters who have voted in the last two General Municipal Elections."


This would align the charter to California’s newly adopted law that allows any noncitizen resident to hold appointed office.


Third, Measure KK would allow the City Council to appoint the City Attorney. Right now, this power is held by the City Manager. 


Lastly, Measure KK would update charter language to replace gender-specific pronouns “he” and “she” with gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them.” 


Measure KK was placed on the ballot by a unanimous City Council and Mayor


There is no official argument recorded against Measure KK


So, Berkeley voters, vote yes on Measure KK if you want to remove firefighter residency requirements, change eligibility requirements for the Redistricting Commission, allow the City Council to appoint the City Attorney, and update the charter’s language to use gender-neutral pronouns. 


Vote no if you want to keep the charter the same.

Carla Esteves is a 2020-2021 Audio Academy Fellow with KALW. Her reporting interests include environmental justice, housing insecurity, climate change, business and economy.