Please see below for some answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Ranked Choice Voting Explained
FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT - VOTE TOM YOUR FIRST CHOICE
If Tom gets over 50.1% on the first choice ballots.-- he wins. That is our goal!
If Tom gets over 50.1% on the first choice ballots.-- he wins. That is our goal!
QUESTIONS ABOUT 2ND AND 3RD CHOICES:
1. Do I have to vote for someone for second and third?
NO, you can leave them blank. Your vote will be counted.
2. Can I vote for Tom for as my first, second, and third choice?
Yes, your ballot will be counted if you vote for Tom as all 3 of your choices.
3. How exactly does rank choice voting work?
If no one gets 50.1% of the vote on the first choice votes, then the person who finishes last has their second choice votes distributed. If no one gets 50.1%, the person who finished last has their third choice votes distributed and that candidate is eliminated. Then the person who finished next to last, votes are distributed like the last place voter. If no winner, then the next candidate up from the bottom votes are distributed and so on until someone gets 50.1%.
4. When will we know who won the Mayor's race?
The following is an educated guess. At about 9PM election night the votes of the people who voted by mail should be announced. Around 11:30 the people who voted at the polls should be counted. The votes of people who brought their absentee ballots to the polls will then be counted (there could be quite a number of ballots). The counting could take anywhere from 4 days to a week. Also, contested ballots (minor problems) could add another week.
Berkeley Fiscal Facts
Is Berkeley’s fiscal health sound?
Has Berkeley’s response to the financial crisis been prudent?
Are Berkeley’s unfunded liabilities are manageable?
Berkeley Public Education*
We've made significant gains, but there is still a lot of work to do... some positives include:
How have you worked to align district, city, and community initiatives and resources for the benefit of Berkeley public schools? Berkeley’s 2020 Vision for Children and Youth is a partnership between district, city, and community partners focused on improved attendance, kindergarten readiness, third grade literacy, positive behavior, completion of high school math standards, and college and career readiness.
How are Berkeley public schools doing in comparison to the rest of the state? Each of our eleven elementary schools achieved close to or above the state goal of 800 on the Academic Performance Index (API). All three middle schools have surpassed an API of 800. More district data in PDF here.
What is the graduation rate for BHS? Berkeley High School graduation rate has risen to 86.1%. This has been helped by the fact that Latino and African American students are graduating at higher rates and dropping out at lower rates than their county and statewide counterparts. CDE BHS Graduation Data
How are we dealing with the achievement gap? Academic performance by African-American students in our middle schools has increased by 92 API points. This climb in African American student achievement, between 2008 and 2011, reflects improvements in both Mathematics and English Language Arts. Student engagement has improved through equity-based and culturally relevant practices. More API data – CDE website
What is the BUILD program that you helped to found? With specialized literacy training from our teachers, Berkeley United in Literacy Development (BUILD) tutors use common language and strategies from our elementary school reading program in their work with students.
How have you worked with BUSD to expand athletics capacity in the district? BHS students enjoy new athletic program facilities on campus with the opening of the 2012-13 school year – there are 28 sports offered at Berkeley High School with over one-third of the high school’s 3,300+ students participating. By Spring 2013, BHS and Berkeley Technology Academy students will have expanded athletic space for baseball, basketball, and soccer at Tim Moellering Field.
* Content borrowed from BUSD
Climate Action Progress*
Are we using less energy in our homes over the last ten years?
While the number of households in Berkeley increased 2% (1,074 households) between 2000 and 2010, total residential sector energy consumption (electricity and natural gas combined) decreased 10% in that same time period - a reduction of approximately 89,285 MWh.
Have our City buildings become more efficient in the last ten years?
As a result of ongoing energy upgrades to municipal facilities, existing City government facilities have become more efficient since 2000 -- energy consumption (electricity and natural gas) decreased from 22 KWh per square foot in 2000 to 19 KWh per square foot in 2009, representing an 18% decrease in consumption.
How are we progressing on our goal to install 19 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of clean solar electricity produced in Berkeley annually by 2020?
The number of solar PV installations increased from two known installations in 2000 to over 849 as of September 2012.
Are we making progress on our goal to enhance energy services & standards and encourage energy upgrades for existing commercial properties?
As of August 2011, annual savings on energy bills across all Berkeley businesses served by Smart Lights exceeds $1 million. The corresponding energy saved annually across all Berkeley projects is 6.4 million KWh.
How are we reducing costs of energy upgrades for existing residential properties?
In Berkeley alone, CYES trained 214 youth who conducted 3,777 green house calls between 2000 and 2011. The estimated annual savings on energy bills across all Berkeley households served by CYES exceeded
$170,000. The corresponding annual energy savings by these households is nearly 2.2 million kWh.
What are we doing to support our bicycling community?
We opened the Downtown Berkeley Bike Station in 2010 (with 268 valet attended bike parking spots). In 2007, 2010, and 2011 the City invested heavily in new bike racks and will have provided over 1,600 new bicycle parking spaces in those three years alone.
The existing Bicycle Boulevard network consists of almost 12 miles of Boulevards. The City recently completed gaps in the network through
projects such as the 9th Street Bicycle Boulevard Extension project, which connects West Berkeley to Emeryville.
What are we doing to support our pedestrians?
As of June 2011, a year after its adoption, the City has initiated action on 14 of the 34 High-Priority Projects recommended in the Plan. At this time 1% of the infrastructure improvements included in the High-Priority Projects have been completed. In addition, the City completed improvements at many of the Top 100 Intersections as part of roadway repaving work, through an ongoing, collaborative process led by staff in the Engineering and Transportation Divisions of Public Works.
How are we expanding access to alternative transportation options?
As of September 2011, the community has access to a total of 94 car share vehicles at 48 car share pods (City CarShare and ZipCar locations). The number of available car share vehicles and pods has grown to approximately 10 times the 2002 baseline.
How are doing with our waste diversion goals?
In the last ten years our emissions associated with waste sent to the landfill has decreased by over 60%.
What are some ways that we are making Berkeley more resilient to climate change?
The City’s Urban Forestry Management staff plant an average of over
600 street and park trees every year and planted 601 trees in 2010. Berkeley has increased its number of street and park trees every year and has gained over 3,840 street and park trees since 2000. This amounts to an estimated total of over 46,000 street and park trees in the City of Berkeley.
How are we working with our business community towards our climate action goals?
As of June 2011, 170 Berkeley businesses and 4 out of 12 Berkeley hotels are green-certified by the Bay Area Green Business Program.
* Content borrowed from Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
* Data taken from Berkeley Police Quarterly Crime Reports