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Published April 27th, 2022
Letters to the editor

Multi-family housing

As a long-time friend to Moraga's town staff and to the Lamorinda Weekly, I offer this as a helpful suggestion regarding procedure. The stock photograph in the April 13 edition shows what a multi-family housing development can look like if there is open space around it, but there won't be anything like that in Moraga, as there hasn't been in the past. What we do have in our most recent multi-family development on Moraga Way next to the fire station is a typical example of too many units crowded onto a small parcel of land. I assume the photograph was supplied in good faith by the planning department and you used it without determining if it was realistic with regard to Moraga. No great harm done, but please be careful in the future.
As we increase the density in Moraga, the number of cars increases too. Please make sure that sufficient garage space is provided and that occupants use it for their cars. We don't want our streets lined with parked cars, as in parts of Oakland and Berkeley. I have noticed cars parked along Country Club Drive opposite that new development. There weren't cars parked there in the past.
As always, never forget that Moraga has a unique problem in the form of limited access to the outside world. If we let that one get away from us, we might as well call it Brigadoon, the mythical village in the Scottish Highlands that the residents may not leave.

Dale Walwark

A vote for Devin Murphy

Devin Murphy, running for Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder, brings the blend of experience, vision and community knowledge that will enable improved Clerk-Recorder operations and ability to serve all of Contra Costa well. The County Clerk-Recorder safeguards our election process, voter registration, marriage licenses and business licenses. It is this office that can ensure votes are protected and can ensure all eligible voters are educated about voting and have ease in registering to vote and voting.
Devin has worked on voting since he was a teenager doing voter registration. He knows that civic education builds trust in government and commitment to the privilege of voting. He is currently Mayor Pro Tempore of Pinole and business owner of a technology company. His 12 years of civic and business experience working as a CEO, included building cultures oriented to serving the public. He wants to bring this spirit to the Clerk-Recorder's office coupled with technology innovations that will make the office easier to access. Devin will increase community locations and times of service to make it easier to secure your marriage or business license and ensure all can be paid cash or check, as well as debit and credit card.
Devin will work to make the Clerk-Recorder office more efficient, and will focus on making it more environmentally sustainable in ways that also save money, starting with phasing out diesel mobile vans and replacing them with energy efficient electric vehicles.
Devin grew up in Contra Costa. Growing up, he watched his social worker mother advocate for the needs of vulnerable children, seniors, and families across the Bay Area. This instilled in him early the values of community, service, and making your voice heard when it comes to doing what's right. He graduated from and was class President at UCLA. As a Harvard Ash Fellow, Devin studied and applied ways to use technology to advance democratic governance.
Devin's passion for democracy and voting infuses his commitment to bring innovations to the Clerk-Recorder office using technology, enhanced community outreach and improved customer service.
Please vote for and learn more about Devin Murphy at www.devintmurphy.com.

Marti Roach

Racial Equity Policy in schools

The dogmas of Critical Race Theory (CRT) continue to expand throughout Lamorinda's public schools under DEI, DEIB, and SEL, although the CRT-term itself is no longer used. Lafayette School District is now in the forefront of this activism with its Racial Equity Policy Manuals 0415.1 AR and BP, which you can google. See also prior letters in 10-27-21 and 12-08-21 editions. In order to begin to counter this openly racist ideology, the following Resolution needs to be adopted by local school districts:
District schools shall treat each student as an individual rather than as a member of a group based upon any immutable characteristic, in particular based upon race or ethnicity. Further, the student shall be judged based upon his or her individual behaviors and achievements, and not be judged, rewarded, or punished based upon group stereotypes or averages.
Specifically, in accordance with the above, the District:
1. will not permit teaching that any individual is an oppressor or is oppressed based on race, ethnicity, or any immutable characteristic.
2. will not permit teaching that an individual is inherently racist either consciously or unconsciously, is morally superior or inferior, or has a presumed superior or inferior competence or inherent advantage or disadvantage based upon race or ethnicity.
3. will not permit teaching that an individual should receive adverse or favorable treatment in order to balance some statistical group property.
4. will not permit teaching that an individual bears responsibility for actions committed by other members of the same group in the past or present, or that an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her group membership.
5. will not permit teaching that racism is the primary principle of society or the chief lens through which to view the world, ignoring other influences on culture, society and individuals.
6. will not permit any instruction that asks students to self-identify their group memberships.

David Berti

Orinda City Council refuses to consider community choice energy

I'm writing because I'm interested in this issue and was disappointed by the presentations of our council members on agenda Item H.2 at the April 19 meeting of the Orinda City Council. With the exception of Mayor Fay, it seemed like they were struggling to find justifications for a predetermined vote.
Agenda Item H.2 was whether to request MCE (Marin Clean Energy) or other CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) entity make a presentation and answer questions at a future council meeting. A CCA is an alternative source of electrical generation to PG&E. They provide more choices of renewable energy sources than PG&E at typically slightly lower costs.
Twenty two email comments were submitted prior to the meeting. Twenty emails were in favor of the Item, including our state assembly representative Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Latika Malkani (a prior candidate for city council), and a UCB business and energy professor and electrical grid operator who offered his expertise to council members.
There were only two emails against the Item.
There were eight public comments during the meeting seven for the Item, including the president of the Miramonte Climate Action Club ("Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our generation. An opportunity that shouldn't be ignored."), and one against.
Agenda Item H.2 started out with the new city manager saying, "We haven't done a lot of leg work at this time"because "council hasn't expressed a lot of interest."
Council member Gee recused due to a conflict of interest with PG&E.
In general, council members, excepting the mayor, expressed a lack of interest and vague concerns about council member and staff time required to review contracts, agendas, budgets, and possible financial liabilities of joining a CCA. One council member agreed with the negative email citing a five-year-old article on "...a tin foil hat Conspiracy site that promotes quackery-level pseudoscience." Comments included:
"I'm not close to understanding what we're talking about"
"I'd love to dive in a get more information - over a period of years."
"PG&E would be fossil-fuel free by 2045"
"What will this accomplish to reduce climate change?"
"We are a small city, what we do doesn't make any difference."
"A tremendous amount of time and its not free time in my life, it has a financial cost."
"Very concerned about our ability to take on projects."
"No further information will change my concerns."
Mayor Fay concluded by saying that he was extremely disappointed. "Cost is not the real issue, giving Orinda residents a choice of energy sources, including 100% renewable, is. PG&E doesn't offer that choice. This is not impossible." The real issue now, he said, is "Do you want to find out more?"
In the end, Mayor Fay moved to support the Item. No council members seconded the motion.
Let the city council know if you want a choice of energy sources. If council members do not represent you, vote them out of office.
Archived video of the meeting and supporting documents are available on the City website under Government, City Council Agendas. City Manager and council discussion of Item H.2 begins at 4:06, followed by citizen comments. Council discussion after citizen comments begins at 4:38. Meeting ends at 5:18 (12:20 a.m.).

Jim Ulrick

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