Opinion_ Denying a brand new Willard Park clubhouse is a vote in opposition to Berkeley’s youngsters

As final faculty yr’s PTA presidents at Sylvia Mendez, Malcolm X, John Muir, and Emerson elementary colleges, we urge the Berkeley Metropolis Council to assist South Berkeley’s households and youngsters by voting to rework the Willard Park clubhouse and reject the enchantment of some opponents. Over 80 folks wrote in assist of the Willard Park clubhouse redesign, the bulk being our fellow dad and mom of younger youngsters.

Not solely is the decrepit present constructing inaccessible to these with disabilities, it’s at present inadequate for afterschool programming provided to Berkeley’s youngsters. The clubhouse is small and dingy, with a disgusting rest room. Mother and father have been involved a few lack of childcare sources for years, and it’s not getting higher. Town of Berkeley gives free or backed childcare and pre-kindergarten packages, however over 300 youngsters have been caught on afterschool childcare waitlists final yr. With out this transform, a lot of our lowest-resourced youngsters will proceed to not get the care they deserve.

Within the PTA focus group conferences held by town, dad and mom advocated for the most important doable mission to protect Willard Park’s inexperienced house. However, metropolis workers proposed a smaller model at the moment. Whereas not dad and mom’ choice, we understood the fragile

balancing act. That proposal was already a compromise. However lately, town needed to scale it again even additional due to building price will increase. The present proposal is the smallest the mission can get and nonetheless meet the wants of dependable and steady childcare

programming. It supplies a wonderful and welcoming neighborhood house whereas sustaining grassy areas.

Our neighborhood and youngsters deserve good issues. The Willard clubhouse will create neighborhood house to serve South Berkeley. Lots of of individuals and a number of commissions have weighed in all through a dozen conferences, and a fragile consensus was achieved. Plus, no extra funding is allotted to this mission, so if the enchantment is permitted, thousands and thousands of taxpayer {dollars} will go to waste.

Torpedoing this mission can be no solution to run our metropolis. Don’t let just a few obstructionists take this away from our kids and flush your tax {dollars} down the drain. Please write to the Berkeley Metropolis Council and ask them to disclaim the enchantment and transfer forward with a wonderful transform of the Willard clubhouse.

This vote is about supporting Berkeley’s households. Please urge the council to do the fitting factor and ship an e mail or attend the assembly on Zoom or in particular person at 6 p.m. Monday, July 24, at 1231 Addison Road in Berkeley.

If you wish to know extra in regards to the particulars of the clubhouse transform, we suggest studying town of Berkeley’s Willard Clubhouse webpage and Councilmember Mark Humbert’s informative publication, which addresses questions folks have had in regards to the mission.

Rana Cho (Emerson Elementary Faculty), Rohini Haar (John Muir Elementary Faculty), Justin Randall (Sylvia Mendez Elementary Faculty) and Heather Ball (Malcolm X Elementary Faculty) served as PTA presidents throughout the 2022-2023 faculty yr.

Author: ZeroToHero