Opinion_ Denying a model new Willard Park clubhouse is a vote in opposition to Berkeley’s children

As remaining school yr’s PTA presidents at Sylvia Mendez, Malcolm X, John Muir, and Emerson elementary faculties, we urge the Berkeley Metropolis Council to help South Berkeley’s households and kids by voting to transform the Willard Park clubhouse and reject the enchantment of some opponents. Over 80 people wrote in help of the Willard Park clubhouse redesign, the majority being our fellow dad and mother of youthful children.

Not solely is the decrepit current developing inaccessible to those with disabilities, it is at current insufficient for afterschool programming supplied to Berkeley’s children. The clubhouse is small and dingy, with a disgusting bathroom. Mom and father have been concerned a number of lack of childcare sources for years, and it isn’t getting increased. City of Berkeley offers free or backed childcare and pre-kindergarten packages, nonetheless over 300 children have been caught on afterschool childcare waitlists remaining yr. With out this remodel, a number of our lowest-resourced children will proceed to not get the care they deserve.

Inside the PTA focus group conferences held by city, dad and mother advocated for an important doable mission to guard Willard Park’s inexperienced home. Nevertheless, metropolis employees proposed a smaller mannequin in the intervening time. Whereas not dad and mother’ selection, we understood the delicate

balancing act. That proposal was already a compromise. Nevertheless recently, city wanted to scale it once more even extra on account of constructing value will enhance. The current proposal is the smallest the mission can get and nonetheless meet the needs of reliable and regular childcare

programming. It provides an exquisite and welcoming neighborhood home whereas sustaining grassy areas.

Our neighborhood and kids deserve good points. The Willard clubhouse will create neighborhood home to serve South Berkeley. A number of of people and numerous commissions have weighed in all by way of a dozen conferences, and a fragile consensus was achieved. Plus, no further funding is allotted to this mission, so if the enchantment is permitted, hundreds and hundreds of taxpayer {{dollars}} will go to waste.

Torpedoing this mission may be no resolution to run our metropolis. Don’t let just some obstructionists take this away from our children and flush your tax {{dollars}} down the drain. Please write to the Berkeley Metropolis Council and ask them to deny the enchantment and switch ahead with an exquisite remodel of the Willard clubhouse.

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

Should you want to know further regarding the particulars of the clubhouse remodel, we propose learning city of Berkeley’s Willard Clubhouse webpage and Councilmember Mark Humbert’s informative publication, which addresses questions people have had regarding the mission.

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