Ukrainians to visit Berkeley for democracy lessons

Leaders from a former Soviet Socialist Republic are coming to develop partnerships and exchange ideas with the city some half-jokingly call “the People’s Republic of Berkeley.”

A delegation of ten government and non-governmental organization leaders from Ukraine will be in the Bay Area from July 26 through Aug. 3, sponsored by the Open World Program of the U.S. Congress — an effort to have leaders from former Soviet states experience U.S. democracy and free enterprise in action, firsthand — and coordinated by the Berkeley-based Center for Safe Energy, a project of the Earth Island Institute.

The visitors will start their week by meeting with Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who’s to explain his city’s programs and local government accountability; they’ll also meet Berkeley’s Sustainable Business Coordinator, Jennifer Cogley, about the city’s green certification programs and with Energy & Sustainable Development Officer Neal de Snoo, who will give a tour of energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings. They’re also scheduled to meet with Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak and with Anne Taylor, Rep. Barbara Lee‘s district director.

Among the delegates are Maksym Levchuk, a member of the Poltava regional legislature; Stepan Barna, a Ternopil Regional Council member, and Konstyantyn Pidhornyy of the Kharkiv City Council.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Jerry

    we would be best off if the people of Berkley and the radical offspring of the San Francisco Bay area including the mulitimillionair Palo Alto { Stanford College} and the elected officials were given a shovel and put to hand bilistering, backbreaking work! Not 5to mention that this is the Vietnam Era syndrome repeating itself. They have to work in at real laborous jobs or starve and see how much they hate rthis country. By the way has the Bay Area legalized pot and LSD yet. Not that they need to there has always been plenrty to be purchased. I survived California so I know the area and am a Vietnam Combat Vet who also wored for a living! So I have definately earned my freedom of speech!!!!

  • What the hell has happened to San Francisco? It’s not the city that I once loved and was a part of. Who in the hell is in charge? It’s liberal cesspool of drug addicts, homosexuals, bums, socialists, unemployed,
    union demands, demonstrations, anti war, anti military, anti everything; except want the minority wants. How in the hell did the people of San Francisco elect this nutjob left wing homo by the name of Gavin Newsome? When is the majority of the people going to take control on their city and destiny and throw these morons out? San Francisco is the laughing stock of the United States and U.C. Berserkely is a close second. The mayor seems to think he has more power than the Federal Government !! Tell me about the illegal immigrant that just killed a Father and his 2 Sons and left the Wife a widow while violating Federal statues !! Someone should sue the hell out of San Francisco and the Mayor. Newsome should be impeached and thrown out on his ass. C’mon decent people of San Francisco, take your city back and put some people in office that have some brains.
    Thank God I don’t live there anymore.

  • Andrew

    Who’s calling it the ‘People’s Republic of Berkeley’, you? I know your kind are taught to hate Ukrainians at a very early age but there’s no reason to vilify these people.

  • Josh Richman

    Do a Google search, Andrew, and you’ll see the “People’s Republic of Berkeley” moniker mentioned in lots of places, including Time magazine (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1209747,00.html). And what “kind” do I believe I am, exactly?