REBUILD & RE-OPEN Willard Middle School Community Pool
  • Petitioned City of Berkeley, CA City Council

This petition was delivered to:

City of Berkeley, CA City Council

REBUILD & RE-OPEN Willard Middle School Community Pool

    1. Amber Washington
    2. Petition by

      Amber Washington

      Oakland, CA

The weather is heating up and summer is on it's way.  Many kids are already starting to day dream about long days at the pool, doing back flips and cannon balls.  Sadly, the students and families in South and West Berkeley have to do a little extra dreaming because their local pool is filled with dirt! 

The only community pool in South Berkeley, at Willard Middle School, was getting old and in need of too many repairs.  After Measure C BARELY failed to get 2/3 majority in 2010, which was designed to generate funds to renovate Willard pool, (as well as for improvements to King pool in North Berkeley and to reopen the warm pool for elderly, handicapped and infants), they filled it with dirt!  

Unless this issue gets back on the ballot, a valuable community treasure will be gone forever. Tuesday, May 1st the Berkeley City Council will be moving forward with their plans for the November ballot, and those plans don't include bringing back the Willard community pool.  

This is an EQUITY issue!  North Berkeley has a pool and South Berkeley families deserve a pool in THEIR community.  Help save the only community pool in South Berkeley, Willard pool!

Recent signatures


    1. CALL FOR EMAILS to Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association (CENA) Board!

      Amber Washington
      Petition Organizer

      The (CENA) Board voted last week, without consulting its members, to oppose the pools ballot measures that would finance the rebuilding of Willard pool.

      EMAIL the CENA Board members & ask them to:
      -Rescind opposition to the Pools Ballot Measures.
      -Hold a public meeting so that CENA members & residents of the CENA neighborhoods can weigh in on this important decision
      -Vote to endorse the pools ballot measures

      Mark Humbert, President -
      Dean Metzger, Vice President -
      Matt Mitchell, Secretary -
      Beverly Doane, Treasurer -
      Michael Alvarez Cohen -
      Phil Bokovoy -
      Shannon R. Brown -
      Earl Crabb -
      David Denton -
      Lori Droste -
      George Frost -
      Claudia Hunka -
      Jacquelyn McCormick -
      Ann Smulka -


    2. Berkeley Pools Campaign Kick-off Meeting!

      Amber Washington
      Petition Organizer

      Hey Willard Pool Supporters!

      The City Council has put its final seal of approval on two ballot measures that would save and improve Berkeley pools for decades to come (details below). Which means it's time to officially start our election campaign. November 6, Election Day, is less than four months away!

      We will hold our campaign kickoff meeting Monday, July 23, at 6:30 pm. Location: Mudrakers Cafe, 2801 Telegraph Ave, opposite Willard Middle School. Please come, and invite your friends and neighbors. Bring your creative ideas for fun and innovative campaign tactics. Hope you can make it!

    3. $19.4 mil to renovate Willard Pool & other pool facilities on Nov. ballot!

      Amber Washington
      Petition Organizer

      Hi folks, I've got an exciting update for you! Please see note below from Maggie Knutson, John Muir Elementary, BUSD & the AMAZING woman behind this current effort.

      "Last night The Berkeley City Council voted UNANIMOUSLY to put a measure on the November ballot for $19.4 million to renovate/rebuild a warm pool, Willard pool, make necessary improvements to King and West Pool facilities! Congratulations to everyone (children and adults) who showed up at any meeting to speak to the council, those who have called or emailed council members, made signs, rallied on Telegraph, hung signs/posters, written letters to the editor AND to the warm pool folks who have been in this struggle for several years, many in deteriorating health. 

      We should be proud of our efforts to protect and improve the quality of life in Berkeley for everyone! I encourage you to do some thinking about how you might take a role in this campaign that will begin in earnest very soon." Email:

    4. Our Last Best Chance to Save Willard Pool!

      Amber Washington
      Petition Organizer

      This Tuesday (May 29th) is a make or break moment for Willard Pool. We need the City Council to hear a LOUD and CLEAR message that we want it to be saved. We are rallying folks to shout this message with the hope of getting a pools measure on the ballot this November. Showing up at City Council meeting Tuesday at 6:30PM with signs in hand and vocal chords at the ready is the best option for getting your message across. However, a simple email or phone call can also make the difference.

      Email Council Members by cutting and pasting this address string:,,,,,,,,

      Or, call these council members:
      *Mayor Tom Bates* (510) 981-7100
      *Linda Maio* (510) 981-7110
      *Darryl Moore* (510) 981-7120
      *Susan Wengraf* (510) 981-7160

    5. Reached 250 signatures
    6. Victory at the Berkeley City Council hearing Tuesday, May 1st!

      Amber Washington
      Petition Organizer

      Last night John Muir Elementary 5th grade students took to the microphone, along with their teacher Maggie Knutson, to address the Berkeley City Council on why they should vote to re-open Willard Pool. There were "Be Cool, Save Our Pool" signs on display from the rally held Sunday, April 29, and supporters crammed inside and outside of the Council chambers. Thanks to your support, Willard Pool is back on the survey and can move forward in the process toward getting on the ballot in November as a bond measure! The survey results will come back on May 29th then they decide if and how it will go on the ballot in November. Then we start again. Please continue to share this petition with your networks. With your continued support, the repair and re-opening Willard Pool will become a reality for the community of South Berkeley!

    7. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Abraham Johnson NEW ORLEANS, LA
      • about 2 years ago

      its just important

    • Lori Kossowsky BERKELEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      All people need to swim. Now that Willard is closed and the Warm Pool is closed there is a big population that CANNOT swim. We live an area that is surrounded by water. Don't wait till someone drowns, don't wait till a disabled person cannot walk again. Please, give our people hope-- let our people swim again.

    • Claudia Polsky BERKELEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Willard is a desperately needed community resource in a part of town with too few healthy, fun gathering places -- especially for children and senior citizens, both groups that frequented Willard. We seem to be in a negative feedback loop with respect to Berkeley infrastructure, where the fact that the poorer/historically blacker part of town has dilapidated infrastructure that then gets deemed too expensive to fix and operate, justifying the shifting of resources and programming to the already-comparatively-well-resourced parts of town. Berkeley can do better!

    • Gloria Park ALAMEDA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      We lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and may return again. The pool serves a very important social and health purposes for the residents and their family and friends.

    • Kim Anno BERKELEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Pools are for health, both physical and mental health, and public pools are for all citizens of berkeley and it is important to have access to pools.


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