Peter Bruce DuMont is running to fill the District 8 City Council seat that will be vacated by councilmember Lori Droste this election cycle.
DuMont is a UC Berkeley graduate and founder of the Star Alliance, an organization that champions self-defined civic ideals such as “holistic good will, integrity and benefit.” DuMont added that the declaration and pledges of civic ideals that he authored as part of the organization should be taught in schools the way the Pledge of Allegiance is taught.
Aside from championing what he considers to be “truly a historic turning point in the human experience,” DuMont believes there needs to be more housing, a campus enrollment limit and an alternative method of police reform. On the topic of increased housing supply, DuMont said he supports rent control measures.
“I’m not thinking I’m fully up to date on the letter of the law, but I think we need to review this whole idea of unlimited rent raises between tenants,” DuMont said.
He added that it is important to look at the role UC Berkeley has on the city of Berkeley, noting its impact on housing. The campus population is pertinent to DuMont, given that District 8 covers much of south-east Berkeley and includes the Clark Kerr campus and some of the campus student housing.
In order to take into consideration the perspectives of students, DuMont said that if elected, he would devote a few hours each week, possibly in the form of office hours, to hear student concerns.
In reference to campus’ enrollment freeze and lawsuit last spring, DuMont said there should be an enrollment limit imposed on campus’s student population “at some point.”
“To take a look at that I think is only healthy, because if … the university keeps on adding more and more enrollments, then it will become overloading and unfair on the city,” DuMont said.
Though many in Berkeley propose different alternatives for police reform, DuMont said he believes that the implementation of transcendental meditation rather than downsizing force could improve its efficacy.
As an advocate and former teacher of transcendental meditation, DuMont described the practice as periods of “deep, conscious rest.”
“It would be part of the job to relax deeply, to get your mind very balanced, your feelings very positive,” DuMont said. “It would quickly produce a warmer feeling … between the force and those being enforced.”
He added that officers should be given time during their workday to practice transcendental meditation.
DuMont also said he supports the implementation of transcendental meditation as a practice more broadly among citizens and government employees.
“It would be very powerful, very exciting and relatively quick to produce results to lower stress levels, lower crime, lower hostilities and ill will and increase everybody’s health and good feeling,” DuMont said.