Berkeley, Calif., a city that in recent years has become the epicenter of violence from so-called Antifa demonstrators, has been named the third-best city to live in across the U.S.
According to the 2018 Niche rankings, Berkeley scored the top rating for quality of public schools, nightlife and living situations for families.
But while the city was also declared the “healthiest” one to live in, it struggled in other criteria such as crime and housing.
Ann Arbor, Mich., and Naperville, Ill., came out above Berkeley in the total ranking, finishing first and second, respectively.
The statistics show that the median household income in Berkeley was over $70,000, significantly above the national average, though residents may end up spending that higher income on the city's high cost of living -- which is significantly higher than those of other cities across America.
Reactions to the Niche rankings were mixed.
“Berkeley has wonderful weather: very mild winters, cool summers, no rain in the summer. This is definitely top-five weather,” Mike Zint, co-founder of homeless rights activist group First They Came for the Homeless, told the Daily Californian. “Housing? Only if you are doing well — the cost is too high.”
Guy Lee, another advocate for the homeless, said the city favors wealthy residents and not enough affordable housing was is being built. “We have an ever-increasing homeless population due to inaction of public policy beyond a bologna sandwich and a pat on the head,” Lee told the outlet.
He warned that the situation may prompt a “crime wave” in the city thanks to fewer police officers. Niche rankings already claim that rates for robbery, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft are higher in Berkeley than elsewhere in the U.S.
But Berkeley has already seen a fair share of violence in recent years thanks to black-clad Antifa agitators who often mobilize to violently oppose any gathering in Berkeley that has right-wing undertones.
Earlier this month, the Berkeley Police Department arrested 20 people during the dueling California demonstrations between Antifa and some individuals associated with the so-called “alt-right” movement.
Members of Antifa were seen smashing windows of the U.S. Marines Corps recruitment office on Shattuck Avenue.
In comparison, the violence this month was a relatively small skirmish with little injuries or damage to the property. Last year in February, the far-left agitators shut down a University of California, Berkeley, event featuring a conservative speaker and went on to riot in the city, causing approximately $100,000 in damage.
Still, some local council members lamented the high ranking of their city, fearing more people will come and put additional stress on affordable housing. City Councilmember Kriss Worthington told the newspaper that the city should work to reduce its violent crime and build more housing for lower income households.
“I think if we could fix those two things, we could probably be No. 1 — best city in the whole country,” he said.