Bernheim, San Joaquin

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Bernheim, San Joaquin
Charter city
(Clockwise from top right: Old Bernheim City Building, Royal Pacific Railroad North Central Trainyard and Distribution Center, Interprovincial 5-Scenic Route 4 interchange, View of Bernheim and vicinity in the air from the south, University of Sierra, Bernheim (USB) campus, Bernheim Industrial Center)
(Clockwise from top right: Old Bernheim City Building, Royal Pacific Railroad North Central Trainyard and Distribution Center, Interprovincial 5-Scenic Route 4 interchange, View of Bernheim and vicinity in the air from the south, University of Sierra, Bernheim (USB) campus, Bernheim Industrial Center)
Flag of Bernheim, San Joaquin
Flag
Official seal of Bernheim, San Joaquin
Seal
Nickname(s): The Detroit of the West, The Affordable yet Deadly City, Bernietown, Delta Hell
Motto(s): "It's Not That Bad"
Location of Bernheim in relation to Sierra.
Location of Bernheim in relation to Sierra.
Country  Sierra
Province Flag of San Joaquin.svg San Joaquin
County Marshall
Incorporation March 4th, 1870
Founded by San Joaquin Provincial Legislature
Seat Bernheim City Hall
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Chief Alderman Carson Davis (DR)
 • Body Bernheim Council of Aldermen
Area
 • Total 167.71 km2 (64.753 sq mi)
 • Land 159.72 km2 (61.670 sq mi)
 • Water 7.98 km2 (3.083 sq mi)  4.76%
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2015)
 • Total 567,227
Demonym(s) Hoosier(s), Bernheimer(s)
ZIP codes 95202–95207, 95209–95210, 95212
Call codes 209
Website bernhiem.ks

Bernheim is the capital city of the Sierran province of San Joaquin and the seat of government of the County of Marshall. With an estimated population of 567,227, it is the 16th largest city in the Kingdom of Sierra and the largest in the province of San Joaquin. The conjoined, Bernheim-Oakalona-Plainfield metropolitan area, is one of the largest urban centers in Northern Sierra, with a total of 2,882,305 residents. Primarily populated with descendants of settlers from the United Commonwealth and the Confederate States, its citizens are commonly referred to as Hoosiers. Located along the San Joaquin River in the northern San Joaquin Valley, it is distinctively located within the San Joaquin Delta.

Incorporating a highly diversified economy, its most important industries grew out of the subsidies during the early 1870's which set the foundation for its powerful manufacturing backbone in steelmaking. During the Sierran Civil War, the city was where the Republican rebellion initially started, and remained a Republican stronghold throughout the war, serving as the nominal capital of the self-declared Second California Republic under the leadership of Isaiah Landon. Following the war, following reconstruction from the damages of war, the city continued down the path of manufacturing, becoming Central Sierra's largest center. Since 1897, it has been home to Sierra's largest steelmill. The Royal Pacific Railroad established its main trainyard in the cities southside in the 1910's and has been an instrumental component to the region's economy; Bernheim was also home to the nation's largest ammunition factories and distributors during World War II. Employment in education, medicine and governmental services have grown steadily in the recent decades but due to the city's source of cheap labor and low cost of living, contemporary Sierran manufacturing has remained prevalent in Bernheim.

Education, medicine and government services have played a major role in the city's economy as well, with the the city being home to the University of Sierra, Bernheim; the flagship for the national university system. With nearly 48,000 students enrolled, the city benefits immensely from the students' presence in the city. Due to the city's rampant alcohol abuse and tobacco smoking, the city is one of the most unhealthiest in the country and has allowed for a hotbed for college student alcoholism. In a 2010 Gallup poll, Bernheim was found to be the "fattest city in Sierra", with nearly 34.6% of the population being overweight or obese.

In the early 1900's, the city was the nation's center for the prohibitionist movement; in the 1940's, the city was the largest supplier of soldiers for the war effort and during the Vietnam War, the city's officials forcefully put down several peace movements at the University of Sierra in aggressive fashions that became infamous across the nation and sparking change. Since its founding through a charter approved by the San Joaquin Provincial Legislature in 1870, the city has been a strong supporter of cultural republicanism and the Democratic-Republican Party of Sierra. In contemporary times however, Bernheim remains staunchly conservative socially Styxiecrats, in stark contrast to the Democratic-Republican Party's social values and positions. Voter registration shows citizens of San Joaquin and Bernheim that nearly 68% of the population is registered with the Democratic-Republicans and although aligned heavily with the party, Hoosiers generally show strong xenophobic stances, antifeminist rhetoric, and display a general disliking of current social liberalism. However, Hoosiers are much more socially liberal on certain issues, such as homosexuality, in comparison to other conservatives. In addition, a large majority of citizens are religiously unaffiliated.

History[edit]

Populated primarily by the Miwok and the Maidu, the natives inhabited the banks of the Delta in villages comprisng approximately around 200 to 1,000 people individually. Susceptibility to flooding caused the natives to move frequently to higher grounds. Both the Miwok and the Maidu cultivated tobacco and harvested acorns from the California Black Oak. When settlers from Indiana established the city of Oakalona in 1848, the discovery of a Lone California Black Oak developed into the name of Lone Oak and eventually, the future town of Oakalona.

Among the settlers of Oakalona was Joseph William Bernheim, a Unitarian minister from Kentucky. Bernheim taught the local children in a makeshift schoolhouse along the banks of the Delta where he prescribed in great detail, an emphasis on the sciences. His association with Unitarianism made him a political enemy of the nation, which was led by the growing Seventh-day Adventist and Southern Baptist movements. In 1865, Bernheim established the San Joaquin Academy of Science and Theology, where he installed his own religious and political dogma which included racial equality, emphasis on charity and love. In 1868, the senator from San Joaquin, Ulysses Perry joined Mr. Bernheim in his school in which the two shared equally sound views on religion, politics and ethics. Many scholars claim Perry's adherence to deism strongly allowed for the friendship to grow. In 1869, Bernheim died due to old age at the age of 87, where his family, local planters and Perry joined him.

In 1870, with the election of Ulysses to the position of Prime Minister, he heavily advocated for Mr. Bernheim's school to become a publicly chartered public university. On March 15, he passed legislation that established the University of Sierra system, which established three national universities in the three regions of the nation and dedicated funding to states for the support of establishing local universities, one of which, would be based in Bernheim. Ground breaking began on May 1 for the University of Sierra, Bernheim with the construction of Sierra Hall.

Geography[edit]

Bernheim is located within the fertile land of San Joaquin Valley (part of the larger Central Valley) in central San Joaquin and is surrounded by several waterways that form the California Delta. The San Joaquin River flows through Bernheim partially, and is where the Port of Bernheim, the nation's largest inland deepwater port, is located. Aside from the San Joaquin River, two other major rivers are located around Bernheim: Calaveras River (to the north) and the Stanislaus River (to the south).

Neighborhoods and areas[edit]

  • Bear Creek
  • Brookside
  • Civic Center
  • Country Club
  • Lincoln Village
  • Lincoln Village West
  • Pacific

  • Park
  • Seaport
  • Sherwood Manor
  • Spanos Park
  • Stonewood
  • Valley Oak
  • Weston Ranch

Climate[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Economy[edit]

In 1908, the Kingdom of Sierra Steel Corporation planned out nearly 1,000 acres for the development of Bernheim Steelworks. It was planned to be the primary competition with Gary Works in Gary, Indiana. Fashioned with steelmaking and finishing capabilities, the plant at the height of World War II, produced nearly 7.2 million tons for the war efforts. It originally employed around 30,000 individuals in the surrounding area, but with competition with China, the factory has resorted to cheaper methods of production and the cutting of several tens of thousands of jobs; with only 7,000 now working at the plant. In 1910, the Royal Pacific Railroad, alternatively named General Pacific Raildroad within San Joaquin, developed the nations largest trainyain on the far east end of the city, connecting with the extensive I-264, which was designed to mitigate the congestion from departing and incoming truckload shipping. With such key institutions located within the heart of the city, the city of Bernheim has become the traditional industrial heart of the Kingdom. Since 2008, the city's automotive industry dried up completely due to the financial crash, bringing about the most definitive transition in the cities modern economy. With the loss of nearly 25,000 jobs, the city experienced a prolonged economic depression that provoked the dramatic 5% loss of the cities population between 2008 and 2013.

In 2012, the cities government began extensive austerity measures to try and prevent bankruptcy. Carson Davis, elected in 2012 as Chief Alderman, began the redevelopment of the downtown area as a financially viable alternative to the San Francisco Bay Area and promoted the cities image as a "bastion of Sierran capitalism". Incorporating elements of social corporatism, companies and labor unions began to work closely with the city government to redevelop the city. Among the major labor unions, members agreed to a four year cap on salaries above 45,000 dollars. Corporations, in conjunction with the deal, promised to preserve jobs for ten years, with the prospect of paying higher taxes to promote government development. In 2015, the city's polices began to produce dramatic results, with Bernheim becoming one of the fastest growing cities in Sierra.

Top employers[edit]

# Employer # of Employees
1 University of Sierra, Bernheim 6,938
2 Bernheim Steelworks 6,680
3 Bernheim District Schools 4,230
4 Royal Pacific Railroad 3,001
5 Bernheim City Authority 2,595
6 Bernheim Police Department 1,492

Infrastructure[edit]

Utilities[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Arts and culture[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Monuments and sites[edit]

  • Gallery of Contemporary Art Bernheim (the CAB): museum dedicated to art of the past 20-30 years.
  • Brewster House: notable 1960s modern residence in the Stonewood neighborhood

Government and politics[edit]

Local government[edit]

The Bernheim City Building, which houses much of the city's bureaucracy. Its brutalist architecture and moat are well known features known among residents.

Bernhiem is a charter city and is dominated heavily by the executive position of the Chief Alderman which works as both a city judge and a mayor. The city legislature, known as the Bernheim Board of Aldermen is composed of local representatives across the city. Several positions are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the Chief Alderman, including city attorney, police chief, fire chief, all of which are appointed positions. Several city-wide authorities are directly controlled by the Board and the Chief Alderman, including the Bernheim Water Authority, the Bernheim Power and Lighting Authority and the Bernheim Housing Authority.

Bernheim's original charter, established in 1870, has been so heavily modified, that it is the single most revised governing document in the nation. Districts within the city are known as wards (which are further divided into electoral precincts). Within the city, political participation is extremely high, due mostly in part to the city's history and proximity to the University of Sierra. However, several national studies have shown that Bernheim is the worst city for political freedom and the heavy presence of police is a overwhelming factor not seen in the rest of the country. Among the most controversial sites used by the city is the Bernheim City Detention Center, which has been nick named "Gitmo of Sierra"; several reports have claimed that the Bernheim Police Department participates in the use of waterboarding and beating at the facility, a claim the department denies.

Local Ownership Ordinance[edit]

Issues arose during the the late 90's of non-city resident landlords demanded local tenants for rent fees that did not suit the traditionally low cost-of-living of the city. Chief Alderman, William Davis, who held his seat for five consecutive terms, demanded that the landlords cooperate with the city's prices or would face crippling effects. Several property owners felt as if they were also being brought into the turmoil because of the issue of landlords living outside of the city manipulating the need for rentals, to which Davis responded with an executive ordinance that effectively placed special property taxes on non-dwelling landlords. When the rates for the property taxes became so high, several sued the city for their discriminatory tax in Tyler v. City of Bernheim, the courts favored the city and guaranteed the city's ability to maintain the ordinance. The Supreme Court would uphold this ordinance in 1993.

Protesting the ordinance, landlords stopped leasing the homes and refused to sell them to local citizens. Davis proposed a 15 billion dollar deal with several hundreds of tenants to avoid legal battles in trying to acquire the homes for the city. As the owners continued refusing to sell the homes to the city, the city began inspecting the homes as they began to decay and in the March of 1999, Davis declared more than 100,000 homes to be acquired under eminent domain, giving the landowners a undervalued total of nearly 9 billion dollars which caused a series of legal battles. Davis established the Bernheim Housing Authority which effectively mortgaged the houses or rented them at prices according to the prices determined by the city. Several clauses protected the houses from outside influence, and buyers had to agree to live inside the city. Known as the most extravagant display of eminent domain, the ordeal began known nationally as the "The Ordinance" causing great controversy and an infamous display of the Davis and the city government which showed to have totalitarian powers. These legal and administrative issues would later be taken up to the Supreme Court, wherein the Court deemed Davis and the City's use of eminent domain was unjustified and overstepped in the 2002 case of Reynolds v. City of Bernheim

Convoy Ordinance[edit]

Carson Davis along with the Aldermen passed the 2016 Convoy Ordinance on November 27th which prohibited government officials, including federal and provincial the ability to be privately escorted within city limits without being transported by properly mandated vehicles driven by certified Bernheim police officers. Within the ordinance, the law specified that the city had to consider the implications of safety for government officials and the redirecting of traffic and when to appropriately to do so. Because of the implications of shared revenue between the City of Bernheim and the County of Marshall, the state allowed for an extension for the ordinance for public arteries coming into the city.

The law further elaborates on vehicle operation, including that usage of buses or the mass transit would constitute as vehicles. Because the state requires vehicle registration and an operators permit, Davis and the Aldermen contended that the government was provided the tools to restrict movement that could be detrimental to the general welfare of the city. Special degrees of consideration are implied into the law, and the local government has the authority to request from public officials appropriate documentation to satisfy the local ordinance.

Federal and provincial representation[edit]

As with the rest of the province, the city is a Democratic-Republican stronghold. Bernheim has consistently aligned itself with the party although in contemporary times, have only continued support for the party due to historic ties and the party's economic policies. Bernheim has traditionally been much more social conservative, closer to the Royalist than the Democratic-Republican in terms of social positions.

In the Sierran Senate, Bernheim is represented by Daniel McComb (R) and Karen Strong (DR). For the House of Commons, Bernheim is represented by two commoners, whose respective parliamentary districts: the 1st and 2nd, split the city in roughly equal halves along a north-south line running through the center of the city. The 1st Parliamentary District (consisting of northern Bernheim) is represented by Garret Barnes-Keyes (DR) while the 2nd Parliamentary District (consisting of southern Bernheim) is represented by Peter Primm (DR).

In the San Joaquin Provincial Legislature, most of Bernheim lies within the 1st Senatorial District (represented by Gregory Yates, DR) while parts of northeastern Bernheim lies within the 2nd Senatorial District (represented by Nathan Bose, DR). In addition, Bernheim is divided into four Assembly Districts: the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.

At the county level, Bernheim functions as the county seat and sits within the 1st Supervisory District of Marshall County. The supervisor of the 1st District is Reginald Atkins (DR).

Courts[edit]

  • Federal
    • District Court for the North Central District of San Joaquin*
    • Sierran Bankruptcy Court, 6th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel
    • Sierran Bankruptcy Central District of the Central Valley

  • Provincial
    • San Joaquin Court of Appeal, First District, Division One*
    • Superior Court of San Joaquin, County of Marshall*
    • Supreme Court of San Joaquin*

*Physically located in Bernheim

Crime[edit]

Education[edit]

University of Sierra, Bernheim[edit]

Media[edit]

Newspapers and magazines[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Bernheim is a member of the Sister Cities International and is partnered with seven international cities:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]