The 2019 homeless count revealed 1,108 homeless residents in Berkeley. First time homelessness is down by 36%, and the number of people living on the streets with zero shelter is down by 32%. These numbers show that our investment to end homelessness over the past two years is beginning to make a difference for those living on our streets.
We asked the people of Berkeley to give big, and you responded generously. The approval of Measures O & P has given us a unique opportunity to make an impact in creating affordable housing and reducing homelessness. Berkeley voters can be proud that their vote is making a difference.
We know 2019 will likely be another significant fire season in California. That is why we are making our biggest investment ever in wildfire safety. This includes hundreds of thousands of dollars towards vegetation management and emergency response training. Taking the necessary steps to prepare is essential in promoting your safety.
Berkeley has a long tradition of thinking globally and acting locally. My State of the City Address highlights the history of our community’s engagement and activism, and how we can harness our collective ideas to build our future together.
History has shown that people look to Berkeley for leadership. Ideas start here and movements are born here. Consistent with our status as a trailblazing leader, the important step of prohibiting natural gas in new construction will send a message and a model to cities and states across the country to follow our lead.
Berkeley is a proud Sanctuary City with a legacy of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society. We continue to affirm the belief that all families should feel safe and welcome in our community. Our diversity and inclusiveness gives us strength.
We must make sure that the Marina is a place that our community can enjoy for generations to come. With the investments we are placing now, by upgrading existing infrastructure and building a new pier and ferry service, we can turn the tide on its deterioration and convert the Marina into a world-class destination that we can all be proud of.
Our City Budget is a reflection of our values and priorities. That is why over the past few months while developing my proposed Budget Recommendations, I have been listening to the needs and concerns of our community. From addressing our housing and homeless crisis, to ensuring the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, we are making a bigger investment in our community than ever before.
By working towards a more open, transparent and efficient government, the Berkeley City Council recently adopted a new committee system. This enables us to take a deeper dive on major public policy issues and provides another opportunity for the public to get engaged in the legislative process.
With the passage of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act in 1995, rents began to rise dramatically in Berkeley and neighboring communities as landlords were given the right to set new tenancies at full market rate. The City has taken multiple steps to address the growing problem of displacement, from the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to the Tenant Protection Ordinance.
It’s no secret that BPD, like police departments all over the country, has recruitment and retention challenges, a trend that started about ten years ago. Fortunately, through an extensive recruitment campaign, staffing has been on the increase since May 2018. Given the intensive outreach the Department has been doing, they are on track to reach full capacity in the next year or two.
By 2030, an estimated one in five residents will be 65 or over, nearly doubling the current senior population. To take on the expected demographic changes and ensure that we have a community in which seniors can thrive in, the City embarked on a several year process to develop an Age-Friendly Action Plan. The Action Plan was designed to create the framework for ensuring that the City not only meets the needs of seniors, but developing an inclusive and welcoming environment.
Between 2012-2016, Berkeley on average experienced 3 fatalities and 31 serious injuries annually as a result of traffic collisions. While pedestrians and bicyclists are involved in only 7% of crashes, they account for a third of the fatalities. It does not and should not have to be this way, which is why we are taking proactive steps to address pedestrian safety.
As cities across the region grapple with the homeless crisis, one impact has made itself very apparent in recent months – trash and debris. Arguably this is the number one issue constituents have contacted my office about so far this year, and rightfully so. This is a health and safety hazard, both for people’s personal wellbeing, and the environment. I wanted to let you know what the City is doing to improve this situation.
Real progress takes time, but I am proud that our city has taken many steps over the past year to help people who have been most impacted by the region’s housing crisis. We’ve also made important headway on other critical city issues, from public safety to our City Budget. Read on to find out what we have already achieved over the past year and my goals for 2019.
Today we woke up to news of a horrible mass shooting, this time at a synagogue in Pittsburg, PA, during a service. I am saddened and outraged over this heinous attack which occurred on the holy day of Shabbat, a day of rest, reflection and prayer for the Jewish people. This hate crime strikes at the heart of the Jewish community.
On September 26, elected leaders and community members from a half dozen cities across the Bay Area gathered in Berkeley to launch United Against Hate Week, a campaign to stop the hate that threatens the safety and civility of our communities.
Did you know that Berkeley has over 160,000 people working in manufacturing? While this is a fraction of the number of And starting October 2, Berkeley residents will get a glimpse of our hometown manufacturing industry with Manufacturers' Day.
I am grateful to Gov. Jerry Brown for signing SB 721, legislation that will set standards for inspection of balconies and decks to prevent tragedies like the Library Gardens balcony collapse in June 2015 that killed six students.
As the City of Berkeley considers potentially building housing on land around the North Berkeley BART station, we want to hear from residents. To be clear, there is no current project for the site. But if have ideas for what this area — bounded by Sacramento, Delaware, Acton and Virginia streets — should look like, we want to hear from you!
I am horrified and saddened to hear about yesterday’s shooting at San Pablo Park that injured three people. Unfortunately this is not the first time a shooting has occurred in the San Pablo Park neighborhood in recent years. Initial reports suggest this was a drive by shooting in which one of the victims may have been the target.
The scenes unfolded like a horror movie. Groups of men walking with tiki torches, chanting Nazi slogans. A young woman mowed down by a car and more than a dozen people injured by a fanatic intent on silencing protesters. And a president who would not denounce the white supremacists, earning praise from former Ku Klux Klan Chief David Duke.
I want to take this opportunity to explain the reasons why I changed my vote on the issue of our Police Department participating in the 2018 Urban Shield exercise.
For the past year, the Council Ad-Hoc Subcommittee on Urban Shield has worked extensively to research the Urban Shield program, and our Berkeley Police Department’s training needs.
I am outraged and heartbroken about what's happening on our southern border. Separating children from parents --many of whom are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries -- is inhumane and goes against decades of immigration policy for the U.S. to be a refuge for people from all over the world.
An elderly man sitting in a wheelchair on a city street, next to a tent that is his only home. A woman with an emergency room bracelet on her arm going through the trash at a local cafe looking for something to eat.
These images are heartbreaking, but are becoming increasingly common in our community.
Thank you to the 90+ volunteers who lent a hand this weekend at the new Pathways center on 2nd and Cedar street. Residents, volunteers from Berkeley Rotary and city staff spent the weekend painting, putting in landscaping and AstroTurf and other touches for the new navigation center.
This month, the Pathways Navigation center in West Berkeley is finally opening! But there are still a couple of final touches that need to be done that we will be doing this weekend June 9 and 10. Specifically, we need volunteers to help with the following:
This is an exciting time in Berkeley!
Starting June, commercial PG&E customers in the city and most of Alameda County will be automatically switched to East Bay Community Energy, the county's new electricity provider. EBCE will provide at least 38% renewable energy and an additional minimum of 47% carbon-free energy. Customers will also have a choice of receiving the Brilliant 100 service, offering 100% carbon-free power, for a slightly higher fee.
I was saddened and shocked by news that a 15-year-old girl was raped by an unknown assailant in one of our residential neighborhoods. My heart goes out to the young woman and her family. I want you to know that the police are reviewing surveillance footage in the case and interviewing neighbors, however, at the moment, the suspect remains at large.
I wanted to share with the community an email I received this morning from Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership about the intended ICE raids in the Bay Area. At least 11 people were arrested and put into deportation proceedings, although only 2 of those were in the East Bay. Five occurred in Merced County, two in Sacramento County and one each in Monterey and Napa counties.