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.
We all agree that Berkeley cannot remain the small town it once was. Yet as we grow and evolve, and approve new housing developments, we need to ask ourselves about what kind of city we want to be.
I am troubled by newly released statistics showing that crime in Berkeley has steadily increased over the past several years. Although the overall crime rate is lower today than it was a decade ago, the recent uptick – a trend replicated nationally – is worrisome and must be addressed.
This morning’s 4.4 earthquake in the Berkeley hills was a wake-up call that reminds us of the dangers of living in earthquake country. Fortunately, no damage or injuries were reported, only rattled nerves. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the last major earthquake on the Hayward fault, which is overdue for the next Big One. If you have not yet made a New Year’s resolution, let it be to prepare for the next earthquake.
These are tough times to be a police officer.
High profile cases like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, have put agencies under more scrutiny. At the same time, the economy is booming, which means job seekers have many more options. This is certainly true in the Bay Area, where the cost of housing and living is high. As a result, police agencies around the country are struggling to find enough qualified candidates.
This Sunday, several hundred people gathered outside of Alta Bates Hospital to protest its impending closure, which could come as early as 2030. We had great representation from the California Nurses Association, doctors, community activists and families whose children and grandchildren were born at the hospital that has been part of our community since 1905.
We have seen a growth in encampments throughout Berkeley and the Bay Area, including HERE THERE located on BART property at Adeline Street. The sad reality is: with the lack of affordable housing, there is not enough shelter. That is why my administration has been working tirelessly on these issues and early next year will open the Bridge Living Community at Second and Cedar, which will provide additional long-term shelter, with supportive services.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, 27 Berkeley students from low-income families are headed off to four-year colleges, many of them are the first in their families to pursue a higher education. This would not be possible without the Berkeley Community Fund, which each year awards tens of thousands in scholarships to promising Berkeley highschoolers. The organization also offers mentoring as a way to guide students in their educational journey.
For too many California students, college is out of reach for one reason: they just can’t afford it.But a bill signed last Friday by Governor Jerry Brown will now make it possible for more students, especially students of color or those from low-income families, to embark on a college education.
I want to thank all of the Berkeley police and fire personnel who have spent the past four days helping our neighbors in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa and the surrounding areas. Some of them have themselves been impacted by this tragedy, yet they continue to work.