Explaining My Vote on Urban Shield

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
Turning Outrage into Action

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. 

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Jesse Arreguin
Number of Homeless Seniors on the Rise

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
Making the Switch to Clean Energy

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
Advocates confirm at least 11 deportation arrests in NorCal

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. 

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Jesse Arreguin
Earthquake Provides Reminder to Prepare

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
City, BPD Must Work Together to Recruit New Talent

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
Fighting the Good Fight for Alta Bates

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. 

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Jesse Arreguin
No Easy Answers When It Comes to Solving Homeless Crisis

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
A Direct Way to Impact Education

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.

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Jesse ArreguinComment
AB19 a Big Win for California Students

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
A Helping Hand In a Time of Need

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.

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Jesse Arreguin
Join Us to Stand United Against Hate

Most of you probably know of the planned rally at Civic Center Park on Sunday, August 27. Despite the event being billed as an "anti-Marxist" gathering, we have great concerns that extremists will show up there and engage not only in hate speech, but violence. So we’re standing up to hate.

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Jesse Arreguin