Explaining My Vote on Urban Shield
Turning Outrage into Action
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.
Number of Homeless Seniors on the Rise
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.
Pathways Community Work Day Draws Nearly 100 Volunteers
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.
Pathways Center Community Work Day June 9-10
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.
Making the Switch to Clean Energy
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:
We Must Do Everything We Can to Keep Our Children and Community Safe
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.
Advocates confirm at least 11 deportation arrests in NorCal
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.
New Housing Bill Well-Intentioned, Yet Ultimately Wrong Approach to Development
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.
There Are Many Reasons Behind Recent Crime Increase. Instead of Blaming, Let's Help BPD Attract and Retain Good People.
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.
Earthquake Provides Reminder to Prepare
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.
City, BPD Must Work Together to Recruit New Talent
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.
Fighting the Good Fight for Alta Bates
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.
No Easy Answers When It Comes to Solving Homeless Crisis
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.
A Direct Way to Impact Education
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.
AB19 a Big Win for California Students
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.
A Helping Hand In a Time of Need
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.
Trump Ban Will Not Make U.S. Safe From Terror
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.
California to Become a "Sanctuary State"
Last week, President Donald Trump expanded the existing travel ban to include three more countries: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. That makes a total of eight countries whose citizens are now indefinitely barred from traveling to and from the United States.
Join Us to Stand United Against Hate
Last week, lawmakers voted to make California a sanctuary state, a big victory for immigrants. This does not mean that undocumented people won't be deported,
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.