Upholding the Paris Agreement, Budget and U1 Funding

June 2017 Newsletter

A Note From Jesse

Dear Neighbors,

Since my days at UC Berkeley, I have held enormous respect for the Berkeley community’s commitment to social responsibility. Recently, the actions of Wells Fargo have become an issue of national ethical concern due to the bank’s investment in the private prison industry and Dakota Access Pipeline. As these decisions have come to light, my office has recognized Berkeley’s responsibility as a contract holder with Wells Fargo, to take action. In keeping with values of social, economic, and environmental justice, I co-sponsored a resolution with Councilmembers Maio, Hahn, and Bartlett to reform our city’s contract requirements. It was approved by Council on May 30.

The resolution pushes our city a step closer to breaking with Wells Fargo and aligning with Berkeley values. Moving forward, the City Manager and my Responsible Banking Task Force will help Council to outline socially responsible criteria that will guide the selection of a new bank contract. In addition to the Responsible Banking Task Force of community volunteers, this process will include opportunities for public input so that Berkeley community members can help shape how our city manages our money. I believe that for our city to meet the high moral standard that I and other Berkeleyans expect, we must uphold our ideological and political stances unswervingly, from the proposals we put forward to Council to the companies we entrust with our budget funds. By divesting from Wells Fargo, we aim, quite literally, to put our money where our mouth is.

In December 2017, the City will open a request for proposals for socially responsible contractors. Please join me in my continued advocacy to uphold Berkeley values in word and in deed.


Contact the Mayor’s Office

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: (510) 981-7100
Fax: (510) 981-7199

Mail: Mayor Jesse Arreguin
City of Berkeley
2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704

Email: Mayor@cityofberkeley.info
Brandi Campbell, Chief of Staff, BCampbell@cityofberkeley.info
Jacquelyn McCormick, Senior Advisor, JMcCormick@cityofberkeley.info
Stefan Elgstrand, Assistant to the Mayor, SElgstrand@cityofberkeley.info

Latest News

Sanctuary City Support System Grows

Over the past month, the Office of the Mayor has continued to work with dozens of nonprofit and faith-based organizations, schools, and community members as part of our Sanctuary City Task Force to develop a response plan for immigration emergencies, compile resources, and support congregations or other organizations that wish to develop their own sanctuary policies.

Our office also created a Know Your Resources guide available in English and Spanish, with information about legal services, emergency planning, and other supports available in and around Berkeley. Included in the guide is information on the Family Preparedness Plan from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and instructions for caregiver and guardianship authorization in the unwelcome, and hopefully unlikely, chance that families are separated. The guide also contains information about how to document Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity. For rapid response to ICE and referrals to legal services, the Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) Hotline can be reached at 510-241-4011.

Highlighting commitment to our sanctuary principles, Council proclaimed May 2017 a month of recognition for immigrants and refugees who have enriched our community. For those interested in adding to our city’s ethical commitment with concrete action, consider contacting the American Civil Liberties Union’s People Power Berkeley organizing group at info@peoplepower.org regarding volunteer opportunities.

Mayor Arreguin Pledges to Uphold Paris Climate Agreement

Mayor Arreguin promised on June 1st that Berkeley will continue to be an environmental leader and reaffirmed support for the Paris Climate Agreement. The Mayor joined 292 other US mayors as part of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda in response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The statement reads: “We will increase efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice.” Mayor Arreguin also signed an open letter from the Climate Mayors to the international community affirming their participation in a coordinated effort to make local greenhouse gas emission reduction progress despite regressive actions on the federal level.

On November 17, 2015, Mayor Arreguin was part of the unanimous Council vote to endorse signing of the Compact of Mayors for climate change, a global commitment by mayors and city officials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase climate resilience. This initiative, started shortly before President Obama’s signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015, is one that Mayor Arreguin continues to support strongly, and believes that although the U.S’s political climate is has changed, our climate responsibilities have not.

Berkeley aims to be “Resilient by Design”

Resilient by Design provides government officials and community members the opportunity to develop sustainable strategies that respond to the impacts of climate change on local neighborhoods and habitats. Designs will address issues such as sea level rise at local waterfronts and severe storms as well as earthquake threats and housing disparities. The program begins this summer and will conclude in Spring 2018. Resilient by Design aligns with Mayor Arreguin’s commitment to the leading environmental work that is a defining feature of our city. Check out this press release regarding the Bay Area program’s launch, attended by Mayor Arreguin.

Short Term Housing Action Plan

On May 30, Council passed a set of Housing Related Referrals to the City Manager in order to expedite the implementation of an Affordable Housing Action Plan centering around funding, new development and land acquisition, policies, permit streamlining, anti-displacement, and staffing. The plan, co-sponsored by Mayor Arreguin and Councilmember Harrison, includes but is not limited to strengthening fees collected from commercial developers and businesses, specifying designs for small sites and microunits, increasing density and land use flexibility, addressing evictions, and creating an additional position dedicated to housing services.

Mayor Arreguin attends Fearless Cities Conference in Barcelona

Mayor Arreguin attended  an international municipal summit from June 9 to 11 dedicated to building a global movement of local governments combating social and physical borders. Workshops include opportunities for municipal networking, discussion of how to feminize politics, and strategies for combating hate and fear tactics during troubling times. Visit the conference website to learn more about Berkeley’s participation in this important international conversation.


Berkeley High Graduation
Friday, June 16, 5:30-8pm
Greek Theater, 2001 Gayley Rd

Berkeley will bid farewell to the Berkeley High School graduating class of 2017 at this bittersweet commencement ceremony. This talented, engaged, and motivated group of young people is sure to go on to great things, whatever post-secondary path they have chosen. The Mayor’s Office knows that these students will represent our city and its amazing public schools proudly wherever they go next, and we hope some will return to enrich Berkeley with their diverse skills and experiences.

Berkeley Community Media Fundraiser
Friday, June 16, 3-5pm
Saul’s Deli, 1475 Shattuck Ave

Help fund Berkeley Community Media (BCM), your local cable access TV station and low-cost media resource and training program, by committing to eat at Saul’s Deli between 3 and 5pm on June 16. With a certain threshold of sign ups, BCM will receive 15 percent of Saul’s proceeds in that time-frame. Please click here for more information about how you can support BCM (and treat yourself to some tasty food).

Items of Interest

City of Berkeley Summer Activities

Take a look at the City of Berkeley 2017 Summer Activity Guide and learn about all of the opportunities our city has to offer  youth and families this summer. From drumming to app design to soccer, the program guide has something for everyone, be they tot or teenager. Registration is rolling, so sign up as soon as possible to save your family a spot!

Lawyers in the Library
Next Event on Thursday, June 15, 6-7:30pm
Berkeley Public Library, North Branch, 1170 The Alameda

Berkeley Public Library hosts lawyers who provide free, drop-in legal services for those in need of advice on a variety of topics. A recent visiting attorney, for instance, provided bilingual services and offered expertise based on experience in pro-bono immigration law. To attend a Lawyers in the Library event, please visit the library webpage for information about dates and sign up times at your local branch.

Upcoming Council Meetings

Note that the regular start time for Council meetings has changed to 6pm, except for June 27 which will remain at 7pm.

Tuesday, June 13, 6pm

Council Chambers, 2134 MLK Jr Way

Tuesday, June 20, 6pm
Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby

Tuesday, June 27, 7pm

Council Chambers, 2134 MLK Jr Way

  • Upholding Paris Agreement
  • Approval of FY 2018-19 Budget 
  • Pathways Project
  • U1 Funding Allocations
  • Housing Inspection Manager

For updates on future City Council agendas, click here.

Jesse Arreguin