Adeline Corridor Plan, City Budget Approved, and More Berkeley News
2019 State of the City Address: Building Our Future Together
I am excited and honored to give this year’s Berkeley State of the City Address at Shotgun Players in South Berkeley. With the Adeline Corridor planning process underway, discussions on developing housing at Ashby BART and South Berkeley’s rich history, it seemed fitting to host this important event there. The theme of the speech is “Building our Future Together”. Travelling around Berkeley there is a lot of exciting projects underway: improvements to our Senior Centers, parks, major street and capital projects, and housing projects throughout our city, including non-profit affordable housing.
When I ran for Mayor, I promised that we would plan the future of our city together, in an inclusive manner. We have seen the results of bad planning, including when BART proposed to build train tracks above ground, dividing our city. But the Berkeley community organized and succeeded in undergrounding the tracks in South Berkeley. That is what happens when we can unite behind a common goal and come together, we can achieve great things. I am optimistic for the future, and we must plan an equitable future for South Berkeley and the entire city in a community-driven fashion. The dreams and priorities must come from the people and drive the planning and decision making. That is my commitment to you as your Mayor.
I am excited to present our accomplishments and priorities for the next year and beyond.
Tickets are sold out, but there still are opportunities to watch and follow along. You can watch the live-stream on my Facebook page. You can also follow on Twitter using the hashtag #BerkSotC, and I will be live-tweeting from my account. For those with tickets, we ask you are seated by 5:55pm so we can start the program promptly.
What: State of the City 2019: Building Our Future Together
Where: Shotgun Players, 1901 Ashby Ave
When: Monday, July 22nd, doors open at 5:30pm, program at 6pm.
Draft Adeline Corridor Plan Released; Prioritizing Affordable Housing, Community Input
After a four-year community process, the first draft of the Adeline Corridor Plan has been released. This comprehensive land use plan presents a vision for an equitable and dynamic South Berkeley, and reflects the extensive public comment and outreach. Here are a few highlights of the Plan:
Setting a goal of 50% of new housing as affordable, to serve current residents and former residents who have been displaced.
Transforming the Ashby BART parking lot into affordable housing and a community plaza for events such as the Berkeley Flea Market.
Redesigning Adeline Street into a multimodal thoroughfare, increasing accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and buses.
Developing a South Berkeley Business Improvement District to support existing small businesses.
Supporting local institutions and community organizations such as the Farmers Market and the future African American Holistic Resource Center
Thank you to the community for your tireless efforts in advocating and helping move forward the vision to support a diverse and culturally rich neighborhood. Scroll down to the Meeting/Events section for more details on how to provide your input on the plan.
City Budget Approved, Prioritizing Public Safety, Housing, Sustainability, and Equity
Our budget is a reflection of our values. That is why on June 25th, the Council unanimously adopted our City’s budget for the next two years with a priority on the issues that constituents care the most about. After months of feedback from the community in asking what you want to see funded, we listened and responded. Major themes included a focus on public safety, especially around pedestrian and cyclist safety. We have secured funding to move forward with Vision Zero, making major investments in traffic calming. In light of the impacts of climate change increasing the risk of urban wildfires, we are increasing funding for vegetation management and emergency response resources.
We are also investing in programs that the community cares about. After years of campaigning, we have secured funding to have West Campus pool open year-round, giving South and West Berkeley residents the same opportunities as North Berkeley residents have (the King pool in North Berkeley is currently open year-round). There are additional investments to the arts, allocating $500,000 to the Civic Arts Grants program plus support for various events such as the Bay Area Book Festival.
We are also making an unprecedented contribution towards anti-displacement measures, with $900,000 going towards various anti-displacement and eviction defense programs. With the passage of Measures O & P in 2018, we are making our biggest investment ever in affordable housing and homeless services.
For more information about the budget, read my blog on our budget recommendations.
Upholding the Values of a Sanctuary City
Berkeley is a proud Sanctuary City with a legacy of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society. We were the first U.S. city to become a Sanctuary City in 1971, to protect sailors resisting the Vietnam War. In recent years, we have expanded and strengthened our status as a Sanctuary City, working with organizations to develop policies and programs to protect our immigrant and undocumented community. 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 are ready to respond in protecting our community and our values. If you see ICE activity, call the Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) Hotline at 510-241-4011. My website provides a list of resources you can use to protect yourself and your neighbors.
Berkeley will always have its doors open. The concept of helping our neighbors and lifting up those who are less fortunate than us are deeply ingrained in our history. These are not just Berkeley values, or even Californian or American values. These are human values. For centuries, America has served as a beacon to the world, as a place of hope, refuge, and freedom. We have a moral and ethical obligation to keep shining that beacon, and will never waiver in doing so.
I recently posted a blog reaffirming our Sanctuary City status and what you can do to help.
The Summer of Paving
This summer, we're paving 40 Berkeley streets that account for 6.6 miles throughout the City. This is in addition to the 20 miles we paved since 2016, part of a surge in street paving that's been made possible by Berkeley and Alameda County voters.
These projects, which you can see laid out on a map, will improve the quality of our roads. They'll make it easier and safer for people to move throughout our city by foot, bike, car or bus. Some examples of work being done includes:
Adeline Street between Shattuck and Ashby avenues will get bus boarding islands to reduce conflicts between buses and bikes while also increasing the reliability of bus routes. This key stretch will also get protected bike lanes in both directions.
We're adding high visibility crosswalks to many streets and taking other measures, such as enhancing a Sixth Street bike lane so that it's more visible to drivers.
Milvia Street between Blake and Russell streets will get paved, helping bicyclists along this important part of the city's bike boulevard network.
Hearst between Shattuck and Milvia will get protected bike lanes, further extending a protected bike lane network moving people to and from campus.
All of this work is in addition to a dramatic reconfiguration of Shattuck Avenue that's underway and will increase pedestrian safety, improve AC Transit connections to BART and eliminate a curvy bottleneck for northbound traffic.
Investing in our Waterfront
The Berkeley Waterfront, including the Marina and McLaughlin Eastshore Park, is a treasure and an important regional destination for maritime use and recreation. It includes breathtaking views of the Bay, public trails, aquatic and landside recreation, and magnificent open spaces. This year we are making major investments to our waterfront. From repaving the notoriously bumpy University Ave next year to planning for a new Pier and Ferry terminal, expect to see exciting progress at the Marina over the next few years.
Much of the work being planned at the Marina is thanks to voter approval of Measure T1 and Regional Measure 3. We are also working with Hargreaves Associates, an internationally renowned design firm which lead the restoration of San Francisco’s Crissy Field, in the development of the Berkeley Marina Area Specific Plan (BMASP) that will provide a blueprint for future enhancements through a robust public process.
Read my blog for more information on the work we are doing to improve the Marina for generations to come.
Mayor’s Awards Recognizes Student Achievement
Every year, our office, in conjunction with the Berkeley Unified School District and UC Berkeley, organizes the Mayor’s Student Recognition Awards, which is part of a long-standing tradition of recognizing student achievement. The Mayor’s Awards were started by Salvador Murillo, Berkeley Unified School District’s (BUSD) first Family Outreach administrator, who is also known for his actions in the United Farm Workers and the RAZA Coalition of Berkeley. Murillo was well-known throughout South and West Berkeley because of the local non-profits that organized in his living room during the 1960s through the 1980s. As a Berkeley Times article reported, Murillo became interested in education, so his living room soon welcomed several Berkeley teachers such as BHS teacher Andres Sanchez; Murillo and Sanchez founded the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations.
Murillo and his wife Esperanza raised six children, but also opened their home to children in the neighborhood who needed shelter or a fresh meal. Berkeley Times wrote that it was common for an additional dining table to be set up in the Murillo living room in order to accommodate community members. Murillo was heavily invested in the lives of Berkeley’s children, and he noticed that students from economically challenged families were not acknowledged as often compared to students from wealthy families. Thus, Murillo created the Mayor’s Awards to address this discrepancy.
This year, Berkeley held its 23rd Annual Mayor’s Student Recognition Awards and celebrated the achievements of 297 BUSD students—a record number of students. The ceremony brought together leaders from the City of Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; and BUSD in order to award students for their dedication and hard work in their community. Students were recognized for their contribution in leadership, community service, communication, performing/visual arts, sports, extraordinary effort, and citizenship.
Utility Providers Advice on Fire Safety
While wildfires have always been a threat in California, the destruction we have witnessed in Santa Rosa in 2017 and Paradise in 2018 has caused utility companies to take extra measures going forward. PG&E has announced that in the event of extreme weather, they will conduct a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) which could impact Berkeley. PG&E is calling on customers to prepare for losing power for up to 48 hours. Click here to learn more about how to prepare for disruptions in PG&E service.
Our water supply may be impacted by a PSPS. While EBMUD has a contingency plan to store water during red flag warnings, they are encouraging residents to store two gallons of water per person per day (which is something people should have in their earthquake emergency supply kits). In the event of a PSPS, conserve water by turning off irrigation and minimizing usage.
Fare and Schedule Changes at AC Transit
In order to continue providing safe and efficient bus service, beginning July 1st, AC Transit has made the following changes to its fares:
Adult Single Ride
Senior/Youth/Disabled Single Ride
Adult Day Pass
Senior/Youth/Disabled Day Pass
For a full list of fare changes, click here.
Several service changes were made beginning June 16th, including several routes in Berkeley that could impact your commute. Routes impacted in Berkeley include lines 12, 72M, 72R, and F. For full details on the changes, click here.
Adeline Corridor Plan Comment Period
We want to hear from the community on their thoughts on the recently released Draft Adeline Corridor Specific Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report. Your input is essential in developing a plan that will benefit the community. You can send written comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at:
Attn: Alisa Shen/Adeline Corridor
1947 Center Street, 2nd floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Office Hours with Vice-Mayor Susan Wengraf
Sunday, July 21, 2pm-4pm
Saul’s Deli, 1475 Shattuck Ave
Please join me and Vice-Mayor Susan Wengraf for a coffee chat. Come by anytime between 2pm-4pm to share your thoughts, grab a drink, or even just say hello.