January 3, 2019
Dear friend,
Happy New Year!

It's my pleasure to write to you as your new Councilmember. I look forward to sharing community news and important updates with you through this newsletter.

I'm also eager to meet you in person. Please save the date for my January Office Hours :

4-6 p.m., Saturday, January 12th
Cafe Leila, 1726 San Pablo Ave.

Please join me to share your concerns and ideas.
Next Steps for N. Berkeley BART
The City Council will hold a Work Session to consider zoning  of the N. Berkeley  BART parking lot. Zoning is needed to enable the future creation of homes at the site.

I want to ensure that any future development includes a high percentage of units that are affordable for low-income individuals and families .
N. Berkeley BART station. Photo: Pi.1415926535 (Creative Commons License ).
At the Work Session, representatives from the City of Berkeley and BART will share information about zoning and transit-oriented development .

Please join us to share your vision for the future of our BART station:

6 p.m., Tuesday, January 15th
BUSD Headquarters Board Room
1231 Addison St. 

If you're unable to attend the Work Session, you can also provide input during my office hours or by contacting my office at 510-981-7110 or [email protected].

To view N. Berkeley BART development proposals submitted by members of the community as part of the October visioning event, please click HERE
Affordable Housing and Homelessness Services
During the January 15th Work Session, the City Council will also begin its planning process for the recently passed Measure O (affordable housing bond) and Measure P (funding for homelessness services).

I want to thank the Berkeley community for their overwhelming support of both of these measures.
Pathways Homeless Shelter on Second St.
I invite you to share your feedback on how to spend funds raised from Measures O and P:

  • during the Work Session at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15th at BUSD headquarters,
  • during my office hours from 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 12th at Cafe Leila, or
  • by contacting my office at 510-981-7110 or [email protected].
A New and Improved Transfer Station
The City is seeking your input in its redesign of our Transfer Station for garbage, compost, and recyclables.

The goal of the redesign is to ensure that Berkeley continues to be a leader in reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills.

Community input sessions will be held at the James Kenney Community Center (1720 Eighth St.) on the following days and times: 
Berkeley's Transfer Station is located at 1201 Second St. and accepts your garbage, compost, and recyclables.
  • 5-9 p.m., Wednesday, January 16th
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 5-9 p.m., Thursday, January 17th
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Friday, January 18th

For more information or to submit input, please contact Greg Apa, Solid Waste and Recycling Manager at (510) 981-6359 or  [email protected] .
Serve on a City Commission
The City has more than 35 boards and commissions that provide input to City Council on everything from aging services to zero waste.

I'm looking for Berkeley residents with varied backgrounds and experiences to serve on city commissions. Meetings are generally held once a month on a weeknight.

You can learn more by clicking HERE.
Old City Hall. Photo: Sanfranman59 (Creative Commons License ).
If you have an interest in serving on a commission or questions about what it entails, please contact my office at 510-981-7110 or [email protected].
City Council Highlights
It was a pleasure to take part in my first City Council meeting on December 11th . Here are a few highlights:

  • Alta Bates Hospital. The Council expressed its strong desire to work in collaboration with Sutter to develop a plan to keep a full-service acute care hospital open in Berkeley. A letter will be sent by the City Manager to Sutter, citing the findings from a recent UC Berkeley Health Impact Assessment that details dire impacts to vulnerable populations if Alta Bates were to close.
From left to right, new Councilmembers Rashi Kesarwani and Rigel Robinson, returning Councilmembers Lori Droste and Kate Harrison, and new City Auditor Jenny Wong are sworn in during the December 11th City Council meeting.
  • Five-Year Street Paving Plan. The Council approved the five-year street paving plan, with a requirement for the Public Works Commission to consult with the Transportation Commission in order to ensure that bike improvements are taken into account.

  • Streamlined Permitting for Small Businesses. The Council approved a number of changes to our zoning code to make it easier for small businesses to open. I'm hopeful that this item will lead to a reduction in the number of vacant storefronts in our commercial districts.
Take the City Auditor's Community Survey

Please share your feedback with our new City Auditor Jenny Wong on the departments or programs that should be audited in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The deadline to complete the survey is this Friday, January 4th.
Seeking Assistance from the City
Here are key City of Berkeley resources to keep handy:

For illegal dumping, potholes, missed garbage pickups, or graffiti...
Call 311 or (510) 981-2489

For a public works emergency, such as a sewer overflow, traffic signal outage, fallen tree, or toxic spill...
Call (510) 981-6620

For a homeless person who appears vulnerable and in need of services or is demonstrating disruptive or concerning behavior...
Call the Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team (HOTT) (510) 981-5273

For non-urgent criminal activity with no suspect present...
Call the Berkeley Police Non-Emergency line (510) 981-5900
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