Councilmember Susan Wengraf
Newsletter #90
May 7, 2021
Red Flag Warning
==Residents should prepare for high fire danger starting at 11pm on Friday, May 7 by signing up for alerts, reviewing evacuation routes, packing or refreshing "go bags," and parking off street when possible.

==The National Weather Service "Red Flag" warning, is scheduled to end at 6am Monday, May 10. People should not use BBQs, fire pits, lawn mowers, other power equipment, or anything with an open flame. Fires that start during Red Flag Warnings can spread rapidly due to high winds and dry vegetation. Remember that fireworks are always completely forbidden in Berkeley and surrounding areas.

Take these steps to prepare:

  • Sign up for AC Alert and leave your phone turned on, even at night.
  • Review your household's evacuation routes. Make sure to plan at least two routes away from your neighborhood. During an evacuation you may not be able to drive, so include walking routes in your plans. See for evacuation information and download our printable evacuation checklist.
  • Pack or refresh your go-bag. Everyone in your household should have a go bag with the things you would need to safely evacuate. In the era of COVID-19, this includes face coverings and hand sanitizer. If you have a go bag already, check it and replace any expired items, like food or batteries.
  • Park off-street. Back your car into your driveway or garage, leaving streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Take these steps to prepare and keep your household safe during this Red Flag Warning
  • Prepare your family. Resources targeted to specific needs for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with young children.
Register for the Virtual Community Town Hall On Fire Safety - May 19th
==Every year for the past many years I have hosted a community town hall on Fire Safety. This year, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we will host a Fire Safety Town Hall via Zoom, with capacity for 500 attendees, on May 19th at 7pm.
==While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, Climate Change is driving longer fire seasons in California, starting earlier and ending later. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by almost three months. Drought conditions are contributing to dire predictions about what to expect this year.
==Our Fire safety Zoomposium panel will focus on Prevention and Preparedness and how Berkeley is working to keep you safe during Fire Season. Panelists will include:

  • Interim Fire Chief Abe Roman and Assistant Chief Keith May will present our new Evacuation Plan and strategies for early notification, vegetation management, and the Safe Passages program.
  • CalFire Northern Region Captain Chase Beckman will discuss how to organize your block or neighborhood as a FireWise group.
  • East Bay Regional Parks Fire Chief Aileen Thiele will discuss strategies EBRP is using this fire season. Read here for an article about tree die-off in Tilden.
==Due to the limitations of the Zoom webinar format, we are requesting that questions be submitted by Monday, May 10th at 5pm to:

==I will make sure that answers to your questions are incorporated in the presentations during the program.

==Click here to register for the Community Fire Safety Zoom panel.
TOPA (Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act) Forum
==If you own rental property in Berkeley, or if you are a tenant in Berkeley, Mayor Arreguin's TOPA proposal will be of great interest to you.

==You can read the most recent version of the proposed ordinance here.

==This is a complex ordinance that, if passed, will significantly change the typical timeline and process for selling a rental property that is subject to the ordinance. The intent of the ordinance is to give tenants in eligible properties the first right to purchase the property — either through the formation of a “Tenant Organization” or with the assistance of a “Qualified Non-Profit."

==I have organized with Councilmember Kesarwani a Community Forum on the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) next Wed., May 12 from 5:30-7 p.m., so we can learn more about the proposed ordinance, hear from experts, and ask questions. Please register for the Zoom webinar here.

==In advance of the forum, please send me your questions so i can make sure that answers are incorporated in the discussions.
AAPI Solidarity
==Come join Berkeley political, community, and university leaders as they discuss advocating for the safety of Berkeley AAPI residents by addressing the root causes and symptoms of Anti-AAPI hate. We hope to touch on the importance of multi-racial solidarity in addition to the other levers for change.

==RSVP for the event on May 10, 2021, from 5:00–6:30 pm here.
This is an important new message from AC Alert

==Starting in April 15, 2021, AC Alert will no longer use text messaging or voice calls as a means of providing non-emergency notifications, such as red flag warnings and local traffic alerts.  Henceforth all non-emergency AC Alert notifications will be sent to subscribers via email and the Everbridge app only.

==These changes are being implemented due to recent increases in the fees associated with mass texting and voice calling, which have made it cost prohibitive to continue using them as a means of delivering non-emergency information to AC Alert subscribers. 
==These changes will not apply to emergency alerts. In the event of an emergency, AC Alert will continue to use all available contact paths in our efforts to alert those who may be impacted.
==If you want to receive non-emergency notifications from AC Alert, and you don’t have the Everbridge app and/or an email address attached to your AC Alert profile, please do the following:

  1. Login to your account by going to and ensure that your account has at least one email address listed on your profile. 
  2. Download the Everbridge app from your mobile device’s app store. Once you have downloaded the app, search “AC Alert” or “Alameda County” to be able to login to your account. Once you have logged in, you will receive these messages via the app.

To download the Everbridge App:
  • for Apple users please click here.
  • for Android users please click here.

==For tips on using the app or registering an email address, click here. Under “Resources” you will find these clickable links: “Other AC Alert Materials” and “How to Find AC Alert in the Everbridge App”.

If you would like to edit the way you receive these messages, please LOGIN to your account to manage your information
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CALL 311
Susan Wengraf
Berkeley City Council District 6
(510) 981-7160