Welcome to the Berkeley City Council District 8 website!
Please use this site only as a resource for accessing City services and contacting Councilmember Droste. Berkeley's District 8, in the southeastern corner of the City, includes the Claremont, Elmwood, Halcyon, Bateman, and Panoramic neighborhoods. The historic Elmwood Theater, Claremont Hotel, and Cal's newly renovated Memorial Stadium all lie within the District.
Throughout my life, I have dedicated myself to public service and giving back to the community. When I moved to the Elmwood twenty years ago, I knew it’s where I wanted to raise my family. I immediately got to work serving my community by working with the homeless population, teaching high school, and earning a master’s degree in public policy. Serving as a City Councilmember, I spend my time listening to and working with my neighbors. I bring a fresh perspective to Berkeley and want to ensure that our city provides needed services to all, from youth to seniors. Our downtown must be attractive, vibrant, and safe. Our city must be friendly to new businesses and help current ones thrive.
We need to increase housing availability and affordability because people who work in Berkeley should be able to live here. I also need to know our residents are safe. Crime and excessive traffic shouldn’t threaten our quality of life. I also want to continue the strong partnership with our schools and teachers to end the achievement gap. As an educator, I can serve a role in that partnership. Most importantly, I want Berkeley to be the best possible place to raise my son Simon and daughter Cora and I want it to be the best possible place for you.
My Recent Accomplishments
Over the past several months, I have overseen the creation of a small business subcommittee which is focused on finding solutions to the challenges Berkeley's small businesses face, particularly in the Elmwood. I spearheaded changes to the retail quota system in the Elmwood so there is more opportunity for new businesses in the neighborhood.
As housing prices continue to climb steeply, the costs are pricing our middle class--teachers and firefighters--out of Berkeley. I believe we have a moral obligation to build affordable housing. National publications, including The New York Times have profiled my housing advocacy.
We've made a lot of progress in reducing traffic in District 8, but we still have work to do. As your Councilmember, I've secured over $400,000 from the City in traffic calming measures for our area and the City is in the midst of improving Ashby Avenue and Tunnel Road. But there's still more: on my initiative, the City now participates in Vision Zero, a nationwide endeavor to eliminate pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities with effective traffic management.
Since November 2016, President Trump’s administration has done everything it can to make our undocumented neighbors and friends terrified for their livelihoods. We must courageously join our neighbors and defend our community from these senseless attacks. Even now, the administration continues to threaten our federal funding over our support for undocumented Americans. As your Councilmember, I authored the January 2017 item reaffirming that Berkeley is a sanctuary city. The Council passed that item unanimously. I've also worked with neighbors to provide our businesses with window signs saying “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome Here,” and--more importantly--signs in English and Spanish describing legal rights before ICE, and how to find an immigration attorney.
Recently, I was honored to be able to assist an important member of our community, Daniel Maher, receive a pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown. Daniel is the Recycling Director at the Berkeley Ecology Center. Twenty years ago he made some bad decisions that resulted in the loss of his green card. Today, he is a model member of our community. You can read more about his story here.
Lori Droste is the District 8 representative for the City of Berkeley. She teaches at Mills College in the Public Policy Department. She is also a consultant working on political under- representation and writing curricula to assist professors throughout the nation to engage young people in the political process.
Prior to her election, Lori was the Chair of Berkeley’s Commission on the Status of Women and Vice-Chair of Alameda County’s Human Relations Commission. She also served on the Housing Advisory Commission. In addition, Lori served on the board of both the National Women’s Political Caucus– Alameda North (now East Bay Women’s Political Alliance) and the Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association.
Lori has broad experience in public service having spent years as a public high school teacher and an educator for homeless individuals within Alameda County. While acquiring her master’s degree in public policy, Lori worked with business owners and city officials to improve parking efficiency, pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure in Oakland. She also was the principal author of a glass ceiling report analyzing women’s underrepresentation in the transportation services sector.
Lori has been active in the City of Berkeley for years.
Prior to her time on Council, she worked on policies to curb violence against women. While on Council, Lori has worked tirelessly on housing affordability, homelessness, economic development, children’s recreation, traffic mitigation, and family-friendly policies.
She has been instrumental in addressing the rise in sexual assaults, creating effective anti-trafficking policies and advocating for the testing of rape kits. Lori formed a partnership with the Mills College Public Policy Program to analyze various issues within Berkeley. Lori recently collaborated with UC students and representatives, the police department, the Mills College policy program, and city staff to analyze and propose specific policy interventions to stem the increase in sexual assaults both on campus and in the city.
As the only Berkeley Councilmember with young children, Lori has particular interest in improving the quality of life for families and children in Berkeley. She is particularly inspired by her mother who was the mayor of Circleville, Ohio. Lori lives with her wife Carrie, 6-year-old son Simon, and 3-year-old daughter Cora in the Elmwood District.