Dear Neighbor --
Given that it's already February, I thought it would be fun to reflect on my time in office thus far. Since my swearing in, so much has happened: I've moved into City Hall, participated in five City Council meetings and witnessed a fighter jet fly-by, to name a few highlights. I'm happy to say I've been able to appoint nine new Commissioners to our city commissions. I'm also working with Councilmember Maio to address air pollution in our city.
Our next City Council Meeting will be on February 10th. We're discussing several important issues including the next steps from our January 17th meeting on community and police relations, the use of body cameras among police, and equal pay reporting for city contractors. To see the full agenda, click here. As always, your feedback is welcome.
Here are a few updates and announcements:
Safeway on College
As many of you are aware, the new Safeway on College opened last month. In conjunction with that project and AC Transit Line 51 improvements, there have been several changes to mitigate traffic in the area, particularly around the Alcatraz and College intersection. I've met with City staff repeatedly to address your concerns, including those regarding the installation of a southbound left turn signal and lane from College onto Alcatraz. As of now, the installment of the lane has been postponed, and the signal technology will be installed but not utilized. Electrical service boxes will be relocated to the Alcatraz side of the northeast corner, and the Transportation Commission has recommended that staff evaluate the traffic conditions over the next six months before additional changes are made.
Berkeley's Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO)
At our Jan. 27th Council Meeting, Councilmembers listened to staff presentations, heard public comment, and discussed Berkeley's BESO proposal which would change our current Energy Conservation Ordinance to better meet Berkeley's climate action goals. City Council approved proposed changes to the commercial ordinance, and directed staff to revise the proposed ordinance to limit the energy audit requirement for 1-4 unit buildings to point-of-sale only. Council will reconsider extending the requirement to all 1-4 unit residential buildings by 2018. Details available here, item 24C.
Don't forget to get vaccinated More information here.
My office is currently accepting applications for the following City of Berkeley Commissions: Animal Welfare To learn more about serving on a City commission, please click here. If you are interested in applying, please contact Kerry Birnbach, Legislative Aide to Councilmember Droste, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet My Legislative Aide
I’m thrilled to introduce Kerry Birnbach as my Legislative Aide. Kerry was born and raised in Berkeley, and has a Master's degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas, Austin. Prior to joining my office, Kerry led CalFresh (food stamp) advocacy at CA Food Policy Advocates. She likes yoga, the Golden State Warriors, and playing scrabble.
Need to request a city service? Report a missed trash pickup? Use the City of Berkeley's online 311 form.