March 22, 2018

As you likely know, I am a parent of two young children. They attend Berkeley schools everyday, and like all parents, their safety is my top priority. Last week I was deeply moved by the #neveragain day of action organized by students in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. My son participated at his school, and it was truly inspiring to see students and teachers throughout Berkeley participate (thanks to Berkeleyside for the great coverage). In light of the terrible tragedy, I’m humbled by the strength of our youngest residents, and I’m forever grateful to live in a city that teaches our students to speak up about the issues they care about.

Last December, our Transportation Commission briefed Council about the Vision Zero Campaign that’s building momentum nationwide. Their goal is to have zero traffic-related fatalities by 2028. Sadly, Berkeley had the highest rate of pedestrian and bike related fatalities among cities of our size from 2009 - 2015 according to the Office of Traffic Safety. We can surely do better to support people relying on alternative forms of transportation.

At our 3/27 Council meeting, I’m authoring a resolution in support of Vision Zero, and requesting that the City develop a Vision Zero plan. Last year I successfully advocated with Councilmember Wengraf to double the City’s budget for traffic calming measures, but that program is still deeply underfunded. We also collaborated on legislation to reach out to Waze, Google Maps, and other apps to request that residential neighborhoods not be used for cut-through traffic. I’m pleased to have secured over $350,000 worth of funding for traffic calming measures for our district, but there is still more to do to reduce traffic accidents and injuries in our City.

In addition to a Vision Zero policy, I am proposing that our Public Works department reassess the street sweeping schedule to make sure that streets can be swept efficiently, regardless of whether trash collection occurs on the same day. Parts of our district have had ongoing issues with incomplete street sweeping because of bins left out in the street.

You can find the full March 27 Council agenda here and send all Councilmembers an email at council@cityofberkeley.info. FYI, I’m moving my April office hours to April 12, at 9:30 at Cafe Roma. If you can’t make it, feel free to contact our office if you have a particular concern.

Sincerely, 
Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8
www.LoriDroste.com

Need a street or sidewalk repair? Want to request a City service? 
Use Berkeley's online 311 form (either through the General Request form or a specific topic) or call 311 from a landline, or 510-981-2489. Please note that my office routes all the service requests we receive through this customer service center, so your request will be handled most efficiently by directly contacting 311.

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Provide Input to Improve Berkeley for Seniors 
The City of Berkeley is looking for Berkeleyans age 50 and over to take a survey on how Berkeley can address key issues that can enhance seniors' ability to thrive while aging in our community.

Your anonymous feedback will be used to help guide a plan to make Berkeley more "age-friendly," a community that meets the needs of all ages. Learn more and fill out the survey here.


Volunteers Needed for Save Alta Bates Campaign Door Knocking event
CNA is hosting a door-to-door canvassing/yard sign info event on April 11 and 12 from 4 – 7pm. People who are interesting in helping “get the word out” are encouraged to come to Alta Bates and get connected to a team of nurses and other community leaders to go into the neighborhoods, knock on doors and spread the word.

Anyone who is interested in participating should contact: jdragon@calnurses.orgYou will be contacted with more specific information as the date draws closer. Come out and help!!


City / UC Student Relations Committee (4x6 Committee)
Wednesday, April 25, from 3:30 PM to 5 PM, UC Senate Chambers 
The tentative agenda, as discussed by the committee at the February 5meeting, includes an action item from the Group Living Accommodation (GLA) Subcommittee, as well as an update from UC Berkeley on student and faculty housing efforts.