April 9, 2015

It's spring! I hope you're enjoying the great weather and spring blossoms. As you likely heard in response to the drought Gov. Brown has announced a 25 percent mandatory reduction in water usage statewide. While East Bay Municipal Utilities Division identifies steps to meet those requirements, I would encourage everyone to learn more about what we can do to preserve water at http://saveourwater.com/. I'd also like to take a moment (in honor of Earth Day, April 22nd) to remind everyone that gas leaf blowers are not permitted in Berkeley. 

During this past Council meeting, I put forward the idea of prioritizing/limiting City Council referrals so that City staff have better direction on how to manage their full workplans. After looking at several other City Council processes, I think Berkeley could benefit from more strategic prioritizing. I will submit a formal item for discussion soon. At that meeting, Council also discussed (and ultimately voted to support) statewide legislation to limit the personal belief exemption around childhood vaccinations, heard public comment on how we should define "community benefits" that are required as a part of large developments in our downtown area, and voted in favor of extending the affordable impact housing fee that developers can choose in-lieu of including affordable units in their buildings. Click here to see the full agenda and notes.   

More Updates and Announcements:

Join me for coffee with Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Councilmember Worthington

I’m delighted to share that Councilmember Worthington and I will be hosting a coffee with Supervisor Keith Carson. This is an opportunity for you to stop by and talk to us about your concerns as a Berkeley and Alameda County resident.

When: Wednesday, April 15th, 8 - 9am at Cafe Espresso Roma, 2960 College Ave, Berkeley

A Forum on Community Choice Energy for Berkeley

The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Ecology Center and David Brower Center present a panel discussion on Community Choice Energy. Learn about the County's plans to create a not-for-profit Community Choice Energy program with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create clean energy jobs and provide stable electricity rates for Berkeley and other Alameda County communities.

When: Monday, April 20th, 7pm at the Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way. The event is open to the public, free of charge and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact berkeleycommunitychoice@gmail.com

Berkeley Bicycle Plan Open House

The City of Berkeley is starting the process of updating our Bicycle Plan, and we want your input! Come share your feedback on bicycling conditions in Berkeley and consider what could make bicycling safer and more comfortable for you and your family. Open House format – stop by any time to provide your input. More information, project news and updates: www.BikeBerkeley.com.

When: Monday, April 27, 4:30-7:30 PM (presentation at 6:00 p.m.), Berkeley Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street. Children welcome – activities will be provided.

Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee: Upcoming Events
For more information about attending one of the upcoming BSNC Meetings, contact police@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

Police Resources, Mental Health Problems and Crime in the Downtown
Learn how big the problem is and what is being done about it. (NOTE: This is not about the homeless, this is about individuals who are experiencing mental problems needing immediate treatment).
When: Monday, April 13, 2015 6:30 pm—8:00 pm

Police and Emergency Response to Disturbances and Crime in Areas Around Campus 
What is the situation with noisy parties and alcohol use and how this impacts Police & Fire Department Resources and emergency medical care—particularly in the event that local hospitals were not available.
When:Monday, May 4, 2015 6:30 pm—8:00 pm

Fair Campaign Practices Commission seeks public input on public financing of elections

The Fair Campaign Practices Commission (FCPC) seeks your insight and feedback on proposed changes to the City of Berkeley Charter and/or Berkeley Election Reform Act (BERA) to allow for public financing of local elections.

Background: At its May 20, 2014 meeting, the City Council considered a draft measure that would amend the Charter and BERA to allow for public financing of local elections. The Council referred the draft publicly financed elections measure to the FCPC to review and provide its recommendation to Council for the November 2016 ballot. The Commission seeks input from interested stakeholders on the proposed amendments. Stakeholder input will assist the Commission in making its recommendation to the Council regarding public financing of elections.

Your attendance is encouraged at a workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center.If you cannot attend the April 23rd workshop, the Commission welcomes your feedback by letter or email. Please send any communications to the attention of the Commission Secretary Savith Iyengar at FCPC@cityofberkeley.info

Commissioner Spotlight

I'm thrilled to introduce Jessica Rodriguez as my appointee to the Commission on the Status of Women


Jessica Rodriguez, originally from San Jose, CA, has been living in Berkeley for the last 4 years while attending school at UC Berkeley. She's in her last year at the university graduating in May with a degree in Political Science. What brought her to COSOW is her deep passion for women's issues and gender equality. For two years, she was involved producing the campus' production of the Vagina Monologues. As the country's largest university production, it raised approximately $25,000 each year for Bay Area organizations working toward ending violence against women. Additionally, she has been involved with other organizations that work towards serving women of color in particular. These have included the Empowering Women of Color Conference held annually at UC Berkeley and TRENZA de UC Berkeley, a campus organization that provides a space for social and academic support for Chicanas/Latinas and fundraises to provide scholarships for other Latinas going into higher education. Working with the Commission on the Status of Women, Jessica is excited to expand the work she cares about so deeply beyond UC Berkeley and dedicate her time to serving the women of the City of Berkeley.


Lori Droste


Check out my new website: www.loridroste.com

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