August 2 2016

Happy Summer! I hope you are enjoying Berkeley’s beautiful weather. City Council is on summer recess so we will not have our regular office hours this Thursday. The monthly coffees will resume in September. As always, you can contact my office if you would like to make an appointment to discuss City issues. 

National Night Out

Tonight is National Night Out! National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Click here to find an Night Out event in your neighborhood.


Alta Bates Resolution

Our meetings in June and July were action-packed. As you know, in March of this year, Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, Councilmember Susan Wengraf, Councilmember Darryl Moore and I co-sponsored a referral to our Disaster and Fire Safety Commission and Community Health Commission to examine the effects of a potential Alta Bates closure and discuss potential action. The Community Health Commission moved forward with a resolution which Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, Kriss Worthington, and I amended and passed unanimously. With this resolution, the City has officially opposed the closure of Alta Bates and asked the state legislature to come up with funding for a seismic retrofit. In addition, Mayor Tom Bates has called for a regional committee to examine this issue so we can ensure that our residents’ health is considered first and foremost.

John Muir Crosswalk

The City Council also passed a mid-year budget which you can find here. I’m happy to report that I secured $335,000 for the John Muir Elementary School crosswalk. I’m in the process of discussing next steps with city staff so I’ll make sure to keep you posted.

Work Plans for Commissions

Councilmember Susan Wengraf and I co-authored an item that asks for our numerous city commissions to submit an annual work plan. It’s really important that our commissions adhere to their missions and identify activities, outputs, and short-term and long-term outcomes. 

Short-Term Rentals

The mayor called a special meeting on 7/7 to address short-term rentals. Council requested that the City Manager initiate a process of enforcement for when three or more verified complaints are received against the same individual, company, or owner, of multiple units being used as short-term rentals. Council also requested that the Planning Commission further examine accessory building regulations. For more detailed information, please read this.

Recent Spate of Robberies in Southside

On Monday, several people were robbed in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood. For more specific information about these incidents, please click here. Berkeley Police Department advised community members to follow these safety tips when walking at night:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings

  • Travel in large groups whenever possible

  • Consider putting your smart phone in a pocket while in transit

  • Attempt to travel in well lighted, highly populated areas whenever possible

If you have any information regarding these cases, please contact the BPD Robbery Detail via Dispatch at (510)981-5900.  For crimes in progress, call 9-1-1 or (510) 981-5911 from your cell phone.  

Also, for public safety alerts, please sign up for email or text alerts at

Claremont Hotel Expansion

In response to questions about the Claremont Hotel expansion and the City of Oakland’s planning process, I would like to direct you to the City of Oakland’s Planning Commission website where you can view recent agenda minutes. You may also voice your concerns by contacting Oakland case planner Ann Clevenger or 510-238-6980. We are following the process closely and have been engaged in conversations with stakeholders.

Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

Check out my website:

Need a street or sidewalk repair? Want to report illegal dumping? 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.

Office Hours

Office Hours for this month is cancelled due to summer recess.  As always, contact the District 8 office if you would like to meet with Lori to discuss a particular item. or 510-981-7180.