August 31, 2016

Back to School!

I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Congratulations to all of the students beginning school this week. It’s an exciting time, and I was especially pleased to see that Lillia Bartlow was escorted back to John Muir school by our firefighters. I’m glad she has recovered. As you may know, the City of Berkeley applied for a Safe Routes to School grant for this intersection in 2015 and was denied. As a result, Mayor Tom Bates and I asked City Council to allocate $335,000 for this intersection during this year’s mid-year budget review. Thankfully, Council voted for it. Now, the next step is to work with our industrious city staff to implement this as soon as possible. I’ll update you as this progresses.

Photo of Lillia Bartlow standing on her porch                         (photo courtesy of Kelly Sullivan for Berkeleyside)

Office Hours

Please remember I am having office hours Thursday morning 9/1 at Cafe Roma, 9:30-11am. If you can’t make it, feel free to email me at to set up a time when we can meet.

Minimum Wage

As some of you are aware, City Council has been discussing a minimum wage increase. In 2014, City Council voted to increase the minimum wage; as a result, it will increase from $11 to $12.53 in October of this year. This past week, I introduced a $15 minimum wage measure along with Laurie Capitelli, Susan Wengraf, and Linda Maio. It passed unanimously. This groundbreaking achievement occurred after many months of negotiations among Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, EBMUD Director Andy Katz, labor representatives, small business owners, and representatives; including health care providers, nonprofits, social service agencies, and arts organizations, in order to avoid an election battle between two contentious minimum wage measures – the Council-sponsored Measure BB and the initiative Measure CC. As a result of this consensus, Berkeley will have one of the most progressive minimum wage measures in the nation.

As a result of this agreement, proponents of both Measure CC and BB have agreed to withdraw their arguments and encourage voters to vote no on both measures. It is a great victory for our community in finding common ground.

Details of the minimum wage agreement voted into law:

  • $13.75 in 2017 and $15 by 2018. CPI after 2018.
  • Doubles the state’s sick leave accrual (48 hours) for small businesses. Triples sick leave accrual (72 hours) for large businesses.
  • Service charges will be distributed to employees only.
  • Youth-in-training wages, which will be phased out in 2020

If you would like to learn more about minimum wage schedules or various research, I recommend the following articles and databases:

Comment on Berkeley’s Bicycle Plan

DRAFT of Berkeley’s Bike Plan was released for public comment on August 29. For more information, please see

The plan includes:

  • recommendations for new and enhanced bike boulevards and improved crossings
  • downtown and UC campus area projects including new protected bikeways
  • enhancements to Ohlone Greenway
  • upgrades to existing bike lanes and routes
  • citywide projects such as bicycle parking
  • major complete street corridor studies

Next steps and opportunities for public input:

  • September 29th: Bicycle Subcommittee Meeting, 7 pm, North Berkeley Senior Center (MLK & Hearst) – Public Comment Period Closes
  • October 20th: Berkeley Transportation Commission Meeting, 7 pm, North Berkeley Senior Center (MLK & Hearst)
  • December 13th: Berkeley City Council Meeting, 7 pm, Berkeley City Council Chambers, Old City Hall (MLK between Center and Allston)

Have a comment to share? Email

For more information about this plan, please contact: 
Eric Anderson, City of Berkeley Pedestrian and Bicycle Programs Coordinator
510-981-7062 | 

Homelessness Panel Discussion

The Berkeley Public Library Homeless Task Force is presenting the program, Homelessness in Berkeley: a Panel Discussionon Saturday, September 10 in the 3rd floor community meeting room, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. We hope to demystify homelessness, to educate, to inform, and to lay the groundwork for greater public understanding and involvement. Panelists will provide an overview of homelessness and discuss possibilities for change on a systemwide level. Local service providers will discuss their goals, strategies and observations. A person who has experienced homelessness will give us a look into the reality of life on the street. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. A reception with the panelists and community service providers follows. Nationally known advocate Dr. Julie Winkelstein, MLIS, PhD, moderates the program.

 Council Meetings Resume

City Council meetings will resume on September 13. I will update you next week with items on the 9/13 and 9/20 agenda.

As always, I am happy to discuss these or other issues at my office hours (Thursday morning 9/1 at Cafe Roma, 9:30-11am) or by appointment (email me at to set up a time). It’s my honor to serve as your electedCouncilmember.

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 510-981-2489Please 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

Councilmember Droste holds office hours on the first Thursday for every month (next up is September 1st), from 9:30-11am at Cafe Espresso Roma, 2960 College Ave (on the corner of College and Ashby). No appointment necessary - just stop by!  As always, contact the District 8 office if you would like to meet with Lori to discuss a particular item. or510-981-7181