December 12, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Homeless Services & Measure P update

Some of you have written to me in response to this week’s Berkeleyside article about how Council is spending money to help our homeless community. I supported and campaigned for Measure P to help our unhoused community so you may be wondering why I voted against the first round of allocations. Berkeleyside wrote an extensive article about this process here. I really encourage you to read it.  In short, I fully support spending money to fund homeless services; however, there were several issues I had with the vote on 12/3. 

  1. The numbers were wrong and the claimed allocations were incorrect and I was prohibited from asking clarifying questions about it.
  2. Council voted to fund an encampment/outdoor shelter when no details were provided and Council hasn’t voted on it.
  3. The Council’s vote didn’t align with either staff’s or the Homeless Panel of Experts recommendations.
  4. It was unclear to me whether permanent housing subsidies would be guaranteed.

I want to be very clear that Council is spending Measure P money on homeless services and homeless-related services. I support that. However, we also need to be transparent on where those dollars are being spent and how much is being spent in various investment areas so we can best help our homeless community.

The Mayor has committed to revisiting the allocations in January to correct the errors, have a robust discussion, and get clarity on the actual amounts. I’ll let you know when that date is finalized.

Homes on BART parking lots

Council held our last meeting of 2019 on Tuesday. We unanimously passed an MOU with BART regarding future development at the Ashby and North Berkeley BART stations. This was the next step in complying with a newly enacted state law, AB 2923. 

Street Rehabilitation

In January, Council will be discussing our five year Street Rehabilitation Plan for FY2020-FY2024. The streets to be repaved are identified through a long process within our Public Works Commission, which bases their decisions on current pavement conditions, type of street (residential, arterial, etc.), etc. The following map outlines the streets identified for rehabilitation:

Many of you have asked how the paving plan is divided among districts. The following table shows a district by district comparison. “PCI” is the Paving Condition Index, which goes from 0-100, with 100 being a street in ideal condition. As you can see, the Commission strived to distribute funds evenly throughout the City. 

Measure T1–Infrastructure and Parks Update

Throughout next year, the City’s Parks, Waterfront, and Recreation staff will be holding neighborhood meetings throughout the City to collect feedback on the use of Measure T1 funds, which voters passed in 2016 to address the City’s aging infrastructure and parks. In District 8, the Willard Clubhouse will be renovated with Measure T1 funds and a neighborhood meeting is set for August 2020. I’ll share details closer to the meeting. For a full summary and map of Measure T1 improvements, click here

Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

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. 

Sign up for emergency notifications on AC Alert  and crime prevention/updates on Nixle.  

2019 Holiday Meal at Berkeley High

The 2019 Holiday Meal at Berkeley High, an annual festive meal and event, is approaching. 

Saturday, December 14, 12:30 - 2:30 pm

Enter at Milvia & Kittredge 

(if raining, we will move the line inside a few steps from this corner)

We provide a meal, beverages, entertainment, and usually have a decent amount of giveaways (clothing, socks, hygiene products, etc...)!

For more info, contact John Villavicencio [email protected] 

Southside Zoning Ordinance Amendments

The City is initiating a study of zoning ordinance changes designed to increase housing options in the Southside. The Planning Commission has established a Southside EIR Subcommittee to review potential amendments to evaluate in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).   

The inaugural meeting of the Southside EIR Subcommittee will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 17th, at 1947 Center Street. The discussion will focus on the zoning changes to consider in the EIR. Feedback from the subcommittee will be incorporated into a draft Project Description to be considered by the full Planning Commission on February 5, 2020. 

The agenda and related materials for the December 17, 2019 meeting are available online. You may access the information by clicking on the link below, or by copying and pasting the link into your web browser: 

Children’s Holiday Movies at the Elmwood Rialto Theater

FREE with VOUCHER! Join us this holiday season for these classic family films!

The Polar Express Sat, Dec 14 11am

A Christmas Story Sat, Dec 21 11am

FREE with VOUCHER available at Elmwood merchants: A Cuppa Tea, Baker & Commons, Bill’s Trading Post, 14 Karats, Gai Barn, Mrs Dalloway’s, Nabolom Bakery, Piedmont Copy, Summer Kitchen, Rogue Chow Deli, Tail of the Yak, Your Basic Bird.

Please present your voucher at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood box office no later than 10 minutes prior to showtime to obtain up to 4 tickets. Limit four (4) tickets per voucher. No cash value. Admission subject to seating availability.

Waste pickup pushed back a day for holidays

Take note of the waste collection schedule during the holidays and, before you buy your holiday tree, make a decision about whether it will end up as compost, landfill or be planted in the earth as a living tree.

There will be no refuse, recycling or compost collection on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. Commercial and residential collection will be pushed back a day for those with regular Wednesday, Thursday or Friday collections. 

For example, if Wednesday is your regular collection day, your holiday collection will occur on Thursday. Friday pickups will be collected on Saturday.

Please place your carts curbside by 7a.m. Please be advised that collection may occur later in the day than usual. If your collection is more than one day behind schedule, call 510-981-7270 to report a missed pickup. 

Before you buy a tree, consider the City's tree disposal requirements and have a plan for when the season is done: landfill, compost or a living tree. To learn more about tree disposal requirements, read more at 


Celebrate winter with real snow, a lighted boat parade, and fireworks. Come out to Berkeley's waterfront on Saturday to celebrate winter with activities for all ages including real snow, a lighted boat parade, visits with Santa, and a fireworks display over the Bay. 

There will be plenty of children's activities like face painting, carnival games with prizes, a tot play area to keep the little ones entertained, and this year, families will have the opportunity to play in real snow! 

Decorate cookies or enjoy a cup of free hot cocoa while listening to holiday music and enjoying some of the best views around. Santa Claus will be at the event to visit with families and maybe even pose for a selfie or two!

Berkeley's 3rd Annual Winter on the Waterfront 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Berkeley Yacht Club, 1 Seawall Drive