February 22 2021

COVID Update: Residents 65+, Grocery, Convenience Store Workers And In-person Education And Childcare Providers Now Eligible For Covid Vaccines Coordinated Through The City Of Berkeley

Sign up here to be notified when more appointments open. Vaccine appointments are also now available at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for adults 65 and older and workers in food & agriculture, emergency services, and education & childcare. Check availability and sign up at myturn.ca.gov or call 1-833-422-4255.

After scheduling, you will receive a confirmation email with the date and time of your appointment. We will verify appointments with identification at the site. You will not be asked about immigration status.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone. You do not need insurance to get a vaccine. However, those who have medical insurance will need to provide their insurance information.

For technical support or assistance scheduling your appointment, call Curative, Inc. at 888-702-9042. For questions about eligibility or attestation requirements, email [email protected] or call 3-1-1 or (510) 981-2489*.

If you are under the age of 65, you will be asked for employment-based eligibility. Read about those guidelines here. If you have insurance, you will be asked to upload a photo of your medical ID card. You can find instructions on how to do that here

Transport option for Berkeley seniors, disabled

For Berkeley residents who need assistance getting to the site, a ride service supported by the City can help some people get to their appointments for a $15 fee. After you’ve scheduled your vaccination appointment, call Easy Does It at (510) 704-2111 to check your eligibility, register for services, and schedule a ride. Easy Does It will ask health screening questions to ensure the safety of the rider and the driver. Personal protective equipment is worn by drivers, and face coverings are required of riders.

Schools Reopening Update

After many conversations and the dedicated work of staff, I’m pleased to see that the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) and City have announced an agreement to provide vaccinations to all BUSD educators, which will enable the city’s public school students to return to in-person learning. 

Under the City’s plan, Berkeley teachers and classified staff serving preschool to second grade, and potentially up to sixth grade, will be able to sign up and receive  vaccinations this week pending receipt of sufficient vaccine from the State. The rest of BUSD’s elementary school staff will be able to sign up for phased vaccinations beginning March 1. BUSD’s secondary school educators will be able to sign up for vaccines beginning Monday, March 8. BUSD employees will receive a dedicated link from the District to enable them to make appointments.

This vaccine schedule allows the District to establish the following timeline for students to return to campus in a hybrid mode:

 Monday, March 29

  Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, and K-2 

 April 5-9

  Spring Recess

 Monday, April 12

  Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; U9 Program at Berkeley High;     Berkeley Technology Academy/Berkeley Independent Study

 Monday, April 19

  Grades 10-12

As I’ve said before, I’m fully committed to doing everything I can to ensure that all students can return to full-time, in person learning as soon as possible. 

Zoning News

On Tuesday February 23rd, City Council will vote on a resolution on whether to undo exclusionary zoning laws. The vote before Council is a resolution and not actual zoning changes. Potential zoning guidelines are currently being discussed by the Council’s Land Use committee. Then, Council will vote later on whether to send guidelines for zoning revisions to our Planning Commission. If Council approves, the Planning Commission will then undertake an extensive community process (1-2 years) to evaluate and revise our current zoning. While the geographic ban on duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in certain neighborhoods is an interesting historical topic, this is only the beginning of a larger conversation about housing security that will occur regardless of the outcome of this proposal.

Every single city in California has new mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocations (Berkeley is required to zone for ~9,000 housing units by the end of 2022). Undoing exclusionary zoning is not a values statement against single family homes or single family home owners. On the contrary, many of my constituents have stated that they would love to legally be able to create a duplex or a triplex in their large homes so their children can move home with them. We just want to create flexibility that already exists in other parts of Berkeley. There are many beautiful examples of these homes throughout Berkeley and our intention is to remain thoughtful and respectful to Berkeley’s beautiful architectural aesthetics. Here is a terrific op-ed from a few years back about how we can integrate these housing types back into our neighborhood.

In any case, no final decisions on this proposal are being made for quite some time but this proposal is the start of a conversation. Please read the updated symbolic resolution here in its entirety--many questions you may have will likely be answered in the resolution. I will update you on the actual zoning conversations as they are discussed in the months and years ahead. I will be discussing these issues over the next few months on KQED and at the League of Women’s Voters. BNCHA will be hosting a forum on March 4 at 7:00pm. Please email [email protected] if you would like to attend (virtually). 

Apply To Serve On Berkeley’s New Police Accountability Board By Monday, March 22

Help provide independent civilian oversight of the Berkeley Police Department

We're seeking community members to serve on the City's newly established Police Accountability Board, created by voters in November 2020 with the passage of Measure II.

The nine-member Board will be charged with promoting public trust through independent, civilian oversight of the Berkeley Police Department, providing community participation in setting and reviewing Police Department policies, practices, and procedures, and providing a means for prompt, impartial, and fair investigation of complaints brought by members of the public against sworn employees of the Berkeley Police Department. The Police Accountability Board will replace the City's existing Police Review Commission.

Help build a Board that reflects our diverse community

Please share this opportunity with your networks. We're seeking a diverse pool of applicants to establish an inclusive board that reflects the Berkeley community. Most residents 18 and over are eligible to serve.

Board members must be fair minded and objective, with a demonstrated commitment to community service. Desirable qualities include: familiarity with human resources, law, police procedures, police oversight, or involvement in civil rights or community organizations.

To apply, you'll need to complete a short application, which asks for:

  • Contact and demographic information
  • Confirmation of your eligibility for the Board
  • Written statements explaining why you're interested in serving and what about your background qualifies you for appointment
  • Three references who can comment on your capabilities
  • A small number of individuals are ineligible to serve on the Board, including an employee, officer, or contractor with the City, a current sworn police officer from any agency, or a current employee, official, or representative of an employee association representing sworn police officers

Applications due Monday, March 22

To apply, download the application and submit the completed form by email to [email protected] or mail it to: City Clerk Department, 2180 Milvia Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704

Applications must be received by 5pm Monday, March 22, 2021

About the Police Accountability Board

Police Accountability Board members will be appointed by the Mayor and City Councilmembers, and must be approved by a majority vote of the City Council. The Board is expected to start work in July 2021, after appointments are complete. The Board's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing independent civilian oversight including considering the findings and recommendations of the Director of Police Accountability regarding complaints against sworn employees of the Berkeley Police Department.
  • Advising and making recommendations regarding the operation of the Berkeley Police Department, including the Department's policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Reviewing and recommending for City Council approval certain agreements involving the Berkeley Police Department and other local, state and federal law enforcement, intelligence, and military agencies or private security organizations.
  • Reviewing and making recommendations to the City Council regarding the Police Department budget.
  • The day-to-day work of the Police Accountability Board will be managed by the Director of Police Accountability, a newly created position that reports directly to the Mayor and City Council. The Director of Police Accountability is also responsible for ensuring a timely, thorough, complete, objective and fair investigation into complaints from members of the public against sworn employees of the Police Department, performing community outreach, and preparing annual reports to the City Council.

Sincerely, 

Lori Droste