January 22 2016

Happy New Year!  

City Council is already underway with several big issues in 2016: at our last meeting, we began to examine Berkeley’s Paid Sick Leave policy and we directed staff to allocate the $1.5 million dollars we’ve collected as a result of the Sugar Sweetened Beverage tax/Measure D per the direction of the voters (by a 76% margin) and a Panel of Experts to mitigate the impacts of sugar sweetened beverages.

In case you hadn’t heard, in December City Council approved the first tall building as part of the voter-approved Downtown Plan. By permitting this building, a significant amount of money will go into Berkeley’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Read more here.  

Our next meeting, on 1/26, will include discussion of group living accommodations and minidorms, reviewing commission reports from the Dec. 6th, 2014 protests, and more. You can find the full agendahere. As always, feedback is welcome.

Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

Check out my website: www.loridroste.com  
Looking for a city service? Use the City of Berkeley's online 311 form

Office Hours

My next office hours will be on Thursday, 2/4 from 9:30 -11am at Cafe Espresso Roma. Feel free to drop by- no appointment necessary.

Opportunities to get involved:

  • Opening on the City’s Personnel Board which advises the City Manager on personnel policy and administration, and conducts hearings to assist in resolving complaints of unrepresented employees.- details here. Email ldroste@cityofberkeley.info if you’re interested.

  • AC Transit is looking for members on their Accessibility Advisory Committee. The Accessibility Advisory Committee was established by the Board of Directors in 1991 to review, comment and advise the Board of Directors and District staff regarding the implementation and enhancement of planning programs and services for seniors and people with disabilities. Applications available  here.

Support Berkeley Restaurant Week

Berkeley Restaurant Week 2016begins Thursday, Jan. 21 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 31. Participating restaurants are offering lunch and/or dinner menus at special values of $20 per person for lunch, and $25 or $35 per person for dinner (tax and gratuity are generally not included). Learn morehere.

New Incentives Available for Seismic Upgrades: Register between January 20 - February 20, 2016

Sign up quickly for a chance at $3,000 worth of rebates that can help pay for seismic upgrades to your home’s foundation and make it safer from earthquakes.

Take action soon to be eligible for the rebates. Property owners must register with the California Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program either online at www.earthquakebracebolt.com or by calling877.232.4300 between January 20 and February 20, 2016. Qualifying homes will be entered into a lottery for the funding and homeowners will be notified by March 1, 2016, as to whether they have been selected.

In a strong earthquake, the crawl space that is common below Berkeley homes is vulnerable to collapse, dropping the house to the ground or causing it to slide off its foundation. Not only is this dangerous, but also very expensive to repair, and most homeowner insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Read more at CityofBerkeley.info

Commissioner Spotlight  

I’d like to introduce my Zoning Adjustments Board Commissioner, Savlan Hauser.

Savlan grew up in rural Northern California, developing an appreciation for environmental and humanitarian activism from an early age through her Berkeley-educated parents. By the age of 6, Savlan was in love with vibrant, diverse urban environments when she started a career as a busker, playing her fiddle on the streets of great North American cities on family travels. She chose to study at UC Berkeley specifically for its progressive values and lively urban context. Savlan holds a degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and is a LEED AP and is inspired that her two favorite things; great cities and a sustainable future-- are interdependent.
Savlan Hauser

Savlan brings 10 years of experience in architecture, urban design and community development in Mexico City for international projects and in the San Francisco Bay Area to her current role as Executive Director of the Non-Profit Jack London PBID—Oakland’s newest—and geographically largest—property based Improvement District. Prior to her role in Jack London, Savlan worked on multifaceted revitalization efforts through two major Area Specific Plans as consultant to the City of Oakland. 
Savlan currently lives in the Fairview Park neighborhood in South Berkeley with her partner Jonathan. They enjoy hikes out the front door, jam sessions, their delightful neighbors, and the local culinary bounty of Berkeley.