June 16 2021

Public Safety Forum 

Mark your calendars for June 24th - I’m hosting a Community Safety Forum from 7-8:30pm. Mayor Arreguin, Councilmember Wengraf, our Interim Police Chief, City Manager, and  and the head of our Health, Housing, and Community Services Department and I will discuss community safety, addressing mental health crises, and what Berkeley can do to ensure the safety of our residents. 

RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information.  

Helping Businesses Keep Their Parklets

Last night, City Council adopted a path to permanence for outdoor dining and commerce (Item 38) in response to a referral I put forward with Mayor Arreguin, Councilmember Harrison and Councilmember Robinson. Being able to provide service outdoors has helped our businesses and enhanced our streetscapes. 

This will allow for parklets established during the pandemic to be converted to outdoor commerce installations. The renewable Outdoor Commerce Use fee payments will be coordinated with the annual business license renewal cycle and the annual Outdoor Commerce Use Fee will be commensurate with the corresponding block face’s price for parking. Additionally, grant funding to support existing outdoor commerce installations is still available. Click here for more information. 

City Offices Open Now for Limited Hours 

Wear a mask when you come, stay home if you’re sick

We have spent the past year serving our community from wherever possible -- in the field, in offices and virtually. Thanks to safe, highly protective vaccines, we can now begin to serve you during regular hours in our buildings.

Starting June 15, all City of Berkeley buildings will be open from 10am to 2pm, Monday through Friday.

Some services will be open for extended hours. Check our website for the hours, location and details for the service you’re interested in. Some services may be accessible online or in another way that’s more convenient for you.

Make an appointment when possible, especially if you are looking to meet someone specific.

We’ll continue to use tools that have safely guided us to this point – face coverings, distancing, hand hygiene and staying home when sick. We encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated – a safe, effective tool that not only protects you, but also reduces spread of COVID-19 to others.

These changes come as a state Health Order rescinds most rules, a status with which the City of Berkeley’s Health Officer has aligned.

We look forward to serving you wherever you are – including in our City buildings.

City Budget Update

Last night the City Manager presented her FY 2022 Budget, which includes allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to address the COVID-19 pandemic and main departmental funding requests. As a member of the Budget Committee, I requested that the City Manager address and expand the City’s community safety and crisis response capacity. As a result, she has proposed the following: 

  • Expanding prevention and outreach: leverage existing teams and community-based organizations, address basic needs (wellness checks, food, shelter, clothing, etc.), equipment and supplies. Estimated cost - $1.2 million
  • Crime Prevention and Data Analysis to support data driven policing / identify areas of community need: establish data analysis team (2 non-sworn positions), deploy problem oriented policing team. Estimated cost - $1.0 million

Additionally, I want to continue to fund infrastructure needs, traffic mitigations, mental health response, and support Willard Park. 

Our next budget meetings will be on Tuesday 6/22 and Thursday 6/24 at the Budget and Finance Committee. Please feel free to email my office to provide input. 

New Wildfire Evacuation Zones 

Alameda County recently finalized new software to assist with evacuations in the case of wildfires. Berkeleyside provides a detailed explanation of what this means for you here.

Lori Droste
Berkeley Vice Mayor


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.  

Electrify Your Ride

Whether you are exploring plug-in cars or a new EV owner, there is a workshop to help you accelerate your clean vehicle journey. The EV 101 workshop discusses the wide variety of vehicles on the market today, and their respective ranges. Other topics include home and public charging, rebates and incentives, special programs for income qualified drivers, and tips for finding the right plug-in car for your lifestyle. The EV 102 workshop is geared for new EV drivers who want to take a deeper dive into charging, learn how to claim incentives, and get tips on saving money through an EV electricity rate. At these intimate workshops, you’ll have opportunity to talk with EV drivers and get your questions answered. Learn more and register here for a free workshop.