Happy March!

There are two very important meetings on Saturday, March 18.

Berkeley Emergency Prep Fair
The Berkeley Emergency Prep Fair is on Saturday, March 18 from 10:00AM-2:00PM at Le Conte Elementary School at 2241 Russell. This is a FREE community-wide event that is geared for the whole family. Join us for interactive demonstrations, onsite training, tips and information, kids activities, music, and so much more.

Measure T1 Workshop
There will be a T1 community meeting on Saturday, March 18 from 10:00AM-1:00PM at the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park at 2800 Park St. This will be a joint meeting of the Public Works Commission and the Parks Commission. There will be three meetings (March 18, March 25, and April 8) to seek community input on the T1 bond program to fund parks and City buildings. For more information, contact Roger MIller at 981-6704.

There are quite a few items on the agenda for March 14. Here are a few highlights:

Recreational Opportunities and Equity at Willard
I authored a referral to ask our City Manager, Parks and Waterfront Commission, and 2x2 BUSD and city committee to determine the best course of action for increased recreational equity in South Berkeley, including but not limited to the re-opening of Willard Pool. I have authorized staff to develop cost estimates for a minimal level of repairs to get Willard Pool operational. Our Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Councilmember Ben Bartlett, and Councilmember Kriss Worthington have co-sponsored this with me.

Willard Pool closed seven years ago; as a result, the residents of Berkeley, particularly South Berkeley, have lost an important centerpiece for aquatics education and community building. I believe this is a public health issue, an equity issue, and a recreational issue.

Alta Bates
The Mayor, Councilmember Sophie Hahn, Councilmember Kriss Worthington and I have co-sponsored an amendment to our municipal code regulating changes to health care facilities. Among other specifications, this item will ensure that appropriate notice is delivered and posted and public hearings are conducted prior to the closing of a hospital, clinic, or outpatient facility that serves the City of Berkeley. As you may recall, I authored a couple of items last year regarding the potential closure of Alta Bates. Council unanimously passed a resolution I co-authored opposing the closure of Alta Bates. This is another step in trying to ensure that the city safeguards our citizens’ health. In addition, Council will also be voting on adopting a resolution supporting Senate Bill 687, authored by our State Senator Nancy Skinner, which will give the State Attorney General the authority to oversee and consent to the sale/closure of nonprofit hospitals and emergency rooms.

There are three items on the action agenda related to sidewalk access. The first item in the Traffic Engineer Regulations specifies what objects are exempt and prohibited on sidewalks. The second and third items address sidewalk safety for people with disabilities.

Berkeley BABIES and Berkeley Mothers Initiatives
I introduced, and Council passed, two proposals to help Berkeley parents: the Berkeley BABIES Initiative and the Berkeley Mothers Initiative.

Berkeley BABIES Initiative
The BABIES Initiative directs the City Manager to ensure that all publicly accessible City buildings have at least one baby changing station installed in both a women’s and a men’s restroom, or an all-gender restroom. In addition, this measure also mandates businesses to have diaper changing accommodations in both men and women’s publicly-accessible bathrooms. This is incredibly necessary and helpful to any parent who is taking care of a child and on the go.

Berkeley Mothers’ Initiative
We need to make sure that nursing mothers readily have information on where they can pump.  The Berkeley Mothers Initiative clarifies that all City buildings provide and maintain least one private place reasonably close to an employee’s workspace for breastfeeding mothers to pump, and make that information readily accessible.

I’m proud that both the Berkeley BABIES Initiative and the Berkeley Mothers Initiative passed unanimously!

Extensions to Residential Preferential Parking
In response to petitions from neighbors, I voted in favor of extending the Residential Preferential Parking Program along a portion of Claremont Avenue. The Residential Preferential Parking Program gives priority parking to residents in designated areas. For more information about the Residential Preferential Parking, click here, and to download the RPP application, click here.

Crime Update
Over the past few weeks, I have had several neighborhood meetings to address crime in our neighborhood with the Berkeley Police Department. My office will be more than willing to set up a meeting with you and your neighbors as well.

As a first step in addressing crime, Councilmember Susan Wengraf and I want to create a voluntary database of private security cameras throughout Berkeley. This was previously addressed by Council and merits revisiting. BPD has informed us that a database like this would greatly assist them in apprehending repeat perpetrators.

Keep in mind that the City maintains an active crime prevention webpage which you can access here. In addition, Berkeley Police offers the following services:

Finally, please program Berkeley Police Department’s emergency number into your phone 510-981-5911. Also, program the non-emergency number as well. 510-981-5900.

Commissioner Spotlight: Kieron Slaughter
I'm delighted to introduce Kieron Slaughter as my Commissioner to the Housing Advisory Commission.

Commissioner Kieron Slaughter

Kieron was born and raised in the city of Berkeley, and as a child grew up exploring the area’s unique parks and open spaces. As an adult, his favorite parts of the city have expanded to Berkeley’s community facilities, employment centers, and public transportation. He was drawn to the commission through his love of the community and his desire to give back and contribute his expertise. He is interested in finding new, innovative ways to increase affordable housing and efficient development.

As a new commissioner, Kieron is eager to get to know the lay of the land and the other members of the Housing Advisory Commission. In future, he wants to focus on creating a broad range of housing types, particularly medium-density housing. He is also passionate about the future of transportation in Berkeley, and would like to see the city take a leadership role in adapting to car sharing, bike sharing, and public transport. Kieron is the father of twins and enjoys showing them around the Bay Area in his free time.


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 510-981-2489. 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.