May 12, 2016

At last Tuesday’s Council meeting, per voter approval of Measure T in 2010, City Council unanimously approved the iCANN Health Center on Sacramento Street as the vendor for Berkeley’s fourth medical cannabis dispensary. Learn more about it here. There was also a Council motion to explore increasing the number of dispensaries to a total of six.  I’d love to hear your opinion on expanding the number of permitted cannabis dispensaries to six - you can write to if you want to provide feedback.

On Tuesday, City Council also unanimously approved the installation of a bike lane on Fulton St., where a near fatal car-bicycle collision took place in February. I’m pleased at the quick movement by City staff and cycling advocates to recognize the importance of improved bicycle safety in our city.

Also on Tuesday, City Council heard our first budget report from staff. I will communicate more about this issue in the next few months but please learn more about our competing needs here.

On March 17th, City Council will hold a special meeting to discuss an array of housing policies that carried over from an April meeting. The Council agenda for that meeting, with meeting details, will be availablehere.

Sutter Health Alta Bates - Capitelli/Droste/Wengraf/Moore Referral to Evaluate Community Impact

Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a referral that Councilmember Laurie Capitelli and I wrote (and Susan Wengraf and Darryl Moore co-sponsored) requesting that the City’s Community Health Commission and Disaster and Fire Safety Commission assess the impact and potential changes of Alta Bates on our community - read it here.  Many of you have reached out to my office with concerns about the future of Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Ashby campus. Our residents’ health is also very important to me. Over the past year, I have been meeting with various stakeholders, including Sutter Health leadership.  They confirm that they are shifting many services to other campuses, but stated that they intend to keep the campus for outpatient services and other uses. Since this time, the media has picked up on this very important issue as well. I will keep you all abreast of any updates/findings from the commissions and information regarding Sutter Health Alta Bates.

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 510-981-2489Please 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.

Office Hours

Councilmember Droste holds office hours on the first Thursday for  every month, from 9:30-11am at Cafe Espresso Roma, 2960 College Ave (on the corner of College and Ashby). No appointment necessary - just stop by!

John Muir School Turns 100!

John Muir Elementary School is celebrating a century of educating Berkeley children on Saturday, May 14th from 3-6 pm with school tours and a history program in the auditorium. Light afternoon fare by alumna Jennifer Sherman, of Chez Panisse, will be served on the lawn, and beverages will be available in the Harwood Creek preserve, a natural habitat restored and maintained by volunteers.      
Follow this link to buy tickets:  Tickets may be purchased at the door $50 adults and $10 children (free childcare).

Ticket sales, donations and sponsorships for the Centennial benefit programs like PE, field trips, teacher grants, and after-school enrichment for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The school has a legacy of inclusive education, hosting the first integrated classrooms in Berkeley and pioneering programs for disabled and hearing-impaired children. John Muir at 2955 Claremont Ave. is the smallest elementary school in Berkeley with an enrollment of 295.     

Commissioner Spotlight

I’m happy to introduce Anna Goodman, a District 8 resident, as my Youth Commissioner.

Anna was born in San Francisco, California but now lives with her family in the  Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley.  She is currently a junior at Berkeley High School and has previously attended Emerson Elementary and Willard Middle School. In 2014, Anna was appointed to the Youth Commission by former Councilmember Gordon Wozniak and she has enjoyed advocating for the youth of Berkeley ever since. Most notably, the Youth Commission hosts a job fair every year that connects Berkeley youth with credible employers. Anna also works with youth as a classroom volunteer at Emerson and a math tutor at Willard. This summer Anna will continue with the City of Berkeley as a “Playground Leader Trainee” for Berkeley Day Camp. Her position as commissioner has inspired Anna to look into political science and public policy when she enters college and the workforce.