May 5, 2021

As the semester winds down, students are preparing to move out in late May. Resources to support a safe and clean moveout are here:

Community Town Hall On Fire Safety - May 19th

The month of May is National Wildfire Prevention Month. It's that time of year when we all need to turn our attention to the risks of wildfire in our area and focus on prevention and preparedness.

Every year for the past many years I have co-hosted a community town hall on Fire Safety with Councilmember Susan Wengraf and Councilmember Sophie Hahn. This year, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we will host a Fire Safety Town Hall via Zoom, with capacity for 500 attendees, on May 19th at 7pm.

While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, climate change is driving longer fire seasons in California, starting earlier and ending later. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by almost three months. Drought conditions are contributing to dire predictions about what to expect this year.

Our Fire safety Zoomposium panel will focus on Prevention and Preparedness and how Berkeley is working to keep you safe during fire season. We will learn about our new evacuation plan and other strategies for early notification, vegetation management, and the Safe Passages program. We will also learn about how to organize your block or neighborhood as a FireWise group.

Due to the limitations of the webinar format, we are requesting that questions be submitted by Monday, May 10th at 5pm to: [email protected]

Register for the webinar and get the zoom link here

Town Hall on the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act

Councilmembers Rashi Kesarwani and Susan Wengraf are hosting a community forum on the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. It will take place next Wednesday, May 12th at 5:30pm-7pm. They discuss the proposed TOPA ordinance with tenants, rental property owners, affordable housing developers, and others. To RSVP, go here

Vaccine Appointments Available To All Over 16, Regardless Of City Of Residence

Protect yourself, your family and our community: get vaccinated

Use to book local appointments, such as at the City of Berkeley site off Buchanan Street in Albany, the Oakland Coliseum and other sites across the state and region. MyTurn is available in 14 languages.

For online booking, MyTurn will ask your age, where you live, and where you work. The portal will then show you a list of places where you're eligible, both nearby and far away. When searching MyTurn:

  • Scroll through the list to find an option that works for you. Remember, the closest or most convenient site may not be at the top of the list.
  • For the fastest and easiest booking, look for a blue "Schedule appointment" button. For these sites, you'll schedule your appointment directly on MyTurn, without being taken to a separate booking site.

For phone assistance, you can call the CA COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255, which has translators available to support 250 languages. For Curative technical support or assistance scheduling, call 888-702-9042.

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.  

AC Transit Talks

Join us for “Transit Talks” – our new and interactive approach for community engagement.

What is “Transit Talks”?

Transit Talks is a series of virtual community gatherings featuring AC Transit Board Directors and staff. The purpose of these meetings is to provide community updates on bus service, health & safety initiatives, and projects.

When are the meetings?

Transit Talks runs through 5/13/21, which can be attended via web, livestream, or dial-in.  For community specific details, visit or call Transit Talks Information Lines:

  •       510-891-7205 for English
  •       510-891-7210 for Spanish
  •       510-891-7286 for Chinese

We look forward to your participation.

The Bay Area Book Festival is back! 

This year’s Festival is entirely online until May 9th, making it easy to see and interact with some of the most exciting authors of our time from your home! The conversations channel the power of literature to renew and rekindle our imaginations and spirits after an unprecedented year. See Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro (Klara and the Sun); bestselling climate fiction “prophet” Jeff VanderMeer; civil rights activist and viral TED speaker Valarie Kaur; world-renowned therapist Dr. Irvin Yalom with Joyce Carol Oates; and more. 

Middle-graders and teens will enjoy “Davey D” hip hop historian, master chef Kwame Onwuachi with his new cookbook/memoir for teens, and bestselling authors!

All youth events are free (but registration required to help keep Zoom rooms safe). Adult events are a mix of free and ticketed (with economical passes available). All include access to the recording for 10 days post-event. Check out the full line-up at

Interested in Joining a Fire Patrol?

NALCO ( is a local am radio group that supports an amateur radio Fire Patrol during fire season each year.  Patrols consist of driving predetermined routes in or near the Berkeley Hills and reporting any hazardous conditions by radio to our central (net) control, who in turn communicates with the Berkeley Fire Department (BFD).  Patrol routes pass near and through District 8.

Participants in the Fire Patrol receive annual training, are asked to take part in three scheduled responses (Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day), and to do patrols on high fire danger days when NALCO is activated by the BFD.  There are never any patrols during active fires.

Our annual Fire Patrol training is about to begin, and we would like to invite anyone in your District with an active Technician radio license or above who has a portable ham radio (hand-held or vehicle mounted) and is interested in taking part in the Fire Patrols this year to participate.  According to the FCC, there are over 800 operators with active licenses in Berkeley.

They would need to join NALCO (this is required by the BFD to provide Fire Patrol insurance coverage) and to sign up for the free training.  Annual NALCO membership is $25.  NALCO has a weekly net and a monthly meeting that members are encouraged to attend, but there is no requirement to do so.  There is usually an after-meeting presentation on a topic of interest (e.g., MESH radio, APRS – the Automatic Packet Reporting System, etc.).  We've also provided support for events such as the Berkeley Half-Marathon and Albany Stroll, and we have MOUs with the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley, and the City of Albany to help provide emergency communications as needed.

If anyone is interested in Fire Patrol please contact Chris Cullander at [email protected] 

Request For Proposals - Organizations Serving Populations Most Impacted By COVID-19

Pending Council approval on May 11, the City of Berkeley anticipates issuing a Request for Proposals inviting community partners to assist Berkeley residents who are most impacted by or vulnerable to COVID-19.  If your organization supports any of the communities listed below, please consider applying to join our efforts against COVID-19. 

Target Populations:  Berkeley residents who are most impacted by or vulnerable to COVID-19, including:  

  • People from Latino or Latinx communities  
  • People from African American or Black communities  
  • Non-English speakers 
  • Essential workers 
  • Day laborers 
  • Home-bound older adults, older adults in congregate settings, or senior housing residents, settings, or senior housing residents 
  • Residents of low income or subsidized housing 
  • Residents in multi-generational households 
  • People without a permanent residence 

We expect to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) on May 12 with proposals due by June 1.  Approved vendors would enter into a contract from approximately August 2021 and ending no later than July 31, 2023. Total Funds Available:  $700,000. Types of Services: Organizations may apply for one, two or all three services in the RFP: 

  • Individual and group outreach, education and engagement regarding COVID-19 prevention, testing, vaccination and contact tracing efforts. 
  • Hosting mobile or pop-up COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, including engaging community members’ attendance. 
  • Individual support services to isolated individuals referred from the City of Berkeley including provision of hotel/ temporary housing and food to ensure isolation compliance. 

Where to find information about the RFP on May 12:  

Work at Echo Lake Family Camp This Summer

The City is looking for applicants to work at Echo Lake Family Camp

  • Potential staff with recreation work experience: They have tons of diverse applicants for whom this will be their first job, but are now looking for folks with some experience.
  • Applications for camperships and CIT positions: There are still lots available in both categories! 

Apply here: