The fires in the North Bay have been brutal and devastating. My heart goes out to all of those people who lost loved ones, homes, and animals. Well over a dozen of City staff have been evacuated, and at least one has lost his home. I’ve been so proud of the way we as a community have rallied to support one another in this tough time. Below are some examples of how City staff has provided assistance in the North Bay. I want to give a huge thanks to our amazing crews and those who came forward to help.
- We have been rotating 12-person teams of Berkeley Police officers to the areas. We have sent a 3-person Berkeley Fire Department crew to help fight the fires directly. Staff from Emergency Services are helping coordinate the massive undertaking of managing this large-scale disaster.
- Our Building and Safety Staff responded to a request for help by offering building inspectors - a critical role as people seek to return to homes and offices as soon as possible.
- Berkeley Animal Care Services, our city shelter, has started taking in animals from affected shelters in the North Bay.
How you can help:
- United Way of the Wine Country, special fund for fire victims: https://uwwc.upicsolutions.org/ecommunity/comm/SinglePageRegPledge.jsp
- The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership is mobilizing volunteers and donors: https://cvnl.org/
- Red Cross Donations: https://www.redcross.org/donate/1017t
How you can prepare for future disasters:
- Sign up for warning alerts from Nixle and AC Alert
- Take a Community Emergency Response Team Training
- Check out the information on Berkeley’s Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood Network
- If your neighborhood doesn’t have an Emergency Supply, organize your neighbors and apply for one.
- Read more at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Ready/
How you can stay up to date on the air quality in Berkeley:
- Check out http://www.sparetheair.org/. Berkeley falls within the “Coast and Central Bay” zone.
- Check out https://airnow.gov/ and enter your zip code to learn about air quality.
Tonight, Council is meeting to discuss news helicopter noise, changes to administrative taxicab fees, the work plan for our Zero Waste Commission, and an annual report from our City Auditor, among other things. You can find the full agenda here.
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8
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.
Minimum Wage increases, sick leave benefits gained
The City of Berkeley Minimum Wage increased by more than a dollar on October 1, when most people working in Berkeley also obtained the right to accrue and use sick leave benefits with fewer restrictions than under state law.
For most employees of businesses and nonprofits, the minimum wage increased from $12.53 to $13.75 per hour. For young people enrolled in a government or non-profit run job training program, the Minimum Wage increased from $10.50 to $12 per hour.
Berkeley’s Paid Sick Leave ordinance requires that all employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Small businesses – those with fewer than 25 employees – may cap an employee’s accrual and use of paid sick leave to 48 hours per year. Larger businesses –those with more than 25 employees companywide -- may cap employee’s accrual at 72 hours per year but may not cap the use of earned Paid Sick Leave. Read more at CityofBerkeley.info
As Flu Season Approaches, Vaccinate
Free flu shots for community members 3 years of age and older are available during the flu season at the City of Berkeley Public Health Clinic on Mondays from 9-11am and 1-4pm. The clinic is located at 830 University Avenue. Those between 6 months and 3 years of age needing a vaccination can call 981-5300 for help locating a source. Contact the Public Health Division at 981-5300 for more information or check our City of Berkeley Public Health website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/publichealth
Save the Date: Save Alta Bates Hospital Stroller Brigade
Organized by the California Nurses Association
What: Bring friends, families, and neighbors — and all available STROLLERS (no baby required) — for our march to save Alta Bates hospital! Pizza, water, and fun activities for kids!
When: Sunday, November 5th, 11:30am - 1pm, Alta Bates Medical Center 2450 Ashby Ave.
Affordable Solar Options
Sign up by November 10th at www.bayareasunshares.org, a program that pools the buying power of individual participants to get more competitive pricing from solar companies and vehicle manufacturers. Bay Area SunShares promotes solar pricing that starts at 15% below the average market rate, and offers discounts for purchasing or leasing a zero emission vehicle. Homeowners who install solar on their rooftops may also be able to take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit. For more information, please see this press release.