Click Here to Read the August 2013 District 4 Newsletter
Berkeley Historical Society Exhibit on History of District 4
Stop by the Berkeley Historical Society Center at 1931 Center Street to view the exhibit
McGee Spaulding Hardy Historic Interest Group (MSHHIG) is a group of District 4
neighbors dedicated to researching, documenting, and preserving the history of
the McGee Spaulding Hardy area (bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Dwight
Way, Sacramento Street and University Avenue). Since its founding in 2000,
MSHHIG has landmarked two houses: the Hunter House (built 1895) on California
St., and the Fish-Clark House (built 1883) on Dwight Way. They have also
created walking tours of the District, produced an 80-page booklet on the history
of the District, installed several historical plaques and created a website on
the District's history: www.mshhig.com
Starting October 13th, the Berkeley Historical Society will be hosting an exhibit on
the McGee Spaulding District. Please
stop by the Berkeley Historical Society History Center at the Veterans
Building, 1931 Center Street. The Summer 2013
edition of the Berkeley Historical Society Newsletter features an excellent
article on the history of the McGee Spaulding District which makes up
a large part of Council District 4. Click here to download
this great article and learn more about our neighborhood's
Compassionate Sidewalks Information:
UPDATE (as of August 20, 2013)
At its April 2nd City Council meeting, the Berkeley City Council held a work session in which information on the
demographics of the population experiencing homelessness within Berkeley and the County were presented,
as well as information on existing city services, quality of life laws, best practices in other cities and proposed
programs suggested by staff (outreach, Coordinate intake and Assessment for services, police/homeless
interaction). Here is a copy of the Powerpoint presentation made at the work session. Also here is a link to the
more detailed report from the City Manager. You can watch a video of the work session here:
At the work session Councilmembers expressed their support for the city implementing a Coordinated
Assessment program and acknowledged that, despite all that the city has done so far to help serve the
homeless, more needs to be done.
During the April 2nd regular meeting, I proposed that my office would organize a community process to
discuss homelessness, and develop a plan to improve the delivery of services and housing for the homeless.
The Council agreed that a community process should move forward and that the recommendations from the
Task Force would be presented to the City Council, at which time the Council could form a subcommittee to
focus more in depth on developing solutions to homelessness.
Since the April 2nd meeting, I have reached out to various stakeholders to coordinate a first meeting of the
Homeless Task Force and to identify priorities and get comments on what the City should focus on to address
homelessness. The results of the survey were presented at the first Task Force meeting.
The First Homeless Task Force meeting was held on Thursday, August 15, 2013. Go to the Homeless Task Force website for copies of the presentations, background documents and information on future meetings. We will be holding meetings throughout the fall and we look forward to your participation in this important and exciting community process.
PROPOSED COMPASSIONATE SIDEWALKS PROCESS:
Councilmember Arreguin introduced an item outlining the proposed Compassionate Sidewalks Process. The Berkeley City Council discussed a proposed community process on homelessness on April 2nd. Here is a link to download the item.
NEWS ARTICLES ON COMPASSIONATE SIDEWALKS PLAN:
Berkeley debates compassionate sidewalks approach to those on streets
By Judith Scherr, Correspondent
BERKELEY -- A City Council workshop Tuesday on homeless issues and Councilman Jesse Arreguin's Compassionate Sidewalks proposal rekindled animosity between those who want the city to address the causes and solutions to homelessness and those who say Berkeley's primary focus should be addressing inappropriate street behavior.
This battle was most recently fought over Measure S, also known as Civic Sidewalks, a measure that would have banned sitting on business district sidewalks. It was defeated in the November 2012 election 47.7 percent to 52.3 percent.
Arreguin said his proposal envisions a broad community conversation on resolving issues of housing and homelessness that would culminate in recommendations to the City Council for concrete solutions. Read more
By Daphne Chen | Staff
The Berkeley City Council committed to establish a community process to address homelessness in the city.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council added amendments, such as compiling more details and data, to the Compassionate Sidewalks Plan — introduced by Councilmember Jesse Arreguin — and voted to further discuss the proposed plan in public workshop in April.
“We are letting the public know that we are committed to moving forward with the community process,” Arreguin said. “Most of the people here opposed Measure S, but they’re not saying let’s not do anything.” Read More
Op/Ed: It’s time to act on homelessness in Berkeley
At the November elections Berkeley voters rejected Measure S, a controversial proposal that would have banned sitting on commercial sidewalks. City Councilman Jesse Arreguín believes it’s important to continue the conversation around homelessness, and, in an Opinionator piece published today, outlines the Compassionate Sidewalks Plan — what he calls a blueprint for creating consensus-based solutions to homelessness
Save the Downtown Berkeley Post Office Update
There have been a number of developments in the fight to save the Downtown Berkeley Post Office these last
few months. In mid-April, the City and community received word that USPS was planning to proceed with the
“relocation” of postal services from the Berkeley Main Post Office, which would pave the way for selling the
In response to this news, the City Council voted unanimously to formally appeal the decision on April 30, 2013
and reiterated its opposition to any sale of the Post Office. Despite strong community opposition, including
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, and County
Supervisor Keith Carson, we learned a couple of weeks ago that USPS rejected the repeal and will proceed
with the relocation of postal services from the Berkeley Main Post Office. Unfortunately, we cannot appeal that
decision any further and we have exhausted our administrative remedies; however, we are taking legal action
to continue to fight the sale.
We are also taking a parallel track to save the Berkeley Main Post Office. Although the building is not officially
for sale yet, whoever would buy the building would have to comply with city zoning regulations that specify
what uses would be allowed at the site. As a disincentive to USPS selling the building, but also to preserve the
Post Office building, I recently introduced an item to explore a zoning overlay for qualified buildings within the
Civic Center Historic District to restrict uses to only civic, cultural and community-oriented uses, including the
Essentially, the proposal would have the effect of discouraging any buyers who have plans that diverge from
our values and it would help keep the Post Office within the public commons. The proposal explicitly prohibits
residential or mixed use, and would not allow the building to be turned into an apartment building, or bed and
breakfast (at a September 2012 hearing, a postal official said that the conversion of a historic post office
building to a bed and breakfast was her favorite adaptive reuse).
City Council overwhelmingly approved my proposal and it will now go before the Planning Commission, which
will take up the issue in early fall. I will let you know when the issue will go before the commission and I will
also update you on the fight to save the Post Office. Rest assured that I will continue to do everything that I can to fight the sale of the Post Office and keep it running. We cannot allow the privatization of more and more of our essential public services.
Here is a copy of the item and Councilmember Arreguin's letter to USPS on the proposal.
Visit www.savethebpo.com for more information and check back here for more updates on the USPS's decision to sell the Berkeley Main Post Office.
Map of Council District 4