City Council District 5
City Council District 5

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June 12, 2014

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Minimum Wage Update
Berkeley Half Marathon Returns
Downtown Berkeley June Sunday Block Parties
Safeguard Your Home While on Vacation
Live Oak Fair
Relay for Life
Changes in the District 5 Office
City Contacts and Resources

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

An important part of any truly liveable city is the municipal park system that provides play areas for the young, natural solitude for the weary, community for the lonely and recreation opportunities for the athletic. Berkeley is no different. Our parks are loved, well-used, but unfortunately deteriorating.

Over the past several years, the Council has received alarming reports about the condition of our parks and the resources required to renovate them to a maintainable level. A fall 2013 public process conducted by our Parks and Waterfront Commission highlighted citizen priorities, uncovering a deep community desire to bring our parks and related facilities back from the crumbling brink. In that spirit, and after two voter poles and several public discussions, the City Council has decided to place on the November ballot an updated parks revenue measure.

Amidst deliberations to define the appropriate proposal, Councilmember Maio and I presented to the Council on June 10 a draft outline of a measure that includes critical capital restoration while insuring the ability to maintain our park facilities into the future. Though a modest proposal, we were satisfied that it met the criteria we deemed important in any revenue measure. It is:

  • Equitable. From the Rose Garden Trellis to the Willard Pool, it will provide improvements for facilities all over Berkeley.
  • Comprehensive. Projects included a wide variety of ball fields and courts, pools, gardens and community facilities. Something for everyone.
  • Affordable. An average-sized home would be billed less than $5 per month.
  • An investment in the future. No moderate proposal can fund everything, but what we proposed will provide improvements in facilities along with resources for maintenance that will create a sustainable baseline.

There will be one more round of massaging the projects and estimates before the Council makes a final decision on the ballot language at their July 1 meeting. You will be seeing it in the fall in your voters’ handbook.

In the meantime, take a walk to your local park. Let’s hope the great summer pleasure of it lingers into November.

Note: Earlier this year as group of Berkeley high school students produced a video about Berkeley’s parks. Check out Behind the Swings.


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

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Minimum Wage Update

On May 20, 2014, the City Council approved a draft City-wide minimum wage increase through a schedule of incremental increases ending in October 2016 at $12.56 per hour. The strategy is that Oakland and Berkeley will approach the same rate at close to the same time creating more of a regional approach and hopefully a level playing field.

On June 10, the Council approved the final language of the ordinance. There will be a “second reading” before Council on June 24 and if approved, the new minimum wage will become law thirty days later. California minimum wage is set to increase to $9.00 per hour July 1, 2014. In Berkeley it will increase to $10.00 on 10/1/14, $11.00 on 10/1/15, and finally $12.53 on 10/1/16.

The Berkeley City Council on July 1 will consider appointing an on-going task force -– composed of members of the City Council and representatives of businesses and labor -- to assess possible exemptions to the ordinance, inclusion of sick leave, extensions of the ordinance and other issues. It is anticipated that the task force would be asked to provide its first report by February of next year.

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Berkeley Half Marathon:
Registration Now Open

What: Second Annual Berkeley Half Marathon.
When: Sunday, November 9, 2014. 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park in Downtown Berkeley to Golden Gate Fields.

Registration is now open! Put on your running shoes and race down University Avenue to support organizations in Berkeley that make a difference: Cal Athletics and the Berkeley Public Schools Fund. For over four years the producers of the San Francisco Marathon worked collaboratively with the City of Berkeley, local organizations, and a host of runners to put on last year’s inaugural Berkeley event. In 2013 the event raised over $30K for Berkeley Schools. They are expecting over 10,000 runners this year!

Participants can choose either the half marathon 13.1 mile or the “bearable” 5 K.

For more information including a map of the course, please go to Berkeley Half Marathon Berkeley Half Marathon.

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Sundays in June
Downtown Berkeley Eats, Beats and Brews

What: Eats, Beats and Brews: A Downtown Block Party. No Admission Fee.
When: Every Sunday in June. 12 noon to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Center Street between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street. Across from Downtown Berkeley BART.

Every Sunday in June Center Street in Downtown Berkeley comes alive from noon to 6pm with Eats, Beats & Brews, an exciting new weekly block party featuring live music, an outdoor beer garden and delicious food from around the world. Kick off summer vacation with friends and family at a free Sunday Fun Day celebration featuring local and internationally touring bands, on Center Street between Shattuck and Oxford, and across the street from Downtown Berkeley BART station.

For more information on this free event, go to Eats, Beats & Brews.

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Safeguard your home while on vacation.

A Berkeley Police Department (BPD) reminder:

If you are going on vacation this summer, fill out a Vacation Watch Form with the Berkeley Police Department to help us better watch over your home.

The form asks for emergency contact information, a description of vehicles that will be parked at the residence, descriptions of maintenance work that will be done while you are on vacation, and the names of people that will be checking the property while you and your family are away.

After BPD receives your completed form, it is distributed to the patrol officers that patrol your neighborhood. Although this is not a guarantee that you home will be not be damaged or burglarized, it gives you some added protection. If any sign of forced entry or unexpected change occurs, the police officer will refer to the information provided and notify the emergency contacts listed.

After downloading the Vacation Watch Form or obtaining the form in person at our Records Unit, residents can submit the Vacation Watch Form to us by mail, fax, or dropping it off at our front counter/Records Unit.

Berkeley Police Department Records Unit (Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00a.m.-3:00p.m.)
2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA, 94704
(510) 981-5750 – Front Counter
(510) 981-5819 – Fax
For full details, go to Berkeley Police Department: Safeguarding your home.

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Live Oak Fair

What: Live Oak Park Fair. No admission charge.
When: Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15, 2014. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Live Oak Park. 1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.

A cornerstone of the vibrant North Berkeley art & crafts community, the Live Oak Park Fair showcases affordable contemporary art and fine crafts including handcrafted jewelry & accessories, couture adult and kids’ clothing, painting, photography and printmaking, and sculptural and functional objects in clay, fiber, glass, metal and wood. Plus, kid-friendly entertainment all day including magic shows, face painting and live music. The fair features concessions with excellent handmade food, and for the second year, in a partnership with Edible East Bay magazine, a tasting area with artisan-made food products. Enjoy all the delights among the heritage oaks and redwoods and alongside the charming Codornices Creek. No cost to attend. No dogs off leash.

For more information go to Live Oak Park Fair.

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Relay for Life in North Berkeley

What: American Cancer Society Walk and Community Camp Out
When: Saturday, August 16 and Sunday August 17.
Where: The Track at King Middle School, Hopkins Street

The Relay for Life is a 24-hour walk and community camp-out that celebrates those who have survived cancer, remembers loved ones that have been lost to cancer, and fights back by raising funds for research, treatment and education. Organizers’ efforts will allow the American Cancer Society to continue to provide services to cancer patients, fund cancer research, and bring cancer prevention and early detection messages and services to our community.

During the August 16-17 community event, teams will camp out at King School track and take turns walking or running around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the 24-hours and to raise donations for the American Cancer Society.

All cancer survivors (anyone who has faced a cancer diagnosis) are invited to participate as honored guests in the Survivors Lap, which opens every Relay For Life event. When the sun goes down, hundreds of Luminaria will light the track in remembrance of those who have faced cancer.

For more information go to Relay for Life.

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Changes in the District 5 Office

Next month my long-time Legislative Assistant Jill Martinucci will be retiring from the District 5 Office. Most of you know her as the voice of the office and my spokesperson (“On behalf of the Councilmember . . .”). Jill’s connection to the community, her institutional knowledge and her tenacity with the newsletter have been invaluable. Though we will miss her, we wish her well on her upcoming projects and adventures (see below) and hope she will return often – maybe even to serve on a commission. At a minimum we hope she will leave her cell phone number in case we can’t find something.

Coming aboard in July will be Amelia Lopez. Born and raised in the Central Valley, Amelia attended Mills College and earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy. For the past several years she has served as a local aide to Assembly Member Nancy Skinner where she did constituent service and special events.

I am very fortunate that Beth Gerstein will be staying on to work on special projects and assist in the office. I expect a smooth transition over the summer and look forward to a great team come the fall.

Have a great summer!

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City Contacts and Resources

Listed below are important city phone numbers to keep close by:

Laurie Capitelli, District 5 Office


Tom Bates, Office of the Mayor


Officer Byron White, BPD Area Coordinator for North Berkeley


Non-emergency (to report a past event or suspicious activity)


Emergency (to report a crime in process or an emergency)
from a landline


From a cell phone


To report nonfunctioning street lamps, graffiti, missed garbage pick-ups

On Line Service Center
or dial 311

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