Compassionate Sidewalks Information:
April 2nd City Council Work Session on Homelessness
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 5:30 pm, City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
This Tuesday the Berkeley City Council will hold a work session on homelessness. The work session was a result of Councilmember Arreguin's Compassionate Sidewalks proposal. Prior to Measure S being placed on the ballot, the City Council was not provided with specific information on homelessness and on enforcement of quality of life laws. The purpose of this work session and the Compassionate Sidewalks process is for the City to have a dialogue with the community about the root causes of homelessness, and what additional services are needed. The City Manager has provided the City Council with a report with information on the demographics of Berkeley's homeless population, current services being provided by the City, existing quality of life laws, and best practices and models from other cities. Here is a link to download the report. You are welcome to send any comments or ideas to the City Council on this issue by emailing the City Clerk at email@example.com. You can also attend Tuesday's worksession and share your thoughts in person.
Proposed Compassionate Sidewalks Process
Councilmember Arreguin has introduced an item outlining the proposed Compassionate Sidewalks Process. The Berkeley City Council will be voting on the proposed community process on homelessness on April 2nd. Here is a link to download the item.
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
Washington School Portables Project
The Berkeley Unified School District is proposing to replace the existing portable classrooms at Washington Elementary School. The plan may involve the displacement of existing parking for teachers, which will result in teachers parking in the surrounding neighborhood. While BUSD originally discussed the idea of closing a block of McKinley Street, it has since abandoned those plans.
BUSD has released a draft site plan, which can be found here. There will be a community meeting on April 10th at 6:30 pm in the Washington School Auditorium. All interested neighbors are welcome to attend to get information on the project and weigh in on the right approach to this project.
Save the Downtown Berkeley Post Office
Last July the United States Postal Service announced that it was considering selling the nearly 100 year old, landmark Main Post Office at Allston and Milvia. USPS announced its plans without any outreach to community leaders, post office box customers, or the broader community. There was also a lack of information about what the reasons for the sale were, what would happen to existing employees as well as access to postal services.
In response to these concerns, Councilmember Arreguin introduced a resolution at the Berkeley City Council urging USPS to hold off on its sale until more information and opportunities for community input were given. The resolution was unanimously passed by the Council. In addition the City Council established a subcommittee which met with USPS representatives and the community to hear feedback and ideas on how to stop the sale of the Main Post Office.
On March 5th the Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution opposing the sale of the Main Post Office. This was the City's official comment letter on the Post Office sale. USPS held a public meeting in late February. Under federal law, after the public meeting there was a 15 day comment period, which ended on March 13th.
The next steps in the process are:
- Postal Service makes a recommendation
- Forwards recommendation to USPS Headquarters along with cost analysis and community input
- USPS Headquarters either concurs with recommendation or makes a recommendation of its own
- Postal Service notifies community of decision
- The community is given an opportunity to appeal the decision
Check back at this website for information the USPS's decision on the post office sale and additional information on the proposed sale of the Main Post Office.
Map of Council District 4