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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Use City online forum designed for civility

Berkeley, California (Thursday, July 11, 2019) - Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on whether the City Council should direct the City Manager to identify city-owned land, including at the Berkeley Waterfront, for the establishment of "a managed safe RV parking site."

The City Council proposal, if passed, would direct the City Manager to find single or multiple sites "for individuals currently sheltering in an RV or oversized vehicle on the public right-of-way in the City of Berkeley."

The one or more sites would be available for a three-month period specifically for individuals identified through outreach as being a "priority population," a category defined by the City Council on March 26, 2019.  

The City of Berkeley as well as Alameda County prioritize housing for homeless people based on three criteria: number of episodes to homelessness or the duration of homelessness; disabilities; and barriers to housing, such as eviction history or time elapsed since holding a lease. In Berkeley, those who have been homeless for at least a year and who suffer from a disability are prioritized for housing.

For this City Council proposal regarding RV parking on city property, designated "priority populations" would include families with children, people that work in Berkeley, students enrolled in schools or higher education in Berkeley, and persons who have had a Berkeley address within the past 10 years.

The proposal states that program participants should be actively engaged with rehousing and other services. The proposal states that their stay would be short-term while they are seeking permanent housing and/or a long-term off-street location to which they can relocate, such as an RV park.

Sites under consideration would be all possible city-owned land, including all vacant or partially-occupied city properties, "dead-end" streets. If passed, the Council proposal would lead to a formal request from the California State Lands Commission to allow a "temporary safe parking location" at the Berkeley Waterfront based on the City of Berkeley's declaration of a Homeless Shelter Crisis.

The City Manager would report back with one or more proposed locations, a program model, a non-profit operator, security measures, and sanitary facilities, such as portable restrooms and hand-washing stations.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 39 on the July 23, 2019 agenda.

Registered users on Berkeley Considers can post their comments online with or without their name. Anyone can view registered comments. The goal of the forum is to broaden civic discourse in a constructive and civil manner.

On Berkeley Considers, each person on Council-focused topics will be allowed one comment, a feature enforced through registration and through the platform operator's analysis of 25 different fraud detection data points, such as IP addresses, browser identity and similarity between email addresses.

The forum will also be moderated so that comments comply with our guidelines for civility, which prohibits elements such as hate speech, personal attacks or obscene materials.

In the process, the intention is to create a more informed community and provide Council with a broader array of voices.

The platform is operated by OpenGov, which has used its software and services to broaden civic discourse around the country and Canada.

When registering, you will be asked for your name and home address. This confidential information is used only by OpenGov to identify statements from residents in and near Berkeley - so that users know which statements are from local residents. They will keep your information confidential, they do not accept advertising, and they will not share contact information, as noted in the company's Privacy Policy.

Of course, community members can, at any time, mail the full City Council through one email address: council@cityofberkeley.info.

Online forums are not social science, nor scientific polling. But, as with public comment, it is intended to provide the Council with additional data to help in its decision making process.

Look at the question before you. Consider what others are saying. Let the City Council know what you would like them to consider for Berkeley.


Keep up with City of Berkeley news via our News page, email or .

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