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City Council District 3
City Council District 3

News from Councilmember Ben Bartlett, April 2017

Dear Neighbors --

Happy belated Passover and Easter! Below are some recent successes, upcoming news, and neighborhood events.

Successes & Updates

Neighborhood Impact Meeting Regarding CBCB Dispensary. We held a meeting to discuss concerns about the impact of the CBCB Cannabis Dispensary on its neighbors. Many community members had expressed concern about traffic, parking, litter, and fumes. We had a productive dialogue and developed concrete and creative solutions, including instituting a discount for patrons who bike or walk to the dispensary, increasing the number of trash cans in the neighborhood, and improving parking and security patrol. If you need help resolving any neighborhood issues, please reach out to our office!

CBCB Event

Bridges Not Walls - Resolution to Divest from Companies Involved with Trump's Border Wall. The City Council voted unanimously on March 28 to divest from all companies involved with designing, building, financing, or otherwise contributing to the creation of President Trump’s border wall. We were first in the nation to do this! We need longer tables, not higher walls. Check out this local news coverage.

Renaming the South Berkeley Senior Center to the Henry Ramsey Jr South Berkeley Senior Center. The City Council unanimously passed our initiative to rename our district's senior center in honor of Judge Henry Ramsey Jr., who was responsible for establishing Berkeley's pioneering senior centers. Judge Ramsey stated in his autobiography, "Every senior in Berkeley deserved to be treated well, without regard to neighborhood, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion." Judge Ramsey was an activist, a Berkeley City Councilmember, a lawyer, judge, professor, and a Dean. We are excited to be able to honor his life and work. We are inspired and motivated by his dedication to the community!

New Library Board Members & Tarea Hall Pittman Signage. We co-sponsored Councilmember Hahn's initiative to adopt an ordinance allowing new signage at the Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library. We are also excited to welcome our new library board members, Diane Davenport and Judy Hunt! Congratulations! We look forward to working with you to establish an inclusive and dynamic library system.  

Far-Right Rally on April 15. Last Saturday, Trump supporters and other far-right protestors gathered outside City Hall in downtown Berkeley. 20 people were arrested, many for violent crimes. In spite of this, I witnessed real dialogue and conversation happening between both sides. I was on scene working to protect the community. As Berkeleyans, we believe in the power of ideas -- never violence. 

Non-Citizens Voting in Berkeley. We co-sponsored Councilmember Worthington's initiative regarding amending the Berkeley City Charter to allow non-citizens, our undocumented community members, to vote in Berkeley elections. It passed unanimously!

Willard Park and Pool. We co-sponsored Councilmember Droste's initiative instructing the City to explore reopening recreational opportunities at Willard Park and Pool. It passed unanimously! 

Public Safety. Chief Greenwood was sworn in on April 20, 2017. Congratulations! We are excited to work closely with him on advancing public safety in our community. Furthermore, in response to the community's concerns regarding robberies around the Ashby BART station and in South Berkeley in general, the City has installed numerous new street lights, identified in the map below.


Supporting AB 1316, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention. We co-sponsored Councilmember Wengraf's initiative to support Assembly Bill 1316, which would require all children to have their blood tested for lead exposure. This is an extremely important issue. 92% of Berkeley's housing stock was built before lead paint was banned and the City does not enforce state regulations regarding lead paint hazards. This is something our office will be working forcefully to address at the local level, in addition to supporting state level initiatives. 

Supporting AB43, State Incarceration Prevention Fund. We co-sponsored Councilmember Hahn's initiative to support Assembly Bill 43, which would create funds to prevent incarceration by assessing tax on companies that contract with prisons and profit from incarceration. The subsequent tax revenue would be used to fund programs that reduce incarceration. It passed unanimously!

In The Works.  Coming up next, we've worked hard on a paid family leave ordinance for the City of Berkeley with non-profit policy advocacy groups Legal Aid at Work and Equal Rights Advocates. It's being considered at the April 25 Council meeting. We are also working on legislation targeting lead poisoning, EV charging, cannabis equity, local hire, responsible banking, and housing affordability! 

Commissioner Spotlight

Chris SchildtI am delighted to introduce Chris Schildt as my appointee to the planning commission!

Chris is a South Berkeley resident, community organizer, and long-time advocate for equitable development and low-income housing in the Bay Area. In 2015, she helped form Friends of Adeline, a grassroots organization working to create a just and inclusive South Berkeley. Chris also serves on the board of Urban Habitat, an Oakland-based nonprofit that works to democratize power and advance equitable land use, transportation, and housing policies throughout the Bay Area. As a planning commissioner, she hopes to help create policies to reverse displacement and support African American residents and low-income families to stay and thrive in South Berkeley.

Originally from the South Bay, Chris moved to Berkeley in 2000 to attend UC Berkeley, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science, as well as a Master in City Planning. She has lived in South Berkeley with her partner since 2009. She loves hearing stories about the history of the neighborhood from friends and neighbors. A life-long cyclist, she has biked more than 10,000 miles across five continents.


Health Career Workshop
April 22, 11:15am
McGee Baptist Church, 1640 Stuart St

Interested in a Career in Healthcare? Come hear from a diverse panel of Health Care Professionals and learn more about different career options. 

Berkeley Flea Market Grand Reopening
April 23, 12pm-6pm
Ashby BART Station

The Berkeley Flea market is reopening, hosted by KPFA’s Greg Bridges, there will be live bands, community guest speakers, spoken word, and activities for children.

City Council Meetings
April 25 and May 2, 7pm
City Hall, 2134 MLK St.
Topics on the agenda include short term rentals, the bike plan, restrictions on the ability of former elected officials or City staff to work in lobbying, section 8 landlord incentives, funding for the African American Holistic Resource Center, and more!

Ben In The Community
April 29, 12pm
Zing Cafe, 3051 Adeline St.

I am holding monthly office hours in a district 3 coffee shop. Please stop by!

African American Holistic Resource Center Community Meeting – Allies Welcome!
April 29, 2pm
McGee Baptist Church, 1640 Stuart St

Come learn about the opportunity for an African American Holistic Resource Center in the City of Berkeley! Allies welcome, open to all! 

Community Meeting with our Human Welfare and Community Action Commissioner
May 8, 6pm
Civic Center, 6th Floor, 2180 Milvia St.

Come meet the commissioner representing district 3 serving on the human welfare and community action commission! We will be talking about our goals and values, and how our commissioner can best serve the district.



Bay Area Bike Share. Bay Area Bike Share is hiring for all sorts of opportunities including operations, marketing, human resources, and more.

Commissions. We are still looking for commissioners for the personnel board and the Elmwood business improvement district commission. If either of those opportunities interest you, please reach out!

Volunteer & Internship. If you'd like to volunteer your time or intern with our office, you are always welcome! Please reach out.



Ben Bartlett Signature

Councilmember Ben Bartlett

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