As the holidays approach and the attention of many is focused elsewhere, the months-long saga of the “Poor Tour” continues. I am talking about the homeless encampment that is so easily recognizable by the colorful signs and clustered tents in the meridian strip on Adeline Street near the Berkeley Bowl. Or in front of City Hall, or in front of the Post Office, or wherever they can exist for a few days without being raided and dispersed by police. Despite numerous and legally questionable police raids under the direction of City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley, this dedicated group of homeless and disabled people has brought the issue of homelessness to the front burner of city politics. It has become a question of civil as well as human rights.
The cat-and-mouse game between Berkeley and a homeless activist group continued early on Wednesday when city officials rousted about 25 people from their tents and sleeping bags on a median on Adeline Street near Oregon Avenue.
In a 7-1 vote Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council approved plans presented by the police chief to buy a bulletproof van it says will keep officers and community members safer when responding to calls with armed individuals.
The city of Berkeley has doubled its capacity for emergency storm shelter beds this week, following a council directive to get more homeless individuals indoors, and will make those beds available through Monday night in light of current weather conditions.
The city of Berkeley is taking an emergency approach to homelessness aimed at working fast to bring unhoused individuals inside, particularly as winter conditions worsen.
In one of his first acts as mayor, Jesse Arreguín is proposing to overhaul the way Berkeley addresses homelessness, including rescinding the law restricting people to only occupying a small section of the sidewalk.
City Councilman Laurie Capitelli was born in Berkeley but moved away at a young age, only to return to attend UC Berkeley. He never left, raising his children here. He worked as a real-estate agent for Red Oak Realty for decades and got involved in the public sphere in 1996.
Darryl Moore was born in California, graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1984, and later earned a masters degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. After working for the District of Columbia, he moved to Berkeley in 1996 where he worked as a legislative aide for City Councilman Kriss Worthington. Moore later worked as a senior management analyst for the Berkeley Department of Public Works. Moore now works at the Oakland Housing Authority.
Max Anderson is stepping down as the representative of South Berkeley’s District 3 after Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It is the end of a 27-year-long career in public service for Anderson, a retired critical-care nurse, who moved to Berkeley in 1985 after serving in the Marine Corps in California and Hawaii and attending school in Philadelphia. Anderson joined the city’s Planning Commission in 1989, was elected to the Rent Stabilization Board in 1996, and was elected to the City Council in 2004.
Berkeley Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín held a press conference Tuesday to make clear that he and the City Council will ensure the city remains a sanctuary city, offering protection to immigrants and undocumented residents.
Jesse Arreguín, 32, decisively won the mayorship in yesterday’s election, becoming the first Latino Berkeley mayor.
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