The Lowdown: Berkeley council on minimum wage, Tasers, ballot measures, city budget, pedestrian safety

Min wage rally
A big topic tonight: proposed increases to Berkeley’s minimum wage. Supporters of an increase rallied in Berkeley last week. Photo: Tracey Taylor

On May 6, the Berkeley City Council is scheduled to look at proposed increases to the city’s minimum wage; apparent community support for proposed ballot measures in November 2014; the state of the city budget; and, preliminarily, the idea of Tasers for local police. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how to weigh in about the meeting, even if you can’t attend.

Two special sessions

At 5:30 p.m., learn about the state of the city budget, and projections for it in coming years. In a nutshell, the budget is expected to be in good, balanced shape this year, with challenges coming down the road. No action is expected during the worksession. Then at 6:30 p.m., there’s a closed session related to pending litigation against a number of California cities related to internet access taxes charged by New Cingular Wireless.

Action agenda

The big item on Tuesday’s regular council agenda relates to the city’s minimum wage, and proposed changes to it. Council held a special session on the subject last week, which included detailed reports from a variety of attendees, and extensive public comment. Under the suggested rollout, Berkeley’s minimum wage would increase from $9 to $10 an hour Aug. 1. Then it would go up every year in increments, to $15.25 — at which point it would align with the city’s living wage of $15.02 — on Jan. 1, 2020.

Council also will look at proposed ballot measures for November and what insights came from a second round of community surveys about them, a median garden pilot project on Sacramento Street and possible new meeting spots for the City Council. Read the latest on Berkeleyside about the community survey results and ballot initiatives under consideration.


Other items of interest

Three council members have asked the city manager to look into the issue of Tasers and the local police force, which has been a hot topic recently in the city and on Berkeleyside. (Berkeley Police are not currently allowed to have Tasers.) Two council members are asking the city to investigate pedestrian safety improvements on Sacramento Street after a 98-year-old man was struck by a car and killed in early April. Avotcja Jiltonilro will be recognized by the city with a “lifetime achievement” award in poetry.

Meeting details

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.
Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.

The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Special sessions generally take place at 5:30 p.m. and regular meetings begin at 7 p.m. Council agendas are available online here. Watch the meetings online here.

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. Follow council coverage on Twitter via hashtag #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time here, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

Council-related Twitter handles:
@MayorTomBates
@LindaMaio (District 1)
Darryl Moore @BerkCouncil (District 2)
@JesseArreguin (District 4)
Laurie Capitelli @berkcap (District 5)
Kriss Worthington @k__worthington (District 7)
Gordon Wozniak @Gordon_Wozniak (District 8)

Learn more about the Berkeley City Council and how to connect with local representatives via the city website.

Is there something else on the agenda that’s caught your interest? Please let us know in the comments below.

Related:
Berkeley council on redistricting, drones, affordable housing, mini-dorms, more (04.29.14)
Berkeley council on minimum wage increase, mini-dorms, ballot measures, more (04.01.14)
Berkeley council hears crime report, Aquatic Park plans, new Comal project appeal, more (03.25.14)
Berkeley council on Starbucks, redistricting… global warming warning labels? (03.11.14)
Berkeley council on redistricting, garbage fee hike, budget, pensions, false alarms, more (02.25.14)
Berkeley council on parks funding, 2014 elections, youth on drugs, rodent infestation (02.10.14)
Berkeley council on historic overlay, mini-dorms, violence prevention, 2020 Vision (02.28.14)

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