Opinion: 10 reasons to support Lori Droste for the Berkeley City Council

Two former Berkeley mayors and seven current and former City Council members believe Droste is the best qualified candidate.

  1. Lori Droste is a leader with a great track record. She has worked to make it easier to build backyard cottages and home additions, co-sponsored the $15 minimum wage, authored workforce housing legislation, supported over $10 million dollars in affordable housing, mandated reports on homeless services performance metrics, helped prevent the deportation of an Ecology Center staff member, established a city rainy day reserve fund, held forums on disaster preparedness, crime prevention, fire safety, and undergrounding utilities, helped businesses open on College Avenue, addressed unfunded liabilities, authored the very important community benefits compromise, spearheaded pedestrian safety initiatives, and secured over $300,000 for traffic calming protections in our neighborhood.
  1. Lori Droste is a consensus builder. Lori’s legislation has regularly been rated the #1 priority for the city by her council colleagues and she’s passed every piece of legislation she’s authored. Even though she has worked on two very different councils, she has succeeded in getting things done. We need more of this in politics.
  1. Lori Droste has relationships that help our community thrive. Hundreds of neighbors and leaders are supporting Lori because of her experience, coalition building skills, and ability to listen. Residents from all district neighborhoods have found her to be a responsive and engaged councilwoman. Senator Nancy Skinner is working hand-in-hand with Lori on crafting legislation to save community hospitals, like Alta Bates. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and all the other mayors of Berkeley-adjacent cities are endorsing Lori because they know she wants to work regionally to address homelessness, transportation, and housing.
  1. Lori Droste has policy expertise and is supported by nationally-known policy experts including a Nobel Prize winner for climate change research, former assistant secretary for housing under President Barack Obama, and an anti-displacement expert. These innovative thinkers in housing affordability, climate change, displacement, economic development, and transportation endorse Lori because of her advocacy of proven, evidence-based policies in Berkeley. Lori teaches in the Policy School at Mills College so she knows how to craft meaningful, implementable policy.
  1. As the only parent of school-aged kids on the City Council, Lori is deeply dedicated to the children of our community. Her voice is critical on the Council. She secured money to build a safe crosswalk at John Muir school this year, opened Emerson playground on the weekends, oversaw improvements to the Willard Tot Lot, authored diaper changing and lactation access legislation for working parents, and is working with BUSD to re-open Willard Pool.
  1. Lori Droste is pragmatic. Lori is an independent and thoughtful voice on Council. She has been the crucial swing vote on several important issues that would significantly impact community safety, economic development, housing affordability, and the future of our Downtown.
  1. There are substantive policy differences between Lori and her opponents. As an example, Lori is the only candidate that supported our first responders participating in regional disaster preparedness exercises this year known as Urban Shield. All of our first responders said that pulling out of free, regional training would dramatically impact safety in our community. She has also has prevented a misguided effort to undermine our Downtown Plan and community benefits package and received national attention for her efforts.
  1. We support Lori for many of the same reasons former City Attorney Zach Cowan documented in his op-ed in Berkeleyside. Lori works hard, is civil, and open. It is rare to have former department heads and so many people across the Bay Area support a candidate in a Berkeley City Council race.
  1. Lori Droste is the only Berkeley Council candidate that has received the unanimous support from the Alameda County Democratic Party. She also has the Sierra Club support, Berkeley Democratic Club and a wide array of other endorsements by organizations and individuals who pay close attention to Berkeley. loridroste2018.org/endorsements
  1. Finally, we are very concerned by the negativity and half-truths in the political races in Berkeley. It is uncalled for and unnecessary. We believe that candidates should focus on policy differences and not engage in mud-slinging. Let’s do better.

We urge your support and your vote for Lori Droste. We need her leadership in these challenging times.

Gordon Wozniak, Polly Armstrong and Fred Collignon are former District 8 City Council members; Loni Hancock is a former state senator; Tom Bates is a former mayor of Berkeley; Susan Wengraf and Linda Maio are current City Councilwomen, and Darryl Moore and Laurie Capitelli are former City Councilmen.