The Berkeley City Council shifted more than $9 million out of the police department budget Tuesday night to help pay for a range of reforms called for by community members and city officials alike in recent weeks.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and persistent calls to reform policing, officials pledged Tuesday night to remake the city budget as a “moral document” that better reflects Berkeley values.
Officials have promised to overhaul what public safety looks like in Berkeley in response to protests that have resonated across the city and nation in recent weeks.
They are angered and disturbed by Police Chief Andy Greenwood’s comment that if police had no more access to tear gas, they might have to use firearms to respond to violent protesters.
The fund has paid for rent from March through June for about 214 people. Most of the payments went directly to Berkeley landlords.
The Rent Board wants voters to adopt those and other changes to the rent control ordinance. The City Council must decide whether to put the changes on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The new “urgency ordinance” immediately expands Berkeley’s eviction moratorium, matching county rules.
The city of Berkeley is set to move dozens of unhoused people into 18 RVs and a rehabbed house as part of a new respite program approved by officials Tuesday night in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city of Berkeley is forging ahead with plans to rethink Civic Center Park and has asked the public to weigh in.
Council was set to vote on whether to require developers to include affordable housing units in their projects downtown and in parts of South and West Berkeley. The item was postponed.
The Berkeley Relief Fund will pool $3 million in city funds and funds raised from private and corporate donations to provide emergency grants to local businesses, nonprofits and tenants.
The city plans to launch a $3 million “relief fund” Sunday to help businesses, arts organizations and residential tenants.