Berkeley Neighborhoods Council presents:
Candidate Election Forum for Board of Supervisors District 5
Feb. 15 Thursday — 7:30 – 9:30 pm on Zoom
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
One tap mobile :
+16694449171, 89484790929# US
+1 669 444 9171 US
Webinar ID: 894 8479 0929
For the first time in 32 years there is no incumbent on the ballot and District 5 (Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, parts of north and west Oakland) voters will be choosing a new supervisor to represent us at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The supervisors:
- oversee the operation of all County departments, including the County Health System.
- award all contracts for public works
- appoint most County officials and employees
- adopt an annual County budget
For those of us in Berkeley, this forum gives us the chance to learn more about Alameda County and the Board of Supervisors role overseeing the county. What changes/improvements do the candidates propose if any and how will these proposals benefit Berkeley? The candidates will have opening and closing statements and will answer our questions. The following candidates will join the forum:
Nikki Fortunato Bas
Please join us and the candidates February 15 at 7:30 pm. This will be a Zoom event
Phone calls were temporarily blocked
February 2, 2024
To: Berkeley City Manager, Dee Williams-Ridley
From: Shirley Dean
Subject: Your 1/30/24 Response to my 1/27/24 email regarding Blocking Residents from
Telephone Communication with City Staff and Elected Representatives
City Manager Williams-Ridley:
Thank you for your quick response regarding the blocking of my home telephone from being used when I want/need to speak with city staff and elected officials. I am pleased in more ways than can be expressed for eliminating the blocking and for advising me that you intend to “refine” the city’s policies and procedures around such an action so that it doesn’t occur again to any community member whether a former Mayor or not.
I plan to inform the community that the city of Berkeley has the power to ban calls to their government and used that power to block telephone calls to both city staff and elected officials. While you say it “typically” only occurs regarding SPAM numbers, it did in fact occur on January25 to my home telephone number (clearly not SPAM) following my invitation to a staff member to make a presentation on the Ohlone Greenway project at an open community zoom meeting hosted by the Berkeley Neighborhoods Council. No cause regarding why this happened was ever provided. I spent several days calling your office, the City Clerk, all seven City Council Members and various numbers regarding such everyday services such as trash pickup and numbers related to my work as a member of the Disaster and Fire Safety Commission. All of these calls responded with the message that the person being called was “not accepting calls.“ This confirmed to me that my telephone number was blocked throughout the city. (I did not call numbers such as 911 as I understand they are not city controlled.) I contacted Council Members Hahn and Harrison through another method, and they were both helpful by reaching out to you. Thankfully on January 30, you responded and lifted the block explaining that the procedures involving blocking would be “redefined.”
With this brief history and your response in mind, I am requesting that a written explanation will be provided regarding why and how this decision to block my calls was applied to my home telephone number following my January 25 contact with Public Works staff. I am not interested in learning about disciplinary action. I an interesting in specifically learning how this could happen, referencing the specific current causes and procedures being used to block phone numbers and what is proposed to redefine the current process. This is important because it concerns fundamental democracy and community members need to know how their right to speak with their government is protected.
Again, I thank you for unblocking the banning of my home telephone number and for providing me with a contact number for a staff member in your office.
cc: Deputy City Manager Anne Carwell
Berkeley Neighborhoods Council Steering Committee
NBC Bay Area
Feb. 3, 2024
Berkeley City Council votes for plan to add more surveillance cameras.
The Berkeley City Council voted earlier this week on a proposal to add more surveillance cameras in the city. Pete Suratos reports.
The Berkeley City Council voted earlier this week on a proposal to add more surveillance cameras in the city.
Berkeley city councilmember Ben Bartlett says the recent incidents, targeting the elderly and women played a key role in the council’s decision this week to authorize a plan to add six surveillance cameras to the city.
They already approved 10 surveillance cameras last year to address crime. But with the city being understaffed, only one has been deployed.
The next round of cameras will be near transit stations, where Bartlett says the attacks are taking place.
“Here’s the thing, people need to know we have their back. So, we got to do something,” he said.
According to Berkeley police, total crime is down by 22% compared to last year. But assault and battery incidents are up 29%.
Oakland resident Ronnie Weiner regularly visits Berkeley and welcomes the plan for more cameras.
“As an older person, who is petrified to walk outside in Oakland by myself at night, morning and afternoon and hearing stories that Berkeley is getting to be like that,” she said.
But Berkeley small business owner Maria Blum told NBC Bay Area Thursday that she feels more surveillance could be a slippery slope.
“I have big concerns about it. I think that there’s always needs to be a system of checks and balances. And I worry about people being misidentified,” she said.
The city council says the cameras will be used solely for criminal investigations and not for continuous surveillance.
The proposal for the new cameras still needs to be reviewed by the police accountability board before the council signs off. Bartlett says the process can take anywhere from 30 days to several months.