Berkeley City Council met Thursday, discussing more than 45 items, including resources for seniors, a public art commission and tenants’ rights.
The Council unanimously voted “yes” on adopting an ordinance that adds a chapter to Berkeley Municipal Code that prohibits discriminatory reports to law enforcement.
A public art commission will be installed on the northern side of the intersection of Adeline Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The installation will be 11 feet tall, created by artist Mildred Howard.
“This is near and dear to my heart, Mildred Howard public art, over on Adeline street, it’s really wonderful to see the city management moving forward with this idea. I remember the meeting where the idea first came up, it’s really great to see it. I love public art,” said Councilmember Ben Bartlett.
Five resolutions were adopted regarding the budget for the 2023 Aging Services Programs. The allotted budget will include congregate and home-delivered meals, family caregiver support, senior center activities and information and assistance services for seniors. The Council also decided to provide support to Berkeley seniors by adopting the acceptance of donations for Meals on Wheels of Alameda County for 2023.
An amendment was made which will add more than $400,000 to Berkeley Unified School District’s Mental-Health-Services-Act-funded programs. This will allow the program to continue three mental health programs for an additional year and add a fourth for the same time period.
Andrea Prichett and Edward Opton were reappointed to the Mental Health Commission.
The Council also voted to support recovery and renovations of La Peña Cultural Center.
“I just wanted to call out La Peña Cultural Center on Shattuck, a really wonderful organization that’s been around a long time. It’s done a lot of great work and their kitchen that they let local businesses come in and serve the community,” Bartlett said.
The Fair Work Week Ordinance, which holds employers to certain standards including fair scheduling practices, employee protections and the right to rest, was added to the Berkeley Municipal Code in a unanimous yes vote.
Another unanimous decision from the Council was to support the Harriet Tubman Terrace tenants by inspecting the conditions and investigating health and safety violations. The Council is requesting the appointment of a tenant advocate to assist with relocation and other needs.
The advocate is intended to help tenants fill out forms and aid with other issues that may arise.
“Because the population at Harriet Tubman Terrace is overwhelmingly elderly, low-income, many are disabled, they are not as tech-savvy as some other tenants and are not very well supported in the grievance process that the management has in place,” said Libby Lee-Egan, chair of the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission.