Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

A registered sex offender from Oakland is back in custody this week facing new felony charges of rape and other sex crimes in Berkeley, court papers show.

On Thursday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Anthony Aaron, 58, with rape, attempted oral copulation by force and sexual penetration by a foreign object in connection with events in Berkeley and Oakland that took place over two consecutive days in October 2016, according to police and charging documents.

It isn’t Aaron’s first time in trouble with the law. In 2006, he was sent to prison after being convicted in Alameda County of rape and committing a lewd act upon a child under 14, according to court papers. He was released in 2013, according to the Megan’s Law database run by the state Department of Justice.

More recently, Berkeley sex crimes detectives had been looking into Aaron after a woman reported being sexually assaulted in and near Berkeley on Oct. 6-7, 2016, according to court papers. Police did not identify those locations in the documents that are part of the public record. BPD said shortly after publication that the incidents took place in West Berkeley and North Oakland.

“Aaron threatened, physically assaulted and coerced the victim into the sex acts,” police wrote in charging papers, which otherwise included few details due to the nature of the case. The woman reported the sexual assaults to police in 2017.

Berkeley detectives arrested Aaron on Tuesday morning at the Oakland Police Department after he showed up at the station for his annual sex offender registration, according to BPD and charging documents.

The new charges against Aaron include a long list of special allegations that could result in a stiffer sentence if he is convicted. Those allegations include kidnapping, identify Aaron as a habitual sex offender and say — in relation to the 2016 case — that he committed multiple sex crimes against the same person on separate occasions, according to court papers. (Under the law, separate offenses can take place even within a short period of time depending on the circumstances.)

Aaron’s 2006 conviction stemmed from a rape that took place in June 2003. He was originally charged with six felonies in that case, including rape, forced oral copulation and four counts of lewd acts upon a child. Aaron ultimately entered no-contest pleas to rape and one count of lewd acts, and the other charges were dismissed, according to court records.

In addition to his sex crimes convictions, Aaron was convicted in 1989 of drug sales or transportation. He has one strike, according to court papers.

According to his Megan’s Law record, Aaron was assessed by authorities in 2018 for the possibility that he would commit violent crimes again. He was placed in the highest-risk category in that ranking.

Aaron, who is a student according to his booking record, was arraigned Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court. His next court date was not listed in the records available online as of publication time. No bail amount was listed.

Berkeleyside updated this story shortly after publication with some additional details from BPD.

Emilie Raguso

Emilie Raguso (senior editor, news) joined the Berkeleyside team in 2012. She covers politics, public safety and development. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...

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472 Comments

  1. I stopped going to Telegraph when, after parking my car on Durant, I got out and was facing a filthy street person dropping a dookie on the sidewalk. I got back on my car and have not been back.

  2. Not true. In fact, other commenters here have criticized Jesse for not having principles and bending with the political winds. Of course, I don’t expect the criticisms to be consistent.

  3. Here is the relevant yelp comment — pasted in —

    1300 Delaware was built in 1955 and in need of extensive repairs from the
    ground up and that’s why the church sold it and had the graduate
    students move out approx a year+ ago. Rents were $600-$1200 for the same
    units depending on ones move-in date and if they were a member of the
    specific church or GTU school. The rent now after the building sold is
    exorbitant for the area. It is now gated to keep out undesirables that
    wondered in all hours of the night and also is bring in secured mail
    because the USPS and other services had a habit of throwing packages out
    of the truck onto the grass (now outside of the gate) and near the
    mailboxes so theft and loss were rampant. Sadly this property game an
    example of the gentrifying area of Berkeley.

  4. I love how we invite everyone to live in squalor in Berkeley. What a lovely thing. I thought the Pathways Project was the magic answer? At over $2million a year has it done anything?

  5. I understand your frustration, but the comment by Dan below is spot on: it makes the criticism more visible and lets others see our dissatisfaction. Their twitter feeds are virtually comment free, which I find surprising given the controversy surrounding these figures. Let’s change that.

  6. Oh you dont need to clear them out. Just clean them up. I bet people will leave volunteer very quickly when drug searches start and weekly cleanup crews come.
    It is a public health concern and a 9th district ruling cant prevent cleanup efforts.

  7. I share your skepticism about self-reported, unverified data, but given the paltry data quantifying the issue available to us, I thought it was notable that some of those surveyed were open about their hostility to an onramp back to a more traditional life. For those whom this is a lifestyle choice, we need to remove them quickly so we can focus on those who want and need help. I very much support helping any of my neighbors in a crisis get out of homelessness, but I am fundamentally opposed to helping an endless stream of traveling grifters bunk down to do meth. Recruiting state problems is out of scope for a small city’s resources and erodes our ability to help our neighbors who genuinely need assistance. (An exception to my objection to out-of-jurisdiction assistance is women/children fleeing abusive situations – quite often moving somewhere new is the safest thing for a successful start over.)

  8. Several years ago, the residents of the Claremont/Elmwood exhibited great concern for the homeless. My neighbors would round up tents and camping equipment and deliver them to the homeless in West Berkeley. Of course there were no homeless encampments around here…those were in West Berkeley. So I was surprised when I learned of the animosity towards the homeless of a fiend who lived in West B. in a neighborhood impacted by the homeless. Over time, I realize that the compassion that Droste calls for is reserved for those who do not have to deal with the homeless population on a daily basis.

    The failure of the City to substantially reduce the unsheltered homeless population is due to drug addiction. When Arreguin came into office, I had a conversation wherein he stated that 20% of the homeless population were drug addicts. Over time, those who were on the street due to economics, have gotten housed, leaving behind a population of drug addicts and/or mentally ill who are ‘resistant’ to help. It also makes them impossible to control.

    Jesse has been searching for a site this camp for 9 months. Nobody wants it near them.

    https://www.deseret.com/utah/2019/12/1/20985696/utah-road-home-homeless-shelter-salt-lake

  9. Good point, I want someone better as well. However, we don’t want Sophie or Kate becoming mayor in 2024 and that is what will happen since Jesse will be running for assembly, so I’d take anyone right now as a placeholder until a more reasonable candidate runs in 2024 (I know of several who might consider).

  10. SF and Oakland are major cities. SF has more than twice the revenue per capita as Berkeley. Oakland spans 80 square miles, and has a much lower population density than Berkeley.

    I’d accept Berkeley accepting a homeless population equal to Piedmont or Alameda on a per capita basis. How about that?

  11. People living in tents, campers and cars, all lined around Berkeley, Richmond, and Oakland. It is really sad. Trash is always strewn everywhere, and there’s no end in sight. It’ll only get worse with what’s happening right now in the world.

  12. As much as I hate to agree with you since I think twitter is largely a cancer on society you’re probably right. The only thing that would help more would be hard hitting investigative journalism from a local site that has a relatively high profile but we don’t have that.

  13. The situation in Willard park is nothing new. There are comments on Berkeleyside (not articles of course) going back at least to to 2015 about the vagrant problem there.

  14. The San Francisco subreddit is worth reading if only for a hint of things coming to Berkeley. Retail along Market St, especially chain drugstores, have largely given up trying to prevent shoplifting because the police won’t respond.

  15. I hear you but this is not a serious ruling. If I create, say, a Homeless Lives Matter political organization and we convince every homeless person to move to Smallville Indiana, population 1000, no serious person would expect Smallville to support 500000 or whatever people. If/when that ruling ever makes it to the supreme.court one would hope that it’s clarified to the point of “If you can demonstrate a history of residency in a city then they can’t prevent you from “camping” on public property.” In my mind the bare minimum would be that you’d be able to prove that in the last year you were established enough in a community to enroll children in the local public school system or something along those lines.

  16. They may not care but it makes the criticism more visible and allows others to see that there is a growing dissatisfaction with the status quo that Mayor Jesse Arreguin has created in Berkeley.

  17. Lol $600 rent!?!
    Your yelp link shows nothing that I can see. Cleary rent from another decade though.
    Then you show The Parc link- it looks like a new building. In any case where you live has been “gentrified” from the Ohlone days. It’s a ridiculous argument that new buildings get built and something is wrong with it. Who did you replace or is that your teepee?

  18. Shouldn’t some other towns be helping to shelter the homeless? Perhaps Piedmont should have more than zero, which is what they had on the last count. Several other Bay area towns also have zero or very few. Proportional to population, SF, Berkeley, and Oakland have way more homeless than the other cities in Alameda and Contra Costa. For example, Lafayette had three unsheltered homeless persons in 2019 during the point-in-time count, San Ramon had one. Orinda apparently has none. Interesting article on Orinda’s successful fight to avoid having to provide any shelter for the homeless: https://patch.com/california/albany/a-tale-of-two-towns–albany-orinda-and-homelessness Maybe Orinda just can’t afford it.

    SF and to a lesser extent Oakland have substantial income from payroll taxes on businesses. Berkeley is anti-capitalist, has relatively few businesses, and so we have to rely on property taxes to support our role as a regional homeless service provider. But, we’re happy to carry the load for Orinda, Piedmont, and these other towns that have managed to keep the homeless away.

  19. They use a beggar the neighbor strategy.

    I’m OK with that being used here too. But this would be the position of a tiny minority.

  20. Ideologues have the answers regardless of the inputs Don’t waste your twits on these people, they don’t care

  21. Valid points, all. Just a side-note on the so-called data. All information collected by Applied Survey Research that is not somewhat easily verified ie: age, gender, etc. is generally self-reported junk. A respondent can say anything they want about the more nebulous aspects of their situation. As a matter of fact, when you start slicing and dicing the “data” from this overpriced report you can see the “answers” skewing over the years to exactly what will benefit both the transient population and the organizations that soak up mass tax dollars to “serve” them. The point-in-time surveys are not vetted in any way. No ID, no SS number, fingerprint- no nothing. Without vetting, these surveys mean little. The man comes around with clipboard in his hand and you think you will get unvarnished honesty? Or maybe something just a bit more self-serving? If anyone thinks 70% of the respondents lived in San Francisco at the time they became homeless, I have a bridge to sell you. Imagine you are an accomplished enough person to be living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, you lose your job, and your first idea is to go get a tent and live on the street? This is so ridiculous on so many levels, it boggles the mind who would actually believe this claptrap. We know that multiple camps have been cleared in West Berkeley over the past 4-5 years, and close to zero individuals accepted services or bed vouchers. Yet municipalities and service orgs want the taxpayers to continue to authorize spending mega dollars on their enabling and ineffective policies. We are a compassionate and forgiving lot in the Bay Area. I would just like to ensure our compassion is not confused for stupidity by those who are playing us- AT THE EXPENSE of those who are willing to take responsibility, really want to change their situation, and will meet us half way. The helping hands will be there- just don’t expect the current gullibility among some- including most of current persons in Berkeley’s government- will last forever.

  22. I am so exhausted by everything going on this year 🙁 I can only pray that everyone remains safe, including our brave firefighters.

  23. As per usual, your post is so far off the mark as to be comical. Data does not support your comment. Try again.

  24. Seen aquatic park lately? The RV population is soaring. They can just dump the raw sewage straight in from there and bypass the storm drain system. Super efficient!

  25. People’s Park’s population sure seems stable to me and i go through there about once a week because I am curious about its population.

    I conclude you were joking about making Civic Center Park a homeless encampment. Civic Center Park really does serve a common, civic, public purpose, its lawn used for audience for many events held there.

  26. I don’t get to SF much during lockdown but Oakland is chock full of homeless camps. And I read a lot bout homeless camps in SF.”

    I wonder how many homeless campers you might consider to be Piedmont’s fair share?

  27. But my point is, you can’t just clamor on about “cleaning up” the homeless camps, as there’s a complex set of laws governing them. It would be interesting, to me at least, to have the City attorney chime in here, about what steps the cities can and cannot take in this regard.

  28. Which in turn means changing the state laws prohibiting involuntary institutionalization of the insane. SB 1045 was a step in the right direction, not sure where it stands now.

  29. Ladies and gentlemen. The people we want out of office probably don’t read the Berkeleyside comments section, but I bet they do read their Twitter page. It would behoove all of us like-minded folks who want to defend Berkeley from becoming a cesspool of vagrancy, rioting, and potholes to create Twitter accounts and take your commentary straight to Jesse and Davila’s timeline and force them, or their clueless acolytes, to have a debate. I will be making mine right after I hit “post.” I hope to see you all there.

  30. OK. I couldn’t see why you’d start with “BLM?” and still can’t figure out why you did when your comment made sense standing alone.

  31. In fact, we’ll need a whole separate hospital just for the broken people being created by meth in our camps.

  32. “We’re having a problem with people getting the resources they need,” said Perry, the officer from BPD’s Community Services Bureau. “There are fewer mental health professionals in the field on a daily basis.” If you walk around downtown mental health issues are obviously part of the problem that the police cannot solve.

  33. Wealth inequality occurs not because of “capitalism” but because humans differ in their talents and abilities. This is a law of nature. The result is that we have large segment of the population that is essentially useless in today’s highly globalized and competitive world. Some of these people turn to opioids, but the capitalist system did not create them just as aliens did not create natural selection. Instead of blaming capitalism, how about we acknowledge the inconvenient truth (and thus the root cause of the problem) and figure out how to make these people useful. China certainly has, and no it did not use handouts or encourage people to “follow their dreams” when those dreams got them nowhere.

  34. My recollection is that Jesse freaked out when somebody smeared feces on the city hall doornobs. The park downtown was never as bad as Peoples Park now and Willard in months to come.

  35. It’s not linear because of compounding but figure three times as high if you use 3%. And there have been recent decades when the overall rate of return was zero. It doesn’t matter, though, because there is no political will to touch this issue.

  36. Lets NOT vote for a Mayor who will spend generously on homeless services AND keep our parks, on-ramps and frontages free of tent encampments.

    Fixed it for you

  37. This is a common NIMBY myth but is totally untrue:
    “There are already numerous new apartment buildings on University Ave, San Pablo Ave, Shattuck and other streets that are not nearly full of renters.”

    This plan is a result of state law meant to respond to the state’s housing shortage in an environmentally sound way, so this is also totally untrue:
    “This plan seems like another developers ploy to make some more money without regard for the quality of life in Berkeley.”

    Anyone who doesn’t like it can try to change the state law, which gives BART the right to develop these lots whether City of Berkeley agrees or not.

  38. You can use my address to run in D1 any time you want. I mean if that dude in Richmond can run here and get elected, so can you from my address.. Great posts!!

  39. Does anyone know why the cost of a 2 bedroom has risen $1000-$2000 higher since March?

    Because they can get it. I hear It is much cheaper in Bakersfield…..

  40. And 1 too. A pawn of the high rise developers and also does nothing about all the waste dumping RV’s in our district.

  41. “I think that the softer enforcement has been very helpful,” he said Friday. “It’s important to remember that the people who are out here on the streets don’t have anywhere else to shelter than where they are.”

    How about giving them a bus ticket to the towns they cam from. Problem solved.

  42. People who live near the ‘fire zone’ should consider how to vote on measure KK. Under the current law, made subsequent to studies of the problems encountered in the ‘Oakland Hills Fire’ of 1991, Firefighters must reside within 40 air miles of Berkeley.
    This allows them to live as far away as Santa Rosa.There are only 3 firefighters who have not been hired under this rule.

    The advocates only state that changes in the ‘mutual aid’ pact make it unnecessary. This is obviously not relevant to threat of a massive hills fire wherein every firefighter available must be deployed. If Firefighters move up to Auburn, Redding or even out of state, they will be severely delayed in arriving at the fire-zone. Firefighters are very well compensated, and there are thousands of applicants for every opening.

  43. well, ya know..they could have arrested him without shooting at the car. right? yep. he got away, they were able to arrest him later and the shooting had no discernible affect, so why shoot in the first place?

  44. Many other cities–also subject to the same court ruling–have no or very few homeless. How do they do it? Fewer services: no free food and showers, no free pot, no free medical services in the campsites. No tolerance for illegal antisocial behavior: defecating on the sidewalks, harassing people for handouts, etc. Prevention of drug dealing: we eliminated our drug task force so campers can get meth and whatever they want. Law enforcement: parole checks, no camping in parks, prevention of blatant shop lifting, etc.

  45. Seems like another hair brain scheme. There are already numerous new apartment buildings on University Ave, San Pablo Ave, Shattuck and other streets that are not nearly full of renters. This plan seems like another developers ploy to make some more money without regard for the quality of life in Berkeley. More housing means more infrastructure needed which will mean higher taxes. Berkeley city government is a farce and out of control. There is the head of the ‘rent board’ whose salary is $300,000. The city needs real leadership with realistic goals. Does Berkeley want to be the newest, biggest city in California? Vote for new leadership in Berkeley don’t vote for those in favor of development.

  46. Yes I’m ashamed to admit I voted for her…I thought a home grown Berkeley girl would actually care about our city…but you can’t see the mess from her house.

  47. The vagrant population at Peoples Park seems to grow every week. If Cal eventually puts up dorms there, will Willard be able to handle the overflow? Maybe designate the park next to City Hall as the sanctioned camp

  48. In providing palliative measures for the homeless over the decades, there are numerous groups that feed and provide medical care to the homeless in the city. And, the city population has been conditioned or conditioned itself to put up with backyard theft, shoplifting, and other types of theft that the indigent commit to survive and indulge drug habits that place the city in the top 5% for property crime. Residents have also been conditioned to accept all behavior of others, no matter how depraved, uncivil, or disgusting.

    When there was cheap housing that the indigent could cycle in and out of, that seemed to work. But now, with rents so high, the services and resident behavior is here, but the housing no longer can be. Housing and willingness to provide services must be aligned in a new way. A campground in a remote area that is low cost fits the housing need. But then all the services are here. Given the cost of the housing component, moving the services to the low cost camping area might be more cost effective. A Safeway where everything is free is going to be cheaper than providing housing in Berkeley for 2000 indigent people. And so on.

  49. I was just reading a comment of yours about the travesty of the Eric Clanton assault with a deadly weapon case. Your words were prophetic. The amount of brutality being meted out by Antifa and BLM to their ideological opposers is insane right now. Of course that one Antifa guy, now dead by Feds, killed a Trump supporter just a week ago.

  50. How does he plan to use “commercial” properties to house the homeless? How does this work or is it just high falutin’ talk?

  51. I pretty much agree with the point of the original post. I think there is some legislative energy in this direction as well, coming from none other than Scott Weiner (SB1045.)

  52. Many homeless will not go to shelters because they restrict drug use. They simply won’t go. And no enforcement only encourages the status-quo.

  53. How do you propose to use “commercial” property to house the homeless? Who’s going to pay for this?

  54. They want to be together in their “community” and would never agree to being moved, even if it meant housing. They want to be in the “center” of things.

  55. Meanwhile, the highly paid city manager does not even live IN Berkeley, but 15 miles away in the hills.

  56. Realize that the rent board is 100% responsible for this. Those would all be long term rentals at today’s 20% rent haircut from 6 months ago were it not for landlords being forever burdened by leases they sign in a down market.

  57. There are unfilled units. People living in tents can be forced to occupy these units rather than camp. Also, I do not think the ruling requires access to any public owned property. Such properties can be designated, which is the topic of this argument. And, nothing prevents Berkeley from challenging this ruling in court. We have new information.

  58. It’s less about adding new programs as it is about measuring their outcomes and retiring them, along with the employees, when they underperform.

    For example, we added five staff to the HOTT team. Things have gotten worse. Should we continue?

  59. “Mayor vows”. Jesse’s vows only have value when printed on a soft fluffy roll. Marriage prospects be warned.

  60. The teachers unions are too strong. There is no point. They won’t return until there is a vaccine. They’ve already said so.

  61. And yet, somehow Albany, Walnut Creek and thousands of other cities have not landed in court. How is that possible?

    Look at every single statement made by the mayor and council. They don’t mention that the courts have tied their hands on this issue. Instead they gush about how compassionate we must be to “take care of everyone who is here”.
    Think about what message this sends.

    When people say that Jesse caused the number of homeless to rise, they are directly tying it to his public statements, that we are here to take care of everyone who makes it here.

  62. One has another opportunity to show one’s compassion for the homeless by voting “yes” on a sales tax measure (an additional half-cent on top of the 9.25%) in November.

    Jesse, of course, is one of its strongest proponents.

  63. Current policies give transients the priority over the Willard school kids. The transients were harassing the kids jogging around the park during PE. The Berkeley solution: cancel jogging during PE rather than address the homeless harassing the kids. We are a compassionate city….at least when it comes to the homeless.

  64. From where I live in Oakland Adam’s Point, Berkeley even with all its problems looks like absolute heaven.

  65. It’s not fair to blame the “communism” bogeyman for Berkeley’s current ills. The problems facing us today are the result of rapidly accelerating wealth inequality and the fallout from the opioid crisis both of which are problems resulting from our current capitalist system.

  66. You’re not responding the the point of the post. Every time someone like Rivendell posts the truth someone says yeah but it wasn’t really Reagan who closed the mental hospitals. Fine. Their point is otherwise totally correct.

  67. When one of these fires takes off and burns a section of town, the mayor and council will say it just proves how urgent it is that we put all these homeless into permanent housing.

  68. Of course, the Council’s plan is to have future calls like this addressed by social workers. That should work out well……

  69. It’s not gentrification. None of these people could afford the rent at half the rate. California should rebuild Napa State Hospital, Camarillo, Santa Clara and others and re-institutionalize.

  70. As part of his activism for DxE he brought major attention to the horrifyingly cruel dog meat festival in Yulin, China and eventually succeeded in getting the Chinese government to end it once and for all. If trying to shut down that horrifying practice is “radical” then I guess I must be a “radical” too.

    https://medium.com/direct-action-everywhere-dxe/china-just-banned-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival-what-this-means-for-the-animal-rights-movement-f3cdce3324c5

  71. Please. Pro housing causes homelessness? I think drug use and mental illness cause most homelessness and until we deal with that head on nothing will change.

  72. The only thing that makes the despair I feel from the homeless overrunning Oakland somewhat understandable is reading about the homeless overrunning Berkeley. I grew up visiting Willard Park as a child living in Berkeley and 45 years later to see the pools there filled in with dirt, the swim center closed and the park taken over by tent camps makes me wonder about the long term viability of the Bay Area.

  73. How do other cities (right here in the Bay Area) manage to not have these encampments and trash all over their streets?

    Berkeley must face up to the fact we do not have the resources to manage the region’s/nation’s homeless population. We should determine how many we can afford to properly house/care for as a city of 120k, and the rest must leave our streets. Force the county to have Alameda or Piedmont to take their fair share.

    We didn’t have the resources pre Covid so we certainly don’t now.

  74. Anomie. Good word for this, brought into current usage by Emile Durkheim. But there is another word, entartete in German, decadence in English and French, the weaponized version of anomie, that has me worried because its usage predicted the horrors of a century ago. Is that what we are seeing in the homeless camps? And in the armed resistance in some states to our liberal passivity?

  75. The fear of being seen as intolerant is definitely there but a lot of it is just that the homeless are straight up bullies who frighten people either explicitly or implicitly with unpredictable and psychotic behavior. I posted a recent run in with a squater who tried to move into my neighborhood elsewhere in the comments and he clearly thought that by acting aggressive I would back down and look the other way. I learned from my 85 year old neighbor the day after that she had gone over with a plate of dinner and a polite request to pick up his trash earlier that day and he yelled unspeakable things at her and got up in her face (no mask, of course).

    Basically, if you see someone trashing your neighborhood stand-up for it and your neighbors and the kids who need the open green space. If you aren’t comfortable standing up to bullies or you suspect the person really is dangerous then call the police. That’s their job.

  76. Okay that’s pragmatic, but let’s hope Wayne doesn’t push us over the brink in the meantime. I don’t hear him talking about fixing our pension obligations or getting public safety funded — quite the opposite, he talks about DEFUNDING the police, expensive spending for the homeless and while we’re at it turning Berkeley into a “plant-based” city. That latter point is the one closest to the heart .. radical veganism and anthropomorphic animal rights lunacy.

  77. Willard Park is right next door to Willard Middle School. Although school hasn’t been open for several month, when it does open, our kids will have open access to buying drugs next door at the park. In addition, the area has been a great place for our kids to spend time and in general one of the few open park areas in Berkeley to sit on the grass and relax. It is very important that it remains so. Please City of Berkeley keep the park safe and accessible for our community.

  78. I’m no fan of Jesse’s, but since when is “equally destructive” the bar here? I want somebody better.

  79. My current thinking: Progressives are incapable of effective, efficient, fact-based governance, because they are constantly coming up with new initiatives and new taxes. I can believe the city staff are overwhelmed at this point. So are property taxpayers. Can we just settle down and try to deal with the realities of our current situation, without adding more people to take care of? Our first priority should be our children and their health and safety.

  80. We also had a mayor in the 1980s who said he was a communist — shortly before communism collapsed world wide.

  81. Go to the top of the thread and note that I was responding to this statement:

    If any of these cities were serious about solving the problem and not using it as a political football and platform they would collaborate directly with the federal government agencies in Washington, DC i.e. HUD, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and develop a workable plan to house the unsheltered and provide the necessary social and mental health services that are required.

  82. The guy who ran against Jesse (I hate Jesse) was not a moderate. He was conservative and unpleasant, which likely had somethinig to do with him losing. That candidate also personified priviilege; he acted so entitled! he was repugnant.

  83. It all depends on the discount rate that is applied to the future liability. The politicians insist that the funds can earn 7.5% annually. The actual last year was something like 3.4% If you discount at 3.4% the unfunded liability is much much higher. And there is also the unfunded post retirement health and other benefits. That’s the politicians’ dirty secret and it’s not usually mentioned.

  84. There was a term when I grew up in SF- the pimps of poverty, I think today there is even more money, more businesses in the poverty business and it seems without accountability as homeless numbers are up or we simply have more need. Is there a model in the Bay Area that works? If there is it is well hidden. Not so everywhere- I remember a 60 minutes on drug treatment in Providence RI. Now I believe it is obvious you can move homeless moving them to less expensive places must be considered. Here the cost must be 4x what inland places are.

  85. As much as I would like to blame Trump for this and everything else, our very own local governance is responsible for completely screwing it up royally.

    Jesse would like to be seen as the anti-Trump, and will surely will try to capitalize on the antipathy sentiment, but DC never stood in his way on this. Nancy Skinner, Buffy Wicks, Gavin Newsom, and everyone in city council, and city government has gone all-in on homeless solutions, including by the way most of Berkeley voters. No-one is fighting Jesse on this issue.

    Still not good enough for this genius to even keep the numbers of homeless steady for 4 years.

    Somehow, through all this, the clear undisputed winners of our city’s spending have only been the homeless services non-profits Jesse has been courting all these years. They are experiencing huge growth.

    If any of this is considered desirable, yeah, I am getting tired of winning.

  86. These integrated sinks are OK for hand washing but not teeth brushing. For that you need to use the “kitchen” sink, not sanitary at all. Why not put in a little bathroom sink in the corner. The shower can be smaller.

  87. I’m talking about State law Housing Accountability Act. Basically sets targets for creation of housing and cities must comply. A project in Lafayette – the land was for 44 sfh is now approved for 315 units, 63 of those affordable. It’s called Terraces of Lafayette.
    What happened to the discussion of water. I can remember when counties used water hook ups to deny building permits. Did we get more water in CA? What is egregious to me is taking local control away from places That have spent generations cultivating a certain ethos/vibe/lifestyle and a bureaucrat in Sacramento can change that. They are not responsive locally.

    Not sure where you got that I was speaking of duplexes.

  88. Here is what we need:
    More $ for the police hire more police and cleanup these camps weekly and arrest people with drugs and weapons right away.
    You will see how quickly these camps disappear. Most of these campers are not Berkeley residents. Most of them are here because we tolerate their mess, their drugs, their stealing,
    Well guess what we wont tolerate it any longer!!

    The only reason it is this bad is because Jesse’s and other city council members let it become that way.

    The way to fix it: Vote No on all these measures from the city that costs us more money and kick out the district 2 city council member.

  89. The planning and building departments of most Bay Area cities have been compromised by greed and special interests pro housing groups..gentrification, displaced, and homelessness is the result..

  90. I agree, and I actually know a lot of people who share your frustration but fear harassment for insisting we cannot continue to gamble with increasing fire risk in a fire zone. Eighty encampment fires in six months is an extreme threat to the community’s survival. This is a state-level problem and requires a state-level solution and everyone is being failed by the state pushing the problem to the city level for resolution.

  91. Ha, thanks for the compliment. I imagine the pandemic really prevented a lot of potential new candidates from running.

  92. Thanks for the update, the last I checked it was over $700MM. We really need an auto-updating unfunded pension fund liability tracker on the city’s website.

  93. Heck, I’ll become a vegetarian if he can get rid of the criminals, free-loading transients, and fix the roads.

  94. No it’s not. You just made that up. Even if they completely got away, that’s better than releasing bullets into the air

  95. Jessie must go. Vote and give someone else an opportunity and while you are at it vote for new comers to the election scene in all aspects of contests; a new mayor, council, and other departments where the leader is elected.

  96. Great post. However we are staring at $1.2B in unfunded liabilities. We have no plan for improving or even holding street quality level.

  97. Who cares if they use soft or hard drugs they should not be allowed to camp on public property. It seems other cities don’t have this problem, state and federal campgrounds don’t let just anyone camp without paying a fee why should Berkeley allow this? Does Jessie have some higher political ambition? The days of Berkeley being a liberal, bleeding heart city must be over, we are living in different times with more sophisticated problems.

  98. It seems that we need real leadership, not politicians. Berkeley, like the country is going down the tubes, is Jessie the left wing answer to trump?

  99. The City of Berkeley must unify with surrounding towns, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito and figure out a way to deal with this out of control homelessness. Albany and El Cerrito don’t seem to have homeless people in their town, why is this? As there are more homeless in the city there are more high rise housing developments that are priced out most renters ability to pay the high rents. Once the developers finish a building they move on to another or another town taking their profit with them. It seems that there is something fishy here in Berkeley. The notion of Berkeley being a ‘sanctuary city’ is a joke. There is too much money being spent on city employees that are not necessary or do not do their jobs. The Planning Dept. and Building or Permit departments can’t even communicate with each other. Berkeley needs to be purged of its bureaucrats and start from scratch we need strong leadership that can come up with working plans to solve Berkeleys problems realistically.

  100. they could build housing over the parking, underground parking, in areas avoiding the underground bart.
    other alternatives:
    is it possible to park in the downtown berkeley public lots and take bart from there instead?
    also, AC transit, if you live nearby a stop and commute downtown, it is a better experience than Bart. However since high rents forced me out of West Berkeley, looks like the G line no longer runs towards SF. That G line to SF was just the best, quick, comfortable, easy, pretty reliable, cleanish, and much faster than Bart. of course they discontinued it. it was always packed!

  101. He has a real job that is much harder than most jobs but that doesn’t pay well.

    It is amazing to see the slurs among our comments. Jesse can escape to a Tahoe condo–but he doesn’t have a Tahoe condo. Jesse should get a real job — but he already has a real job.

  102. The Feds could come up with a massive national program to deal with homelessness. But under Trump and the Republicans, they have not and they will not. And nothing that any Berkeley mayor says will change that.

  103. Finally somebody else is saying this! What do employees do with wasteful and shoddy employees? FIRE THEM!
    What if they are all doing that bad of a job?
    On purpose?
    To steal money?
    Fire them and press charges.

  104. If one were to take a look at Berkeleys current rent rates, then refer to the rates pre covid-19; one could assume rental rates are not being priced, in order to actually be rented out.
    Does anyone know why the cost of a 2 bedroom has risen $1000-$2000 higher since March?

  105. It’s disingenuous of our author to equate biotechnology with an elaborate recipe. Impossible’s food scientists bioengineer yeast to produce a protein called heme found in animal blood — this exclusive method employs a fermentation process and a genetically modified organism. As far as I can tell from this article, Eclipse is simply a combination of typical plant materials.

    Nice ad for Eclipse though.

  106. Berkeley should set up a long-term residential drug treatment program on a piece of rural property in Lassen County. Everyone can bring their tents and solar panels, we will supply the water and the porta potties. Their welfare checks will cover food. They can work on cleaning up their lives.

  107. Until there are more viable candidates who don’t cater to an extreme ideology or dogma, the only course of action available to the voters is to vote out incumbents. Rewarding them only emboldens them to double down.

    We consider it ludicrous that some support Trump because they think he will bring coal jobs back. Let’s stop believing that Jesse is some rare genius with a magic formula to solve hard drug addiction or serious mental disability that exists in the country, or that $800,000 per unit of affordable housing in the most expensive parts of the country is sustainable.

    Jesse does not care about the homeless. He only cares about using them to enrich his very rich friends in the homeless services and housing non-profits.

  108. Who does the public elect to make sure the following does not happen?
    “The city waited until conditions became unbearable before acting.”

  109. The situation has become beyond insane and it is amazing Berkeley residents are putting up with it. But I think I know why. Berkeley residents are afraid to speak up lest they be seen as “intolerant” “uncompassionate” or – gasp- concerned about taxpayers and families.
    People are handing out tents to vagrants who are too drug addicted, mentally ill, or unwilling to get a job to take advantage of assistance efforts. This is dramatically enabling the buildup of tent encampments. For those of us who are campers, we know how good even a very cheap nylon tent is at keeping out rain, keeping in warmth and providing privacy for drugs and sleep. Unfortunately this is the result of the inaction of our elected officials and the culture that has built around them. This is what decades of too much “tolerance” and one-party rule gets you. A political balance is always healthier. People in Albany and El Cerrito think Berkeley is beyond nuts and seriously – and literally- playing with fire.

  110. If you think the City is misbehaving, you could take away their allowance. Berkeley citizens should vote NO on the GANN Spending Limit Increase Measure in November.

  111. A “camper” tried to move into grass area in front of the north branch of the library a couple months ago. Within 24 hours his accumulated trashed covered a large part of the area; take out containers, bottles and cans, stuff that could only be described as litter. The second night he was there I politely asked him to pick up his trash and put it in the street garbage can about 20′ from his new homestead. His reaction was telling: “It’s not my trash! You’re the one who noticed it, you clean it up you [racial slur] motherf***er!” Anyway, we had a productive talk and he left for a more inviting location.

  112. Berkeley is an increasingly unappealing place to live. It is dirty, extremely dangerous, crowded, expensive, and full of homeless. There are far better places to live.

    I am voting for Wayne because if we unseat Arreguin, we can hopefully find a more suitable mayoral candidate than Wayne in 2024. Otherwise, Sophie or Kate will be a shoe-in in 2024 when Arreguin runs for state assembly.

  113. What is happening here is just the same as what happened with the camp outside City Hall. The city waited until conditions became unbearable before acting.

  114. The people who can afford an apartment in Lafayette , Walnut Creek etc are not the people living in homeless encampments. Duplexes in the suburbs will not turn Walnut Creek into People’s Park.

  115. I know! Who believes this drivel? All you have to do is visit any area within a 1/4-1/2 mile of any Berkeley-sanctioned (they already are sanctioned-by way of their very existence) encampment and see the massive amount of trash and refuse blowing everywhere. What does that mean for residents of West, North and Central Berkeley? A public health emergency. The Mayor and Council continue to flirt with disaster- at our expense. Ironically, the Mayor and Council are asking for community input on how to improve the waste transfer station on Eastshore and Gilman. Seriously? Seriously? How about you open your eyes as to vast amounts of refuse (including biohazardous waste) everywhere BUT the transfer station. Idiocracy in action, folks.

  116. I don’t understand the attraction/demand to stay on the shoulder of I80. It is dangerous both for you and drivers. Yesterday I was on my way home from the marina and nearly hit by a driver who could not see around the encampments as he exited the freeway. This situation is a massive hazard to everyone and future injuries/fatalities will only serve to turn the general public against you.

  117. Thanks. I’m sure a lot of the mental hospitals were poorly run, but the answer was not to bow to public pressure and the lure of au courant theories and let the mentally ill out to fend for themselves. Accepting drug use didn’t help either. The answer was to improve the hospitals and recognize that drugs aren’t cool if you can’t restrict your use. And with meth, not many can.

  118. We did have a socialist mayor in 1911-13. But in the ’50s and early ’60s, when Southside boutiques were a destination shopping area for suburbanites and Pauline Kael was getting her start writing program notes, the City Council was majority Republican. That was the olde responsible GOP, not the current wacko one.

  119. A slight correction: “…using street drugs to treat their mental illness.” If they’re using meth, they’re creating permanent mental impairment.

  120. I guess this just confirms the fact that the police were previously told to not enforce any rules in the City parks. Berkeley’s message to the homeless – come to our parks; do whatever you want, take drugs, fight, start fires,…

  121. .
    I really really want to vote for “somebody else” but Wayne’s not it for me. His actions as co-founder and principal at the radical animal rights group DxE completely disqualifies him for public office. That’s not what respect and democracy look like – his brand is radical ideology and bullying of those you disagree with. Nope.
    .

  122. More importantly, Wayne acknowledges that this is a regional issue, and Berkeley alone cannot take up the entire burden of the east bay. He will work with neighboring cities to come up with a regional solution, so it’s not just Berkeley’s problem. Also, before moving to the Bay Area, Wayne was a law professor at Northwestern (really!). I believe he can figure out which solutions to Berkeley’s problems are/aren’t legal better than Jesse.

  123. Are you saying that there was nothing else in the city that they came from, so they had no choice but to move to Berkeley?

  124. Given the current ban on evictions, I’d be curious to understand what percentage of the new local urban campers were removed from SF by SF’s encampment intervention team and are resistant to assistance efforts. That department publishes interesting data (https://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2019HIRDReport_SanFrancisco_FinalDraft-1.pdf), most notably that of the 27% of SF’s local tent dwellers who did not receive government assistance for which they were eligible, 30% were not interested in receiving services at all. Among the barriers to work, 9-13% of those surveyed cited their primary barrier to work was they had no interest in working (the majority indicated legitimate barriers of disability, transportation, mental health or drug addiction which require assistance). In balancing the various interests of everyone in the city, our council owes us a clear outline on our proportional share of solving homeless issues – and what is out of scope for us to fix and must be aggressively pushed back on the county, the state and surrounding communities that do nothing. Everyone in the community desperately needs access to healthy outdoor space for their mental and physical health while we attempt to survive a pandemic.The city is more than half a billion dollars in debt, is actively threatened by fire risk, pandemic risk, destruction of the local economy, mass unemployment and food insecurity even amongst the housed. It cannot indulge its savior complex by further enabling anti-social behavior that results in encampment fires, feces and piles of trash that elevate risks to the entire community. Do not vote for anyone who will not balance all community interests, enforce boundaries around equal access to public space or put a stake in the ground about what percentage of the problem we can solve and what needs to be pushed back on the other communities that do nothing.

  125. back where they came from may well be an apartment that has been gentrified, moved to airbnb usage, or torn down for upscale housing

  126. Meanwhile many apartments sit empty, and many air bnb rentals are returning to the want ads for locals to use.

  127. SFIST reported on 2017 KPIX’s coverage (For Some BART Panhandlers, Begging Is Their Job) of a group of beggars who live in Hayward and travel on BART begging with babies, getting off in areas soft on such behavior. There was one such woman at the Monterey Market corner. I saw her drive off with a man in quite a flashy auto. And a whole family with kids, the father playing the accordion, sat on the bench outside Magnani’s.

    The pandemic has probably decreased this activity. I don’t know.

  128. what the fuck is wrong here? come on berkeley public works put some porta potties out there for people before you have a viral breakout. and open up some of those abandoned houses and building i used to see all the time in 80 s and 90s. house the homeless or put them in mental hospital whatever. its an old horror show berkeley

  129. When the camp was on the steps of City Hall, it was moved and not allowed to come back. Why is that? Isn’t City Hall a public space too? Jesse doesn’t really care about the quality of public spaces, unless it’s the one he uses.

    He and Sophie also allows problems to get worse so they can spend public money on resume-building projects to fix them. Will we have the FIRST sanctioned tent city? Then I’m sure Jesse and Sophie are thinking about blowing our budget on it.

    What happened to the 2nd street project?We don’t hear much about that 2M a year project any more. Was it successful? Did the cost justify the outcomes? Who knows. Now that it’s on the resume it doesn’t matter.

    Lets vote for a Mayor who will spend generously on homeless services AND keep our parks, on-ramps and frontages free of tent encampments.

  130. This, x 1000.

    Send a message to all incumbents that “all compassion talk and no results” is unacceptable.

    Jesse and Sophie have had no opposition on this issue – none! Everything they put in front of city council or supported passed with flying colors. Nothing stood in their way, except for their own inability to deliver.

    Even with the democrats fully in control of state government Jesse and Sophie still couldn’t figure out how make some headway.

    With so much being in our favor, they still managed to make it worse for everyone!

  131. At the end of the day, I think I have to agree. It’s depressing though, and makes me question whether this really is a nice place to live. Anybody wanna by a house near N.Berk Bart?

  132. Thanks for this excellent short history. At the time, the theories of R.D. Laing and the novels of Ken Kesey helped the anti-incarceration movement along as well. You could see by the end of the 1970s what social effect it was having on Berkeley; if I recall, one of the authors of the bill publicly expressed his doubts about it before 1980. Here we find ourselves almost 50 years later in a situation that’s far worse even than what you could have imagined back then. In any event, to pin it all on Reagan is false. The legal change was generated by social demand.

  133. Based on your rec I just read his plans (listed on his site) re: homelessness. It is based on things that are illegal (no, as much as I wish we could, City of Berkeley cannot do it’s own new income tax on the wealthiest citizens) or totally delusional “we have to end the blame shifting between the city and Caltrans….we will work with Caltrans to pick up trash at I80 encampments instead!”
    Ummmm. Jesse IS working with Caltrans, they do have trash pick up, trash pickup however, is only one small part of the issue.
    Jesse is bad at his job.
    Wayne will be worse.

  134. The feds can’t single out Berkeley to be left unaided.

    A better question to ask. Would any of our local politicians be caught even remotely being perceived as collaborating with the feds?

    Our governor was somehow able to get past that and be smart about not squaring off with Trump in the early days of Covid.

    Waiting for a like-minded administration (IF that was ever the primary consideration) has clearly hurt us more than Trump.

    Welcome to the politics of the doctrinaire and disfunctional. Jesse is precisely the wrong person to be dealing with a disfunctional and vengeful Trump.

    Disfunction doesn’t somehow become more acceptable when it comes from your own side.

  135. After thinking about it some more I have decided to vote for Wayne Hsiung for Mayor this year. I do not agree with a few of the items on his agenda but he is pro-transparency and pro-accountability and those are two things that we sorely need in Berkeley. He literally can’t be worse than Jesse Arreguin so why not try something new?

  136. Jesse crushed him because ranked choice voting favors fringe candidates and almost always results in the election of unqualified idealogues.

  137. From what I understand there’s actually a lot more meth in the Redding area than there is here but the police are not as permissive when it comes to antisocial behavior and the occupation of public space.

  138. From what I’ve gathered working near some of the homeless encampments the people living in the “tent cities” are generally drifters who became addicted to hard drugs before or after they came to Berkeley and sold off their remaining possessions for another hit. Many are also mentally ill and are using street drugs to treat their mental illness. Most are extremely resistant to services and will refuse shelter beds, rehab, or any kind of help that has any strings attached.

    The RV dwellers are a different mix, ranging from people who just don’t feel like having jobs to retirees who wanted to come someplace where they could boondock for free. Most of them are cleaner and keep more to themselves. The “invisible homeless” who stay with friends or occasionally sleep in their car includes a lot of students who just can’t afford Berkeley rents.

    The tent city street people are the only ones who are a real significant problem, but unfortunately allowing RV encampments and being lax on enforcement of curfews usually leads to an increased number of the street people and tent cities. In most locations where we currently have tent cities popping up we initially had RV encampments.

  139. Silly response. You can get to all those places you mentioned in a van or RV. Plenty of those in the flats of Berkeley. Also they found their way to Berkeley by vehicle from all over the state and country. They did not lose their housing in Berkeley and walk down to the freeway. If you think they did, they could just as easily have walked up to the hills or any other part of town. It’s not like there are essential services and businesses near the freeway camps and none in the hills.

    Your response to Blue Lobster was quite a stretch.

  140. To say nothing of Modoc. Or Siskiyou. But to own or rent in those counties, you have to have some skills, like cutting brush and repairing wells. Homeless people don’t.

  141. It actually started long before Reagan, in 1955 with the establishment of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, with a group of psychiatrists lobbying for outpatient treatment. Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act in ’72, which changed the system whereby mental patients could be incarcerated against their will. This was pushed by the ACLU and psychiatrist groups, the ACLU declaring it a guarantor of freedom. The mood in the country had, by the early ’70s shifted far more toward tolerance of different behaviors and of drug use and Reagan was simply signing what was demanded.

  142. We cannot have a compassionate policy for the entire world’s homeless population, including the severely mentally ill. Some of these people need to return to their home locations. Providing services here for them only attracts more homeless from the outlying areas. It’s like squeezing a balloon. We can’t make it right for everybody.

  143. mayor’s office asks the city manager to increase nighttime enforcement and “enable the police to enforce park rules and ordinances.”
    jessenthe mayor enable the police?
    just about all of his photo ops or quotes make me squirm. he is a tool

  144. Many of the campers leave their trash in piles so it’s easier for the city to pick up, Perry added. Doh!

  145. The Title of the story is Wrong. should read

    ” Berkeley Mayor Vows to waste more of your tax dollars enabling drug addiction”

  146. “In Berkeley, our City infrastructure is in utter disrepair despite a high tax burden.” Wayne

    Has Jesse ever acknowledged that our infrastructure is in utter disrepair or that we have a high tax burden? This statement is enough for me to take my chances and vote for Wayne.

    Don’t expect that our quality of life will suddenly improve if we give Jesse another 4 years. It won’t.

    https://www.wayneformayor.com/issues#infra

  147. I think the mechanism is to enforce laws against these things, without the warning snooze bar effect.

    Sleeping in vehicles
    Parking inoperable vehicles
    Expired tags
    Cooking in vehicles

    Sleeping in parks overnight
    Failing to register as sex offenders
    Sleeping on commercial sidewalks

    Possession of fentanyl, meth, crack
    Open fires
    Theft, petty theft, assault
    Encampments

    Public intoxication

    Add some new laws like

    The sit/lie law we tried before
    Ban sleeping in certain areas (https://www.latimes.com/projects/homeless-sleeping-maps/)

    And remove attractants not found in other cities
    No port a pottys
    No free drugs

    We’ve made it attractive to move here as a derelict. We can make it less attractive to stay. Some will dig in but not thousands.

  148. Vote for Wayne. At least he acknowledges what a mess our city is:

    The City of Berkeley is unresponsive to requests for maintenance, even when its own property is in disrepair. This level of apathy towards maintaining public property — which belongs to and serves our community — is unacceptable and must change. We want to create clear deadlines and transparency for public projects. For example, you should be able to see your request to repair a street on a City website, including a timeline for when it will get repaired.

    https://www.wayneformayor.com/issues#infra

  149. Does anyone know the make up of the homeless population? Knowing why they are there is an important first step in dealing with the problem. Our daughter while at Berkeley High did her own study and found a surprising variety of reasons that led to life on the street – and that those reasons changed over time.

  150. I disagree about your best solution which most certainly will never happen in our lifetime.

    Unless you want more Hahnvilles, vote for Todd in District 5.

  151. Vote for someone else this time. I certainly will. We can’t risk another 4 years of Arreguin and Hahn.

  152. And don’t forget Sophie’s famous Pathways which has cost the taxpayers tens of millions and “permanently housed” only a few at most…..

    Vote for Todd in District 5, Wayne for Mayor. We need to send a message.

  153. When the farm fresh stuff gets taken off the table you’re left with the corporate food….different vibe.

  154. There are the choices you have and the choices you’d like to have.

    Vote for Wayne. Send a message. No more Jesse

  155. I was walking by City Hall on my way to work one day, went into the street to maintain social distancing then almost stepped on a hypodermic needle. Felt like Berzerkeley 2020 sorta moment.

  156. We’re spending lots of money on the homeless and we have the taxes to prove it. I agree with your proposals.

  157. 80 fires so far this year. Eventually, one of them will start when we have high winds and we’ll have something like the Paradise fire.

  158. The current age is a “point of confluence of severe crises,” including the threat of nuclear war, climate change, a raging pandemic, economic depression and racial unrest in the United States..homelessness for so many Americans is the perpetrator canary in a coal mine for the rest of us..

  159. I can’t understand why no one has ever tried putting addicts in jail for using illegal drugs and dealing drugs.
    I guess no one ever thought of it before.

  160. She said single-family zoning is exclusionary. She didn’t say her constituents are exclusionary.
    Single-family zoning is a type of land-use regulation–not a person who lives in a single-family house.

  161. Wayne says that Jesse isn’t sufficiently pro-homeless.

    From his website https://www.wayneformayor.com/

    Will the candidate stand against criminalization of homelessness, and focus on research-based interventions?

    Jesse Arreguín No
    Jesse has attempted to use unconstitutional measures to criminalize “sitting, sleeping, or lying outside.”

    Wayne Hsiung Yes
    Wayne is committed to using research-backed methods — such as permanent supportive housing — to reduce homelessness in Berkeley.

    As if one city, Berkeley, could provide enough permanent supportive housing to get all the homeless off the streets.

  162. We need our parks back and we need to discourage these new arrivals. Send them back to where they came from. This is not how I imagined my taxes being used for more camps.

  163. People who have simple “they can’t stay” solutions never think about whether there is any legal way to enforce that solution.

  164. Go to Alameda they appear to not have as many restrictions. Two stylists very far apart. I was the only customer at the time.

  165. Willard Park is also in a rich neighborhood. Go and take a look at the houses surrounding the park.

  166. Living in Lafayette or Walnut Creek requires a car, which homeless can’t afford.
    Likewise, living in Berkeley Hills or Oakland Hills requires a car, and there are no homeless living on the streets there. Living in Berkeley or Oakland flats doesn’t require a car, and that’s where the homeless are.

  167. Jesse Arreguin can’t afford a Tahoe condo. He can’t even afford to own a house in Berkeley.

  168. We know that, if we would collaborate directly with the federal government agencies in Washington, the Trump administration would just rush to help the homeless in Berkeley.

  169. Did you just notice? Because it’s in the Elmwood? you’ve dropped the ball for a long time. Shameful.

  170. Said it many times, but I’ll say it again: The Mayor does not care about the working people of Berkeley. He caters to the homeless-industrial complex. He lets mountains of trash blow into the Bay and all over our beautiful city. He condones the domestic abuse that he KNOWS takes place at the encampments. He turns a blind eye bourgeoning rat population that is VERY evident if you take a walk anywhere around the encampments. He enables the tent dwellers to slowly kill themselves with fentanyl, crack and meth. He will not be satisfied until a large fire burns a large part of our city to the ground. He spends enormous amounts of our cash on making the problem WORSE. Letting people do whatever they wish is not compassion, it’s pure codependency.

  171. What a joke. Berkeley is “stepping up efforts to tackle problematic behavior?” Since when? Mayor Jesse Arreguín and his City Council allies have to own this mess. In his 2016 campaign, Arreguín promised to “find thoughtful, humanitarian solutions to homelessness.” Instead, our homeless population has doubled on his watch at treble the cost while the rest of us deal with the scourge of drug-fueled crime, widespread squalor, and the abandonment of services for normal citizens. Mike Lee would have done a better job.

    Regime change!

  172. I’m sorry, what heavy lifting? We don’t demand laws nor common sense be followed- that would be part of heavy lifting to me. You cannot allow camping on streets, especially with no toilet facilities, housing people in tuff sheds to me isn’t heavy lifting. Heavy lifting would be something like Providence RI, where participants are required to participate in programs that advance people out of their state, if it’s drug abuse then rigorous drug treatment programs – not free needles. What Berkeley & Oakland are doing is feeding stray cats- hardly heavy lifting imo.

  173. Sure, don’t blame Jesse. He ran saying he was going to make Berkeley into a compassionate shithole. He ran against candidate who was moderate and Jesse crushed him. If you don’t want to live in a shithole where bums threaten your children, move

  174. Everyone keeps talking about how this was so bad, the cops need more weapons, but this turned out great. Nobody was killed or even harmed. The thieves got away only to be captured later by detectives. What’s the big deal? No taser or K-9 was needed. Nobody needed to be harmed to ensure the arrest of these individuals. The only problem I see is the discharge of the gun at tires and the ordering of the thieves into the car. Warrants the officer getting a partner and better situational training.

  175. Well were it not for the pandemic there is a solution to the homeless problem in Berkeley and that is to simply do nothing. The homeless problem is an American problem and not a Berkeley Oakland or Alameda County problem per se. If any of these cities were serious about solving the problem and not using it as a political football and platform they would collaborate directly with the federal government agencies in Washington, DC i.e. HUD, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and develop a workable plan to house the unsheltered and provide the necessary social and mental health services that are required. There are many federal facilities available for temporary housing and care so why is there a resistance to reaching out to the source that has the wherewithal to intervene and solve the issue. No one will ever believe that the homeless population in Berkeley and elsewhere doesn’t consist of people who have travel afar, but are residents of this city and if the latter is the case would it not be simpler to have a program setup, and spend the money wisely, to protect those people in the city of Berkeley from becoming homeless in the first place rather than adding them to the peripatetic un-sheltered rolls.

  176. That’s pretty simple. Inequality is also the result of people’s varying, inborn intelligence, and their ability to get along with one another. And many other factors.

  177. Well this is a pretty remarkable statement about the homeless issue in Berkeley a lot of money has been spent or wasted it seems. “Remember back when Mayor Jesse Arreguin spent $2.4 million building a homeless navigation center in West Berkeley and the problem only got worst .Remember when Mayor Jesse Arreguin spent $6.65m to buy the old Premier Cru building under false pretenses (claiming they would hold City Council meetings there) and then turned it into a homeless shelter and then ended up leasing the warehouse space for $1 to a redundant food bank leaving the University Ave. frontage as urban blight”

  178. It wasn’t really Reagan, though that’s the myth. He signed a bill ending the forced incarceration of mentally ill persons, but it was written by liberal democrats, one of whom as I recall was from Contra Costa County.

  179. From the HUD website:

    On February 10, 2020, the Trump Administration announced its proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a $47.9 billion plan that expands resources to prevent/end homelessness; invests record funding to reduce lead and other home health and safety hazards; and preserves rental assistance to HUD-assisted households.

    Did you mean $20 billion more than that?

  180. It reminds me of the heart-rending panhandling scenes, where you have a panhandler, usually a woman, asking for money from the median strip, while she has one or more tots with her. I’m not picking on women here, that’s just the usually setup. It’s incredible. What accounts for her/their circumstances? What damage is being done to those little kids, witnessing and living the panhandle lifestyle? Etc. Not good. I wonder what ultimately happens to those kids, in terms of their psychology.

  181. That’s a decent snarky reply, but I’m posing my question seriously.

    Do people know that total criminals get off with a slap on the wrist? That ‘3 strikes and you are out’ is only available to virtual multiple violent felons?

    I’m wondering, if people actually saw a list of crimes on the left column, and the corresponding sentences on the right column, they might say ‘hey wait a minute, this is not what I voted on’

    ?

  182. Why should the other cities in the County participate if they see Oakland and Berkeley doing all the heavy lifting. Six cities in the County provide zero shelter for the homeless. We’re doing them a big favor by trying to house everyone that shows up here.

  183. While Wayne might seem to be an extremist because of his DxE connections, dealing with these issues is actually his biggest campaign goal (as is climate change policy). I spoke to him for a while, he has some good ideas. If you email him, i’m sure he’d be happy to tell you all about it.

  184. And, talk to your neighbors. Most people aren’t paying attention and need to be educated. Also, call or email your local Council critter. Most are in lock-step with Mayor Arreguin’s goal of turning Berkeley into a major social services center in the Bay Area.

  185. Is Berkeley the only city in the US where the City Council must pass a resolution declaring that some sections of a public park are off-limits to homeless people camping, pooping, and discarding needles? That’s pathetic. And, of course, if we do take such drastic action, we must ensure, as the Mayor says, that we “find better places for people to live.”

    Maybe we’ve already provided our share of shelter…or a lot more. Based on data from 2019, Berkeley has provided homeless shelter to 295 individuals, which is more that twice the overall sheltered rate in Alameda County based on population. For example, Hayward has more people than Berkeley but provides shelter for just 115. Berkeley, also has lots more shelter projects underway.

    We need to set a target for how many homeless we’ll house. Maybe it should be 100% of our share of the California homeless based on population. Maybe120%. If we don’t set a cap, we’ll be constructing homeless housing forever and our taxes will keep going up and our quality of life will continue to deteriorate. Housing all the homeless that make their way to Berkeley is financially infeasible. As Judge Alsup said in the homeless class action lawsuit against Berkeley, “Now you’re saying in addition to paying your own rent, you have to pay for all the people from Indiana and Ohio who don’t want to live in the cold weather and come to live in Berkeley.” Well, that’s what the Mayor (and most of the City Council) apparently want.

  186. It’s time to stop reelecting politicians who spend their entire tenure courting the extreme, disfunctional, unworkable and unsustainable and then promising to fix it all in the last 60 days before an election

    Jesse Arreguin does not solve problems. He is outstanding in great-sounding promises that make us all feel compassionate. But he neglects what these problems do to our city, and then declares a crisis and does a quick thing that costs a ton, and then declares success because we merely spent the money.

    What really irks me the most is that the most vulnerable have become his political platform. The fact that he has promised and talked about the homeless so much but has failed to deliver ANY improvement at a minimum says that this is way beyond his capabilities, or that he has mislead everyone into thinking that a small town has what it takes to solve national problems.

    The people who loose are certainly the homeless, and everyone else who has to live with the mess.

    Why is our homeless population growing when the eviction rate is practically zero? How is that possible?

    Where is his skill in working with other jurisdictions on a regional solution? What specific partnerships did Jesse make during his term? How many of those partnerships were balanced and didn’t completely move other cities’ problems into Berkeley?

    Jesse Arreguin is singularly responsible for co-opting the homeless problem as his defining platform and making it worse. He made the homeless population much bigger than our proportional share and done nothing that solved any part of it.

    Ask yourself why 60 days before an election he gets an epiphany about the magnitude of a problem that every resident in the flats has seen get worse and worse in the past 4 years.

    Vote for someone else this time. Even if they sound the same as Jesse, they can’t do much worse than he has done.

    If voters don’t expect actual results, they won’t get them. Hold your elected leaders accountable for their results, not their platitudes. Vote like you mean it.

  187. Berkeley is a communist enclave suffering from it’s own policies. Always was and always will be.

  188. But Rashi isn’t casting dissenting votes, isn’t speaking out, isn’t using her position for anything other than just going along with the majority every single time. She might as well not even be there.

  189. The point is to trick people into thinking he has a solution long enough to get reelected and get voters to approve his 75% raise.

  190. Should have stayed behind her door. Made him lie face down on pavement. Waited for backup. Just allowing him to get back in the car was an extreme officer safety failure. Throwing the keys on the roof still put them in close enough proximity to the keyless starter that he was still able to start the car.

  191. No reasonable person is running for the job this time around because the mess is so bad, and the rest of the council is so clueless, and the city manager is so incompetent, that even if we managed to get a sensible person elected they wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

    We have backed ourselves into a corner and are stuck until the political whims of the day reverse and the voters start once again asking for law and order and sensible spending and a clean and safe city to live in.

  192. They need to just throw it all away and tell all the lawyers who come crawling out of the woodwork to try to sue the city for doing it to go to hell. Storing personal items on public property overnight is NOT A RIGHT and anything left out on in those spaces for more than a few hours should be considered abandoned and thrown away.

  193. You’re confusing “density” with “overcrowding”. That’s why in some of the least dense,(i.e., exclusively single-family zoned suburban areas) of LA County there is a spike in Covid19 cases.

    This is because of the chronic housing shortage resulting from making dense apartment construction illegal in the vast majority of California — forcing multiple families, more often than not POC, to have to band together and crowd into single family home rentals.

  194. No, it makes you (according to a term attributed to Lenin) a “Useful Idiot” to the NIMBY propertied class.

    By opposing the creation of new dense urban infill housing, you’re not only hurting renters, you’re hurting the environment — all in the service of maintaining the exclusionary zoning (rooted in systemic racism, btw) and the runaway property values of NIMBY homeowners.

  195. Intent vs. Impact — or in your case, unintended consequences driven by ignorance and/or the knee-jerk application of a poorly thought out ideologically-based position.

    Low Income is everyone below 80% AMI. Teachers, for instance, would earn too much to qualify for housing that is limited as you propose.

    What about the moderate income/ middle class that earn between 80-120% AMI?
    By your “logic” they’d be shit out of luck.

    Prior to commenting you should know what your talking about.

  196. I don’t think so. You may recall when they fenced off Old City Hall due to what they said were public health issues. They cleared the area, moved people along and fenced it off. It then became off limits for quite some time.

  197. To the extent that we accept all the homeless, there’s little incentive for other jurisdictions to chip in. Our loss is their gain

  198. There is the text and there is the subtext. The ‘recommendation’ starts with Police enforcing the rules of the park, which state there is “no camping”. However, the City Council is currently defunding the Police and clearing the public parks every night by issuing citations or arranging alternate accomodations is labor intentive. Also, you can’t remove the homeless without their permission, so how does that work?

    It works by running a temporary fence to cordon off the camp, leaving the homeless there while public works cleans it up.

    Lori can’t really push them out. That would be exclusionary. It would be gentrification!

    It would blow up her whole raison d’etre.

  199. Isn’t that a game of semantics? Cordoning off parts of the park to try and make those areas clean enough for public use, is essentially saying that the goal is NOT to keep the entire public park safe enough to let the public use ALL of it?

  200. I hope they really follow through and clean up Willard Park. It’s not far from where I live, and I am appalled at seeing it get worse and worse – I am afraid to walk past it any more. If I had small children, I certainly wouldn’t let them play there.

  201. I think Joakland & SF are contenders in the race to the bottom.
    Big conventions cancelled in SF due to nasty street conditions- that was jobs and money lost. Joakland- not too many conventions or tourists just miles of tents and unsafe streets. Oakland embraces the squatter mentality with Mom’s for Housing taking property that wasn’t theirs and then legitimized/forced by The government.

  202. “At this point, I feel strongly that the city of Berkeley needs to step in and needs to address it,” mr mayor quote

    what point are we at? why now? just let it run wild. and lets see where it goes? mr mayor you are so out of touch.

  203. Homelessness is a national problem, with California having 30% more homeless than other states. The high rents in the Bay Area certainly don’t help,
    never mind untreated drug abuse and mental health issues.

    America could eliminate homelessness by spending $20 billion per year to provide affordable housing, and drug and mental health services. This action would also minimize the overburdening of compassionate communities that become magnets for homeless populations.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2276536/amp

  204. Permanent housing belongs in the cheapest places of the country and must be inherently less pleasant than any available alternative one can get by working.

  205. Our mayor lives in a rent controlled apartment with 3 roommates. He’s not sympathetic to the yard takeover.

    When you hear “compassion,” replace it with “pathological altruism.”

  206. Well if we increase the frequency of buses then you are set. Of course then you become a prime location for up zoning

  207. For every parent complaining that three hours of synchronous instruction is inadequate, there is another parent upset about Zoom burn out and its impact on their kids. My classes are all taught late in the day and I can attest to the fact that the students are toast by the end of the day.

  208. When I taught public school (which I did for 9 years), I taught English to 160 students each day, in addition to coaching a team after school and on weekends. Every single page of writing I assigned was 160 pages that I had to read, grade, and comment on. I was miserable because I could not meet my personal standard for the level of feedback the students deserved and I was not comfortable decreasing the amount of writing I assigned to match my ability to give meaningful feedback.

  209. The homeless problem cannot be fixed by any city, region, or even by the state, so encouraging such individuals to migrate here simply makes the problem endlessly worse. Wherever they come from, and whatever obstacles they have faced in their lives, most homeless have made countless bad choices, and refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
    I hesitate to use this analogy, but it makes a point. The homeless behave similarly to any foraging animal-they migrate to wherever is the easiest place to obtain food and a find hole to crawl into. Berkeley, Oakland, SF, & LA are those easiest places. Other cities intentionally make sure that they are less desirable habitats.
    The best solution, although expensive, would be to build huge State mental hospitals as we once had before Reagan, and give homeless people the choice of either entering a longterm rehabilitation program or leaving town.
    Providing housing or sanctioning permanent camps without requiring something in return is condoning their reckless lifestyles, and sends a clear message that working or following established social norms is no longer necessary to get free stuff.

  210. Yes, the progressives that are “so compassionate to the most needy” seem to be blissfully unaware of their privilege that makes them immune to the consequences. These über liberal Berkeley policies disproportionately impact hard working middle class and lower classes who have played by the rules and don’t have the luxury of escaping to their Tahoe condo and need to use the local resources of Berkeley city parks. While it seems to work politically these days to focus on homeless rights, it is shameful that the elite supporting these policies (perhaps to assuage their own guilt about being privileged or white) are harming small businesses and working class families who are already struggling with bay area costs of living, covid, education, etc..
    I recently saw an well intentioned Berkeley woman yelling at a shop keeper(who was cleaning feces off her storefront) to be more sensitive to the needs of the homeless. Seriously!!!???

  211. Fake compassion- let them live in the side of a road is not compassion.
    Tough love is needed. The only assistance that will help is to move them to a cheaper location, to get training, counseling, off drugs. Give the help and make them accountable.

  212. WE the tax payers are the employers of the city council and mayor, EVERYONE seems to forget this little fact…THEY WORK FOR US!

  213. I’m sorry 🙁 tbh the only good thing coming out of this is more and more parents are angry and willing to make innovative changes in education

  214. That is enraging- thank you for the kick in the pants. I feel like I’ve been yelling into a void. How anyone thinks this distance “learning” works in good conscience is baffling. I will email again. There is no reason kids shouldn’t be back in school in Berkeley.

  215. Berkeley needs to have a hard stance of homeless are not welcome. Every other major city is shipping homeless out and making a stance while we’re being thoughtful and compassionate and give homeless a reason to come here. Give these bums a one way ticket out of here, or continuously clear out camps until the homeless learn this is no longer acceptable. Taking the compassionate approach obviously has not worked and for any mayor claiming compassion solves the problem, then I welcome him/her to open their front yard and back yard to the homeless and let’s see what they think in 6 months

  216. because the 1% escape the consequences of this degradation of the commons, nothing will improve.
    the 1% are enjoying their market upswing, their leader Trump and their yachts in the Bahamas, the hills, or wherever.
    far from the madding crowds.
    they have no contact with the on the ground reality of the working person’s life.
    who have had taken away their parks, their sidewalks, their right to healthy, clean and safe streets.
    the 1% never ride on the buses/trains which are a day room for unhoused, uncared for citizens.
    it has to be a federal effort. how likely does that seem?
    once there was a time when citizens were considered important whether homeless, jobless, ill or well, housed or unhoused.
    we have to get back to that – before the idea of democracy dies.
    permanent housing/support services is the only answer and the funding for that must come from feds.

  217. So maybe we can just reverse global warming, locally, and the homeless will go away? 😉

    Obviously it’s not a problem with a single solution – so we all need to be working on the full range of solutions, and gathering and publicizing the data to understand what works.

  218. > …as its homeless population has risen from just one tent to a dozen…
    Just in time to rape and rob all the returning UC students in that ‘hood.

    > The city does not remove any items without permission, she said.
    They really ought to remove all the obviously stolen items, starting with the shopping carts, bicycles and parts, bike trailers and baby carriages. Burglary isn’t a civil right. There are a stolen bike in the 2nd photo, and a stolen shopping cart in the 4th. The City needs to have mandatory registration of bikes sold by dealers, new and used, so it can both prove theft and return them to their owners.

    > Amid COVID-19 the city has, for the most part, not enforced rules about some sidewalk regulations and camping in parks. But that appears to be shifting.
    “Now that we’re in month six of the pandemic,” Arreguín said, “we need to intervene.”

    Typical moronic statement from him. COVID-19 is the best possible reason to enforce those regs, not to mention all the other laws they’re violating. Any rational city leader would have intervened on day one.

    > Arreguín told Berkeleyside the city is “exploring several locations” for the sanctioned camp.

    One for each City Council member’s residence, starting with his. They’ll need to share the bathroom and kitchen, too.

  219. She *could* say something, introduce bills, and try to persuade the others to vote for them. Those are the main parts of any legislator’s job description. But nothing.

  220. Any sanctioned “camping” areas will become a superfund site and will cost a lot of money to clean up, although if People’s Park is any indicator it will be decades once it is established. BTW when did Berkeley folks stop caring or willing to look the other way about pollution and destroying the environment? A few years ago there would have been protests about all of the fecal matter and chemicals getting washed down the storm drains.

  221. Yeah. I doubt this. We want citizen servants not career politicians. Our city manager is to be the one that runs the city. Not these PC buffoons.

  222. She could say something to the effect of “WTF are we doing here wasting our time tilting at windmills while our city turns into a cesspool?” Or something like that. Snap out of the PC coma people. It is not compassionate for us to indulge this antisocial behavior and mental illness. We are a community of enablers and there are groups for that too.

  223. I don’t think so. You may recall when they fenced off Old City Hall due to what they said were public health issues. They cleared the area, moved people along and fenced it off. It then became off limits for quite some time.

  224. That and South Berkeley has had almost no representation on the Council for years. Ben Bartlett, and Max Anderson before him, have done nothing.

  225. Camping? Camping is what people do in the national forest when they take their families and want to get away from their disgusting dirty city, squating would be more appropriate.

  226. I do think 4 more years of this nightmare will tease out an accomplished grown up to bring us back from the abyss. That’s what it is going to take though.

  227. I think you know the answer to that. People moved to Lafayette and Walnut Creek to escape urban problems like homelessness, addicts and people with serious mental health issues who can’t hold down jobs and live a middle class life. They do not put up with people sleeping and pooping in front of stores, in parks where there are restrooms and portapotties, etc. Those people are referred out, encouraged to move along or cited.

  228. This is a last ditch last minute effort from Jesse because he just realized last time he ran on fixing the homeless problem
    it’s now worse than it was before he was elected.

  229. “We want to be compassionate and help people who are homeless,” Droste
    said, “but we also need to balance the needs of our constituents who
    don’t want to have their kids step on a hypodermic needle.”
    It’s revealing that compassion for the homeless is more of a priority than the “needs” of parents who don’t want their kids to step on a needle.

  230. Maybe Jesse should ask his Homeless constituents for the 75% raise he is seeking. He sure as hell isn’t working for lawful residents

  231. Density of population doesn’t seem to affect the spread of the current virus; for example San Francisco, the densest large city in the state, has the lowest rate of infection.

    Crowded housing (people per room) is the variable.

    Building more housing – and lowering crowding – will make people safer.

  232. Inequality is the result of global economic forces, but it matters in a local sense. A city where the rich are very rich, and the poor very poor, is likely to face many difficulties. It may struggle to maintain mixed-income school environments that produce better outcomes for low-income kids. It may have too narrow a tax base from which to sustainably raise the revenues necessary for essential city services. And it may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families, so that those who move up or down the income ladder ultimately have no choice but to move out..there are no solutions to any of these problems in Berkeley so expect homelessness to only get worse..

  233. How many of the people you are working so hard for, are exploiting your good will to simply sponge off the public to use uninhabitable public space toset up filthy garbage-strewn encampments to use illegal drugs and maintain their drug addiction? Why are you working to enable drug addiction and the appropriation of public space by addicts?

  234. Look, the problem is, for the most part, NOT homelessness, it’s drug addiction, and pretending otherwise certainly won’t solve the problem. To solve a problem you have to understand it and name it. The solution to drug addiction is NOT setting up a city run space for drug addicts to have at it freely on the city and taxpayer dime. There are only 3 reasonable approaches to drug addiction and “sanctioned” space for addicts is not one of them. Workable options include the following:
    (1) Put addicts in jail for using illegal drugs, dealing drugs, engaging in crimes to get $ for drugs.
    (2) Force addicts into treatment programs.
    (3) Require addicts to leave the city.

    The city needs to get tough on people causing public nuisance all over the city. There’s a law against having tents set up on sidewalks during the daytime hours. Start enforcing it. There’s a law prohibiting camping in city parks. Start enforcing it. Add laws if needed to prohibit using illegal drugs in public places. Start enforcing it. There are laws, or should be, against crapping in doorways, threatening and assaulting people, start enforcing those.

  235. Berkeley has always had a confluence of housing problems and mental crises – it’s been there as long as I’ve lived here. It would be better if we had housing or adequate shelters — or funding for either — but finger-pointing aside, the problem persists.

    That said, Willard Park is not a great place for a shantytown. Hundreds of families rely on that park as a place to take their kids, and not just “privileged” families, as I’m sure many readers will assert. Without dehunamizing our homeless population, I think most of us can honestly admit there are a fair number of disturbed and/or mentally agitated people among their ranks, and as a former Berkeley babysitter who took my kid to that park every day for years, I gotta say having a tent city next to that playground strikes me as a terrible, if not dangerous idea. Glad to hear the mayor is working on it.

  236. Wayne doesn’t seem any better than Jesse. I don’t think there is any meaningful difference between their policy proposals. All the folks running are ideologues. I was hoping Droste would have run and Rashi has been pretty disappointing.
    In addition to Wayne being an ideologue, he has felony charges pending from his animal rights activism. If he serves time, which it seems very possible, I’m not sure how he could carry out his mayoral duties. We need a pragmatic city council and mayor. Decades of these mostly ideologues have done nothing for this city. The Jesse’s, Harrison’s, Davilla’s etc. have run this city into the ground.

  237. True, this argument is pure speculation. But then thinking that no one could be worse than Jesse is also pure speculation. It stands to reason that more people competing for a position might yield a better candidate. At $50k a year only the most ideologically pure can contemplate such a role. Our teachers make more. This isn’t about rewarding current leaders, it’s about having a better selection going forward

  238. I am not as familiar with Wayne Hsiung as I would like to be. His first impression is as someone who might make the homeless situation worse for non-homeless city residents — if that is possible. I sense other have gotten the same impression. If this is incorrect Wayne might want to clarify his plans to improve livability for the rest of us.

  239. I’m sure the mayor would love to relocate the privileged homeowners, especially if there were a way to force us to keep bankrolling his schemes.

  240. Droste attacked her own constituents as ‘exclusionary’, using imagined instances of racial discrimination. What is ‘exclusionary’? It means selling your asset for the price that the market place offers. You therefore exclude the people with inadequate funds. This works well as car-game for children on long trips. They can call out, “Taco Bell – inclusionary, Wendy’s – exclusionary” “Beer inclusionary, Champaign – exclusionary”.

    Droste doesn’t want to exclude the homeless, she wants to give them half the park. Reading the referenced pdf file, it states,
    “…enable the Public Health Department to cordon off areas of encampment for the purpose of clearing the areas of contamination and ensuring the areas are safe for public use.”

    She wants to cordon off half the park for the homeless.

  241. Actually, trained K9s are safer. A Malinois will hold a criminal down or frighten them into giving up but don’t kill people. They’re trained to go for an arm or leg and pull the person to the ground. Tasers kill more often.

  242. She is hardly known for being too tough on police misconduct. If she charged this cop you can be sure there is a damn good reason. She doesn’t need to worry about losing votes.

  243. $50K is adequate if one receives free health care for you and your family (a value of >$30K), pension benefits, and lives in a rent controlled apartment. The “attract better qualified candidates” argument is mere speculation.

  244. How many mistakes did she make? (1) failure to block the car in with her vehicle; (2) should have made him kiss the ground and cuffed him; (3) she held her gun sideways like a hoodlum (do they even get range time in Berkeley); (4) She let him back into the car; (5) she ignored the threat from the other perps who could have been armed; she needed to get them all under control, and she could have been killed. She’s very lucky, and she should be fired immediately before she hurts someone or herself.

  245. What do you expect Rashi to do!? She has a vote on the council, but she needs support from the other council members, and the mayor!!

  246. And for the past four years of crises, compassion, and neglect Messy Jesse thinks he is deserving of a 75% pay raise.

    Vote NO on Measure JJ!

  247. Remember back in 2018 when it took Mayor Jesse Arreguin and City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley almost a year to get the RV campers to leave the Marina?
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2018/04/04/berkeley-police-tell-marina-rv-campers-to-move-out-or-get-towed

    Remember back when Mayor Jesse Arreguin spent $2.4 million building a homeless navigation center in West Berkeley and the problem only got worse?
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2018/06/26/berkeley-celebrates-opening-of-2-4m-homeless-navigation-center

    Remember when Mayor Jesse Arreguin spend $6.65m to buy the old Premier Cru building under false pretenses (claiming they would hold City Council meetings there) and then turned it into a homeless shelter and then ended up leasing the warehouse space for $1 to a redundant food bank leaving the University Ave. frontage as urban blight?
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2017/03/27/city-council-set-buy-west-berkeley-building-will-move-meetings
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2018/06/28/emergency-shelter-to-stay-open-for-summer-400k-earmarked-for-future

    Mayor Jesse Arreguin has been a disaster and everything he touches gets worse. City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley, whose salary is a quarter of a million dollars and who will end up with a lifetime pension for the same amount, is ineffective and clearly not competent to deal with a city that has as many ongoing problems as Berkeley. Both of them need to be booted out.

  248. This story is missing a major element.

    Is there a commitment to shutdown all illegal encampments and RV parking once this sanctioned thing goes up? Otherwise what’s the point?

  249. Why do you deserve financial assistance? You’re operating a dangerous, illegal encampment. Prison time seems indicated.

  250. These aren’t “local” homeless. It is a mix of Albany Bulb residents and drifters from out of town who come here to smoke meth and sponge up services because they know we won’t make them move along like every other city in the Bay Area does.

  251. Being Mayor or on the City Council should not be a full time job. If Arreguin and his cohort weren’t preening for National attention and climbing the political ladder it could be an 8 hour per week gig.

  252. I’m voting for Wayne Hsiung for Mayor. I don’t feel that there is a choice in the matter. If Berkeley looks this bad after four years of Arreguin, I can’t imagine what it might look like in 2024.

  253. How do explain the dearth of homeless in Lafayette or Walnut Creek? Their winters are no different than ours.

  254. They can’t. That’s the point. Piece by piece by piece, small actions, the council/PRC have dismantled this department. It’s over, the only place now is down.

  255. Took the University exit the other day. Saw an old van offloading tons of garbage and a bicycle frame with the local “community” helping them, local encampment dog not far behind. I may have to start just staking the place out with a camera like a creep to prove that not only is this not true, the opposite is.

  256. Did she get a $15k signing bonus and relocation and housing? Just another example of BOLT lack of transparency.

  257. It is a complete joke that the mayor is criticizing Cal-Trans cleaning efforts when I have been BEGGING the city for financial assistance for months. Right now all cleaning of the I80 encampments is paid for by DONATIONS and free labor provided by us running the frontloader. It would cost the city $2000 a month for thorough cleaning of the encampments stop trying to scapegoat Caltrans and GET INVOLVED start listening to what your local outreach orgs are telling you please.

  258. Peter Rich and his Velo Sport bicycling store made it all happen. I took lessons in bicycle repair when offered. We were all measured extensively for our bikes, and Peter Rich promoted the skills of bicycle makers who became legendary. Peter Rich rode his own bicycles from his home to his store, and continued to train for decades while training horses to do 100 mile races in the Sierras. Peter Rich made it happen!

  259. He’s late to the party. Camp Jesse, Camp Arreguin, Jessetown… it’s a long list of failures by the mayor who campaigned on a promise to end homelessness.

  260. Your comments make it sound like you have never been to the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station or shopping district. As such I am unable to tell if you are being intentionally dishonest or merely ignorant about what those areas are like. There are multiple major big box retail stores bounding both the El Cerrito Plaza and El Cerrito Del Norte stations while Ashby BART is located in a neighborhood near small shops and a school and N. Berkeley is literally in the middle of a neighborhood.

    To illustrate just how dishonest you are being I have attached an image showing the relative sizes of the BART stations and adjacent shopping areas in Berkeley and El Cerrito as pulled from satellite imagery. Google Maps doesn’t lie.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9772263b2d4b4466676dda5bc6f703b8f093c27cab256e954a9f147ef8e30d9a.jpg

  261. Either the lot is chronically full or it’s useful to riders. It cannot be both!

    This argument doesn’t make sense at all. Who do you think the drivers whose cars are filling the lot are? They’re riders and the lot is useful to them which is why it’s always full. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand.

  262. I wouldn’t be so sure. One of my brothers — we grew up in Chicago and he still lives there — visited me in 2018. He was shocked to see all the homeless here. Homelessness may be a ‘national problem’ but homelessness is no where nearly pervasive in parts of the country with hard winters as it is here.

  263. Probably water front property with a view of the sunset on some of the most expensive land in the city.

  264. How about forcing them out with curfews on parks, bans on camping on public land, and bans on parking RVs on public streets?

  265. Mayor Jesse Arreguin’s policies are exactly why this problem has gotten so bad. We need politicians who are going to be tough on these people and force them out of Berkeley the same way that Albany forced them out of the Bulb and into our waterfront.

  266. Put a significant encampment at Live Oak Park or Codornices Park and it would be cleared within a day. Even in “egalitarian” Berkeley it’s only the poor and middle class who are expected to put up with this s***.

  267. Reading your “welcome to Berkeley” line got me thinking about a guy who has taken to standing outside the downtown Target recently. He says the same patter over and over and I think the beginning of his thought loop is “Welcome to Berkeley” as if being welcomed to this city by a homeless panhandler is a good welcome. (he says he is homeless and just trying to feed his family and he says even a nickel helps). I go into this Target a few times a week, mostly for milk, yogurt and fruit, so I’ve heard his entire pattering. “Just trying to feed my family” and “welcome folks to Berkeley”. and yet I know CoB has programs to feed people, I know he does not need to panhandle to feed his family.

  268. Every new service we offer the homeless leads to the problem getting worse and worse. Every single thing Mayor Jesse Arreguin has done to try to address this issue has been a miserable failure. This is a State and National issue and not something Berkeley can or should try to solve.

    Compassion doesn’t work when you’re dealing with addicts. There HAVE to be consequences or they will just keep using until they kill themselves or are killed by someone else. The only way we can solve this is by doing the same thing Albany did to get them out of the Albany Bulb. Give them a one-time payout and then stop tolerating this antisocial behavior to force them into rehabilitation programs to help them kick their addictions.

  269. I doubt that this magical, sanctioned campground will be able to accommodate all of the local homeless. It is disgraceful that well paid city staffers (glorified secretaries make nearly 100K with the city . . . ) dawdle in locating a sanctioned camp site.

  270. Raising the mayoral salary in Berkeley wiil help elect a better mayoral candidate. People need to earn a living and $50K (the current mayor salary, approximately) is not enough to live on in Berkeley. Its not about paying loser Jesse more, it is about paying enough to attract better qualified candidates.

  271. Build the camp on Shattuck Ave @ Delaware, the former Virginia Cleaners site. Neighbor Kate Harrison can oversee operations. Kate land-marked her house to block development, a homeless camp is the perfect fit.

  272. My husband has started calling the I80 encampment Jesseville. Just today I almost hit a cyclist trying to get to the diamond lane on ramp. As a D1 resident, Ive complained numerous times to Rashi and just get a lame response from her intern.

  273. ‘Just saying “more more more”‘

    Unfortunately, that will be the case so long as interest rates remain low.

  274. Those down on their luck might as well be dead or high on drugs the next best thing..homelessness is a National problem Berkeley is not so special..

  275. so “middle class” folks are the target renter here. wow. do better. mgmt firm claims renters stay on average 15 months. does that indicate dissatisfaction with this premise. the audience for this seems to be mainly students, as a dorm alternative. who else would want this kind of setup. Berkeley please offer real affordable housing with real apartments for people. funny they say that the bldg mgr job is “tough” so they deserve twice the space. what if the renters also have tough jobs? why dont they deserve better accommodations?

  276. Yes, why not consider outdoor classrooms? I’ve been working with an outdoor classroom initiative that is based in Berkeley and led by Green Schoolyards of America and Lawrence hall of Science yet BUSD has basically ignored these resources. They seem intent on forcing Distant Learning on our schools at the detriment of our kids and those experiencing the digital divide – no tech, no wifi, no parents at home to help with online instruction. You’d think BUSD was only working for benefit of top 1%!

  277. Have you sent an email to superintendent@berkeley.net ? I highly recommend you do. I know from the BUSD call last Wednesday they are not pushing for the waiver! This seems nuts to me given the community covid numbers. We need to tell the BUSD how the kids are suffering or they will just force Distant Learning on us indefinitely.

  278. In a previous comment, you said we shouldn’t pretend to know the motivations behind the perpetrator. But then you say the Kenosha cops were racist? Based on the known facts, how did you come to that conclusion?

  279. Please email superintendent@berkeley.net and tell him how angry you are. I was on the (never got an email about) public BUSD call and there were zero parent comments. The BUSD was applauding themselves over their tremendous effort on Distant Learning. They are delusional! But if we don’t show our discontent via emails, public comments, or protests, they will steamroll Distant Learning indefinitely. Our kids deserve more!!

  280. Anybody want to bet where this sanctimonious camp will be located? You got it: West Berkeley, the dumping ground for what the rest of Berkeley will not abide.

  281. Will we get a tax credit for this? I’m doing something similar because we’re all scrambling and BUSD has provided zero options.

  282. As parents of BUSD students, we all need to send emails to superintendent@berkeley.net right now and tell him how horrible Distant Learning is going. I was on the BUSD call on Wed night and there were zero parent comments. You would think all of Berkeley was happy with current DL program! I was surprised because I know many angry parents. Everyone is burnt out, I know, but if we don’t let Superintendent Stephens know how mad we are they will steamroll Distant Learning indefinitely. We need to stand up! I just learned in some of these comments that he has kids in private school. The nerve he has to deprive public school kids of in-school learning. Talk about hypocrisy from higher levels!

  283. I have no idea what you’re trying to say, and I suspect you don’t either. There’s nothing “natural” about turning Berkeley into an overpopulated, urban slum. You may be quite content with Berkeley becoming a leftist social experiment in overcrowding, but I assure you, the natives are not.

  284. BUSD is intent on their robust Distant Learning program. They are tone deaf to the needs of lower income families- parents and students who are experiencing the digital divide – no sufficient tech, no reliable wifi, no parent to stay home to watch them during “school hours”. This is not equal education. With low community covid numbers in Bay Area, BUSD should be focusing on outdoor classrooms and getting our kids back on campus ASAP! That would be real equity. Don’t allow private school kids to reap benefits of in-school learning while public schools suffer under restrictive and detrimental Distant Learning programs. We need real action. Superintendent Stephens should be applying for the in-school learning waiver that was just made avail in Alameda county to at least show he is working in good faith to get our kids back on campus. Stand up for our kids, Superintendent Stephens! They need your help! They want to be on campus. For those that don’t, they should be able to keep distant learning.

  285. I don’t think i said these things should be banned… Just pointing out other ways it may not be ADA friendly etc considering berkeley is so all inclusive..ha

  286. “No one should be afraid in Berkeley.” “We need better places for people to live.” Is the mayor planning to relocate the homeowners?

  287. I was by Peoples park today and it’s much worse than a month ago. There used to be an ordinance against sleeping in the parks but I guess that’s been superseded by secret directives.

  288. If it was 1991 there would be an activist quoted saying that the needles are from diabetics, not junkies, and they have to throw them in the playground because we don’t give them sharps containers.

  289. As a longtime Berkeley taxpayer, I have to say when I see the word “compassion” coming out of the mayor’s and councils’ mouths, I read “chumps.” Why are we harboring evermore substance abusers using needles and/or are just strung out? Of course no other city wants them. What other city is as stupid–yes, stupid–as Berkeley’s so-called “progressive” government, which despises the property taxpayers and families with children. Limit the funds to what we can actually afford to give. and then that’s it. Stop tolerating substance abuse and acting as if the rest of the community should just suck it up. YOU,JESSE< HAVE FAILED.

  290. The Beacon of Berkeley is known far and wide and draws people from all over the Bay Area counties; the more the city provides, the more who come. The horrific mess at University and I-80 is beyond comprehension. Buffy Wicks just got a lot of PR for her work at the state capital; she needs to be drowned in emails about the CalTrans dereliction of duty.

  291. There are a lot of elderly who use that store. One could have easily been knocked down or killed or had their car rammed into as the Concord criminals peeled out of the parking lot.

    If the criminals refused to stop, how can one cop who can’t tase or shoot or basically do anything stop them?

  292. Anyone believe that anything will actually change?

    Convenient how the “goal” overlaps the election date.

    How about if Jesse’s 60 day goal isn’t met, that he leave town and never return?

  293. Watch the video? There is a child crying as the man is wrestling with the clerk and trying to hit him. She looks about 11 or 12 with a pink backpack.

  294. “We are moving quick.”

    NO RAISE FOR YOU!!!

    You should’ve cleaned up this he!!hole first and then asked for the raise. I’d be all for it if you weren’t driving the city off a cliff.

  295. Yes, when I drive by or consider going to the Marina but am too disgusted, first thing I think is, “Damn this will hurt Biden!”

    Just kidding. All I think about is the degraded quality of life in Berkeley and the inability for this small city to care for so many addicts and mentally ill from out of the area.

  296. The funny thing is that this has been going on for YEARS in west Berkeley. But, bring an election year and in a more “residential” neighborhood seems to spur the mayor into some sort of action. Platitudes, that’s his specialty.

  297. Straight up systemic discrimination against the South Berkeley community for years! The MLK Jr. pool on Hopkins in North Berkeley was renovated. Willard Pool was drained and filled with dirt.

  298. If the crime rate is not the same, the traffic stops will not be the same.
    If the ratio of outstanding warrants is not the same, the traffic stops will not be the same.
    If the ratio of expired registrations is not the same, the traffic stops will not be the same.
    If the ratio of traffic violations is not the same, the traffic stops will not be the same.
    If the ratio of drivers and pedestrians transiting the city does not match the resident demographics, the traffic stops will not be the same.

    The politicians don’t understand (or care to understand) that the stop, arrest, and search data should NOT match the demographics of the local population.

    They should match the rate at which people do things that lead to being stopped, arrested, and searched.

    People on the PRC writing opinion pieces should know better. But, they don’t.

  299. Yes……which begs the question, “is there a Berkeley municipal museum?”…..I’ve lived here most of my life and until this moment, never thought to ask.

  300. Well, I didn’t know Jameson, but he sounds like a fine fellow, very committed to what he believed in.

    Jameson, RIP

  301. If there is to be a sanctioned campground, will people still be permitted to camp within the parks? I’d hope not

  302. With the passing of SB 145 , guys like this will never have to be worried about getting in trouble for raping any children anymore. Congrats to everyone that has voted for pedophile supporters. If you’re asking “I’d never support child rape?!” Look at the yes votes. Then look at who has endorsed and sponsored them. Don’t be surprised if it’s the same people that also support Davila, Arreguin, and the like. Congratulations on destroying an entire state, piece by piece.

  303. We should pay $50,000,000 to permanently relocate the mayor and the entire city council to a remote island with no internet, mail, DHL or FED-EX service. Let the City Manager manage the city without interference from the clown car.

    Public parks are for the exclusive use of the public! Spreading more zombie apocalypse into our public parks is B.S. Tens of thousands of apartment dwellers and homeowners rely on our parks to have room to get outside.

  304. Are we taking care of people who used to live in Berkeley and got evicted or everyone no other city wants to have?

  305. We have a lot of homeless people, and the situation is not going to go away. How about the City setting some standards of behavior? If people are going to live outside, they need to keep the area clean, use the porta-potties and not pile bags of garbage everywhere. If they don’t adhere to those rules, they can’t stay. If we’re going to have a homeless population (and we are), let’s try to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact the other residents.

  306. At least part of the reason, IMHO, is that it is Willard Park, in South Berkeley, on Telegraph. If this was in North Berkeley, it would NEVER HAPPEN. South Berkeley is a dumping ground, as far as the City Council is concerned.

  307. I’m sure FOX News will be filming the camp off the 80 to use against Kamala Harris’ “home town” in the coming month. Our clueless mayor doesn’t wan’t to offend anyone and it’s going to bite the Biden campaign in the ass. Meanwhile it’s a great “welcome to Berkeley” for all that come to our town. What a nightmare this mayor has been.

  308. First they drained Willard Pool and filled it with dirt. Then they turned over the Willard Pool showers and locker room to the homeless. Homeless drug addicts assaulted students at Willard Middle School, so students were not allowed to run on the sidewalk around the park for PE class. We paid tens of millions of dollars for homeless shelters all over Berkeley. BOSS shelter next to Civic Center Park, Boss shelter at Harrison Park, Old City Hall, 2nd Street, the North Berkeley Senior Center, Premier Cru building, every park in town, practically every sidewalk, and RV´s parked everywhere, etc.. We are paying for hotel rooms. We are paying for housing. We are building the Homeless Hilton on Berkeley Way for a fortune. University & I-80 is a raging nightmare. Gilman & I-80 is insane. Now they are going to transform our public park into a Bantustan. Why are we paying these people to destroy our city? We keep drawing hundreds and thousands of homeless people to a city with the highest poverty rate in the Bay Area. When will we get a council and mayor that know how to improve, and not destroy, our city?

  309. thx, ugh, I am a community Cal Star member and regularly swim at Golden Bear. I have a neuro disease and swimming is key to my management.

  310. Yes the lack of affordable housing and health care has come home to roost..if we only build more luxury housing we can solve the homelessness problem..

  311. Unbelievable that we have to put up with this crap (literally). Pathological altruism is destroying this town.

  312. Someone bunking down well after dark and being gone by sun-up sounds fine. Building favelas all over town is not. The city needs to stop this ASAP. If people want to build a semi-permanent structure, they need to try their luck elsewhere.

  313. @disqus_ArJnQV6YUr:disqus UCB pools only open to students starting 9/8. Then to essential workers, fac & staff at some later date, but they must pay $8 and reserve in advance. Still closed to all community members.

  314. “He also amassed an extensive collection of political posters, buttons and other election memorabilia.”
    … and this collection includes a photo of the author of this obituary, Loni Hancock, which used to be on the wall in Mayor Bates’ office. Under it is text saying “Loni was a feminist herself, but this famous 1971 poster got her attacked by feminists, who thought there was more leg than political content.”
    http://berkeleycampaignart.homestead.com/1971PipeLoniRick.html

    BTW, someone should preserve that whole collection. Is Berkeley Historical Society paying attention?

  315. —-to dispel the stigma of mental illness ???

    It is likely you mean dispel the power people directing that prejudice seem to hold over us, over you.

  316. The Beacon of Berkeley is known far and wide and draws people from all over the Bay Area counties; the more the city provides, the more who come. The horrific mess at University and I-80 is beyond comprehension. Buffy Wicks just got a lot of PR for her work at the state capital; she needs to be drowned in emails about the CalTrans dereliction of duty.