Last night we helped make history in Berkeley! Ministerial approval of affordable housing passed its first hurdle at city council with a unanimously-approved proposal written by councilmember Lori Droste and co-sponsored by several others, including the mayor. Public comment was dominated by EBFErs advocating for streamlining and our voices were heard. Strangely, members of the public who usually show up to oppose market rate projects because we need more Affordable, couldn’t make it that night. 🤔
The vote last night wasn’t to pass a law, or even to commission a study about housing delays. Berkeley city council voted to have the city manager and planning commission return in early Summer 2018 with a fully formed ordinance to vote into law. When it comes back, East Bay for Everyone will be ready to rally around it and push Berkeley into finally accepting the reality that we need affordable housing now, not in 30 years. Until then, we must work to pressure city staff and the council into giving us all a seat at the table in authoring this legislation. We certainly won the battle, but we haven’t yet won the war.