Tonight's regular City Council meeting ( begins soon and we'll be live-tweeting it here.

The important item today — a resolution to end exclusionary zoning in Berkeley. Read our coverage to catch up: #berkmtg…
Here's the council tonight, all smiles after Mayor @JesseArreguin accidentally moved CM @loridroste to the attendee pool. Public comment will be limited to be one minute today due to large numbers expected. #berkmtg Image
The mayor is recognizing a grim milestone for the United States — 500,000+ deaths to COVID-19, with 35 of them in Berkeley. March 1 will be a day of remembrance in the city.
He says it could have been prevented through more effective federal action, supported by science. #berkmtg
Before we get to the main item...via public comment on non-agenda items, a reminder:

For anyone behind on rent in Berkeley because of COVID-19, financial resources are available from the county's Eviction Defense Center if you call (510) 452-4541. #berkmtg
The City Council will also be voting tonight on an emergency ordinance to guarantee hazard pay of +$5/hour for grocery store workers. Background from @ebnosh :… #berkmtg
It'll be a minute until the main discussion, but we'll keep you posted. #busdmtg
wrong tag, habit, sorry!
Back to hazard pay for grocery workers, it's one thing to go outside and clap for essential workers — CM @TaplinTerry says — another to back it up with legislation that supports them. It won't apply to managerial staff or stores that already have hazard pay. #berkmtg
CM @RashiKesarwani says there's now a "Berkeley fee" of $2 from delivery companies in response to her recent pandemic delivery fee cap. "I'm a little fearful that the grocery stores could pass on some or all of these costs to consumers, but it's important to try this." #berkmtg
John Gomez, a grocery store worker, saying the hazard pay would be a huge help, and a supportive cushion, - "We come across anti-maskers, we get coughed at, spit at, cussed at...we get sick and some of us have died." #berkmtg
Motion to pass emergency ordinance for $5/hour hazard pay for grocery store workers in Berkeley passes UNANIMOUSLY.

Read it here (download link):…

Our most recent story on a similar resolution in Oakland, via @Oaklandside :…
The meeting has been extended to midnight, and now it's time for discussion on the Resolution to End Exclusionary Zoning in Berkeley. #berkmtg
This resolution will work through 2022. Tonight's vote is a resolution of intent — not an immediate zoning change. CM @loridroste says the Berkeley community isn't responsible for the history of segregation, but it can move toward fixes, and this is one small component. #berkmtg
CM @Kate4Berkeley describes "morality play" btw developers, homeowners, renters and others in the conversation about the resolution. It needs strong renter protections (even for those in single-family homes), + aff. housing, no gentrification in S/SW Berkeley, she says. #berkmtg
CM @Kate4Berkeley has an amendment to the resolution. You can read it here (download link):… ImageImage
Mayor @JesseArreguin also clarifies: This item has generated a LOT of convo on the history of Berkeley, but this is just a resolution of intent. He says this is a step the city has to take to prepare for increased housing (9k units). "This is not a radical concept." #berkmtg
"I frankly think this whole discussion over what is largely a symbolic measure has become way too heated," @JesseArreguin says. Repeats: "Living in a single-family home doesn't mean you're a racist, we don't need to divide the community, but Berkeley needs change. #berkmtg
Here are some of Mayor @JesseArreguin's proposed amendments, some combined from CM @Kate4Berkeley, that respond to some community concerns (esp re: demolition). These aren't available online in the agenda yet. #berkmtg Image
CM Susan Wengraf suggests that words be added to protect older tenants (who may not have well-maintained homes) from becoming victims of predatory real estate. #berkmtg
Wengraf also brings up wildfires, and balancing density of tenants with "putting more people in harm's way. "It was 77 degrees today in Berkeley, and it's February." Balance climate change, with also having a diverse community where "everyone lives everywhere," she says. #berkmtg
Time for public comment! One min/speaker. First speaker speaks directly to CM @loridroste, saying it's disingenuous to present a resolution to promote diversity without introducing housing for Black residents, or low-income housing, together with this resolution. #berkmtg
Mayor @JesseArreguin comes in, asks for respect in this conversation and a civil discussion. #berkmtg
Liza Lutzker of @WalkBikeBerk says allowing housing of multiple unit sizes throughout the city is a climate/transportation justice issue, and housing should be where people need it. "This is really a climate issue, let's go ahead with it." #berkmtg
There's 182 people watching this meeting right now, and 49 signed up for public comment. #berkmtg
Darrell Owens @IDoTheThinking supports resolution, describes his North Berkeley neighborhood saying there's no significant design change btw streets w/ more/less single fam homes, but there is a difference in diversity. Says, like CMs + mayor, that no one is racist. #berkmtg
Anirvan Chatterjee @anirvan brings up Kala Bagai, who he says was excluded differently from Berkeley housing, but recent street naming shows city is ready for hard conversations about race/exclusion. Our coverage:… #berkmtg
So far, homeowners and renters in Berkeley have spoken in support of the resolution. Others have expressed issues with details in the resolution, asked for more affordable housing. #berkmtg
Igor Tregub @IgorTregub speaking on behalf of the Sierra Club, proudly expresses support for the resolution. Says if it passes, they will work to ensure tenant protections, ++affordable housing and more. #berkmtg
"This resolution isn't just about Berkeley, you're part of a region...somebody has to go first, it's something that sends a message to the whole region that we can change," Isabella Chu, fmr Berkeley resident who lives in South Bay now. #berkmtg
Fmr CM @CherylKDavila says affordable rent controlled units should be protected, no demolitions, need to think about who's really going to occupy these units. "I'm not truly convinced that this will eliminate the racial injustice, it might cause more..." #berkmtg
Lots of commenters have been in support. Mayor asks that people in support condense their comments, meeting is extended again. #berkmtg
The Council is now considering Mayor @JesseArreguin's amended version which he read earlier and was posted online about 1.5 hrs ago, you can find it here (download link). Now Council comments and then a vote.… #berkmtg
CM @RigelRobinson says he will keep comments shorter because he has that "beautiful feeling" of an impending unanimous vote. Talks about his single-family, suburban upbringing in St. Louis and Berkeley's legacy. It's a simple resolution of intent, he emphasizes. #berkmtg
CM @SophieHahnBerk "I'm past the question of whether we should be bringing housing into all of our neighborhoods," advocates for missing middle housing as an option that preserves the "feel" of a neighborhood while creating housing. #berkmtg
What's being voted on: The original resolution by Droste (supplement 2) with mayor's additions. The Hahn/Harrison version will be included in the record, and isn't a separate item for a vote as some CMs/public commenters thought. #berkmtg
CM @RashiKesarwani also talking about missing middle housing, if exclusionary housing ends, and duplexes triplexes and fourplexes are allowed. "[POC] are asking for a chance to be a part of a high-opportunity community," mentioning Kamala Harris' multi-unit home in Berk. #berkmtg
"In 1972 when I bought a house, I wasn't given a loan because I was a single woman," CM Wengraf says. "It was not just the zoning, it was the lending practices," she adds. #berkmtg
CM @benbartlettberk says this resolution is "existential" and may not immediately create a boom in housing, but it has very important symbolism in removing racism inherent in zoning. Equates single-family zoning with race zoning. #berkmtg
CM @loridroste responds to Wengraf's comments, says single-family zoning is the exclusionary practice that is still intact, and being addressed tonight, while some other discrimination (like that in lending) has ended. #berkmtg
Resolution to End Exclusionary Zoning in Berkeley passes UNANIMOUSLY.
Look out for our story tomorrow, meeting adjourned — goodnight! #berkmtg

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