Starting now with Item A: a proposed waiver of Berkeley's Sanctuary City Ordinance for Motorola Solutions lease. The contract with Motorola will save the city $1M, the city manager says. #berkmtg
The majority of police + fire radios were purchased in 2011 and have exceeded their useful life, the city manager says. Motorola is the only entity with equipment the city can work with, she says, because the radios need to be encrypted; it's part of a statewide system. #berkmtg
"This is the only solution that we haven't available to us," says Dee Williams-Ridley. There are no other options. #berkmtg
See all the documents under Item A:… #berkmtg
This system is necessary for regional interoperability in major incidents such as the 1991 Berkeley-Oakland hills fire, says Assistant Berkeley Fire Chief Dave Sprague. Other options would be much more expensive and pose major technical challenges, he says. #berkmtg
"We know this is not the ideal situation," Sprague says, "but we don't feel like there's an alternative." #berkmtg
It's not just the police and fire radios, says Interim Police Chief Jen Louis. It also affects the dispatcher consoles, car radios and equipment used to connect. #berkmtg
Here's a short summary from the last discussion council had on this topic last week: #berkmtg
Members of the public who oppose the item say Berkeley should not waive its Sanctuary City Ordinance for the contract with Motorola: "The city should not conduct business with a company that contradicts our values," says Moni Law. BKGD:… #berkmtg
Members of the public say there ARE other alternatives + that issue should have been presented to the Police Accountability Board "so more research could have been done" along with "a more thorough analysis" of alternatives. People have called it a manufactured crisis. #berkmtg
"I definitely do not think this is the right approach to Berkeley," a HAM radio operator says. "Personally my values aren't worth $1 million. Are yours?" #berkmtg
"Look at what ICE does to people and what happens to people with ICE — because you're agreeing to all that. Own up to that," says Audrey Burnam. "Please do not allow this waiver to happen." #berkmtg
"We are Berkeley and we have to do better. We stand in front of the whole nation and we cannot waive our sanctuary ordinance," says Negeene Mosaed. "I hope you all vote no tonight for this waiver." #berkmtg
"We're not here to save money. We're here to do the right thing," says Glenn Turner, who asks why there weren't competitive bids collected from other radio operators: "Why wasn't that done? That sounds fishy to me." #berkmtg
Speaker Charles Clarke says he fails to see a strong connection between ICE and Motorola: "When does the guilt by association end?" Verizon Wireless has worked with ICE, should people give up those contracts? he asks: "When will we get over ourselves?" #berkmtg
Back to council, the mayor says the company is a different legal entity so asks whether the ordinance even applies. "I think we were trying to err on the side of trying to be complete," says the city manager, because the companies are affiliated. #berkmtg
"Affiliates seem to embody this entity," says City Attorney Farimah Brown. She says the distinction "did not become a meaningful distinction" when the contract came up between Motorola and police. #berkmtg
No data that is being transmitted through this radio system will be provided to ICE, says Mayor @JesseArreguin. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin The mayor asks staff for details about alternatives, costs and implementation. Interim Police Chief Jen Louis says no other radio system vendor that's out there has the reliability, functionality and connectivity with the existing regional system, EBRCSA. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin She says Oakland PD initially spent $20M on a different system that had huge reliability issues and ended getting scrapped. She says Berkeley would have to buy all new equipment. "If we go to a different system, we would be on our own," adds BFD. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "It does matter greatly," says Mayor @JesseArreguin, who adds that the City Council already had a similar conversation years ago and went with this radio system. "I can't put my community safety at risk" by going with a system that won't allow regional coordination. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "It happens every day," says Asst. Fire Chief Sprague: "We respond out of our city boundaries every day. It's already complicated enough" with all the different channels: "It would be a shame if we moved away from a system that we know works that everyone else is using." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "This is not our sanctuary policy, this is our sanctuary contracting ordinance," the mayor says. He says there has been a lot conflation and confusion around this item: "This has no impact on protecting somebody who is undocumented in Berkeley." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin Mayor @JesseArreguin also says the $1M in cost savings can be used to house unsheltered people or bolster the city's wildfire prevention efforts. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin Mayor @JesseArreguin says he will always fight to protect Berkeley's sanctuary city policy, one of the strongest in the state. This has nothing to do with that, he says, but does impact the city's ability to be safe in the face of disaster. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin The mayor makes a motion to approve the waiver request. CM Taplin seconds. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin CM Bartlett asks for clarity about the connection between ICE and Motorola. Staff says it's Vigilant (a subsidiary) that shares data with ICE, not Motorola Systems itself. "This is like two times removed" from ICE, says the city manager. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "There's been a lot of confusion about this and it's frustrating," says Mayor @JesseArreguin. "We are not changing anything about our encryption from what we currently have," adds the police chief. "Nothing is changing about our encryption." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin We do not share any data with Motorola as part of this contract, the police chief says. That's not part of the contract and there is no capability for it. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "We are at a place where we have no other route," says the city manager. "We may even not have a conflict with the sanctuary ordinance." She says the city was "overreaching in that regard, trying to be transparent and thoughtful." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "The issue here is whether or not we should proceed with continuing the contract with Motorola" for public safety services," says Mayor @JesseArreguin. "Our sanctuary policy will not be affected at all by this." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "I remember images of people burning in their cars" during the 1991 Berkeley-Oakland fire, says CM Susan Wengraf. "Those images are still in my head and some of those images are in your packet. The Berkeley Fire Dept could not communicate with Oakland Fire Dept." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "Anybody who doesn't support this is really not interested in the public safety of Berkeley residents because this item is critical to the future public safety of anybody in this town," says CM Wengraf. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin CM Harrison says she is focused on the contracting issue and the way the RFP was done. She asks staff about "sole source contracts" and when they can be pursued in Berkeley. Staff says it's the case when a vendor is the only one who can provide a service. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin The fire department says there is a "code plug" for the radios that everyone else uses, and a different system would require different equipment, a different code plug and would inhibit Berkeley's ability to coordinate with other agencies. It would also impact repairs. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin All local police and fire agencies are part of EBRCSA, BPD and BFD say (as far as they know). #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin CM Kate Harrison says, w/o an RFP, she can't be assured other providers cannot provide this service. The city manager says you can look at Oakland to see there weren't other options: This is an existing contract, it is meeting the actual language to sole source, she says #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin We would not have done an RFP process for this and we did not have to, says City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin "I just feel like I am still very torn," says CM Harrison. She says she has to examine her conscience to determine how she will vote, and that it is not true that officials don't care about public safety if they don't support this. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin CM Rigel Robinson says it was an "unfortunate oversight" that the waiver didn't come forward sooner, but appreciates that staff brought it forward now. He says not going forward with this "would make our city less safe." #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin To knowingly put our first responders in that position would be bonkers, says CM @RigelRobinson. He calls the question so council can get to the next item. (That means the vote should come soon.) #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin @RigelRobinson It sounds like we did have an open process and Motorola was the only one to meet the criteria, says CM @RashiKesarwani, after getting clarification from staff about what was done. #berkmtg
@JesseArreguin @RigelRobinson @RashiKesarwani Motion carries. All in favor except CMs Ben Bartlett and Kate Harrison who abstained, and Sophie Hahn, absent due to a family commitment. Now a 10-minute captioner's break. #berkmtg

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More from @berkeleyside

7 Oct
Tonight's school board meeting is covered by education reporter @allymarkovich. The school board is voting on a vaccine-or-test policy for students in advance of California's stricter vaccine mandate. Agenda here:…
Follow the meeting 🧵:
The school board will also discuss how the district should deal with a decline in enrollment (known throughout the state as the 'ADA cliff') and share an update about a new, anonymous reporting hotline for sexual harassment, bullying, etc. Stay tuned more on both of these.
During public comment, the president & VP of the Berkeley High say they support a vaccine mandate. "With frequent testing, continued mask wearing, and a vaccination mandate, we can combat COVID-19," say Chloe Burke and Hanim Nuru.
Read 24 tweets
6 Oct
Now onto the next (and sole remaining item) on this special #berkmtg agenda: Interim rules to be used by the new Police Accountability Board and director of police accountability for handling complaints against @berkeleypolice. There are two alternatives. THREAD. #berkmtg
@berkeleypolice There are 3 major differences btw director + board versions: (1) who may file complaint (board wants witnesses + board to be able to file); (2) extension of timeline from 90 to 180 days; (3) board would like complainant to stay in room during hearing + ask questions #berkmtg
Read 51 tweets
5 Oct
Mayor @JesseArreguin and city officials are holding another COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall. New cases and test positivity rates are both down compared to two months ago.
Tune in now here
Berkeley Health Officer Lisa Hernandez says there have been 70 "school exposure events," in which people who tested positive had been in classrooms — but no documented cases of transmission within schools. Figure includes BUSD and private schools.
93% of Berkeley residents 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, which earns cheers and thanks from city officials. Outreach efforts are continuing to reach those who still aren't vaccinated
Read 5 tweets
3 Jun
Coming up on tonight's #busdmtg school board meeting: a new block schedule at Berkeley High, two major budget drafts (next year's General Fund & 21-24 LCAP), a resolution in support of Latinx student achievement, changes to dual-language immersion program, and more. 🧵
Tonight's #busdmtg coverage is brought to you by Berkeleyside's education reporter @allymarkovich and fueled by a broccoli & tofu stir-fry, which said education reporter cooked up right before this. Cheers to those following along! We're in for a packed night.
Here comes the first public comment session, which has few enough contributors that folks are only limited to ~2 minutes~ instead of the usual 1 minute. End-of-the year fatigue could be responsible. #busdmtg
Read 60 tweets
24 Feb
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
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14 May 20
This Wednesday, #busdmtg is a community town hall, not a board meeting. It starts now on Zoom - info here:…
Tonight's topic: reopening schools. What will school look like in the fall if students are allowed to return? Here's the "planning outline" staff will walk through:…. There will opportunities to submit live questions/comments #busdmtg
This is the clearest the superintendent has been about this publicly: "We do believe school will not be back to normal in the fall." Social-distancing measure will almost definitely be in place if kids can go back. #busdmtg
Read 13 tweets

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