Recognize Habitot Children's Museum as a Community Benefit
This petition made change with 634 supporters!
A Letter from Susana:
I'm a Berkeley parent of 2 young boys and a life-long Berkeley resident. Habitot Children's Museum has been so important to me, and to countless others. It's my sons' favorite place, and it's a crucial part of what makes the East Bay a great place to raise children.
Now, I'm concerned that this 17-year-old Berkeley institution is at risk. The high-rise Residences at Berkeley Plaza project is seeking the City of Berkeley's approval to build in the museum's current site. If and when that happens, the museum will be forced to close its doors.
Berkeley shouldn't lose its children's museum. Luckily, we don't have to: the City of Berkeley requires that large developments such as the Residences at Berkeley Plaza devote significant funds to support community benefits.
Right now, the Berkeley City Council is taking input from Berkeley residents to decide which community benefits deserve support from the developer. I ask the CIty Council to include Habitot in this list of community benefits.
Habitot has done so much to support East Bay children and families, including those who don't have the resources many of us take for granted. Before I experienced Habitot as a parent, I worked there as a staff member, and was honored to lead Habitot's community programs.
In my work, I saw the museum's impact on homeless families, children with special needs, teen parents, low-income families, and so many others who were able to visit for free, thanks to Habitot's programs. Coming to the museum brings joy to these families and helps them raise happy, healthy children who will be ready for kindergarten.
I have been proud to see Habitot expand its programs to serve children in foster care and formerly incarcerated parents. Supporting these families makes our whole community stronger.
I no longer work at Habitot, but I continue to work in the Berkeley early childhood community and Habitot still inspires my own practice as an educator. Plus, Habitot means even more to me now that it is a beloved part of my own children's lives.
My children are more curious, confident and creative because they go to Habitot. That's true for so many of us: over a million visitors have come through Habitot's doors. That's a community benefit if you ask me!
Habitot is committed to staying in Berkeley, but the museum needs to receive funds from the developer to successfully relocate and thrive. Please sign this petition and let the Berkeley City Council and Hill Street Realty know: Habitot is a community benefit and deserves your support!
PS - The photo with this petition shows me with my two Habitot tots!
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