Support a Sustainable Future for Berkeley Marina Friends on Wheels
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Support a Sustainable Future for
Berkeley Marina Friends on Wheels
For over a year an intentional community of houseless families has come together at the Berkeley Marina. Using unused space, we have created a safe, clean and nurturing home for children, people working regular jobs in Berkeley, those going to school and those who cannot work due to physical disabilities.
On Memorial Day we were kicked out of the space we had called home and we moved the the now vacant Hs Lordship’s parking lot. Following this, Councilmembers Davila and Harrison and Mayor Arreguin submitted an item to City Council to develop a longer term sustainable plan that would benefit the individuals, families and children who live in their vehicles, and keep them from entering the ranks of the growing population of people living on the street. On the 26th of July, other members of City Council voted against the item and proposed establishing a work group to identify a location and work out the details.
The City Manager immediately moved to evict the intentional community out of the Marina. Under her direction, notices were posted on July 27th to vacate by Monday, July 2nd. Faced with a crisis created by the refusal of the City Manager to allow the community to remain while another location was identified, the Mayor called an emergency meeting to provide relief to this community while a suitable alternative could be found. He had the support of City Councilmembers Cheryl Davila, Kate Harrison and Ben Bartlett, however Linda Maio abstained and, contradicting earlier promises he made to the Mayor, Kriss Worthington stunningly voted against the proposal denying it the five votes it needed to pass (Susan Wengraf, Sophie Hahn and Lori Droste were absent).
As a result we will be evicted on Monday morning, July 9th.
The current plan to evict goes against the Emergency Shelter Crisis declared by the City of Berkeley, which allows City Council to be more lenient with zoning laws and building standards if it assists them in providing shelter to people who would otherwise remain homeless. Regardless the City continues to refuse to take the actions necessary to secure the health and safety of all of Berkeley’s residents.
We demand that until the City of Berkeley can provide a safe, healthy and adequate alternative location that we can park our vehicles in and continue our lives that the City:
- Allow us to remain peacefully in place and not to have our vehicle towed and impounded which will result in our losing the only shelter we have until and unless provided a suitable alternative location to park our vehicles.
- Provide access to running water, showers, and bathrooms, washing machines and garbage facilities at the Marina similar to what is offered to the houseless at Willard Junior High School.
We will continue to work, in good faith, with all City agencies to ensure that the high standards of safety, orderliness and civility that we have established will continue to be observed.
We the undersigned petition the city to support the creation of a vehicle dweller park in Berkeley, and to allow these families and good neighbors to remain at their current location until a suitable and sustainable alternative has been developed.
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