The past few weeks have been challenging, to say the least. Given everything, I wanted to share some encouraging news, and urge you to stay the course.
First, the council recently received word that the vast majority of Berkeley residents have been successfully complying with the health order to shelter in place. The number of cases in our community have been rising at half the rate of other areas. By starting our shelter-in-place early, and sticking to it, I am cautiously optimistic that we may in fact succeed in "flattening the curve" here in Berkeley.
In addition to following local guidelines, our community has created the Berkeley Mutual Aid Network to help the most vulnerable, and organized an effort to gather supplies for our front line health care workers. There is no limit to what we are able to accomplish when we all come together and stay the course.
Although this situation is nowhere near over, our city manager and larger city staff have been nothing short of heroic these last few weeks. The city council has also been committed to providing relief during this time. My colleagues and I have protected all tenants by halting evictions and created a fund to support our small businesses, arts organizations and tenants. Community members who are able are encouraged to give generously to the Berkeley Relief Fund.
I know this is a difficult time, and the rules are tough. But if we stay the course, we will forge a path to save lives. Thank you for all you have already done, and for continuing to do your part.
— Sophie Hahn
Vice Mayor and District 5 Councilmember