New: West Berkeley Air Quality Meeting Skipped: An Open Letter to Mayor Bates and City Council Members,

Janice Schroeder and Christopher Kroll, West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs
Monday July 13, 2015 - 10:28:00 PM

The West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs (Alliance) is appalled at the lack of transparency, accountability and respect Council members Linda Maio and Lori Droste have shown the West Berkeley community since the January 20th city council meeting when Council members Maio and Droste were tasked with gathering information about West Berkeley air quality and reporting back to the city council within three months.

The Alliance repeatedly asked that Council member Maio and Droste hold a democratic community meet ing in West Berkeley to hear community concerns regarding West Berkeley air quality, and to share their findings with the entire West Berkeley community before reporting back to the council. These requests have been repeatedly ignored. In fact, Council member Maio just sent a District 1 email to her constituents notifying us of the highlights of the final council meeting tomorrow night. No mention was made of West Berkeley Industry Item 69, or West Berkeley air quality in the District 1 announcement. 

The Alliance has emailed many pertinent documents to the mayor and the city council, and provided additional documents to Council member Droste at an in-person meeting, to add to and supplement the in- formation gathering regarding West Berkeley air quality. 

As the Alliance has experienced since 2005, agenda items related to Pacific Steel Casting Company and/ or other polluting industry in West Berkeley have always been placed at the end of council meeting and ZAB agendas. 

Full transparency and the timely sharing of West Berkeley air quality information has been completely absent in this information gathering process. As of today, Monday, July 13, 2015 at 3:15 p.m., Item 69 - West Berkeley Industry on the city council meeting agenda for Tuesday, July 14, 2015 shows future actions and recommended action [To be delivered.] 

Shame on Linda Maio, Lori Droste, Mayor Bates, other council members and regulators who have not pushed for full transparency, honesty in all communications, full accountability and consistently respectful treatment of District 1 residents, workers, UC Village students and their families, and all other sensitive receptors affected by industry pollution in West Berkeley and surrounds. 

The Alliance has no trust or confidence in the Berkeley government as it now exists and functions. This is indeed a sad state of affairs in Berkeley history. 

Janice Schroeder and Christopher Kroll
On behalf of the West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs