Thank You for Being the Community You Are

It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege serving as your District 4 Councilmember for these last seven years. I am deeply appreciative of our community and the work and leadership of the City’s front-line employees and my stellar legislative staff Chris Naso and Sara Cerami. The love and support for each other that I see every day from many of you is nothing less than inspiring.

By now, most of you have heard that I have resigned my Berkeley City Council seat. I ran for the council to be a voice for the voiceless and to make certain that the City’s bureaucracy serves you. I was proud to be doing just that as a public servant. I led my colleagues in making significant strides toward a more equitable, affordable and green City. Together, we thoughtfully worked through legislation to ensure it was well-drafted and considered the impact on residents and the city itself. We were able to change business as usual by:

  • Making all-electric construction the default in new construction in Berkeley and beyond, transitioning all Berkeley homes and businesses to 100% renewable energy, closing major loopholes in single use plastic laws at stores citywide, and creating the Climate Equity Fund to retrofit the homes of low-income residents using union labor;
  • Taxing empty housing units and requiring developers to pay their fair share for affordable housing;
  • Doubling the funding for street paving—from $7 million to $15 million per year — and increased funding for our parks and Waterfront without raising taxes, and allocating Uber/Lyft Tax proceeds to critical pedestrian, bike, transit safety upgrades;
  • Reintroducing the Downtown Bike Patrol, introducing the mental health special care unit and bringing greater accountability to the police department through a Charter Amendment, better data analysis and modernized use of force policies;
  • Creating an innovative indoor alternative for unhoused people on Grayson Street;
  • Funding mental health services at our High School and insured checkout aisles in grocery stores feature nutritious food and beverages, critical to our youth’s wellbeing; and
  • Protecting part-time workers citywide from harmful scheduling practices.

In the last year, political jockeying, an unwillingness to seriously consider alternative approaches to our very real problems and a fundamental absence of kindness have taken over our City. I have watched as key City staff leave, our policy committees (where the public and staff meaningfully interact with their elected officials) were cancelled and a wall of giant shipping containers arose in our streets. I have determined that at this point that my energies would be better directed to working with the community directly.

The City will hold a special election in the next few months to elect a new District 4 Councilmember, on a date to be decided by the City Council.

Starting February 23, 2024, you can reach me at my personal email address: For all City Council or constituent business, please contact the office of Mayor Jesse Arreguín at or (510) 981-7100.

If you need a City Response, please follow these steps:

City Service Requests:

Specialized Care Unit (SCU)

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call (510) 948-0075 for crisis services without law enforcement. If it is a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Read about all mental health crisis services in Berkeley here.

Contact the Berkeley Police and Fire Departments:

  • In an emergency, dial 911 from a landline or (510) 981-5911 from a cell phone
  • BPD Non-Emergency: (510) 981-5900
  • Homeless Outreach & Treatment Team (HOTT): (510) 981-5273


Kate Harrison