Testimonials for
Councilmember Droste

East Bay Times Endorses Lori

“Lori Droste in District 8: Droste, the only incumbent we recommend, is the standout candidate in this district in the southeast corner of the city. An associate professor at Mills College, where she earned her master’s degree in public policy, Droste has a sharp grasp of the housing, transportation, homelessness and financial challenges facing the city.

“She has been a leader and a pragmatist on the council during her first term. And she recognizes the city’s mounting retirement debt for the crisis it is, siphoning off money needed for other services. ‘If we don’t have the money we can’t be the progressive city Berkeley prides itself on being,’ she said.”

East Bay Times Editorial

East Bay Express Endorses Lori

“We think incumbent Lori Droste is one of the best elected officials in the East Bay. She’s progressive, pro-tenant, and pro-housing, and a consensus builder who can work with differing factions on the council. She recently led an effort to greatly streamline affordable housing in the city and was instrumental in placing the rent control initiative Measure Q on the ballot.”

East Bay Express Editorial

10 Reasons to Support Lori Droste

By former District 8 representatives, Gordon Wozniak, Polly Armstrong, and Fred Collignon; former State Senator Loni Hancock, former Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmembers Susan Wengraf and Linda Maio, and former Councilmembers Darryl Moore and Laurie Capitelli.

    1. Lori Droste is a leader with a great track record. She has worked to make it easier to build backyard cottages and home additions, co-sponsored the $15 minimum wage, authored workforce housing legislation, supported over $10 million dollars in affordable housing, mandated reports on homeless services performance metrics, helped prevent the deportation of a Berkeley’s Ecology Center staff member, established a City rainy day fund, held disaster preparedness, crime prevention, fire safety, and undergrounding forums, helped businesses open on College Avenue, addressed unfunded liabilities, authored the very important community benefits compromise, spearheaded pedestrian safety initiatives, and secured over $300,000 for traffic calming protections in our neighborhood.
    2. Lori Droste is a consensus builder. Lori’s legislation has regularly been rated the #1 priority for the City by her Council colleagues and she’s passed every piece of legislation she’s authored. Even though she has worked on two very different Councils, she has succeeded in getting things done. We need more of this in politics.
    3. Lori Droste has relationships that help our community thrive. Hundreds of neighbors and leaders are supporting Lori because of her experience, coalition building skills, and ability to listen. Residents from all district neighborhoods have found her to be a responsive and engaged councilmember. Senator Skinner is working hand-in-hand with Lori on crafting legislation to save community hospitals. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and all the other mayors of Berkeley-adjacent cities are endorsing Lori because they know she wants to work regionally to address homelessness, transportation, and housing.
    4. Lori Droste has policy expertise and is supported by nationally-known policy experts including a Nobel Prize winner for climate change research, former Assistant Secretary for Housing under Barack Obama, and an anti-displacement expert. These innovative thinkers in housing affordability, climate change, displacement, economic development, and transportation endorse Lori because of her advocacy of proven, evidence-based policies in Berkeley. Lori teaches in the Policy School at Mills so she knows how to craft meaningful, implementable policy.
    5. As the only parent of school-aged kids on Council, Lori is deeply dedicated to the children of our community. Her voice is critical on Council. She secured money to build a safe crosswalk at John Muir school this year, opened Emerson playground on the weekends, oversaw improvements to Willard Tot Lot, authored diaper changing and lactation access legislation for working parents, and is working with BUSD to re-open Willard Pool.
    6. Lori Droste is pragmatic. We are so grateful that Lori is an independent and thoughtful voice on Council. She has been the crucial swing vote on several important issues that would significantly impact community safety, economic development, housing affordability, and the future of our Downtown.
    7. There are substantive policy differences between Lori and her opponents. As an example, Lori is the only candidate that supported our first responders participating in regional disaster preparedness exercises this year. All of our first responders said that pulling out of free, regional training would dramatically impact safety in our community. She has also has prevented a misguided effort to undermine our Downtown Plan and community benefits package and received national attention for her efforts.
    8. We support Lori for many of the same reasons former City Attorney Zach Cowan documented in his op-ed Berkeleyside. Lori works hard, is civil, and open. It is rare to have former department heads and so many people across the Bay Area support a candidate in a Berkeley City Council race.
    9. Lori Droste is the only Berkeley Council candidate that has received the unanimous support from the Alameda County Democratic Party. She also has the Sierra Club support, Berkeley Democratic Club and a wide array of other endorsements by organizations and individuals who pay close attention to Berkeley. www.loridroste2018.org/endorsements
    10. Finally, we are very concerned by the negativity and half-truths in the political races in Berkeley. It is uncalled for and unnecessary. We believe that candidates should focus on policy differences and not engage in mud-slinging. Let’s do better.

In short, we urge your support  and your vote for Lori Droste. We need her leadership in these challenging times.


Former Council Member Wozniak
supports Lori Droste

I want to pass on the importance of voting to re-elect Lori Droste to Berkeley City Council District 8 in November. I’m proud to endorse Lori for re-election because she is an incredible advocate for the issues that matter the most to me: environmental sustainability, parks & infrastructure, fiscal sustainability, and disaster preparedness. With her background and experience teaching public policy, Lori provides a much needed pragmatic and rational lens to policy-making in the City of Berkeley. We really need her re-elected to Berkeley City Council.

I hope you will join me in supporting Lori Droste for reelection to City Council.

Environmental sustainability
We have a moral obligation to conserve our environment–for our kids and grandkids, for our planet, and to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change and environmental injustice on vulnerable communities. I am joining the Sierra Club and Barack Obama’s climate science envoy Dan Kammen and other nationally-renowned climate experts in supporting Lori Droste’s re-election campaign.
In 2016, the entire City Council voted Lori’s Green Affordable Housing legislation as their top priority within Berkeley. Additionally, Lori and Councilmember Linda Maio worked to make sure West Berkeley industry address their impacts on air quality which led to changes in their operations. Lori also worked to place solar “big belly” trash cans on Telegraph Avenue, created requirements for rooftop solar, supported more affordable housing near BART, and championed the bike plan in Berkeley. Once we re-elect Lori to City Council, I know that she will continue to be a fierce advocate for the environment.

Parks & Infrastructure
Both my grandkids and my dog Riley love to play in the parks near my home and all our wonderfully-curated green spaces within Berkeley. Every time I run into my neighbors at the park, it reminds me that parks create community when we gather to create play time for our kids and pets. As the only parent of school-aged children on Council, Lori understands firsthand the importance of beautiful parks and healthy infrastructure.

This year Lori wrote Vision Zero legislation to address our transportation infrastructure and eliminate all pedestrian fatalities. Her City Council colleagues again rated her legislation as their top priority for the Berkeley in 2018. She also passed legislation to rewrite our traffic calming standards so more streets are able to qualify for traffic calming. Our children and grandchildren should be able to walk around our city safely.

I’m endorsing Lori for reelection to City Council District 8 because she prioritizes basic infrastructure needs in our neighborhood. In her first term, Lori has already secured over $300,000 in traffic calming for our neighborhood, funding for the city to renovate the Willard Clubhouse, to replace the play equipment, and to install a new surface and fencing for the Willard tennis courts. Soon, the City will install bioswales in Willard park to responsibly and sustainably drain runoff water. Even further, she passed legislation and is currently coordinating the effort across neighborhoods, the school district and the City to look at potential recreational opportunities for South Berkeley children, including re-opening Willard Pool.

We also need a councilmember who understands that we need to prioritize the beautification of our city. Lori understands and works to make sure our City redoubles its efforts to focus on basic quality of life issues–overgrown weeds, litter, street paving, and trash.

Fiscal sustainability
Berkeley City Council passed a general funds reserve policy last year. It was a great accomplishment but Lori made it stronger so Berkeley won’t inadvertently face a fiscal crisis. Lori realized that Council neglected to pass criteria and guidelines in which to guide them should they ever have to access those rainy day funds. This is where Lori’s background as a professor in public policy helps with policy making. A reserve policy means nothing if there are no guidelines in which to access those funds. Her decision to revisit and encourage her colleagues to implement reserve criteria was critically important to the fiscal health of our city.

Disaster preparedness
In Berkeley, it’s only a matter of time until we have to deal with the next big earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster. My neighbors and I who survived the Loma Prieta earthquake or the 1991 Oakland Hills fire are rightly very concerned about our community’s disaster preparation and resilience measures. My friends and neighbors have told me that during the hills fire, the biggest problem was communication–both with the city’s emergency services and an inability to find out whether their loved ones were safe.
Lori understands that in order to prepare our community for the next natural disaster, we must enroll our neighborhoods in CERT training, we have to establish communication systems that will survive a disaster, and we have to make sure that our emergency responders have the training they need to respond to a disaster. This is why Lori is the only candidate supported by all of Berkeley’s firefighters and police officers. She has led neighborhood meetings to address undergrounding utility wires, improve disaster preparedness coordination, and co-authored legislation to improve Community Emergency Response Training for residents in multi-unit residential buildings.

Finally, Lori also understands that we need to underground our utility wires so that an initial disaster–an earthquake, for example–does not mushroom into a much larger one due to fires from sparking utility lines. Lori has worked closely with Councilmember Susan Wengraf and city staff to develop a plan to underground utility wires in our hills neighborhoods and is lobbying the City for a full-time staffer to focus solely on undergrounding.

Please join me and other former District 8 councilmembers Polly Armstrong and Fred Collignon in supporting Lori Droste for reelection to Berkeley City Council. She has been an ardent advocate on fiscal responsibility, the environment, infrastructure, and disaster preparedness–we need her continued vision, pragmatism, and level-headed decision-making on Council.

Gordon Wozniak
Councilmember, District 8 (retired 2014)