Letter from the Berkeley City Manager
Berkeley is a relatively small city, but our world class academic institutions, reputation for tolerance and inclusiveness, delicious local food, and access to the broader San Francisco Bay Area draw residents and visitors from around the world. The strength and texture of our city, and what makes it unique, is the people—the innovators, artists, activists, students, public servants, and families—young and old, who call Berkeley home. Our community’s resilience rests on our people and our ability to live well in good times and bounce back stronger than ever from the inevitable hard times. Developed with input and insights from the people of Berkeley, the Resilience Strategy is designed to articulate solutions that make our city more resilient not only to physical challenges, such as earthquakes, sea level rise, and aging infrastructure, but also to social challenges, such as racial inequity. At its core, the Resilience Strategy is about building resilience by building community. Strong connections between neighbors and lasting partnerships between community-serving organizations are vital to helping all residents, especially those most in need and historically underserved, to thrive. Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy is the launch point for several programs that foster these connections and partnerships. One of these programs that I am excited about is the new Community Resilience Center Program, which will enable several community-based organizations, in partnership with the City, to serve as hosts for training and conduits to disaster preparedness, public health, and other services that are tailored to the needs of the people the organizations serve. This program is a good example of what the practice of resilience looks like—it addresses more than one challenge at once and creates multiple benefits for many people.
I am proud of the many partnerships that have made the Resilience Strategy possible, and I look forward to forming many additional partnerships that will enable its implementation. 100 Resilient Cities (100RC)—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation—has provided invaluable support, guidance, and access to technical assistance. Our neighboring cities—Oakland and San Francisco—are also participating in 100RC, and continued collaboration in the region will help to amplify our work beyond the boundaries of our respective cities. Most of all, I am grateful to the Berkeley community for contributing to the Resilience Strategy and for what you do every day to make Berkeley the active, dynamic, and highly engaged community that it is. I invite all community members to review this report with an eye towards how you can join your friends, neighbors, and colleagues in making Berkeley a model of city resilience.
Dee Williams-Ridley City Manager