Berkeley City Council’s Agenda & Rules Committee approved the agenda for the July 27 City Council meeting during its session Monday.
Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Councilmembers Sophie Hahn and Susan Wengraf were in attendance, and they were joined by City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley and briefly by City Attorney Farimah Brown.
During the meeting, the committee approved action items and moved items to the consent calendar.
Item 24, the Ghost Gun Precursor Parts Ordinance, is a proposed amendment of the Berkeley Municipal Code to prohibit every person other than a licensed manufacturer or importer from possessing, manufacturing or transferring an unfinished firearm frame or receiver without a serial number, according to the meeting agenda.
The committee unanimously decided to refer item 24 to the city’s Public Safety Policy Committee, which will address the item at its next available meeting. Similarly, it transferred item 27, calling upon the U.S. government to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons, to the consent calendar.
In addition, the committee moved item 25, the acceleration of the city’s transition to plant-based foods, to consent.
“It’s largely a restatement of positions we’ve taken in the past but that have been a bit buried in kind of a labyrinth of overlapping items,” Hahn said during the meeting.
Arreguín also commented that many factors need to be considered, including existing contracts and nutritional standards, which require further research. According to Arreguín, moving this item to consent initiates a process to create a plan for implementation in approximately a year.
During public comment, Josie Camacho, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Labor Council, said the city’s Commission on Labor should resume meeting given current negotiations regarding workers coming back to work gradually or working remotely.
“We realize that, because of the pandemic, it’s taken a minute for all of the commissions and the committees to come back online,” Camacho said during the meeting. “However, the labor commission is not one of those. We’re particularly concerned about that.”
The commission has a significant impact on working families and on union members, Camacho added.
Additionally, Berkeley resident Kelly Hammargren suggested reconsideration of storefronts that are positioned at the property line.
Hammargren gave the example of a mixed-use building that is being built at Ashby Avenue and San Pablo Avenue, where David Trachtenberg, founding principal of Trachtenberg Architects, pulled the building back from the property line on the Ashby side to make room for restaurant seating on the narrow sidewalk.
“If we’re going to have a big increase in population, we want to have wider sidewalks, and how are we going to achieve that?” Hammargren said during the meeting. “That means that some of these buildings should be pulled back from the property lines.”