Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín to deliver State of the City address

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín will give the annual State of the City address Monday night.

The mayor’s office gave KTVU a handout previewing his eight major talking points.

Mayor Arreguín will talk about promoting the arts by creating workspaces for artists and providing grants for artists and festivals while revitalizing Berkeley’s arts and culture plan.

He’ll address homelessness by reviewing regional approaches to coordinate services and align funding.

The mayor wants to accelerate affordable housing by increasing anti-displacement funding and expanding programs. He will also address the importance of organizing the community and maintaining active Sanctuary City education and outreach.

Other topics include supporting small businesses, investing in infrastructure, caring for the climate and prioritizing public safety.

Some longtime Berkeley residents agree homelessness is a big issue in the city, “The homeless situation has gotten so much worse in the last few years. Not just mentally ill people and drug-addicted people, but so many people,” said Martha Richard.

These issues aside, Berkeley’s City Council has been busy this summer making headlines for first of its kind changes.

Councilmembers voted in favor of a ban on natural gas in new construction, making Berkeley the first city in the country to do so. Berkeley could also follow in San Francisco’s footsteps with a possible ban on the use of facial recognition software and last week they unanimously voted to eliminate gender-specific words from the city’s municipal code.

The State of the City address starts at 6 PM Monday at Shotgun Players in Berkeley.