Berkeley Projects Day 2006
Neighborhood Services is a unit of the City Manager’s Office and is dedicated to working on the problems in the community that require teamwork and coordination across City departments.
The Neighborhood Services team brings together people from different City departments to handle citizen complaints and other problems that affect the quality of life in Berkeley. While most of the work of the Neighborhood Services unit comes from referrals from the City Council, City departments, residents and businesses, we also try to identify emerging problems before they become more serious. Experience has shown that by working with residents to resolve seemingly small problems, we can improve life in every neighborhood.
Berkeley Project Day is a great example. On October 27, 2007, Neighborhood Services helped organize more than 1,500 students and community members to do projects like painting murals in local parks, playground construction, streetscape clean-ups and storm drain maintenance, stream and bay clean-ups, native plantings, graffiti abatement, door-to-door distribution of disaster materials, removal of vegetation, refurbishing senior centers, and assisting seniors and disabled with critical forms. Working together, we made a difference to neighbors across the City.
There are currently five inter-departmental teams:
1. Downtown Team: Covering the downtown area bounded by Oxford, Hearst, Dwight and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, this team is composed of staff from the City Manager’s Office, Police, Mental Health and Homeless Services, Public Works, Parks, Economic Development and Code Enforcement
2. Problem Properties Team: This City-wide team works with Building and Safety, Fire, Code Enforcement, Housing and Environmental Health on drug houses, crime, blight, unsafe and substandard housing conditions.
3. Telegraph/Southside Team: Covering the area from Oxford to College and Bancroft to Derby, this team includes UC Police and Community Relations with City department representatives.
4. South and West Berkeley Team: Similar in departmental representation to the downtown team, this group focuses on the challenges and strengths specific to South and West Berkeley.
5. Neighborhood Services Team: This team includes the department directors from Police, Health and Human Services, Parks, Public Works and Economic Development. They support the work being done by the other teams and assist more directly in an areas that are especially controversial in the community.
In addition to the work being done in those areas, Neighborhood Services also convenes groups to work on other projects as needed. For example, there are teams working on coordinating the City's youth services, implementing the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative, developing a pedestrian safety campaign and preventing and cleaning up graffiti.
Berkeley youth, working with YAYA California and the City, decorated these traffic-calming bollards with mosaic. The Neighborhood Services team coordinates these cleanups to help eradicate blight, beautify public areas, and create opportunities for young people to invest in their neighborhoods.