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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Berkeley City CouncilCandidate for City Council, District 8

Photo of Lori Droste

Lori Droste

City Councilmember/Professor
3,677 votes (56.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Fight to make Berkeley affordable for all and address our homeless crisis
  • Prioritize safety in our community
  • Support small businesses in our neighborhood



Profession:Berkeley City Councilmember/Professor
Councilmember, City of Berkeley (2014–2018)
Professor, Mills College (2014–2018)
Councilmember, Berkeley City Council — Elected position (2014–2018)
Delegate, 3X3 Committee of the Berkeley City Council and the Berkeley Housing Authority — Appointed position (2016–2018)
Vice Mayor, Berkeley City Council — Appointed position (2017–2017)
Chair, Commission on the Status of Women — Appointed position (2012–2014)
Commissioner, Housing Advisory Commission — Appointed position (2013–2014)


Mills College Master's Degree, Public Policy (2011)
San Francisco State Cross-Cultural and Academic Development Teaching Credential (2003)
The Colorado College Bachelor of Arts, Sociology (1995)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • East Bay Women's Political Alliance
  • Sierra Club

Organizations (2)

  • Berkeley Firefighters Association
  • Equality California

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters, Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville, Voter Services Committee (5)

How can District 8 support greater density?  Where can housing development best be located?
Answer from Lori Droste:

Berkeley is a beacon of hope for many people. I grew up enamored by Berkeley and its reputation for inclusivity, progressive politics, and tolerance. When I moved to Berkeley over 20 years ago, I knew I would raise my family here. Berkeley’s uniqueness, neighborhoods, and spirit amaze me. I want to continue Berkeley’s legacy and make sure that our community can retain its quirkiness, diversity, and incredible residents while welcoming those seeking refuge and sanctuary. These ideas drive my work on the Council every day. Over time, I’ve seen my friends and colleagues priced out of Berkeley. These are Berkeley’s teachers, first responders, artists, and children. We have a moral obligation to address housing costs which are directly related to homelessness, income inequality, and displacement.   


As a policy maker and professor in public policy, I rely on data-driven, evidence-based strategies to guide my vision for a more affordable and equitable Berkeley. My work advocating for housing affordability has earned national attention. That’s why many of the region’s leading experts in housing affordability and displacement support my campaign. Cal Professor and gentrification and displacement expert Karen Chapple, Barack Obama’s assistant secretary for Housing and Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy, Carol Galante, Cal Professor and Deputy Director for Cities and Schools Jeff Vincent, and affordable housing scholar and professor Michael Lens endorse my vision and record in combatting displacement and working toward affordability. I want to continue my work on these issues by removing barriers and improving the planning process for affordable housing, workforce housing, and backyard cottages.


As your councilmember, I’ve proposed and passed several pieces of legislation to improve housing affordability and ensure that people can remain in Berkeley, including workforce and affordable housing streamlining. People who work in Berkeley should be able to afford Berkeley. We also need affordable housing today not five years from now. I passed legislation to both help house teachers and others who may not qualify for subsidized affordable units in new buildings and speed up the process to create affordable housing in Berkeley. I’m currently working with the Mayor and experts in the field to further streamline housing for our city workers, teachers, and first responders.

What can be done to encourage the building of ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units)?
Answer from Lori Droste:

I have been a leader in making Accessory Dwelling Units easier to construct and will continue to streamline the process. I have held workshops within our neighborhood to educate home owners about ADU construction to help address our housing shortage. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are a way to increase Berkeley’s housing stock and encourage aging in place. Also known as backyard cottages, ADUs provide residents an opportunity to house family members, caretakers, or downsize while remaining in our neighborhoods. I’ve championed policies to streamline regulations around ADUs so they can built quickly and efficiently. I’ve also held community workshops to educate neighbors about how an ADU could benefit them. I will continue to work with the ADU Taskforce and state officials to help introduce legislation to make it even easier to build ADUs.

What will you do to improve pedestrian and other public safety measures?
Answer from Lori Droste:

This year my Vision Zero legislation to eliminate all pedestrian fatalities and injuries was rated by my Council colleagues as the City's #1 priority. I have also secured over $300,000 for traffic calming measures for our neighborhood. In the next year, I will ensure that the City installs the crosswalk and flashing pedestrian lights on Claremont Avenue in front of John Muir Elementary School. In addition, traffic improvements and crosswalks along Ashby Avenue/Tunnel Road are nearing completion.

Making sure our community feels safe--both in terms of public safety and as a pedestrian or bicyclist on our streets--is a priority of mine. As the Councilmember who is a parent of young children, I understand how critical pedestrian safety is. I walk and bike my children to school often, and I know there are ways to improve our streets to ensure their safety.

I also know how important crime prevention is to our community. A key aspect of addressing crime is to ensure that we have a responsibly-staffed police force that is well connected to our communities. I have been a leader in advocating for robust recruitment and retention efforts and will continue to do so in my next term. We need to embrace a community policing model--foot patrols, bike cops, and traffic enforcement units. Because of my support for effective safety policy, Berkeley’s first responders solely endorse me for reelection to City Council. We also need to embrace fair and impartial policing and ensure that our police continue to undergo rigorous implicit bias training.

We also need to work to save community hospitals. Senator Nancy Skinner and I are working together to craft legislation to address the potential loss of community hospitals like Alta Bates. Two years ago, her legislation made it all the way to the Governor’s desk before he vetoed it. We have a real opportunity to make changes with our new governor. Senator Skinner has promised me a seat at the table.

What are the fire dangers in District 8, and how can fire risk be reduced?
Answer from Lori Droste:

I am proud to be the only candidate supported by our firefighters because of my extensive work and advocacy for fire safety, evacuation routes, and undergrounding utility wires. I have held regular fire prevention meetings to educate our community about the inherent risks and passed legislation to focus on fire safety and prevention. 

Question 5

Homes in District 8 sell in the upper ranges. Do you support the higher transfer tax on the November ballot and what how will you explain your position to voters?

No answer provided.

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