Fifteen year Councilperson Ruth Atkin, taking her fourth turn as Emeryville’s Mayor, presented her “State of the City” speech at the annual Chamber of Commerce luncheon on January 28th at the Hilton Garden Inn. The annual State of the City addressed to the chamber audience is to “give you a picture of where we stand and also where our challenges are”. Retiring Chamber President and CEO Bob Canter introduced Atkin by noting “We’re fortunate to have people of the caliper of Ruth Atkin.”
On the Mayor’s agenda were:
- Adoption of Measures U & V
- Emeryville’s proposed $14.03 living wage
- The “Spillover” of Silicon Valley’s prosperity into Emeryville
“We’ll never be a smaller version of San Francisco or Silicon Valley, I posit today that we are the bohemian version of a great place to do business.” Atkin also noted “It’s past time for Emeryville to market its unique history and character” (Something I can hint that we already have in the works). Atkin acknowledged residents attempts to organize electronically through online communities like Nextdoor and Oakland’s SPAGGIA group (San Pablo Avenue/Golden Gate Improvement Association), but conspicuously failed to acknowledge the two biggest sources of Emeryville online activity, us and the Emeryville Tattler (perhaps because we are occasionally critical of the city?). “As a rookie Councilmember I saw a lot of things that needed changing and fifteen years later, I’m heartened to see ways that Emeryville has matured as a city”.
Atkin ran down future projects in the works that would help in this maturation of our city including:
- Improved Broadband Access
- The Implementation of the ECCL
- Completion of additional segments of the Greenway
- Measure BB
“This takes us to the next phase of becoming a full-service community.” The Mayor also acknowledged another one of the results of The E’ville Eye’s advocacy, the implementation of SeeClickFix as a city tool (but without lending any credence to our efforts that brought this). Atkin wrapped up her presentation by taking on a subject with more global implications: Climate change. “We’re all in this together”. “It’s an Emeryville issue, but it’s also a global issue.”
Chamber Director John Gooding took the podium to introduce City Manger Sabrina Landreth who’s presentation summarized Emeryville’s plight over her year and a half on the job including helping the city transition from the Redevelopment years that saw the city’s budget effectively get lopped in half.