Jan 5 2021
Watch the Sundance Audience Award winner
CRIP CAMP: A Disability Revolution,
on Netflix or (FREE) on YouTube before joining
ADFS* for a lively discussion with the film’s co-directors on Thursday, January 7, 5:00-6:00 pm.Please join us. Register here:(Registration will provide YOUR link to the speaker and Q & A event.)

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Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement.

Barack and Michelle Obama are executive producers of this multi-award winning documentary with an Academy Award buzz. Directors Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht deliver a rousing film about a group of campers turned activists who shaped the future of the disability rights movement and changed accessibility legislation for everyone.

Filled with the spirit, music and humor of the era, this feel-good documentary recounts the ties of a summer camp to the disability rights activism in the Bay Area in the 1970’s that led to the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
Crip Camp Directors Nicole Newnham and James Lebrecht
Please plan to view this 1 hour 48 minute film when convenient for you and your family (suitable for middle schoolers and up) on your Netflix account or FREE on YouTube. You will want to join the Appreciating Diversity Film Series and the community at large on Thursday, January 7, from 5:00 to 6:00 PM for a lively talk and Q&A with co-directors Nicole Newnham and James Lebrecht, who was a camp attendee. 

Please register to receive your link to this interactive speaker event and a bit of East Bay activist history.

“The wild thing is that this camp changed the world
and nobody knows this story.” 

— Jim LeBrecht, co-director, camper, activist
FREE screening of Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution’, 
on YouTube or through your Netflix account, watch at your convenience.
Followed by a lively talk and Q & A with co-directors
Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht.
Thursday, January 7, 5:00-6:00 PM (PDT).

Just register here. 

You’ll be sent a confirmation email containing a link for joining the speaker event through Zoom! (no need to download zoom)

For more information, see www.diversityfilmseries.org
or contact: christy@diversityfilmseries.org 
*The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is sponsored by Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont Adult School, the City of Piedmont and both the Oakland and Piedmont League of Women Voters, and our community audience members.
Dec 29 2020

Alameda County is coordinating local infrastructure for vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.

Our county is currently in Phase 1a – vaccination of the highest priority.

There are 103 Piedmont Confirmed COVID-19 as of December 28.

Who will qualify for vaccines next?

Timing through each phase depends on vaccine supply and demand.  The date for the next phase of access in Alameda County has not been announced, but will make the following people eligible for vaccination.

Phase 1a: Essential Workers & >75y.o*•State Guidelines group is working to prioritize at least 6M essential workers•Ranking by: occupational exposure, equity, societal impact, econ impact•Current priorities: •Education•Emergency Services•Food/agriculture

Phase 1b: Essential Workers & >75y.o*•State Guidelines group is working to prioritize at least 6M essential workers•Ranking by: occupational exposure, equity, societal impact, econ impact•Current priorities: •Education•Emergency Services•Food/agriculture

Phase 1c: People with High-Risk Conditions•Cancer•Chronic kidney disease•COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)•Heart conditions•Solid organ transplant•Obesity (BMI>40 kg/m2)•Pregnancy•Sickle cell disease•Smoking•Type 2 diabetes mellitus•Adults >50 yo, congregate/overcrowded settings

Read more here.

Dec 21 2020

A Spare the Air alert went into effect for the Bay Area on Monday, December 21. Wood burning outdoors as well as indoors is banned for 24 hours  the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) announced in a tweet.

Violators are subject to $500 Fine

First time violators will be issued an NOV (Notice of Violation) but will have an opportunity to take the Air District’s Wood Smoke Awareness Written Test in lieu of paying a fine. Those who are found in violation a second time are issued a NOV citation and are subject to a $500 fine. Repeat violators who subsequently continue to burn in violation of the regulation will face increasing financial penalties.

BAAQMD reminds residents:

During the winter, smoke from residential wood burning is the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area. Small particles and toxic chemicals from wood smoke can cause serious health problems, especially in children, older adults, and those with heart or respiratory problems.

When wood and other solid fuels are burned, the smoke emitted contains fine particulate air pollution (also known as PM2.5 and these tiny particles (about 1/70th the width of a human hair) can pass deep into the lungs and cause serious health effects to the public. High levels of fine particulates can result in difficulty breathing, aggravate asthma and even cause premature death for people with heart or lung disease. Winter weather conditions can trap wood smoke close to the ground concentrating the air pollution to unhealthy levels. When these conditions occur, wood smoke is the largest portion (approximately 39%) of the wintertime fine particulate matter in the Bay Area.


While they burn more cleanly, these wood-burning devices still emit fine particulate air pollution and when the wintertime air pollution reaches unhealthy levels, any burning contributes to excessive air pollution. Therefore, in order to protect the public health of Bay Area residents, the Air District must reduce fine particulate air pollution by banning burning in all types of wood-burning devices on these days.

Check Piedmont air quality here.


Dec 15 2020

 City Council Selects Daniel Gonzales as Director of Public Works

Following a rigorous recruitment process, the City Council has selected Daniel Gonzales as Piedmont’s next Director of Public Works. Mr. Gonzales was chosen unanimously by the Council from a field of over thirty candidates. His formal appointment will be considered at the City Council meeting of Monday, December 21, 2020.

This selection follows interviews of highly qualified finalists by a panel of staff and residents and separately by the City Administrator. Following that process, two candidates were then interviewed by the full City Council.

The selection of Mr. Gonzales by the City Council was unanimous and all agreed that he will be a great asset to the community and the Department of Public Works.

Mr. Gonzales holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University. He is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California. For the past three years, he has served as the Deputy Director of Public Works for the Town of Hillsborough. Prior to this, he worked as a Senior Engineer with CSG Consultants, working with both public and private sector clients. His experience includes project and construction management as well as the preparation of long term plans for capital improvements.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Gonzales join the Piedmont Public Works team,” said Mayor Teddy Gray King. “His great experience and proven track record of leadership will help our Public Works Department continue to provide excellent service to Piedmonters as well as manage our storm and sanitary sewer systems, street, sidewalk, and park maintenance, as well as managing upcoming projects like the construction of the Piedmont Community Pool.”

“Daniel will be a tremendous addition to the City team and will no doubt be a strong leader for the Public Works Department,” said City Administrator Sara Lillevand. “His experience and success in the Town of Hillsborough as well as his work in the private sector will translate well to Piedmont.”

“I am honored and excited to have been selected as Piedmont’s Public Works Director,” Mr. Gonzales said. “I am looking forward to serving the Piedmont community and continuing to provide the high standard of service in the Department, as well as diving in to upcoming projects and planning processes.”

Gonzales will replace Director of Public Works Chester Nakahara who is retiring after 20+ years of working for the City.

Daniel Gonzales

Contact: John O. Tulloch, City Clerk, for additional information at  (510) 420-3040   jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov
Dec 14 2020

City Reminds Residents to Take Down Election Campaign Signs

The City of Piedmont is reminding residents of the City’s Sign Regulations, which specify the number of signs that can be displayed, and the maximum allowable sizes for signs.

The reminder follows the extremely high level of participation in recent elections, which was exemplified by the variety and quantity of signs placed in yards throughout the city. Now that Election Day has come and gone, the City would like to raise awareness of Piedmont’s limitations on sign displays. The intent is to ensure that all residents are aware of and comply with the City’s sign regulations now that the campaign season has come to a close.

The City regulates all signs on residential properties. In compliance with court decisions, these rules do not regulate signs on the basis of content. The full text of the sign regulations is in City Code Division 17.36.  The current effort is mainly concerned with signs posted in yards, in windows, and on walls of residential properties. The rules regarding such signs are found in City Code section 17.36.040 and summarized below.

No person may display a sign on a residential parcel unless the sign conforms to the following requirements:

Temporary freestanding noncommercial signs:
Number:  Maximum of 2
Size:  Maximum of 4 square feet per sign
Height:  Maximum (including frame) is 4 feet
Location:  Street yard of a residential parcel, but not in the public right-of-way
Lighting:  No illumination

Noncommercial window signs:
Number:  Maximum of 2
Size:  Maximum of 4 square feet per sign
Location:  Street yard-facing windows

Campaign Signs:
Residents have the right to post campaign signs on their property. Campaign signs placed on residential parcels shall comply with the same size, height, location, and lighting restrictions applicable to noncommercial signs placed on residential parcels. Any person who posts a campaign sign on private property shall remove the campaign sign within ten days after the day of the election to which it pertains.

A Noncommercial sign means a sign that does not contain a commercial message.

Piedmonters take pride in our community and this awareness drive is meant to gain voluntary compliance with the City’s sign regulations as part of that community spirit. Community members with questions are welcome to contact Planning & Building Director Kevin Jackson at kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov or (510) 420-3050.

Dec 14 2020

Keep the plumber away! Stop flushing wipes and other inappropriate items down your toilet. 

Residents flushing wipes in their toilets are suddenly finding significant clogs and expensive repair costs.

Help Piedmont’s sewer system, EBMUD purification systems, and your own sewer system by disposing of wipes in the trash and not in toilets.  Only toilet paper and bodily waste should go in a toilet. Kleenex, facial tissues, baby wipes, condoms, diapers, and sanitary products should not be placed in a toilet.

Click below to read previously published article linked below:

Do Not Flush Wipes: Flushable Wipes Threaten EBMUD Sewer System

Dec 11 2020

– Remarks to the Community following the 12/7/2020 swearing-in of new Councilmember Conna McCarthy –

-I am delighted to be with all of you tonight. I am fortunate for the opportunity to thank those who helped me get here: Starting with my husband Peter Craigie who steered me into buying our first home in Piedmont 32 years ago. Thank you to our 3 amazing adult children, Kieran, Cormac, and Kathlyn, all PHS grads. Dad and I are so proud of the challenges you undertake and your service to country and community.  I am particularly grateful to each one of you for taking a leadership role in my campaign.

-Thank you to my San Francisco McCarthy Family: My mom, Jackie McCarthy. My brother Niall, my brother Adam, my sister Sharon and their spouses Yvonne, Heather and Dale and my 11 very charming nieces and nephews.

-Most importantly I am forever appreciative for being raised by Leo T. McCarthy who taught me and my siblings the value of public service.  He was a profound example of ethical leadership. He counseled each of us to use our knowledge, power, privilege, and voice to create a better community and tonight I am very proud to stand in his reflection.

-Thank you to my Campaign Team: Photographer Lauren Remer, Sean Wong who designed my signs and media materials, Campaign Administrator Wendy Szczech, Advisors Chad Olcott and our beloved, wise Cameron Wolfe, my Campaign Manager Andrea Swenson who just completed 8 years of service on Piedmont School Board. Thank you for always picking up when I call. Thank you Data Manager Sharon Hom. You make a complicated task easy. And once again, a shout out to my brothers Niall and Adam who made sure I achieved fundraising goals.

Thank you to the Endorsers and Advisors who support my leadership and continue to encourage me: former Mayor Bob McBain, newly elected Mayor Teddy Gray King, Councilmembers Tim Rood and Betsy Andersen.  Councilmember Jen Cavenaugh and I will have some catching up to do as we were both candidates in this election cycle.  I look forward to continuing collaboration with School Board members Amal Smith, Cory Smegal, Veronica Anderson-Thigpen, and Hilary Cooper.   We know that with women at the table, everyone gets fed.

I wear white tonight in deference to the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. As I am with you tonight in the role of Councilwoman, I am particularly grateful to those Piedmont women, who early on served in elected office sometimes as the only female member of a decision-making body. Sue Smegal, Ann Trutner, Stephi Moers, Valerie Matzger, Susan Hill, Tam Hege to name a few. The women elected today stand on your shoulders.

Thank you to the folks at City Hall who work every day to make sure Piedmont is a wonderful place to live.

Thank you City Administrator Sara Lillevand –  We first worked together  when I joined the Recreation Commission and Sara was Recreation Director. And now I am delighted to be joining Sara’s leadership at City Hall. Sara is the glue that holds all the pieces together. A few months into her job as City Administrator , the pandemic hit. Sara put on a second hat as Director of Emergency Services. All Piedmonters benefit from her thoroughness, patience and adaptability.

Thank you to Asst City Administrator John Tulloch.

John knows the devil is in the details. And while he is patient explaining rules and regulations, he sets a high standard for accountability. He is highly ethical and fair. Most importantly he is eager to help others succeed.

Thank you to Recreation Director Chelle Putzer and her team, Erin Rivera, Jackson Stearns, Steven Chavarria and Cora Woods. As a Recreation Commissioner I saw first-hand the incredible talent in our Recreation Department. Chelle was on the job for 3 months when the pandemic hit. She deserves widespread applause for her ability to lead a team that is consistently able to pivot with fresh starts and with creativity to meet the needs of all Piedmonters.

When I decided to run for City Council I reached out to every Department Head. Without fail, each director responded offering to make themselves available to answer questions, or add background or context or shed light on topics of concern to Piedmont voters.

-Finance Director Mike Szczech – Thank You for your humor and intellect.

-We will all miss Chester Nakahara as Director of Public Works, but I am appreciative that Parks and Project manager, Nancy Kent remains a source of continuity.

-Police Chief Jeremy Bowers is a special treasure amid a social re-awakening demanding equity and justice in Police Departments throughout the nation. Kudos to the search team who brought Jeremy to Piedmont. His leadership is gift to all of us.

-Thank you to Planning Director Kevin Jackson. There are several hot topics in your court. I look forward to working with you and your team.

-Welcome Interim Fire Chief Michael Despain, let’s work together to find the next  Piedmont Fire Chief.

-Thank you to the Voters of Piedmont

We will build an aquatics facility.

We will plan and prepare and be ready for opportunities to improve existing infrastructure.

We will remain resolute in our pledge as City leaders to embrace differing backgrounds, lived experiences, and beliefs, and look for opportunities to express our shared values for diversity, and inclusivity.

Piedmonters, continue to support your elected council members by sharing your ideas, and volunteering your talents. Ask questions. Challenge us to be better and join us in doing better.

But right now, as the pandemic has suspended our lives,  take care of each other. Look out for your neighbors. Practice patience and forgiveness. Each of us is bearing a burden that pushes us to find new levels of resiliency.

Stay Safe. Stay healthy. Know that your Piedmont leadership is looking out for you.

Thank you.

Councilmember Conna McCarthy

Dec 8 2020

Piedmont Council Chooses Mayor Teddy Gray King, Divides Term of Vice Mayor

Discussion on the City Council Resulted in a Split Decision 

The election of the Mayor by the City Council had proceeded routinely on Monday, December 7, with a 4 – 0 (Rood briefly absent) vote for Teddy Gray King, but then the meeting strayed into unfamiliar territory. 

Mayor King suggested deferring the selection of a Vice Mayor to the next meeting to allow the presence of Council member Tim Rood, who had informed King he wanted to be present for the discussion and regretted his temporary absence for business matters. 

Discussion led to moving ahead with the selection of the Vice Mayor and Council member Jennifer Cavenaugh was nominated to be Vice Mayor by Council member Betsy Smegal Andersen and seconded by Cavenaugh herself.  Then Mayor King nominated Council member Tim Rood to be Vice Mayor, seconded by Council member Conna McCarthy. 

Cavenaugh believed in a “tradition” of allowing the candidate with the highest number of votes and most tenure to be selected to become the Vice Mayor with the Vice Mayor rotating upward to become the Mayor two years later.  Andersen argued that a long held tradition should be adhered to until the Council considered a different tradition.

King and McCarthy supported Rood as Vice Mayor, with McCarthy pointing out Rood would be the first openly LGBTQ Vice Mayor.  King emphasized that she and Rood had essentially been tied for top votes and thought Rood should become the next Vice Mayor, and he had told her he wanted the position.  McCarthy noted that Piedmont voters were never informed that their votes would indicate the next Mayor or Vice Mayor.

Assistant City Administrator John Tulloch stated the more recent selection “tradition” had been started in the mid-eighties.  Previously, Mayors and Vice Mayors were selected on a different basis.

With two Council members nominated for Vice Mayor,  City Attorney Michelle Kenyon informed the Council that the first nominee, Cavenaugh, had to be voted upon first.  If her nomination failed the next nominee would be voted upon. After additional Council discussion, the Cavenaugh nomination failed, being supported by only two Council members, Cavenaugh, herself and Andersen.

More discussion was held and a vote was taken on the Rood nomination, which also failed to achieve 3 votes, with only King and McCarthy supporting the nomination. Rood remained absent.

Council member Andersen offered a compromise motion to make Rood Vice Mayor for one year and Cavenaugh Vice Mayor for the second year.  This motion was approved by Andersen, King and McCarthy with Cavenaugh voting no and Rood absent.

The tradition of who is mayor and vice mayor has changed over the decades.  An older “tradition” held that the Mayor dropped back to become the Vice Mayor.

The City Charter does not prescribe how the Council shall select the Mayor and Vice Mayor.   The Council may attempt to solidify an actual policy in the future.  Some considerations are: tenure, number of election votes, length of Mayor and Vice Mayor terms, rotating the Mayor to become Vice Mayor, qualifications, dedication, involvement, etc.

The Mayor and Vice Mayor serve at the pleasure of the Council and after setting the matter on an agenda, the Council can change their selections.

Editors Note: PCA welcomes newly elected Mayor Teddy King and  alternating Tim Rood and Jen Cavenaugh as Vice Mayors.  The positions are voluntary with no compensation.  Piedmont is fortunate to have well educated and caring individuals to serve our city.

Dec 7 2020

At the Dec. 7, 2020, morning press conference, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state’s seven-day COVID positivity rate hit 10.5%, a stark increase from the 3.4% rate one month ago.  Daily testing in California averages 210,000 tests per day.


Dec 6 2020
To make our streets safer for everyone, the City is preparing the Piedmont Safer Streets Plan. This new plan will update the City’s original Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (2014), while including an additional focus on broader traffic safety.

This month and next, there are three special opportunities to give us your input on needs and concerns regarding walking, biking and traffic safety:

  • Community workshop (on Zoom), on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at 6 pm. Save the date for a lively discussion. The details will be posted on the link as the date approaches.  Zoom link –
  • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81375581911
  • Online survey. Anyone who responds will be eligible to win one of three $50 gift cards for Mulberry’s Market. The survey will close on Sunday, December 20, 2020.
  • Pinnable map. Pin your comments on our map–and get another chance to win a Mulberry’s Market gift card. The map will also close on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

2014 Plan > http://piedmont.hosted.civiclive.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_13659739/File/Government/Projects/Pedestrian%20and%20Bicycle%20Master%20Plan/final_PBMP_2014-11-03.pdf

For questions about Piedmont Safer Streets, contact Gopika Nair (City staff liaison), at SaferStreets@Piedmont.ca.gov or at (510) 420-3054.

1292020Community Workshop Invite