The Ambassador program is focused on creating a consistently clean and attractive appearance of the Downtown Berkeley district, through regular cleaning of sidewalks and plazas in coordination with the City of Berkeley. Specifically, Ambassador responsibilities include:
- Regular sidewalk and plaza sweeping and litter removal.
- Regular power washing and scrubbing of sidewalks (subject to drought restrictions).
- Spot power washing of problem areas as needed.
- Removal and cleaning of human or animal waste.
- Cleaning and removal of graffiti from public streetscape and fixtures including benches, public art, trash receptacles, mailboxes, utility boxes, light poles.
- Painting of light poles and mailboxes, and other street fixtures.
- With the completion and submittal of a Graffiti Removal Authorization form by a property owner, Cleaning Ambassadors remove graffiti from the first floor of buildings or other structures whenever the graffiti is visible from a public right of way. To download the form, click
- Maintenance of public planted areas (tree wells and planters), with watering, weeding, and litter removal. Also, weeding of sidewalks as needed.
- Incident reporting to City of Berkeley and other agencies of situations needing assistance, including but limited to: removal of debris, abandoned belongings, bike carcasses, blighted news racks, and pay telephones; repair of benches, bus stops, and other street amenities; tree-trimming and other maintenance, hazard or blight issues.
- During rainy season clearing of litter and loose debris from storm drains.
The schedule for the Cleaning Ambassadors in approximately as follows:
|Cleaning Ambassador Schedule||Premium Zone||Standard Zone|
|Average Weekly Coverage||7 days/week||5 days/week|
|Litter removal/pan & broom||Twice per day||Once per day|
|Detail cleaning of public amenities||Twice per day||Once per day|
|Graffiti removal||Daily as needed||Daily as needed|
|Weed removal||Daily as needed||Daily as needed|
|Power washing/spot cleaning||Daily as needed||Daily as needed|
|Power washing/scheduled cleaning||Four times per year||Two times per year|
Hospitality and Outreach
The Ambassador program is also focused on creating a more welcoming Downtown environment for all residents, workers, and visitors through hospitality and outreach efforts. Ambassadors walk the Downtown on a regular schedule providing a friendly source of directions, information, and assistance for the residents, visitors, merchants, business owners, and the general public. Ambassadors also provide social service outreach, referrals, and act as eyes and ears for public safety. Specifically, Ambassador responsibilities include:
- Provide hospitality by offering directions, information, and escort services especially for the arts venues, including the Welcome Kiosk located in BART Plaza.
- Support merchants by addressing their concerns and needs for service.
- Provide outreach for social services to homeless and other populations, in concert with Berkeley Health Department’s Mental Health Division and other social service agencies.
- Report on blight issues to City of Berkeley Department of Public Works and other relevant departments, including safety hazards, property damage, broken street lights, graffiti, campsites, landscaping issues, abandoned bikes and news racks, etc.
- Support marketing efforts of the DBA including staffing kiosks, distributing promotional materials, and assisting at events.
- Address problematic street behavior through education, outreach, and reminders of local ordinances regarding smoking, noise, open containers, aggressive panhandling, sleeping during prohibited times, trespassing, etc. Also, support merchants and other stakeholders in dealing with challenging street behaviors.
- Litter pick-up and incidental cleaning in path of travel and reporting to supervisor major cleaning projects.
The schedule for the Hospitality Ambassadors in approximately as follows:
|Hospitality Ambassador Schedule||Premium Zone||Standard Zone|
|Coverage in all areas||7 days/week 12-16 hours||7 days/week 8-12 hours|
|Primary method of coverage||Foot patrol||Foot or Segway patrol|
|Patrol rounds||4 rounds per shift||2 rounds per shift|
|Business contacts||6 per shift||3 per shift|
|Outreach with street populations||Daily||Daily|
In addition the DBA provides beautification services for Downtown Berkeley, primarily focused on the landscaping of Downtown planters, the hanging of succulent baskets, and the installation of holiday lights during the winter season. Current beautification projects include:
- Planting and maintenance of succulents in large planters along Shattuck Avenue.
- Planting and maintenance of succulents in center median strip on Shattuck Avenue.
- Install and maintain planter bowls on University Avenue.
- Hang and maintain 180 hanging succulent baskets.
- Planting and maintaining other planter areas with low water and low maintenance succulents.
- Judicious watering of succulents and other drought resistant planting in the Downtown.
- General weeding, new grading, and maintenance of tree wells.
- Installation of holiday lights during winter season.
- As part of marketing and promotion program (see section below) hanging of 88 colorful double banners throughout the Downtown.
Future projects depending on funding and priorities may include:
- Cosmetic capital improvements, including street furniture, information kiosks, pedestrian lighting, and other amenities.
- Wayfinding and directional signage to help visitors navigate through downtown.
- Public art.