The Berkeley Relief Fund kicks off with Michael Lewis hosting live launch

The Berkeley Relief Fund will pool $3 million in city funds and funds raised from private and corporate donations to provide emergency grants to local businesses, nonprofits and tenants.

Watch the launch of the Berkeley Relief Fund on YouTube (apologies that technical difficulties prevented Berkeleyside live-streaming it), and follow our live coverage of the launch on Twitter.

Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Berkeley author Michael Lewis host Sunday’s launch event for the Berkeley Relief Fund. The fund will support small businesses, arts nonprofits and residential tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund will have $3 million from the city of Berkeley, as well as money raised from the public and corporate donors. Donations are being collected by the East Bay Community Fund. Funds will only be used for emergency grants and will be managed by the city of Berkeley. All donations are tax-deductible.

Nearly 100 Berkeley organizations made brief videos for the fund in a rapidly organized social media campaign. In the videos, business owners and organization heads make a direct appeal for people to contribute to the fund.

Berkeleyside is a partner organization for the fund.