Oakland, Ca – On Tuesday, April 16th the Oakland City Council took extraordinary action to save critical services that include, the restorative justice program, the foster youth case management program and school libraries from shutting down or significant service reductions that were adopted during OUSD’s recent budget cuts.
A Resolution authored by Councilmembers Sheng Thao (District 4), Nikki Bas (District 2), Noel Gallo (District 5), and Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large) allocates up to $690,000 to fund the Restorative Justice program and $510,000 to restore funding to OUSD libraries and the foster youth case managers.
“These programs have shown to help our Oakland students be successful not only academically but have proven to be pillars for their positive personal growth.” said Councilmember Thao (District 4).
This emergency, one-time, funding was requested by OUSD Board President Aimee Eng (OUSD District 2). At Tuesday’s Council hearing, Director Shanthi Gonzales (OUSD District 6) spoke in support of the Resolution.
The Oakland City Council also took a vote to direct the City Administrator not to collect the first-year Measure “AA” tax.
Last year, Measure AA was put forth to Oakland voters. The measure received 62 percent voter approval and on the official election site of Alameda County, including Oakland’s City Attorney, Barbara Parker’s ballot statement, stated that it would require a two-thirds vote, which would call for at least 66% voter approval.
In December of 2018, the Oakland City Council, which included three Councilmembers who are no longer on the City Council – Campbell Washington (D4), Guillen (D2), Brooks (D6) – voted to certify Measure AA as passing with 6 ayes, 1 no (McElhaney) and 1 absent (Brooks).
Councilmember Thao said in a statement: “I’m a strong supporter of Early Childhood Education and openly supported and voted for Measure AA when it was on the ballot this past November. My vote to NOT collect Measure AA tax is about maintaining the voters’ trust, integrity and ensuring transparency with Oakland voters. This is about the process, and as we await to receive more clarity from the courts, it’s important for me to protect my constituents and Oakland voters’ financial resources.”