There’s a special set of Oakland City Council meeting that will take place today starting at 11 AM PST. But, this post concerns the 3:30 PM PST City Council of Oakland meeting around Measure AA. The measure received 62 percent of the vote, not the required 66 percent of the election votes.
That outcome triggered what has to be called an emotional response that led to this effort to basically ram Measure AA down the public’s throat even though it fell short of the needed trigger mark of votes.
What Is Oakland Measure AA?
Measure AA is called the “Children’s Initiative Of 2018” and would approve a parcel tax (another word for a property tax) to fund “early childhood education and college readiness programs. “ According to its website Yes on Measure AA “The Children’s Initiative is a November 2018 ballot initiative would serve over 10,000 children annually, by expanding access to quality affordable preschool for children from low-income backgrounds, and increasing access to and graduation from 2- or 4-year colleges and trade certificates by providing mentoring and scholarships. It is a key strategy in our movement for equity across the Oakland.”
Look, there’s no question that Measure AA received 62 percent of the votes in the 2018 November Election, while it needed 66 percent. But a vote is a vote. To say that it may have had a different fate if the election were redone, and therefore should be passed and certified by the Oakland City Council, is like saying “Well, even though an opponent was 2 percent behind the winner of the Governor’s Race, the person was real close to the required 1 percent mark, and therefore we’re going to have a runoff election.” That’s just not right.
The Oakland City Council is at an interesting crossroads: it’s acting in a way that’s anti-democratic but for a cause that’s just, rather than repackaging Measure AA and trying again. There are also other ways to achieve the objectives set up by Measure AA: Mello-Roos, SB 628, and impact fees are three of a number of ways the City of Oakland can engineer growth in a fund that would be called “The Children’s Initiative.”
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