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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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— Charter AmendmentCharter Amendment —

Local

City of Oakland
Measure AA Charter Amendment - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Failed

96,452 votes yes (62.47%)

57,946 votes no (37.53%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (275/275).

Shall the measure amending Oakland's Charter for the purposes of funding services to: expand access to early childhood and preschool education; improve high school and college graduation and career readiness; provide mentoring and college financial assistance; by establishing a $198, 30-year parcel tax for single family parcels and specified rates for other parcel types, raising approximately $25,000,000-30,000,000 annually, with citizen's oversight, and exemptions for low-income households and others, be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

 

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE AA

This measure would amend the Oakland City Charter to add Article XVI, “The Children’s Initiative of 2018”, and authorize a thirty-year annual parcel tax from fiscal year (“FY”) 2019-2020 through FY 2048-2049.

The parcel tax revenue would be used solely to fund three new funds, with the revenue allocated as follows:

·       62% to the Early Education Fund,

·       31% to the Oakland Promise Fund, and

·       7% to the Oversight Accountability and Evaluation Fund.

See the Ballot Summary for details of allowable uses of the revenue in each fund.

This measure would create a new City staff position, funded by the tax revenue, to serve as the accountability officer to oversee the programs funded by the measure. This measure would establish a Citizens’ Oversight Commission (“Commission”); the Mayor would appoint members subject to City Council confirmation.

After it receives the accountability officer’s recommendation, the Commission would select a nonprofit agency, government agency or City department, as specified in the measure, to administer the funds, and submit its selection to the City Council for approval. The Council must approve or reject the Commission’s recommendation. First 5 Alameda County (a County agency) or another public entity would administer the Early Education Fund for the first five years. The measure requires independent financial audits of fund expenditures and external evaluations of the entities administering the funds.

This measure would establish guidelines for the programs funded by the measure; those guidelines cannot be amended for the first five years. After the first five years, the accountability officer would develop the guidelines and the Commission would approve them. The measure would establish additional requirements for the Early Education Fund for the first five years, and thereafter unless the Commission recommends and the City Council decides that they shall no longer apply.

The tax for each single-family residential parcel would be $198. For multiple unit residential parcels, the tax would be $135.25 per occupied unit. For non-residential parcels, the tax would vary depending on parcel frontage and square footage based on a formula specified in the measure. For hotels, the tax would depend on the percentage of transient occupancy based on a formula specified in the measure.

Exemptions from the parcel tax would be available to qualifying low-income households, low-income senior households, and affordable housing projects as defined in the measure. The City would provide a rebate of 50% of the tax to qualifying tenants in foreclosed upon single-family homes who paid a passed through parcel tax.

1


Each year beginning in fiscal year 2020-2021, the City Council, after making certain findings, may increase the parcel tax by the greater of the increase in the Bay Area cost of living or the increase in California per capita personal income.

 

This measure was placed on the ballot by a petition signed by the requisite number of voters. This special tax measure requires a two-thirds vote for passage.

 

— Barbara J Parker, City Attorney
Financial effect

 

 

Arguments FOR

Measure AA will invest in early childhood education and increase high school and college graduation rates for more than 10,000 Oakland children annually. By voting YES, we will dramatically expand access to quality affordable preschool for children from low-income backgrounds, and increase access to and graduation from 2- or 4- year colleges and trade certificates by providing mentoring and scholarships.
In Oakland, 20% of residents live below the poverty level, and every year more than 2,000 children are born into poverty. By focusing resources on students from low- income backgrounds, this measure gives us a chance to disrupt poverty. Currently, only 15% of high school freshman will go on to earn college degrees. When 90% of a child’s brain develops before age 5, expanding preschool in these critical years ensures that every child in Oakland is on the path to success. That’s why we support YES on Oakland Measure AA.
Preschool shouldn’t be a luxury, but many Oakland families are forced to dedicate up to 25% of their income on preschool. For many families, even working two jobs isn’t enough to afford preschool. That means more children entering kindergarten underprepared.
Measure AA ensures that Oakland has the resources necessary to improve preschool, high school, college, and career readiness for students and sets them up for success. This measure invests in children and makes sure every child achieves their potential, regardless of their family’s income.
Oakland will be required to spend this money only on preschool and college access. An independent citizens’ oversight commission, mandatory annual audits and external evaluations will ensure that funds are spent properly. It also includes exemptions for low-income residents and seniors, and affordable housing.
Join teachers, health advocates, childcare providers, labor leaders, parents, community leaders, and us in voting YES on Measure AA.
www.YesOnMeasureAA.com
s/ Barbara Lee Member of Congress
 
s/ Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland
 
s/ George Holland, Sr. President, NAACP Oakland
 
s/ Jorge Lerma Co-founder, Latino Education Network; former Oakland teacher, Principal and Preschool Director
 
s/ Gary F. Jimenez Vice President, SEIU 1021

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE AA
This is one of the largest parcel tax proposals in Oakland’s history.
It was put on the ballot without community input and without a plan on how to spend the $30,000,000 a year the measure would generate. Lost in the details of the measure is the fact that the money can be used to fund the growing bureaucracy of the city.
We share the wonderful goals of this 15-page ballot measure. Unfortunately, we don’t see any realistic steps to reaching them. “Give us the money and we’ll figure out how to do it” is not acceptable.
Who controls the estimated $30 million annually? New, unnamed city employees. But nothing in this measure holds public employees accountable for all this money! A “Citizens’ Oversight Commission” is created, but its members would be handpicked by city bureaucrats.
The “Oakland Promise Fund” is full of promises to “increase early college awareness and expectations” and “increase college persistence and graduation rates.” How? What exactly is the plan? There is no plan. Over and over we’ve seen similar taxes raising money with good intentions but without clear programs. Local organizations are promised funding and taxpayers get the bill.
While we share Mayor Libby Schaaf’s commitment to address persistent problems with the Oakland schools, this initiative is deeply flawed. Our children deserve better! This measure will last 30 years, long past the term of this Mayor.
Oakland children, born today will be over 30 before this tax expires.
Rather than work with the Council or the School District to prioritize funding for Oakland’s children, Schaaf is passing the buck to homeowners without a realistic plan.
Despite the feel good language, this ‘Initiative’ is nothing but another thinly disguised attempt to raise more money for programs that sound good but yield little results.
Please vote NO!

s/Georgia W. Richardson Homeowner

s/Vito Esposito Homeowner

s/Karen Francisco Homeowner

s/Homayoun Ghaderi Homeowner

s/Grant Chappell Homeowner

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE AA
In Oakland, 43% of students enter school kindergarten ready and only 15% earn college degrees. Measure AA increases graduation rates for more than 10,000 children annually, while making college more affordable through scholarships and mentorships.
Our opponents’ argument isn’t rooted in facts. Over 400 community members participated in drafting this measure. Measure AA includes strict guidelines to ensure funds are spent wisely and exclusively on early education and college access and completion programs, including annual audits, external evaluations, an automatic sunset, and an accountability officer to oversee spending. An independent citizens’ oversight commission - not City Council or OUSD – approves funding guidelines regularly, with mandatory representation for homeowners, parents, students, and teachers. Administrative expenses are capped at 7%. Measure AA includes exemptions for low-income households and seniors, and affordable housing.
Over 2,000 Oakland children are born into poverty annual, and only a third of African American, Latino and low-income students enter school kindergarten ready. Measure AA expands quality, affordable preschool for all 4-year-olds from low-income backgrounds and provides children with the financial aid they need to graduate from college. Research shows that early education produces returns on investment of up to $9 for every dollar spent, including reduced taxpayer costs in welfare and public safety. 
Measure AA is endorsed by local teachers and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Libby Schaaf, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, NAACP Oakland, Latino Education Network, Alameda Labor Council, SEIU 1021, Oakland Parents Together, and many more. Vote YES on Measure AA.
www.YesonMeasureAA.com
s/Micah Weinberg President, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
 
s/Barbara Leslie Businessperson & Civic Leader 
 
s/Carmina Portea Oakland Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Teacher
 
s/Elizabeth Acosta-Crocker Parent and Former Preschool Director and Head Teacher
 
s/Gena Lewis Oakland Pediatrician & Medical Director

To see who is funding ballot measures in Oakland, visit Open Disclosure Oakland.

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