2022 Voter Guide
“There’s an assumption that people of color, immigrant communities, formerly incarcerated people, don’t care. And in fact, we care the most because we are mostly impacted by the policies that are passed.” -liz suk
As of Thursday, November 10th, the preliminary election results show:
- Measure W (Oakland Fair Elections Act) passed soundly by 68.6%, revealing that Oaklanders desire a participatory, transparent, and accountable democracy that prioritizes local grassroots candidates over candidates with corporate and outside interests and financial backing. This measure also provides funding for a new campaign financing system that gives voters the opportunity to financially support their favorite candidates!
- Measure T (Invest in Our Oakland) passed with 66.7%, proving Oaklanders’ are more than ready for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Ushering in a progressive business tax structure, with this victory Oakland’s small businesses – which are majority BIPOC-owned – will see a decrease in their gross receipts tax while corporations will pay an amount that is more in proportion to their profits. This measure will also generate over $21 million in funding each year for essential city services and programs, mental health, first responders, public safety, town beautification, parks and rec, and more!
- Measure V (Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance) passed by 62.4%, showing Oaklanders’ support for extending just cause eviction protections while also conveying the need for real housing solutions that address the high rates of homelessness, encampments, displacement and unjust evictions that plague our town.
With voters overwhelmingly passing all of Oakland’s ballot measures, they revealed their support for:
- a more participatory, responsive, and accountable local democracy;
- relief for our small businesses and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes; and
- housing security and expanded eviction protections.
Descriptions of Oakland Measures & Statewide Propositions
City of Oakland Measures
Renews parcel tax for college and career readiness program
Measure H will support Oakland’s high school College and Career for all programs by renewing Measure N – the Link Learning parcel tax – with no increase. Over the past 8 years with Measure N, graduation rates have risen and dropout rates have decreased – even more decisively for Black students.
Measure H maintains the existing parcel tax at same rate with an annual cost-of-living increase capped at 5% and exemptions for seniors and low-income disabled homeowners. Measure N is set to expire in 2024.
Authorizes Oakland to create social housing for 13,000 households
Measure Q will authorize the City of Oakland to develop, construct or acquire 13,000 low rent residential units in social housing projects for the purpose of providing affordable rental housing to low-income households and individuals. This is the first step needed to create social housing, an important tool for addressing our housing crisis. California law requires local municipalities to let voters decide if it is appropriate to allow the acquiring of affordable housing.
Updates City Charter with gender neutral language
Measure R will amend the City Charter to replace all gendered language including pronouns with gender neutral language. For example, it replaces words like “firemen” with “firefighter” and “she/her” or “he/him” with “they/them.”
Opens door to non-citizen voting in Oakland
Measure S will open the door to making space for non-citizens’ voices within the OUSD Board. Currently 13,000 non-citizen parents send their children to school in Oakland. Many of our schools have enrollment that is more than 20% newcomer, in some cases as many as 1 in 3 students came to the US in the last three years. Measure S authorizes Oakland to be open to the future possiblity of creating a system that allows non-citizens to vote. This does not actually allow non-citizens to vote nor does it create a system or apparatus to allow non-citizens to vote.
Reduces taxes for small businesses and generate over $20M for Oakland’s general fund
Measure T, the Invest in Our Oakland Act, will provide relief for residents and local business owners who have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. By creating an equitable tax rate and modernizing Oakland’s business structure, we can reduce taxes for small- and medium-sized businesses while making large wealthy corporations pay their fair share of taxes that reflects their large gross profits. It is expected to generate over $20 million every year for Oakland’s general fund that we can use to address years of lack of investment in housing, high quality jobs, education, public safety, road and sidewalk maintenance and bike lanes.
Allocates $850M via a bond towards affordable housing and infrastructure improvement projects
Measure U is a bond measure which will allocate $350M to the much needed development, construction, and/or acquisition of housing units for low-income households and individuals in Oakland. While the bond also allows for $30M to go to police facilities, we believe the overall improvements for Oakland from investments in other areas outweigh this negative. The total $850M bond will be allocated to the following:
- $350M to acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of interim and permanent affordable and social housing
- $290M to transportation projects such as street paving, curb ramps and sidewalks
- $210M to citywide facility preservation and improvement projects such as libraries, head start, recreation and senior centers consistent with Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan
- $45M to parks & open spaces
- $40M to fire facilities
- $30M to police facilities
- $15M to library facilities
- $80M to other city facilities
Extends eviction and Just Cause protections for tenants
Measure V extends eviction and Just Cause protections to additional renters by:
- preventing evictions of households with children and educators during a school year;
- including those living in RVs and tiny homes on rented land; and
- expanding eviction protections to newly constructed buildings, except those built in the last 10 years.
Creates more accountable elected officials by limiting the influence of big money
Measure W, the Oakland Fair Elections Act, will bring much-needed accountability to local government and make it possible for all Oaklanders to support candidates who will best represent them, no matter what neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, or how much money they make. Oaklanders deserve a local government where our representatives represent all of us — where candidates and elected officials can focus on what our communities need, not what big-money donors and special interests want. If we want to see change on issues like affordable housing, community safety, and quality schools, we need more transparency about the outside groups that are spending millions to influence our elections and we need a more responsive city government.
Measure W will change this power imbalance by:
- creating transparency in who funds elections,
- equipping every Oaklander with the resources to support community-based candidates,
- holding government accountable, and
- extending the ban on lobbying by former city officials
––and empowering our trusted community-led Public Ethics Commission to oversee it all.
Creates terms limits for City Councilmembers
Measure X will create term limits for city councilmembers by capping service at 12 years – or 3 terms. It also clarifies the roles of City Auditor and gives the Public Ethics Commission the power of setting salary caps for both the City Attorney and City Auditor. Furthermore, it requires all ballot measures proposed by City Council to be heard at least twice publicly before City Council votes whether to place the measures on the ballot. This measure does uphold the current system and structure that favors the mayor by allowing the mayor more say and power in decisions by City Council.
20 Year Parcel Tax for Oakland Zoo improvements
Measure Y will create a 20 Year Parcel Tax for Oakland Zoo improvements. Among other improvements, the tax fund would:
- ensure fire safety at the zoo,
- maintain its veterinary hospital, and
- expand affordable education programs for school children.
California State Propositions
Safeguards freedom to make decisions about our bodies and health
Prop 1 will amend California’s constitution to affirm reproductive freedom. This measure affirms that the state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion, their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives, their fundamental right to privacy, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection.
Expands types of gaming at tribal casinos and allows sports betting
Prop 26 will allow federally recognized Native American tribes to operate roulette, dice games, and sports wagering on tribal lands. It generates new revenue for the state from taxes of which 70% would go towards the general fund, increasing the overall amount of money for K-12 education. With the gaming tribes landscape complicated, our stance is neutral.
Allows adults to bet on sports events online outside of tribal land
Prop 27 will legalize online and mobile sports wagering for persons 21 years and older. Such wagering may be offered only by federally recognized Indian tribes and eligible businesses that contract with them. While it creates a tax which generates revenue for homelessness programs, the measure threatens tribal sovereignty by giving out-of-state corporations major control of the gambling industry. It excludes tribes from offering online sports betting unless they “irrevocably” surrender their sovereign rights and allow corporations to take control of online sports wagering.
Increases annual funding for arts and music in K-12 public schools
Prop 28 will provide additional funding for arts and music education in all K-12 public schools by annually allocating from the state General Fund an amount equaling 1% of required state and local funding for public schools. It allocates a greater proportion of the funds to schools serving more economically disadvantaged students.
Requires experienced medical staff at dialysis clinics
Prop 29 will improve treatment at Dialysis Centers for many low income POC by requiring a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant (with six months’ relevant experience) to be on-site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics. It also prohibits clinics from closing or substantially reducing services without state approval, and prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on source of payment.
Increases income tax on those earning $2M+ to fund incentives for zero-emission vehicles
Prop 30 will increase tax on personal income over $2 million by 1.75% and allocate new tax revenues as follows: (1) 45% for rebates and other incentives for zero-emission vehicle purchases and 35% for charging stations for zero-emission vehicles, with at least half of this funding directed to low-income households and communities; and (2) 20% for wildfire prevention and suppression programs, with priority given to hiring and training firefighters.
Raising the personal income tax by 1.75% would bring the marginal tax rate to 15.05%, the highest in the country. Although this is a form of progressive taxation, the top brackets have been seen as an important source of revenue for education and the general fund. This measure exempts the new revenue raised from the requirements of Prop 98, which would otherwise require that a percentage of the new revenue flow to education.
Lyft is behind Prop 30 which raises major concerns as rideshare companies have been required by the state to transition to electric vehicles (EVs) due to their large contribution to pollution but this would use income tax revenue to subsidize their transition. There are also concerns that Prop 30 perpetuates car usage over public transportation and does not meet environmental justice needs. Concerns include that EV infrastructure built in low income and disadvantaged communities could cause more gentrification in urban areas and may not benefit low income households in the short term. There are also concerns that EV infrastructure takes up a lot of space in urban areas and is not used by low income communities.
Benefits include less vehicle pollution in port cities like Oakland and Long Beach that are heavily impacted by distribution and warehouse trucking, and communities near freeways/trucking routes that expose low income and communities of color to toxins and pollutants. Funding generated by Prop 30 would tackle several pieces of the infrastructure puzzle for light, medium, and heavy duty charging and adoption. Many trucking companies have not made the transition because of limited charging options throughout the state.
Stops Big Tobacco’s challenge to law prohibiting sale of most flavored tobacco products
Prop 31 will uphold a law passed by the CA State Legislature issuing a ban on flavored tobacco products. E-cigarettes deliver massive doses of nicotine, a highly addictive drug that puts youth users at greater risk for addiction and is especially harmful to kids. Big Tobacco is trying to overturn the bipartisan California law that protects children from getting hooked on candy-flavored e-cigarettes, cheap sweet cigars, and minty-menthol cigarettes.
Protecting kids from tobacco marketing through flavored products is crucial as 4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. There are now more than 2 MILLION middle and high school students using e-cigarettes. For more than 60 years the tobacco industry has intentionally targeted the Black community – and other communities of color – hooking generations of Black youth on minty sweet menthol cigarettes and other candy-flavored tobacco products, and profiting off addiction, disease and death. In the 1950s, fewer than 10% of Black Americans who smoked used menthols – today, 85% of Black smokers use minty menthols.
What’s at Stake in the 2022 General Election
Alameda County District Attorney Race
Alameda County’s criminal justice system is broken. Currently more than 60% of charges brought against adults were non-violent, low-level offenses that could have been directed to diversion programs. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice study found that from 2009 to 2017, only 229 cases were prosecuted in the Behavioral Health Court in Alameda County. That is barely two cases per month every year. The status quo of the leadership in the DA’s office is not working. The time for change is now. This is our chance to elect a leader who will support alternatives to incarceration, end the practice of charging youth as adults, and support investments in community.
Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 3 Race
The Board of Supervisors is responsible for:
- providing policy direction,
- approving the county budget, and
- representing the county in a number of areas including its special districts.
Currently, they give vast amounts of funds to the sheriff to lock people up and criminalize our communities while denying funding the structures that keep us safe – healthcare, affordable housing, jobs with thriving wages, and mental health support. This election offers a big opportunity to change how our public money is distributed by the Board of Supervisors.
Hear where the candidates stand as they shared their positions at a forum hosted by Faith In Action East Bay:
Oakland Mayoral Race
The mayoral race is about how and for whom power is wielded in Oakland. As the chief executive, the mayor has the ultimate power to set the tone and priorities of our city. Because the mayor manages departments that implement policies and services, the mayor can decide either to prioritize or stall policies which voters and city council pass –like protections for workers and tenants, or investments in community services and programs. The mayor also develops the city’s annual budget which is our biggest policy document and a statement of our city’s values. We need a mayor who is committed to real public safety that keeps all of us safe, and who will reallocate money from policing to refund our communities by investing in jobs, housing, community services, and arts and culture. This election, we can elect a mayor who encourages programs and investments that serve all Oaklanders no matter their zip code, and centers cultural, economic, physical, and social development in Oakland.
MEASURE W: Fair Elections Oakland
We deserve a local government where candidates and elected officials can focus on what our communities need, not what big-money donors and special interests want. If we want to see change on issues like affordable housing, community safety, and quality schools, we need more transparency about the outside groups that are spending millions to influence our elections and we need a more responsive city government.
Fair Elections Oakland will change this power imbalance by creating transparency in who funds elections, equipping every Oaklander with the resources to support community-responsive candidates, holding government accountable, and extending the ban on lobbying by former city officials––and empowering our trusted community-led Public Ethics Commission, not City Hall, to oversee it all.
Fair Elections is the way to bring much-needed accountability to local government and make it possible for all Oaklanders to support candidates who will best represent them, no matter what neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, or how much money they make. This year, Oakland has an opportunity to stand up to big money and special interests, building a local government that works for all of us.
The Fair Elections Oakland Act will:
- Allow community-backed candidates to run competitive campaigns without wealthy donors.
- Make our elections cleaner and more transparent so that candidates can focus on the voices of the people, not the pull of big money.
- Create more diversity across race, gender, and income among donors and among candidates running for office.
- Boost the power of small donors. A recent survey of likely 2022 Oakland voters found that many residents don’t donate to local campaigns because they simply can’t afford to. In Oakland’s 2014 and 2016 elections, 93% of contributions came from less than 1% of the city’s population.
Fair Elections Oakland includes Oakland Rising; the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus; Bay Rising; CA Common Cause; League of Women Voters Oakland; and MapLight. For more information, visit us at fairelectionsoakland.org.
MEASURE T: Progressive Business Tax (also known as the Invest in Our Oakland Act)
As we recover from the pandemic, we must pressure our local governments to step up to provide relief for the many residents and small businesses impacted. The Invest in Our Oakland Act modernizes Oakland’s business tax model by creating an equitable tax rate according to a business’ gross profit. Larger wealthy corporations will finally pay their fair share of taxes, while small and medium-sized businesses will enjoy a tax cut. This measure will generate an estimated $22 million annually for infrastructure, vital services, and programming.
Together, we can push for a new progressive business tax that will take pressure off of our 20,000+ small businesses, most of whom are owned by women and people of color. We can better invest in our communities by modernizing our business tax in Oakland without increasing the tax burden on homeowners or residents.
Oakland Rising is a member of the Invest In Our Oakland coalition which is comprised of community members, workers, small business owners, and faith leaders. Join us at investinouroakland.com
Know Your Voting Rights
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