Although Oakland Rising isn’t taking any positions on any of the three ballot measures, we want to make sure that Oakland voters have the access to information about what the measures are and will do in Oakland.

Oakland is having a mail-in only special election on Tuesday, November 15th.

(Ver version del Guia Para Votantes en Espanol abajo)

Ballots must be received by November 15 to be counted, so they need to be in the mail no later than Saturday, 12th. You can also walk your ballot into the Registrar of Voters Office anytime until 5pm on Tuesday, November 15th. Ballots were mailed out yesterday to Oakland voters, so if you haven’t gotten your ballot yet be on the look out!

Oakland voters are being asked to consider three measures on the special election ballot. We will look at them one by one and clarify, what the measure says, what it means, and what a yes or no vote means.

Please download the voter guide below: 

Measure H (English)    Measure I (English)       Measure J (English)

Measure H (Spanish)   Measure I (Spanish)      Measure J (Spanish)

Oakland Special Election 2011 Ballot Measures: Clear for Your Consideration



Return City Attorney to an appointed position

What it says: Shall the Oakland City Charter be amended to return the City Attorney to an appointed position? 

What it means: Currently, the City Attorney is elected by popular vote every 4 years. If this measure passes, voters would no longer determine who the City Attorney is. Instead, the City Attorney would be appointed and confirmed by City Council members.

What a Yes Vote means:   Yes, the City Attorney should be an appointed position

What a No Vote means:    No, the City Attorney should be an elected position


A 5 year, temporary $80 Parcel Tax to restore City services

What it says: Shall the City of Oakland establish a five year temporary fiscal emergency parcel tax to preserve essential city services, including fire, police services, and police technology, youth violence prevention, library, services, parks and recreation, and street repair, by establishing an $80 parcel tax for single-family homes and specified amounts for multi-family and commercial properties with an exemption for low-income households? 

What it means:  Home owners will pay an $80 parcel tax to restore city services including, police services, police technology, library services, parks and recreation programming, street repair and youth violence prevention programs. The measure also has a “pass-through” feature, which means that Oakland renters living in multi-unit building can pay up to $54.66 annually.  The parcel tax will generate a little over $11 million dollars in 2011/12, which would fill the projected City budget deficit for 2012/13.  Low-income house holds and some seniors living on a fixed income may not have to pay the tax as long as they fill out simple paperwork at the City of Oakland.

This measure needs 66% of total votes cast to pass.

Below is a chart indicating how the parcel tax money will be spent in 2011/12 and 2012/13:

Parcel Tax Budget

Dollars Per Fiscal Year

Restore funding to Police Dept. budget to increase number of sworn officers and purchase needed equipment.


Restore staff to fix potholes and repair streets


Restore gardeners (at least 8), and tree trimming staff, for parking and tree maintenance. 


Restore hours to Senior Centers


Improved street lightning for crime prevention


Restore Information Technology staff (police & library IT)


Youth summer jobs program.


Diversion to Restorative Justice Process and Evaluation


What a Yes Vote means:   Yes,  I want to pay an $80 parcel tax.

What a No Vote means:     No,  I do not want to pay an $80 parcel tax


Extending the City of Oakland’s Police and Fire Pension Contribution deadline

What is says: Shall the Charter be amended to allow the City of Oakland to change the deadline for fully funding its Police and Fire Retirement Plan to a new financially responsible deadline? 

What it means:  Currently, the City of Oakland is responsible for contributing to Police and Fire pensions until July 1, 2026. If measure J passes, the deadline for these contributions would be pushed out to a later date that is agreed upon by the City of Oakland and the Police and Fire Pension Board. While there are no immediate cost saving benefits to the City of Oakland, measure J would mandate that a special study be used to determine when the City of Oakland can pay into the fund when the City of Oakland has the funds to do so.

What a Yes Vote means:    Yes, I want the City of Oakland and the Police and Fire Pension Board to                                                        determine a new deadline for paying-out pension contributions.

What a No Vote means:      No, I want to maintain the current July 1, 2026 pension contribution deadline.