Remember to vote, and then start thinking about the other special election

19 May

I hope you’ll join me in voting down all the state ballot initiatives today, but as soon as you do that, it will be time to start thinking about the next election. That’s right, on July 21st, Oakland will be holding its own special election to deal with our local budget crisis. (Wasn’t this supposed to be our year off from voting? Oh well.)

I’ll have endorsements out sometime before the election, but here’s a quick run down on what you’ll be asked to vote on:

  • Marijuana tax: Creates a special tax rate of 1.2% for marijuana sales.
  • Measure OO partial repeal: The passage of Measure OO last November added to the huge hole in Oakland’s General Fund so the Council voted on a repeal. After deadlocking twice on the vote, they ultimately compromised and voted for a partial repeal that would maintain part of the funding for Measure OO programs.
  • Transfer tax: Corporate real estate transfers are currently not subject to the same transfer tax that other properties are. This measure would clarify the law so that the transfer tax applies to all properties.
  • Hotel tax: Increases Oakland’s hotel tax from 11% to 13% to fund museums and arts.

If you’re ready to learn more, head to the Metropolitian Greater Oakland Democratic Club’s meeting this week that will focus on Oakland’s special election. The meeting’s on Thursday, May 21st from 7:30-9:00pm at the Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue. (I would have included this meeting on my weekly events listing but I still can’t figure out how to get on MGO’s email list so if anyone from the group is reading, please let me know.)

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