What happened? And what’s next?

21 May

My girlfriend’s graduating from UC Berkeley tomorrow so I’ll be busy with family and friends for the next few days and posting will be light here. I wanted to tie up some loose ends before the weekend though.

So now that the not-so-special election is over and all the meaningful initiatives went down, I know a lot of people are asking, “What’s next?” Well, to start off with, Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee, created this awesome video that explains the real problems the state has with budgeting and debunks several myths (via Calitics):

Senate and Assembly leaders Darrel Steinberg and Karen Bass have outlined what the budget process is going to look like this time around. The process starts immediately, as in today, and sounds more inclusive than the previous process. I encourage you to follow the budget, as it will have serious effects on Oakland. The best way to follow it is via Calitics or Capital Notes. Also, if readers are interested, I may do some coverage here.

Beyond this year’s budget, it’s clear that we need to make some serious changes in California. Courage Campaign has offered up three steps to fix California:

STEP ONE: Restore democracy and accountability in our budget process — majority vote for budgets
STEP TWO: Restore responsible taxation of the wealthy and corporations
STEP THREE: Call for a Constitutional Convention

They’ve already started an online petition for a majority vote budget, which you can sign here. As for the Constitutional Convention, the Bay Area Council has a website up dedicated to making that happen.

Back to Oakland – You’re probably wondering what has happened in the Uptown parking lot saga. Unfortunately, I don’t have much news for you. Staff wrote and submitted the art proposal, but I haven’t heard what’s happened since. Hopefully I’ll have a more definitive update next week. (Thanks to dto510 for keeping me updated on this.)

I ran into the blogger who writes the Overhead Wire yesterday on my way home from work, and he wanted to know what happened with the TOD grant I discussed on Monday. Well, Larry Reid (along with two other members of the council) didn’t come to the council meeting on Tuesday, and the item thankfully stayed on the consent calendar. This means that Oakland is accepting the grant to study transit-oriented development along International, and TransForm will do a stellar job working with them on this.

If you missed last week’s BART board meeting on the Oakland Airport Connector, you can now listen to it in its entirety. Scott Mace has taken it upon himself to record every BART meeting. You can check out the recordings on his blog. Thanks Scott for this awesome service! Now if we could just find someone to do the same for AC Transit board meetings.

And one last thing – next week I’m finally going to post the results of the Living in the O survey. So if you haven’t taken it yet, now’s your last chance.

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