Update: Measure Z in Alameda did not pass—with 59% voting no—a disappointing result for affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing.
Voting Yes on Measure Z would have helped the City of Alameda make housing more affordable, accessible, and inclusive by repealing the City’s longstanding ban on multi-family homes.
A supermajority of the Alameda City Council placed Measure Z on the ballot so voters could decide on repealing Alameda Charter Article 26, which bans multi-dwelling units, historically referred to as Measure A. It also limits citywide housing density to one housing unit per 2,000 square feet. Article 26 is a relic of racist land-use and discriminatory housing policies that have denied the dream of homeownership to families who deserved better.
Measure Z would have lifted the discriminatory ban on multi-family dwellings and given the City Council a much greater ability to support more affordable housing. YES on Z would NOT have affected the City of Alameda’s historic architecture or raised taxes. Existing homes, including the many beautiful Victorians, would not have been affected by Z passing. While repealing Article 26 could eventually bring in new revenue to our City, it was in no way a new tax or fee.
Voting Yes on Measure Z would also have enhanced climate resiliency by allowing more people in Alameda to live closer to work and drive less. The City’s Climate Action Plan specifically calls for more multi-family homes near transit as a key strategy to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)—a key measure of overall street and highway use.
The Yes on Measure Z campaign aligned with Greenbelt Alliance and our mission to ensure the Bay Area’s lands and communities are resilient to a changing climate. We are disappointed Measure Z did not pass.
Greenbelt Alliance joined affordable housing advocates, environmentalists, businesses, and faith leaders in wholeheartedly endorsing Yes on Measure Z. We were hopeful that the year 2020 would be the year to vote for inclusion and a climate-resilient future for coming generations. Though Measure Z did not pass, we are dedicated to the fight for more inclusive, affordable, and climate-smart housing policies for all Bay Area residents.