Each election year brings a plethora of ballot measures and initiatives for Bay Area voters to evaluate. Greenbelt Alliance is recommending a YES position on four local measures for the November 2012 election:
YES on Alameda County Measure B1
Measure B1 would double the existing transportation sales tax in Alameda County, extend it in perpetuity, and approve a $7.8 billion plan for the next 30 years of spending.
This measure would provide an unprecedented infusion of resources for transit, street repair, walking and biking infrastructure, and transit-oriented development. These investments are critical to encourage the type of development that will strengthen the quality of life for residents of all income levels, reduce carbon emissions, and minimize the pressure on our region’s natural landscapes.
While the measure does include some projects that would create more auto-dependency and incentives for sprawl, on balance, Measure B1 points Alameda County solidly in the right direction. Vote YES on B1.
YES on Marin County Measure A
Measure A is a temporary ¼-cent sales tax increase and would generate approximately $10 million annually for nine years to protect Marin parks, open space, and farmland:
- 65% of the funds would be available to Marin County Parks to restore natural resources, maintain county parks and open space preserves, restore and improve public access, and protect natural lands
- 20% would be dedicated to saving family farms and ranches
- 15% would be available to cities, towns, and special districts to manage their parks, nature preserves, recreation programs, and vegetation to reduce the risk of wildfire
Marin’s natural and working landscapes provide locally grown food, protect our water supply, and allow for outdoor recreation. Parks, farms, and ranches are an integral part of the culture and economic well-being of Marin County — investing in their maintenance and long-term viability is critical for preserving these landscapes for future generations. Vote YES on A.
YES on San Francisco Measure C
Measure C would create a Housing Trust Fund in San Francisco—a long-term, local, funding source for affordable housing which would:
- Generate $1.2 billion over the next 30 years and help create up to 30,000 new, permanently affordable homes for low-income San Francisco households
- Double the existing homebuyer assistance program to $30 million to help first-time moderate-income homebuyers
- Create a $15 million home stabilization program to help residents facing foreclosure stay in their homes
Capital for the Fund would come from a portion of the hotel tax that has traditionally been dedicated to affordable housing, revenue from the proposed gross receipts tax on business revenues (also on the November ballot), and future revenues from property tax increments that were previously used by the former Redevelopment Agency to produce affordable housing.
Availability of homes affordable to all residents in cities throughout the region is essential for the Bay Area to remain a thriving, dynamic place to live and work. Vote YES on C.
Yes on Healdsburg Measure W
Urban Growth Boundaries are one of the strongest tools for protecting our natural landscapes and creating thriving neighborhoods. Every city in Sonoma County has an urban growth boundary ensuring that lands beyond these boundaries remain for rural uses. Measure W, added to the November 2012 ballot via unanimous vote by the Healdsburg City Council, will extend the timeframe past the existing December 31, 2016 expiration date to December 31, 2030.
Vote YES on W.