Lake Merritt by Jed Sullivan
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Victor Flores

Win: Oakland Votes Yes on Measure U

Update: Oakland residents chose to fund various infrastructure and affordable housing projects by passing Measure U!

Ahead of the November 2022 Election, Greenbelt Alliance encouraged residents of Oakland to vote yes on Measure U. In 2016 voters passed Measure KK which authorized the City of Oakland to issue $600 million in general obligation bonds to fund various infrastructure and affordable housing projects. Measure KK allocated the lion’s share of bond money to transportation-related improvements such as pavement and bike facilities as well as public works capital improvements in alignment with their climate action plan. $100 million was dedicated to affordable housing with 99% of those funds being allocated as of a few months ago. The majority of those funds were used for site acquisition and Acquisition and Conversion to Affordable Housing. Despite the investment from the City, they only completed 20% of their affordable housing RHNA goal in the 5th cycle. To be successful in the next cycle, the City of Oakland will require an even greater investment which Measure U will make possible.

While the two measures are nearly identical, U is independent of Measure KK and will authorize the City to issue $850 million in bonds, including $350 million for the construction and preservation of interim and permanent affordable housing. The remaining funds will be allocated to infrastructure improvements similar to Measure KK. Higher assessed properties will pay a larger share of the bond repayment.

Why We Supported Measure U

Homelessness has risen by 24% in Oakland over the last three years. So, it is critical that the City has funding for subsidized affordable housing. Oakland remains a growing city where many workers from San Francisco and Silicon Valley move to for lower housing costs. Measure U allows the City to receive matching funds and will also allow for greater flexibility in deploying money, making it more competitive across the income spectrum. 

Oakland’s recent Climate Action Plan will also guide many of the City’s infrastructure improvements that are aligned with our goal of increasing public transportation access, bike facilities, walkability, and parks.

Photo: Jed Sullivan via Flickr

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