Update: We are excited to report that Oakland’s Measure Y school bond passed, designating funds to pay for converting asphalt-covered schoolyards into rich outdoor environments that strengthen local ecological systems and resiliency; foster equitable health, play, and social opportunities; and provide hands-on learning.
Measure Y was a bond measure, requiring a 55% majority to pass. Oakland residents made their decision clear with 72% voting yes to pass Measure Y!
Not every school has a garden or a bench under a tree. Not every neighborhood has a park within walking distance. “Green schoolyards can benefit not only the children at that school, they can provide an accessible network of oases around the whole city” explains Executive Director, Amanda Brown-Stevens, in a recent Reuters article.
That’s why Greenbelt Alliance stepped out of our typical box of work to endorse the Yes on Measure Y school bond measure in the City of Oakland. For the benefit of students and their families, Measure Y includes designated funds to pay for converting asphalt-covered schoolyards into rich outdoor environments that strengthen local ecological systems and resiliency; foster equitable health, play, and social opportunities; and provide hands-on learning.
With the changing climate, we need to invest in green schoolyards, better air and water quality, and energy efficiency. Many of the schools in the Oakland Unified School District were built over 70 years ago. Aging classrooms with old plumbing, asphalt-covered schoolyards, antiquated technology, and no air conditioning require urgent upgrades.
Outdated facilities put students at a disadvantage; and as temperatures rise with climate change, classrooms reach uncomfortable and unsafe temperatures of up to 100 degrees putting students’ safety in jeopardy. Measure Y will generate $735 million to upgrade schools and invest in a more climate-healthy educational experience for decades to come.