In this November’s midterm elections, there are three Alameda County measures on the Berkeley ballot. Measure FF would approve wildfire- and water-related safety measures in the East Bay Regional Park District, while Measures E and G ensure the allocation of crucial funding to the Peralta Community College District — and the thousands of students and staff whose futures depend on the district.
The Daily Californian editorial board believes that all of these are critical measures. Here’s why.
Measure FF — YES
If you’ve ever spent the day strolling among the trees in the Redwood Regional Park, you know the importance of preserving our parks. And that can be done thanks to Measure FF.
The measure proposes a reasonable fee for a wide range of services — including reducing wildfire risks, preserving water quality and increasing park safety — that will benefit nearly everyone in the district. The fee is only $12 per year for single-family residences and $8.28 per year for multifamily units, and it will ensure that the East Bay Regional Park District is able to maintain and protect its public parks.
The fee has already been in place since 2004, and this measure would simply be a renewal of the existing amount — and a renewal that voters can be confident in, based on good policy management by the park district in the last year.
Vote yes on Measure FF.
Measure E — YES
Community colleges are fundamental to creating diverse and successful student bodies at colleges in California. More than 4,000 of the students admitted to UC Berkeley this year were transfers. Unfortunately, many community colleges lack the funding they need to help their students succeed — a problem addressed in Alameda County by Measure E.
If approved, Measure E will renew a $48 annual parcel tax. The funding would provide the Peralta Community College District — which serves Berkeley City College — with funding for core academic programs that help students build successful careers or transfer to universities.
In the past, there have been controversies surrounding the allocation and management of the funds from this parcel tax. If voters approve this measure, it’s imperative that they hold the district accountable to its promises. A vote for Measure E is a vote of confidence in students’ futures.
Vote yes on Measure E.
Measure G — YES
As is the case with Measure E, a vote for Measure G would be a crucial show of support for thousands of students and teachers in Alameda County.
The measure calls for upgrades to classrooms, technology and job-training services in the Peralta Community College District. If approved, Measure G would replace seismically unsafe buildings and provide better security, lighting and emergency communication services to the college system — upgrades that are integral to student and staff welfare.
The measure authorizes the district to issue up to $800 million in bonds by taxing county residents $24.50 per $100,000 of assessed property value. Although the measure also requires financial audits and oversight of the funds by an independent committee, it is undeniable that the funding generated by this measure would be astronomical. Strict and thorough oversight is a must — and is a critical component of the Daily Cal editorial board’s willingness to endorse this measure.
Vote yes on Measure G.