Oakland’s Measure AA creates a 30-year parcel tax to fund early childhood education and college readiness programs.
The goal? To help low-income families. So that all kids get quality early childcare and preschool that research shows their brains need. And, so more low-income students make it to college.
Measure AA puts a 198 dollar annual tax on each city residential parcel. Multiple parcels would be taxed at 135 dollars a year for each occupied unit. There are some exemptions.
It’s expected to raise 30 million dollars a year. Nearly two thirds would go to the early education and childcare piece. Just shy of a third would go to the Oakland Promise Fund - to provide mentoring and scholarships to help youth graduate from high school and college. The rest would go for city oversight. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass.
So who supports Measure AA? Oakland’s Mayor, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and lots of educational and children’s health groups. Backers have raised more than 2 million dollars. Among them: the East Bay Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Opponents are homeowners, property managers and others who don’t want another parcel tax. They say there’s no proof this would boost graduation rates and that oversight would be weak. As of last week, they’d raised about 33 thousand dollars.
So, vote YES on Measure AA if you want a new parcel tax for early education and college prep. Vote NO if you don’t want another parcel tax or believe oversight wouldn’t be strong enough.