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Crosscurrents

Alameda County Measure C: Care For Kids

1090px-Empty_classroom_at_CommuniKids.jpeg
Mariquitas CK
/
Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 4.0
Empty classroom at CommuniKids with empty blocks

Are Alameda County voters willing to increase the sales tax to help fund young children’s healthcare and education? That’s what drafters of Measure C want to know. If passed, Measure C — or the Care for Kids initiative — would raise the county’s sales tax by one-half of one percent. This would last for 20 years and generate about $150 million annually. 

Eighty percent of the funding would go toward childcare and early education. This includes making high-quality childcare and preschool more accessible to low-income and middle-income families AND increasing minimum wage for educators and child care providers to $15/hour. 

The remaining 20 percent of the funding is designated for pediatric health care — Such as providing more staff and facilities to treat kids under and uninsured kids with complex illnesses and to continue funding the Level 1 pediatric trauma center at Oakland's UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Measure C proponents say early quality education and healthcare is critical for children to grow into successful and healthy adults. 

Although there’s no formal opposition to Measure C, critics say the county’s sales tax is already high enough at 9.25% and that the county should explore other ways to fund these programs. 

So if you’re okay with ½ percent sales tax hike to provide more early education and health services to Alameda kids — vote yes on Measure C. If you don’t want to see an increase to the county’s sales tax, vote no. 

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.