TransForm is strongly recommending a yes vote on two important measures before Oakland voters on November 8. Together, they will help Oaklanders struggling to deal with the housing crisis and make the city more livable by improving roads, parks, and other infrastructure.
Yes on Measure JJ
The Renter Protection Act of 2016 establishes lasting protections for residents who are under immense pressure from rising housing costs. Rental rates in Oakland have increased 34 percent since 2011. Renters in the city need whatever help they can get, and Measure JJ is a good place to start.
Measure JJ will:
- Flip the rules on rent increases so that landlords have to petition the Rent Board to increase rents beyond the Consumer Price Index. Currently tenants have to petition to contest large rent hikes.
- Extend Just Cause eviction protections to eligible buildings built through 1995. The current cutoff date is 1980.
- Strengthen the Rent Board and Rent Adjustment Program to increase accountability, transparency, and effectiveness. Specifically, the measure requires annual reports to the city council and notices to landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities. It also requires the creation of a public, searchable database with hearing decisions, appeals, and notices filed.
Affordable housing for people of all incomes is a critical part of creating a connected and sustainable community. Please vote yes on Measure JJ to protect more Oakland renters from unfair rent increases and displacement.
Learn more about the measure and get involved with the Committee to Protect Oakland Renters.
Yes on Measure KK
Measure KK authorizes a $600 million general obligation bond to pay for infrastructure improvements and affordable housing programs in Oakland. It requires two-thirds of the vote to pass, in which case the bond would be funded with a parcel tax based on the assessed value of a home (not its market value).
Drivers, bus riders, and cyclists have all been plagued by Oakland’s notorious potholes, and the lion’s share of this bond measure ($350 million) will help address the backlog of much-needed street-paving and repairs, including sidewalk repairs. Potholes cause mechanical problems and wear-and-tear on cars and buses, so AC Transit will also benefit from smoother streets, helping keep bus service affordable for those who need it.
The measure would fund $150 million in upgrades to city facilities including libraries, parks, senior facilities, and police and fire stations.
Finally, Measure KK includes $100 million for affordable housing initiatives designed to protect residents from displacement. In addition to supporting new construction, it includes an acquisition and rehabilitation program to preserve, increase, and improve the stock of affordable housing in Oakland. The bond would provide funds to help landlords rehabilitate existing affordable rentals (provided they fill vacancies with households at or below 60 percent of the average median income). It would also create a loan program to help low-income and senior homeowners pay for deferred maintenance projects that will allow them to stay in their homes.
Taken together, the projects that Measure KK will fund promise to make Oakland a more affordable and livable city. Vote yes on November 8!
For more information, check out the Measure KK campaign’s website. SPUR did a good job describing the measure overall, and Enterprise Community Partners goes into helpful detail about the affordable housing aspects of KK. Oakland North also has a great article about it.
This post is part of our 2016 Election Guide.