Ballot Measure Round-up

Oakland voters will have themselves a packed ballot in November. On top of picking a brand-new City Councilmember and deciding whether they feel like adding another $450/year to their tax bills, they also have a whole slew of inane propositions to say no to at the State level. Anyway, in case you’re having trouble keeping track, here’s the rundown.


  • Measure VV, AC-Transit: Increases its existing parcel tax by $48 a year for 10 years to fund transit improvements for seniors, people with disabilities and students. Two-thirds vote required.
  • Measure WW, East Bay Regional Park District: Extends existing property tax of $10 per $100,000 assessed valuation per year. Proceeds of $500 million will be used for preservation of creeks, wildlife, open space, purchase of open space and development of parks and trails. Two-thirds vote required.
  • Measure N, Oakland: Levies a 10-year parcel tax of $120 a year for improvements at the city’s public charter schools. Two-thirds vote required.
  • Measure NN, Oakland: Establishes a parcel tax to fund the addition of police officers, crime management data systems and independent audits. Two-thirds vote required.
  • Measure OO, Oakland: Amends city charter to increase the dollar amount of grants to organizations serving children and increase the amount the city must spend on children and youth. Majority vote required.


  • Proposition 1: Authorizes the state to sell $9.95 billion in bonds to partially fund a high-speed passenger train between Los Angeles and Northern California. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 2: Prohibits the confinement on a farm of pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal and egg-laying hens in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 3: Authorizes the state to sell $980 million in bonds for construction projects at children’s hospitals, including the five University of California children’s hospitals. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 4: Amends the California Constitution to require a physician to notify the parent or legal guardian of pregnant minor at least 48 hours prior to performing an abortion involving that minor. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 5: Expands drug treatment diversion programs for criminal offenders, modified parole supervision procedures, allows inmates to earn time off their terms for participation in rehabilitation programs and reduces penalties for marijuana possession. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 6: Creates new state-funded criminal justice programs and mandates that funding for certain existing programs be maintained at 2007-2008 levels. Total funding would increase by $365 million to $965 million starting in 2009. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 7: Establishes and enforces increased use of renewable resources on electricity-generating companies. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 8: Amends the California Constitution to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 9: Amends the California Constitution to expand the legal rights of victims of crime and mandate payment of restitution by offenders, restrict early release of inmates and change the procedures for granting and revoking parole. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 10: Authorizes the state to sell $5 billion in bonds for renewable energy, alternative fuel, energy efficiency and air emissions reduction programs.
  • Proposition 11: Amends the California Constitution to shift the responsibility for drawing political boundaries from the Legislature to an independent citizens commission. Congressional lines are exempted from the new commission’s duties but state Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization districts after the 2010 Census would fall under its purview. Majority vote required.
  • Proposition 12: Authorizes the state to sell $900 million in bonds for the Cal-Vet program, which would allow 3,600 additional veterans to receive farm and home loans. Majority vote required.

Oh, and if that’s giving you a headache, just thank your lucky stars that you don’t live in San Francisco, where they have to deal with ballot measures A through V. OMG!

20 thoughts on “Ballot Measure Round-up

  1. Max Allstadt

    Wait, how is it that the dumbest measure on the Oakland Ballot only requires a majority vote, while the others require two thirds?

  2. VivekB

    Thanks for posting this. Perhaps we should have rephrased state measure #2 to say “unless there’s a 1:1 correlation between fenced in pigs who are unable to move & fenced in Oakland Takeover Robbery thugs who are unable to move.”

  3. Max Allstadt

    So because of Prop 13, if we want to raise a parcel tax we need 2/3rds, but if we want to grant money without raising taxes to pay for it, nor creating any accountability or transparency for said grants, we only need 50%.

    Max’s slogan of the week…
    NOOOOOOO! on OO!

  4. BrettT

    Prop 8: subtle, but important difference:
    Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.
    Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

  5. V Smoothe Post author

    That’s Measure N (not to be confused with NN, the police tax):

    To attract and retain highly qualified and credentialed teachers for Oakland’s District-run public schools, and to support successful educational programs at Oakland’s public charter schools, shall Oakland Unified School District levy $10 per parcel per month ($120 per year) for 10 years with an exemption for low-income residents, mandatory annual audits, an independent citizens’ oversight committee and all money spent to benefit Oakland schools and all Oakland students.

  6. len raphael

    any comment from Dellums re OO kidsfirst prop? would seem to match his philosophy well.

    i’m tempted to support OO. its passage would forcing our leaders to cut the city workforce substantially more than the 15% rumored. this presumes that much of the kids funding would get directed to ngo’s which would be easier to eliminate in round two ( as cf to laying off employees whose unions effectively buy officials) when dellums is gone and this city council eventually thrown out.

    and who’s to predict, maybe some of the ngo’s kids programs can do some good.

    is there anything in the proposition that allocates the increase to ngo’s vs city employees?

    -len raphael

  7. MarleenLee

    No on NN! Combined with (the failed and abused) Measure Y, this would mean almost $400 extra every year for owners of single family homes, with no guaranteed increase in police. Vote no!

  8. Max Allstadt

    Wait. NN doesn’t guarantee anymore cops? Marleen, can you provide us with the loose wording that would get the city out of increasing the force, while still allowing them to take our money? If you’re going to make that allegation, I’m willing to hear you out…. if you show me the objectionable fine print.

  9. MarleenLee

    The critical issue is when the City is allowed to collect the tax. Under Measure Y, the force is supposed to be at least 803 officers. Measure NN claims it will add 35 officers each year, for a total of 105 additional officers. Therefore, in 2009 the number of officers should be at least 838 in order to justify the City being able to collect the tax. But that’s not what the measure says, and unless it says that, there is no real promise to hire the officers. Remember Measure Y? It “promised” an additional 63 officers. We still don’t have them. The City promised voters (on its “FAQ” website) that it wouldn’t collect the tax if the number of officers dropped below 739 (the number on staff at the time Measure Y was approved). And that’s what voters thought Measure Y said. But now the City claims all that was required was that sufficient funds be “appropriated” for 739 officers, and that they didn’t actually need to have that many on staff to collect the money. What obfuscation! The City will engage in whatever deceptive tactics it needs to to get your money. DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD OF IT. MEASURE NN does NOT guarantee additional officers.

  10. Robert

    Marleen – It was discussed on the record that the city would not approve collection of the increased tax for the next year unless the city council verifed that the minimum number of officers were actually o the force (not just trainees) in August. This would apply to both the 803 number for collection of the tax starting in late 2009, and for each incremental increase of 35.

  11. Mike

    In case you weren’t aware, you have the wrong language for Proposition 8. That is the old language. The new language is “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry”

  12. . Andre

    Re comment by len raphael “i’m tempted to support OO. its passage would forcing our leaders to cut the city workforce substantially more than the 15% rumored. this presumes that much of the kids funding would get directed to ngo’s which would be easier to eliminate in round two ( as cf to laying off employees whose unions effectively buy officials) when dellums is gone and this city council eventually thrown out.”

    Basically this would wipe out the Parks & Recreation Department. Not a few people would be laid off, but likely all. Since this measure has no funding, and costs the same as the budget for OPR, there would be no money to run programs or pay staff. Is this what you want? No programs for youth run by the City?

    No on OO!

  13. Max Allstadt

    I’m confused as to why the Democratic Party is against measure N. Is it because of the charter schools and the fact that a lot of teachers’ unions are against charter schools? Or is there some sort of structural problem with the measure?

  14. Ralph


    No on OO should be the mantra of the month.

    On charter schools, if they want money fine but don’t take it from the public school system and don’t ask me to fund it. in my opn. charter schools border ob being private and as such should not be coming after my tax dollar

  15. len raphael

    Andre, in practice i’m completely opposed to OO, though i have my theoretical nihilistic thoughts about the unintended benefits from it passing. As soon as available, I’m planting lawnsigns NO on OO.

    What astounds me is how the city council (except for ignacio maybe) seem caught in the headlights of the OO approaching disaster, instead of leading the effort to defeat OO. eg Jean Q posted that she couldn’t mention it in her newsletter because it was political. Since when did that ever stop other council members from promoting their own races in their city paid newsletters.

    My pet theory is that OO is the frankenstein 20 years of oakland elected officials and the voters created by funding ngo’s before basic city services. Those ngo’s are smarter than city officials and union officials: they are proactively fighting for their survival because they realized the deficit was going to be much larger than dellums and council told us before the election this past june.

    Most of the council members probably hope OO will fail, but are too chkensh_t to take the political risk of organizing opposition, just in case OO passes and the ngo’s get even more powerful.

    -len raphael