City of Oakland Kids First!, Measure OO (November 2008)
Of the city's annual total revenues, Measure OO meant that these amounts would be set aside for children's services:
- 1.5% for two years
- 2/5% thereafter.
As the City of Oakland budget experienced difficulties in 2009, the City Council decided to put the issue in front of voters again. On July 21, 2009, voters approved Measure D, which reduced funding for the city's youth programs.
- These final election results are from the Alameda County elections office.
What Measure OO does
Measure OO the funding the city provides for a youth services program, the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth. The existing program is funded by 1.5% of the city's annual revenues. The proposed ballot initiative would keep the funding at that level until 2012, when the spending level would increase to 2.5% of city revenues.
Oakland city council member Jean Quan said in early April she wouldn't support it, saying that "Running the city by initiative is really not a good idea." Quan also expressed concern that if another initiative to increase the size of the Oakland police force by 300 officers makes the ballot and passes, the city would face financial problems.
Repeal effort underway
Some Oakland City Council members want to put a new ballot measure before Oakland's voters to repeal or amend Measure OO, in the face of the $50 million deficit facing the city. March 17 was set as the date when the city council would decide what measure they want to refer to the ballot, but deadlock among members prevented a compromise. The matter was raised again at the March 31 meeting.
- One group on the City Council wants Measure OO to be completely repealed.
- Another group wants to amend it.
In the end, the City Council decided to put the measure before voters once again, and on July 21, 2009, voters will be asked whether or not to reduce the amount of money the city sets aside for youth programs.
Dellums blames OO
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums released a budget report in late January 2009 that project Oakland as having a general fund deficit of $50 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009, and $58 million the year after that. His report says that this is due to two factors:
- The economic recession.
- Expected increases in spending on children's programs, noting that the city is now required to spend millions more than it currently does on children's programs after voters passed the Kids First! ballot measure, Measure OO, in November.
The question on the ballot:
|Measure OO: "To increase existing mandatory funding for children's and youth services, shall the City Charter be amended to (1) increase the annual set aside for grants to organizations serving children and youth to 1½ % for two years and 2½ % thereafter of the City's annual total revenues, with audits and an oversight committee, and (2) in addition to the set aside, increase the annual amount that the City is required to spend on children and youth?"|
- Inside Bay Area: "Reduction in funding for youth programs hits ballot," April 1, 2009
- Alameda Times-Star, Council takes dim view of rule by initiative, April 18, 2008
- Inside Bay Area, "No Resolution on Measure OO", March 5, 2009
- Inside Bay Area, "Oakland council deadlocks on youth funding plan", March 18, 2009
- Inside Bay Area, "Red ink awaits Oakland council upon return to business", January 26, 2009