Berkeley residents had a chance to vote on seven local measures — three Alameda County measures, four city of Berkeley measures — on their November ballots. All passed as of press time about 2 a.m.
Berkeley city measures
This year’s four city measures — addressing topics from homelessness to rent control — were put on the November ballot by the Berkeley City Council. All four measures passed as of press time, some with an overwhelming majority. Others had to reach a two-thirds or 55 percent majority but jumped that hurdle.
Measure O — PASS
Passing with 75.88 percent of the vote as of press time, Measure O approved a $135 million general obligation bond to help create more affordable housing in Berkeley.
According to Berkeley City Councilmember Sophie Hahn, the funds unlocked by Measure O can be used to leverage matching funds from the county and state, giving the city access to additional money to spend on affordable housing.
Measure P — PASS
Measure P also passed with an overwhelming majority of the vote, coming in at 70.59 percent as of press time.
The measure approved a 1 percent tax increase on the top third of property transfers to help fund services for Berkeley’s homeless population, currently estimated to be about 1,000 people, according to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín’s website.
“I think we really need both (Measures O and P) to address the homelessness and affordable housing crises that we’re facing in Berkeley and Bay Area, in general,” said Adena Ishii, president of the League of Women Voters for Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville.
Measure Q — PASS
As of press time, Measure Q received 69.44 percent of the vote. Measure Q approved new rent control legislation for the city of Berkeley. The majority of this legislation, however, will not go into effect because state Proposition 10 failed.
Since the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act remains in place, the only part of Measure Q that will go into effect is a blanket rent control exemption for accessory dwelling units that are “secondary unit(s) with complete independent living facilities,” according to the city of Berkeley’s website.
Measure R — PASS
Measure R passed after receiving 82.86 percent of the votes as of press time. The measure advises the mayor and City Council to create a 30-year plan, called “Vision 2050,” to update Berkeley infrastructure in an environmentally sustainable way.
“I think infrastructure is extremely important but not talked about as much,” said City Councilmember Kriss Worthington in a previous interview with The Daily Californian. “It’s combining the nuts and bolts of infrastructure with being a greener city.”
Alameda County measures
The three Alameda County measures on the November ballot affect the Peralta Community College District and the East Bay Regional Park District. All three measures passed as of press time.
Measure E — PASS
Measure E received 81.03 percent of the vote as of press time. Voters thus approved an extension of an eight-year 2012 special parcel tax that gives the Peralta Community College District $8 million a year.
The current parcel tax is scheduled to end in 2020. Measure E extends the parcel tax until 2028.
“The programs and facilities made possible by this funding will enable us to better serve our multicultural communities in the future,” said Spencer Moore, spokesperson for Peralta Community College District, in an email.
The Peralta Community College District includes Oakland’s Laney and Merritt colleges, the College of Alameda and Berkeley Community College.
Measure G — PASS
Passing with 74.48 percent of the vote as of press time, Measure G allows the Peralta Community College District to issue $800 million in bonds over the next 40 years.
The funds will be used on various projects within the district, including technology infrastructure upgrades and sewer system repairs, according to the Alameda County voter guide. The funds cannot be used for projects not specified in the measure, for example on administrator salaries.
“The passage of the bond issue, will help the District meet the educational needs of the students in the Peralta system,” Moore said in an email. “These needs will be met with new construction and remodeling of infrastructure to improve the learning environment.”
Measure FF — PASS
Passing with 85.44 percent of votes as of press time, Measure FF approves the East Bay Regional Park District to levy a 20-year special parcel tax, beginning in 2020. It would act as an extension to the previously approved 2004 Measure CC when Measure CC expires.
Measure FF will be used to fund projects within the East Bay Regional Park District, including vegetation maintenance and educational programs. It will also provide operational costs for several parks in the district, according to Norman La Force, chair of the Sierra Club’s East Bay Public Lands Committee.
“It will provide the continued operations for a number of parks in the area that the tax covers, including McLaughlin Eastshore Park, for the Martin Luther King Jr. regional preserve in West Oakland,” La Force said.
Activist Maxina Ventura, who works with the East Bay Pesticide Alert, which is part of a larger coalition against Measure FF, described the measure’s passage as “really bad news.” The coalition is opposed to the restoration of “native plants” in the district, which is part of the vegetation restoration plan funded by the measure.
Check back for updates.