Measure L, which would authorize $650 million towards affordable housing and public infrastructure, is set to appear on Berkeley’s ballot on November 8.
The measure needs to be approved by two-thirds of those who vote on it in order to be passed, according to city attorney Farimah Faiz Brown’s impartial analysis of Measure L, it would authorize “$650 million of general obligation bonds to finance the acquisition and improvement of real property for affordable and social housing.”
Measure L is supported by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, the Democratic Party and unanimously by the city council, according to the city of Berkeley’s website.
District 5 city Councilmember Sophie Hahn said she “unequivocally supports” Measure L.
“I am looking forward to another 15 hundred affordable homes for working families and to help us continue our successful work to rehouse the homeless,” Hahn said. “I am also looking forward to 97% of Berkeley streets from Tilden Park all the way down to the Bay being brought to good or better than good condition.”
In reference to those planning to vote no on Measure L, Hahn alleged that the things being said in opposition to measure L are “simply untrue” and she finds it dismaying that a “small group of disgruntled people who have a variety of small complaints are trying to derail the most important progress for our city possibly in the last century.”
District 7 city Councilmember Rigel Robinson also expressed his support of Measure L.
“Measure L is the most important choice on the ballot for Berkeley voters this year,” said Robinson. “We urgently need to fix our streets and build new, clean and sustainable transportation infrastructure to reduce emissions and respond to climate change.”
Berkeleyans for Better Planning is leading the No on Measure L campaign, alleging it was a last-minute ballot measure without adequate planning behind it, according to Jim McGrath, the campaign chair of Berkeleyans for Better Planning. McGrath also alleged that many of the goals of Measure L are already being funded through other measures.
According to McGrath, they would like to improve the city of Berkeley but feel Measure L is not the best way to do so. McGrath is fearful that Measure L passes, it would cause really “significant debates” over who and where the money is allocated.
The Berkeleyans for Better Planning organization is endorsed by the Alameda County Green Party, Berkeley Neighborhoods Council and Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association, according to the organization’s website.
McGrath would like to put a reformative measure on the ballot in 2024.
“We are going to try to do these things with a finer level of detail and a lot more accountability,” McGrath said.