In a major milestone in the fight for clean parks and water in Oakland, Measure Q is on the March ballot. For years, Oakland residents have had to deal with a lack of investment in the City’s parks which has led to inadequate landscaping, facility maintenance, and litter cleanup. In fact, parks all over the city have creeks running through them, and all of Oakland’s parks are connected to storm drains that carry trash and other pollution into local creeks and the Bay. This water pollution not only trashes our parks and prevents residents from enjoying the creeks, but also violates water quality laws and creates liability for the city.
Measure Q, on the March 3rd ballot, will address this situation by creating $21 million in new funds annually through a $12 per month parcel tax that will be used to improve park facilities. Save The Bay worked with Councilmember Dan Kalb to ensure that Measure Q includes more than $1 million annually to improve the City’s stormwater system, which will keep pollution out of our parks and creeks, and ultimately out of our Bay.
Preventing trash pollution from entering the stormwater system will benefit the City’s parks, while simultaneously improving the health of the Bay. By utilizing “green” stormwater infrastructure, Oakland can create natural pollution barriers that will not only improve the quality of water in our creeks and reduce the amount of trash in the Bay, but also green Oakland by adding more trees, rain gardens, and planter boxes throughout the city. These investments will improve the overall quality of life for all Oakland residents.
Oakland’s parks have also become a shelter of last resort for Oakland residents who can’t afford housing or have fallen into homelessness for other reasons. This measure will provide critical funding to offer support and services to Oakland’s unhoused residents, including the expansion of temporary, transitional, and supportive housing. While we work to advance our mission to protect the health of the Bay, its important that we do our part to address the reality of housing insecurity in our communities, and care for those who are most in need of help.
If Measure Q passes, Oakland will gain much needed capacity to improve parks and water quality, and care for unhoused residents.