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Article on Measure A in Alameda Magazine

Alameda Magazine has published a new article on the Measure A debate. Unfortunately, the author chose to bring up the old red-herring accusations of “racism” leveled by Measure A critics. And HOMES trots out the same worn-out, inaccurate phrases about how Measure A prevents affordable housing from being built and so on.

First of all, although racist attitudes are never far below the surface here in Alameda, or for that matter, anywhere in America, the idea that Measure A is somehow keeping out non-whites simply doesn’t make any sense. And while there are, no doubt, some people in Alameda who would like to keep minorities out of Alameda, it’s absurd to suggest that Measure A is a tool that can, or has done that.

As Action Alameda has documented several times, the non-white population in Alameda grew significantly after the war, and during the past 30 years that Measure A has been in place. And while Measure A can limit housing type, it cannot control who buys or rents the houses in Alameda. To the extent that anyone, if there are such people, thinks that Measure A can control the racial mix of Alameda, the proof in the pudding is that it is ineffective for doing so.

As for affordable housing for minorities, the Mayor of Alameda did the most damage when she allowed the Fifteen Group to evict the majority non-white residents from Harbor Island Apartments, now called Summerhouse Apartments. And while the Alameda Magazine article made reference to the Guyton lawsuit, the author neglected to mention that in 1991, the City of Alameda settled the lawsuit, and agreed to build 325 homes in Alameda that would be exempt from Measure A. To date, only 91 of those homes have been built. And that’s not Measure A’s fault.

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