Last week, after the Alameda Unified School District approved a resolution to put a $659/year (residential) parcel tax on the ballot in June, we asked the three self-declared Alameda candidates for Mayor – Frank Matarrese, Marie Gilmore, and Tony Daysog – whether or not they would endorse the tax in the context of two issues of broad interest to residents in the City. None of them directly responded to the questions.
Here is the e-mail we wrote to the candidates. Immediately below are their responses.
This message is being sent to the three self-declared Alameda Mayoral candidates, Frank Matarrese, Marie Gilmore and Tony Daysog….
As you well know by now, earlier this week AUSD passed a replacement tax, representing a 114% increase in the combined amount of Measures A and H for residential property owners. ($659/yr v. $309/year)
My questions for each of you, are, given the following:
1) California Redevelopment Association suit to block State re-allocation of local redevelopment funds to schools.
Superior Court for Sacramento County, California Redevelopment Association et al. v. Genest et al., Case No. 34-2009-80000359-CU-WM-GDS (CRA v. Genest)
All of you have generally been supportive of the redevelopment/tax increment financing mechanism in Alameda, most uniformly around the Alameda Cineplex/theater/Parking Garage.
Tony, you lent your name to the PtP endorser’s list.
Marie, you (belatedly) spoke out against Measure B.
Given this, do you support the Redevelopment’s association lawsuit to block the re-allocation of local redevelopment funds for schools?
Knowing that the redevelopment association is keeping money from the schools, do you endorse the parcel tax?
2) In a recent article, Dennis Green spoke about the “de facto segregation” of Alameda schools – largely White and Asian populations in East End, Bay Farm and Gold Coast elementary schools, and more “diversity” in the West-end schools, like Paden, Franklin, and Ruby Bridges. The publicly available enrollment data backs this up: http://www.action-alameda-news.com/ausd-enrollment-demographics/
AUSD’s master plan, approved on Feb 23rd, acknowledges the achievement gap between African-American / Hispanic and White / Asian students and talks about “Plan A” needing a parcel tax. However, the parcel tax ballot language makes no committent to allocate funds to address that gap. Indeed, the ballot language approved earlier this week doesn’t mention the achievement gap at all.
Given this, do you plan to endorse the parcel tax as written, with no allocation specifically for addressing the documented achievement gap?
Do you think a parcel tax should such as that approved by the AUSD Board earlier this week set aside funds to address this achievement gap?
[The link to Dennis Green’s article was not included in our e-mail, but we provide it here.
Tony Daysog wrote back “Yes, I endorse the parcel measure. ”
Frank Matarrese directed us to a blog posting on his campaign website, which begins with “I wanted to share with you that I will be voting yes on the upcoming Alameda Unified School District parcel tax ballot measure this June. I urge you to do the same.” Later in the post, Mr. Matarrese wrote about not relying on State funding for the schools, but he did not speak to the issue of the California Redevelopment Lawsuit blocking the State legislature from re-directing money to K-12 schools.
Marie Gilmore did not respond.