In Alameda, the first weapon of choice for political campaigns is the lawn sign. Alameda resident and business owner Marshall Cromer has what might be a bazooka compared to everyone else’s standard-issue rifle.
Marshall Cromer owns Cromer Material Handling on Oakport Street in Oakland, near I-880, and he has lived in Alameda for twenty-one years. The digital sign he has in the parking lot of his business flashes messages, such as sales promotions, to drivers on the freeway. Lately, the sign has included messages urging Alameda residents to vote “no” on Measure E.
“This isn’t about the children,” Mr. Cromer told Action Alameda News, “this is about the administrators and the labor groups and all the money they’ve approved for themselves. I’ve taken the time to read the labor agreements.”
Cromer says that if all AUSD staff – administrators, teachers, everyone – would accept “a 10% haircut, like all the rest of us have had,” then the District could save about $7 million. That would be half of the $14 million annually that AUSD hopes to raise with the passage of Measure E. “But they won’t do it,” he said.
The messages on the sign, he says, despite some glitches in the digital billboard – “they’re coming next week to fix the sign” – have generated a number of telephone calls to his office, all of them positive.
Ballots for the Measure E special vote-by-mail only election began arriving in Alameda mailboxes this week. There will be no polling stations; voters must cast their vote, place it in the envelope and sign the outside of the envelope, and mail it back to the Registrar of Voters.