Mayoral Candidates Back Measure Z for Public Safety

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Five candidates for Oakland mayor held a press conference to express their unanimous support this week to support a “Yes” vote on Measure Z, Oakland’s public safety tax measure.

Measure Z is designed to replace Measure Y, which is expiring.

Speaking in favor of the measure at Measure Z campaign headquarters in Old Oakland were mayoral candidates Bryan Parker, Jean Quan, Joe Tuman, Libby Schaaf and Rebecca Kaplan. Dan Siegel also has endorsed Measure Z, though he could not attend Monday’s press conference.

Measure Z will increase public safety without increasing taxes, according to supporters.

If passed on November 4, Measure Z will continue an existing measure to fund 50 police officers along with critical anti-violence programs that have been successful in reducing violent crime in Oakland.

“We all need to look long and hard at what Measure Z will do – provide vital dollars and services to keep our city safe,” said candidate Bryan Parker, an Oakland businessman.

The measure will also continue funding for community programs that protect at-risk youth and the re-entry population.

Mayoral candidate and Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf addressed critics of the measure who associate it with the challenges of Measure Y. She said Measure Z has much stronger accountability.

“Measure Z is better in two ways,” Schaaf said. “Measure Z will have tighter accountability with an independent citizen’s commission and it has wording to guarantee actual (police) boots on the ground, not just called for in the budget.”

Added Joe Tuman, mayoral candidate and professor at San Francisco State, “If we don’t pass Measure Z, that’s 50 police officers we lose and we can’t afford that. For those who say this isn’t perfect and let’s start over, that’s too risky and it will take too long. Let’s start moving forward and, whoever is elected mayor, hold their feet to the fire to make Oakland safer.”

“Measure Z is funding the most effective programs to keep our city safe,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “More than 80 percent of young people in the Ceasefire program do not go back to jail. It’s recognized nationally as a successful anti-violence program and it will continue to be funded with Measure Z.”

For those who say they are voting reluctantly for Measure Z, mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan said thank you.

“That’s fine; let’s just vote for Measure Z,” said Kaplan, an Oakland City Councilmember. “We need more than what Measure Z calls for, but let’s be clear: If we don’t pass Measure Z we will be cutting officers and vital services. It’s vital – and we need more.”

Measure Z is supported by The League of Women Voters Oakland, the Democratic Party, The Central Labor Council (including Oakland Police Officers Association, IFPTE, SEIU, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 55), The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, The Pastors of Oakland, and The Oakland Board of Education.

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