Oakland grocers and small businesses held a press conference this week and submitted an open letter to Oakland City Council members, saying that they are misleading voters and making false claims in the media about a “grocery tax” that will be on the November ballot.
At a press conference held at Oakland’s Mi Carnal Market on Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland, storeowner Abdul Taleb and San Francisco grocer Alejandro Del Rio spoke against the “Grocery Tax.”
“We should be focusing on more important issues that are impacting our community like the high cost of living,” said Taleb. “This grocery tax will force small businesses to raise prices across the board, and that is the last thing Oakland residents need.”
“We work hard to play by the rules and extend a brighter future for our families,” continued Taleb. “But policies like these pull us backwards.”
The letter says that small business owners, most of who can’t afford to absorb this added cost, will pass it on to their customers. And they can do so across all items sold, not just on sugar-sweetened beverages.
The letter states: “It means price increases across the board – whether it is fruits, vegetables, soap or toothpaste, it is all going to cost more for our customers.”
In addition to Abdul, the letter was signed by Maria Chavarria of Broadway Burrito, Maria Eva Rodriguez of El Valle Carniceria y Fruteria, Gabriela Graciliano of Charlie’s Las Palmas and Ali Hassan from La Raza Market.