Oakland Fine Arts Summer School: Your (parcel) tax dollars at work

So often these days, I find myself writing about the end of things. But city’s fine arts summer school — free for any child who lives in Oakland — has weathered the downturn and years of budget cuts. Why? Measure G, a $195 school parcel tax that voters renewed (and made permanent) in February 2008, in part, to support fine arts in schools.

The program moved this year from Glenview Elementary to the Fruitvale-area campus of Think College Now and International Community School. This summer, it has more than 300 kids from public and private schools. I visited with photographer Laura Oda. You can find the story here.


The election is over. Will OUSD’s labor lull end?

Compared to this spring, when Oakland teachers held a one-day strike, there has been relative calm this fall on the labor front. Have you noticed it, too?

It seemed as if both sides were waiting. Would Oaklanders would come forth with an infusion of cash — about $17 million a year for OUSD employees until 2021 — to save the day?

Not this time. Not enough of them, anyway. As of this morning, the Measure L parcel tax had received 65.05 percent approval; it needed 66.67 percent to pass. There are only a few thousand more votes to count, said Guy Ashley, a spokesman for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Troy Flint, the OUSD spokesman, said he expected contract negotiations to “begin in earnest again,” now that the election results are in. (Final tally at 4 p.m. today.)

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Don’t count out Measure L!

UPDATE: With all of the precincts in, Measure L had 65.2 percent voter approval, about 1 1/2 points short of what it needs to pass. There are still more mail-in and provisional votes to count, though. Two years ago, Alice Spearman avoided a runoff as a result of a late boost she got through the final tally.


Initial results showed 58 percent approval of the Oakland school parcel tax, about 9 points shy of the two-thirds vote required.

But each time new precinct numbers have come in, that percentage has risen. Measure L had won 64.45 percent of the vote as of 12:09 a.m., with more than 70 percent of the precincts in. That’s a little more than two points short of what it needs to pass.

“It’s exciting. We’re trending upward,” Peter Fiske, a campaign volunteer also known as Measure L Man, told me a few minutes ago (before the percentage jumped again, twice). “Clearing the two-thirds hurdle is always a challenge in California, but we’re hopeful.”


Not much has changed in the District 4 school board race between Gary Yee and Ben Visnick. As of midnight, Yee had 69 percent of the vote.