Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 10, 2020

“Why vote for anything that was illegal”

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Back in 1973, one of the reasons why the slate of Corica, Beckham, and Hurwitz ran was to provide leadership in Alameda around the topic of development. While we commonly think of the slate as running hand in hand with the Yes on A/26 campaign, in truth two of the three slate members were not fans of A/26. In fact one of them flatly declared that A/26 was illegal and that he would not vote for something illegal.

Even though Hurwitz had initially supported A/26 he had a change of heart about it after learning more about the measure:

Not only that, he recognized the truths in the impact report about A/26 that A/26 might limit “low and moderate cost” housing for low income families and senior citizens.

And that’s exactly the answer to the question of why remove A/26 from our City Charter, because it’s illegal. Period. Full stop.

There is no justification to keep something that we have bend over backward to defend. And there is no reason to keep something that was designed to be exclusionary, voted in shortly after the Fair Housing Act was signed, enshrined in our City Charter. We’re better than our 1973 worst instincts.


  1. One of the first basic principles of good government that I learned as a new member of League of Women Voters of Alameda almost 20 years ago was that a City Charter should never be clogged up with any zoning regulations or rules that belonged in a city ordinance. The charter is our city’s “constitution,” but it should not contain library hours, parking fees, or other regulations that properly belong in city ordinances. “Measure A” (Section XXVI) was the case in point.

    Sadly, this example of bad governance is still enshrined in our charter. It’s time to remove it.

    Section XXVI (26) of our charter is, essentially, a zoning ordinance. Passed in 1973 as “Measure A,” it has long since outlived any usefulness it might have had when passed. With our historic preservation ordinance on the books it is now an outdated, ineffective, and inappropriate tool for protecting historic resources.

    And, of course, it’s illegal because it conflicts with state law and keeping it complicates Alameda’s ability to receive state funds as well as being inequitable;e to Alameda families and workers who need multifamily housing.


    Comment by Jon Spangler — September 10, 2020 @ 8:49 am

  2. Historical articles are interesting and at times poignant, but I doubt they will change any No on Z voters mind.

    From the debate last night, it is pretty clear to me the tactics being used to scare voters into saying “No”. It is also clear how we will vote.
    The using of ‘straw man’ worries over traffic, density, crime and using plain fear. They claim if only part of 26 was being changed they would have supported that, but I think not and of course we will never know. Their attempt to use statistics to show Article 26 has made Alameda more diverse immediately brings to mind Twain’s popularized quote “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”.

    Fear of “invasion” of developers and fear of others coming to Alameda. Fear of our representative form of government that America has been built on, is what they are peddling.

    If you want to base planning and zoning on the 1960s and early ’70s vote to keep Article 26.

    If you want to have actual input and say in real planning and zoning … if you believe in representative government, including your own voice, I say Vote Yes on Z.

    Comment by Ron Mooney — September 10, 2020 @ 8:55 am

    • Thank you Ron. Fear is a powerful motivator. I fear what our community will look like if we refuse to replace bad policies that have driven out working class residents. How many of our essential workers whom we rely on can actually afford to live here?

      Comment by Serena T Chen — September 10, 2020 @ 9:33 am

  3. Paul Foreman tried to stoke fear last night during the CADC forum by repeatedly using the word “invasion.” Invasion of what? People who look different than him? People with lower incomes who might afford a place in a post-A26 Alameda? Paul Foreman also talked about “established neighborhoods,” which is just more coded language, suggesting other people could disrupt your way of life.

    The real stinker of the night from Paul Foreman was this comment: “I live in a non-compliant condo, so it’s not going to affect me.” And that is the No on Z value in a nutshell: “I got mine.”

    Comment by JRB — September 10, 2020 @ 10:24 am

    • He should get a group of supporters together again for a photograph. The photographer should be warned they will need sunglasses.

      Comment by BC — September 10, 2020 @ 11:28 am

      • Ha! I get that reference. And to deflect the blame on the Roloff campaign, Paul Foreman tried to fall on the sword for not thinking about diversity, but everyone knew these people were exactly the kind of constituents the right-leaning pro-militarized police the Roloff campaign was attracting.

        What is the deal with Paul Foreman, anyway? He always tries to present himself as some kind of “honest broker” unbiased middle man claiming to listen to both sides, but everyone knows he’s soft-peddling his viewpoints so the audience would gravitate to his side. It’s always a show to reach a predetermined outcome. For example, I remember during the wellness campaign in 2019, the Measure B campaign sold lies after lies after lies, and even tried to stoke fear-mongering with Photoshopped fliers, but not a blip from Paul Foreman. But when the Measure A campaign mailed fliers that involved an Oxford comma, Paul Foreman took to NextDoor and made a long screed about “well that does it, given that the A campaign tried deceive us with an Oxford comma, I’m voting No.” Not a single person was surprised by his selective indignation. A prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect where you think you’re the smartest person in the room on issues, but your biases are painfully transparent to everyone else.

        Comment by Reality — September 10, 2020 @ 1:16 pm

        • Reality, you put it so nicely, my opinion from listening to him over the past several years is that he does not tell the truth. kinda like you know who.

          Comment by trumpisnotmypresident — September 11, 2020 @ 9:40 am

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