Island Talkback: Fear and ignorance
By Charles Liuson
The Alameda blogosphere and editorials have started to heat up again. The “SunCal Slate” election headlines have been replaced with the “Parcel Tax” boogeyman. This is not surprising, as the Measure H parcel tax elicited a lawsuit from property owners. Recall that APLUS Measure E supporters were portrayed in a YouTube video as racists.
Once again, opponents of the parcel tax are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink in an effort to confuse the discussion. This is a smart tactic, as opponents can make illogical assertions to tar and feather the parcel tax. For instance, someone suggested that parents of school kids pay AUSD a fee to make it fair for taxpayers without kids. This suggestion shows the ignorance of the questioner, as AUSD is not allowed to charge tuition for kids to attend public schools. Alameda Unified is only legally allowed to raise funds either through parcel taxes or school bonds. Our Alameda public schools were established to educate the next generation of Alamedans, Californians and Americans.
Winston Churchill said “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” There will be numerous lies and arguments that parcel tax opponents will continue to put forth from their kitchen sink of ideas: bloated bureaucracy, regressive unfair tax, East Alameda versus West. The tactic is meant to discourage readers and elicit a knee-jerk NO vote.
As reported in the news, the parcel tax has the support of the West Alameda Business Association, the president of the Greater Alameda Business Association,and the Alameda Business Alliance. GABA president Harry Hartman said: “The proposal that you’ve put forward today is a fair and good proposal that most business owners are going to get behind.”
Alameda voters have a choice in March 2011. You could give in to fear and the propagation of rumors. Don’t fall for that. Vote YES for education, and the freedom and opportunities that accompanies it.