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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Council Member; City of Emeryville

The questions were prepared by the LWV Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Measures U and V, The good of the City as a whole, Housing

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. Do you support the proposed Charter Measure and the Property Transfer Tax? Please explain the benefits or problems you see if the voters pass them.

Answer from Dianne Martinez:

I am in support of both of these ballot measures, and I know our city will benefit from local funding for our local needs, including our outstanding fire services and police forces.

Measure U will allow Emeryville to become a Charter City like our neighbors Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Albany and Piedmont. Charter Cities are able to organize and run themselves with greater autonomy than those constrained by General Law (dictated by the state), as we are now.

Becoming a Charter City can affect many facets of local governance. However, the charter to be put forward on the ballot is concise and clear: if enacted, Emeryville will continue under the same constraints as it does now, with the added ability to enact a Real Property Transfer Tax. This transfer tax, listed on your ballot as Measure V, is an important measure that voters will be considering this November. At a proposed rate of $12 per every $1,000 of a real estate sale, Emeryville's transfer tax will finally be close to neighboring cities, yet still competitive. Berkeley and Oakland are both at $15 per $1,000, and those rates could be going up in the near future.

Answer from Scott Donahue:

I support measures U and V. We need financial security in unstable economic times.

Our neighbors in Berkeley and Oakland are charter cities that have levied Real Estate Property Transfer Taxes. At a proposed $12 per $1,000 each sale, Emeryville can still undercut what those cities charge, and remain competitive.

? 2. What would be your highest priority for the good of the City as a whole?

Answer from Dianne Martinez:

My highest priority for Emeryville is to foster qualities that draw families to put down roots in this city. My own journey as a mother and a homeowner has shown me how raising a family in a given place can make citizens engaged and involved in a community. I also believe that what draws families to communities (great schools, top tier public safety services, walkability) also serves the public at large.

Answer from Scott Donahue:

To continue to grow our city while reducing our greenhouse gasses, while increasing livability for all.

? 3. How would you evaluate the housing mix in Emeryville? Does the City provide adequate and appropriate housing for low and very low income residents, for people who work in Emeryville, for families, for the elderly, for the disabled?

Answer from Dianne Martinez:

There is a lack of affordable housing in Emeryville. With the loss of our re-development agency, the city needs to focus on incentivizing the inclusion of affordable housing in future developments. I will work to find creative solutions to addressing this serious issue.

I think this also ties into the issue of minimum wage. I support raising the minimum wage in line with what is being proposed on the regional level.

Answer from Scott Donahue:

I feel very strongly that affordable, family friendly housing is integral to any community, and the city needs to do more to ensure that Emeryville provides such housing. For example, any new developments in town should be required to provide an adequate percentage of affordable housing for families. Also, Emeryville should explore other models for affordable housing, such as the Emeryville Artists' Cooperative, where I have lived for the past 37 years.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:55 PDT
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