We at Filipino Advocates for Justice cannot support Measure KK on the November 2014 Union City ballot.
It’s never a good policy for voters to give developers a blank check. As informed voters we have to examine what Measure KK actually does vs. what its promoters promise it will do. In fact Measure KK only removes the protections for part of Union City’s hillside; protections which were put into place by voters in 1996 because Union City valued protecting the environment from over-development.
While Measure KK supporters promise jobs, hillside protections and no cost to taxpayers; no language in Measure KK will do that. Measure KK lifts hillside protections so the developer can do whatever they want. Bad idea. In fact, when the Masons sought support for development in 2009, they put their plans on hold when they were asked to include a Community Benefits Agreement and Project Labor Agreement. These agreements would have provided jobs and services but the Masons thought such agreements were too costly. Without specific plans contained in the text of the measure, there are no assurances of any kind.
Voters need to look at this Measure in the context of the development that is already under way in the same part of town. Additional developments like the Mason’s proposal will double the impact of traffic and the need for services (like garbage pick up, police, fire, water and increased energy) to support additional infrastructure. The city estimates that the necessary upgrades for infrastructure and emergency services will cost well over $100 million. These additional services will become the responsibility of taxpayers in the form of increased taxes. KK benefits the developers greatly at taxpayers expense.
Further development in the east side will increase rents and displace Decoto renters. They are already bearing the brunt of Union City development. Additional single-family housing will likely re-zone the Decoto neighborhood again, pushing Decoto children out of neighborhood schools.
Voter beware, vote NO on Measure KK.
We call on Filipinos to be informed voters. We are 18% of Union City’s electorate and can be instrumental in preventing the passage of this ill-conceived measure for over development. Protect Union City’s hills and community interests. VOTE NO on Measure KK.