Z makes Alameda better

I’ve lived in Alameda since 2010 and have always loved it. We were finally able to buy a house recently after years of renting and want others to have the opportunity to be part of this great community.

When Measure A added Article 26 to the charter of Alameda, forbidding the development of multifamily housing units, maybe people believed that it was crucial to protect our island’s beautiful Victorian houses — but that’s not necessary anymore. Our historic housing is protected by a city ordinance that no one is trying to repeal.

Today, it is essential that we develop a future island with more opportunities for more people, of more races and income levels, to live and work and play and go to school here. I value this and want this future for my child and his schoolmates. The dreadful fire seasons we have been experiencing are due partly to climate change, and partly due to the cost of housing development that forces people farther and farther into the urban-wildlife interface.

Creating community that encourages people to live close to their work will help mitigate the emissions of the long commute and remove the need to live far into fire-prone areas, and we as a city will benefit from a more diverse population living in and working for the Island. Thoughtful and forward-thinking development of multifamily housing in Alameda is one of the most basic ways we as a community can respond to the many crises we are experiencing: fire, drought, climate change, and the effects of an unequal society.

Single-family housing is great, but I have also been a renter and an apartment dweller in Alameda and know how important it is to have those options too. We all benefit when we have a stock of housing that’s available for a wide variety of people’s needs and incomes. As an Alameda resident and homeowner, I urge you to vote “yes” on Z.

— Jennifer Snow