Letters to the Editor
Elected, sworn representatives of the City of Alameda:
Please publish the total cost including all costs that will have to be covered by the City of Alameda taxpayers for the next 10 years for both Measures pro and con. In my opinion the costs are not presented completely and truthfully. How will the operating costs be paid for?
Also I wonder why and how well the measures in favor of developing the wellness center is supported by outside interests such as Kaiser Health. What benefit do out-of-town organizations gain? This needs to be explained. Thank you.
Editor’s note: The city paid for an independent study that laid out the costs of three options: building the wellness center, building a park on the site of the wellness center and leaving the buildings standing (“Wellness Center Fiscal Options Weighed,” March 21). Information about donors is available at the Alameda County Registrar’s Office.
I was once homeless. I stumbled into Alameda some 10 years ago, after I had been laid off with little savings. When I got here I was living on the little unemployment I still had coming in. I was sleeping in my car. The work I was finding was not stable and I had no credit. This made finding an apartment that I could afford nearly impossible. I struggled that way for nearly a year and hustled my way up to where I was building credit despite having significant housing insecurity.
I was your neighbor when I was homeless. I didn’t fit any of the stereotypes being lobbed about in this Measure A vs. Measure B battle. I suspect that many here are polarized by the homeless who are visible and suffering at many of the encampments near some of the entrances to our city. People who are homeless do not always fit the stereotypes.
What I did find in Alameda was a compassionate community of people who care. We are a sanctuary city because we care about people. The proposed wellness center is an extension of that belief for me, just like the food bank, warming shelter and supportive housing.
The vitriol I have seen on the Internet by some of the opponents of Measure A seem intent to demonize and stereotype the homeless. When it comes to any other subject we are an open and welcoming community. I have seen people fabricate some arbitrary limits on how much Alameda should help the homeless community, demonizing the suggestion that we have a place in our town with the explicit intention of helping elderly and those with acute medical issues who need a place to heal, find respite, hospice and supportive medical housing.
I am shocked to see that I have neighbors who feel that the wellness center is somehow just too much for Alameda to take on and who are inevitably believing and repeating the fear-mongering propaganda being distributed by the Friends of Crab Cove.
I don’t believe that. We can do better than this. Homelessness is a regional issue. We have the ability to help our Alameda neighbors as well as our neighbors in the county. It’s the compassionate thing to do.
The Alameda High School (AHS) Music Boosters would like to thank Alameda Natural Grocery, Alameda School of Music, Pappo Restaurant and the many local businesses that made generous donations to our annual fundraiser held on March 9.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the AHS Concert and Symphonic Bands, Jazz Band, Choir and Guitar Ensemble.
Thank you again.