Letters to the Editor
Next Monday, July 1, the minimum wage in Alameda increases to $13.50 for every employee. This new law acknowledges the economic challenges minimum-wage workers confront and is an important step for the economic vitality of Alameda.
Minimum-wage workers in our community will now have a better chance to make ends meet in one of the country’s most expensive areas. The new minimum wage also allows Alameda to remain competitive with our surrounding cities. Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Richmond and San Leandro have all increased their minimum wage requirements to more than $13.50 per hour.
Like most things in the Island City, it will take all of us to make the most of this change. While local businesses want to support their employees, some worry that the minimum-wage increase could impact the overall health of their businesses. They fear that if prices increase, their customers may visit them less or not at all.
The heads of local business associations told me about how important it remains to support small businesses during this change.
“Now more than ever, Alameda residents need to know how important it is to support our local businesses,” Janet Magleby, executive director of the Downtown Alameda Business Association said. “Local businesses sponsor kids’ sports teams, donate to school fundraisers and help families in need, playing a key role in keeping Alameda vibrant.”
Linda Asbury, executive director of the West Alameda Business Association added, “It’s really important for Alamedans to look to local businesses first. Shopping local fuels our local economy, bringing in needed funding to continue improving this very special city.”
Not only do local businesses provide needed goods and services, they know us — our favorite table, our kids’ names, our favorite authors.
By working together and shopping local, the new minimum wage will benefit everyone. Let’s continue to support our local businesses!
Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) is excited to recognize the receipt of a major gift from the Jamestown Charitable Foundation. During APC’s annual Farm-to-Table Fundraiser, Jamestown generously donated $10,000 and became the organization’s first “Spirit of Hope” sponsor.
A rainy May day did not stop more than 140 guests from attending the fine, catered luncheon presented by A Fork Full of Earth. Attendees enjoyed live music from the East Bay Brass Band, a silent auction and a speech from APC resident Allen Beene. Beene highlighted the impact of APC’s work and his personal story of resilience.
Jamestown President Michael Phillips expressed his company’s intent to support APC in providing permanent supportive housing and services to their residents. He said APC is “providing vital resources and support services to help break the cycle of homelessness in Alameda County” and that Jamestown is “proud to support APC and thankful for the opportunity to create a lasting relationship with this community.”
APC is the largest provider of supportive housing in Alameda County for individuals and families experiencing chronic homeless and permanent disabilities. APC uses Alameda’s decommissioned naval base to provide permanent housing and support services to 500 residents. Jamestown’s donation will support resident housing, APC’s employment, education, job training and youth services.
This year, APC is celebrating 20 years of service to Alameda County. Large contributions such as this one help us continue to provide housing and services that create a community where formerly homeless families feel empowered to break the cycles and symptoms of homelessness.
KGO recently reported that mere rumors about tolls on Alameda’s bridges and tunnels sparked outrage among residents. This outrage is misguided and short sighted. Beyond mere tolls, we should be looking at other traffic-calming measures.
During the morning rush, the traffic should be re-routed so the Webster Tube has just one Alameda-bound lane, and the other should be reserved for buses, carpools and zero-emission vehicles. Similarly, in the evening rush, the Posey Tube should be converted to a single lane Oakland-bound.
Metropolitan areas all over the country regularly use these types of traffic-switching measures, which would require community education and adequate signage prior to implementation. Making the tubes a single lane in either direction would eliminate the problems seen on the Bay Bridge, where drivers dart in and out of the carpool lanes.
In addition, vehicles using those lanes should pay a nominal toll (perhaps just $1). Everyone else sitting bumper-to-bumper would pay slightly more. Tolls should be suspended on nights and weekends.
Editor’s note: Despite rumors on social media, no toll has been discussed or planned by the Alameda City Council. In fact, such an act would exceed their authority. All four bridges in and out of Alameda are owned by Alameda County. The Webster and Posey tubes are the property of CalTrans. Only those authorities, and a vote of the people, could impose a new tax on these crossings.