How Does Alameda Treat its Most Vulnerable?


As a neighbor of Jean Sweeney Open Space Park and a proud resident of Alameda I would like to convey my deep concerns with Measure B in the upcoming April 9 special election. Since its opening, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park has proven to be a truly wonderful addition to our town. The play area is often crowded and the bike paths are being utilized with wonderful regularity. My family very much enjoys walking our dogs there (on leash, of course).

Despite being only about one-third complete, this wonderful space is clearly one of the many jewels of Alameda.

Measure B’s proponents desire for the abandoned federal buildings on McKay Avenue to be repurposed into open space. This far-fetched plan, estimated to cost $11 million, is far from a viable reality as the East Bay Regional Parks District has stated unequivocally that the site is not suitable for parkland.

If this measure passes, the City of Alameda would be required to fund the ongoing maintenance of these dilapidated buildings without allocated funds to turn it into a park. This irresponsible measure would create a real risk that the funds needed to complete Jean Sweeney Open Space Park will be redirected toward a rudderless “plan” that could shamelessly gut our local parks.

As someone who resided near abandoned buildings for many years, I am acutely familiar with the unpleasantness that they can attract. I believe that APC’s plan to repurpose blighted buildings in our community is a wonderful manifestation of the best of Alameda — a beautiful mix of revitalization and compassion.

Since moving to Alameda, I have regularly been blown away by the kind, thoughtful people who reside here. Just this morning I was stopped at a crosswalk when a pedestrian noticed my electric car’s charging cover was left open. He walked over to my car, shut it for me, gave me a thumbs up and continued on his way. I could give example after example of the kindness I’ve seen in Alameda. 

This city has shown me, on a near-daily basis, that it is full of people willing to take care of their neighbors.

I hope that these, kind, thoughtful neighbors who have so warmly welcomed my family from across the bay will vote to pass Measure A. How Alameda treats those most vulnerable in our community is a real barometer of its communal soul. APC has repeatedly done great work to make our city better and to serve people from all walks of life. This important project — to take care of our vulnerable and ill senior citizens — is a beautiful example of the city I have learned to love.

And for anyone, especially those looking to keep ill senior citizens on the street, looking for some wonderful open space, I would strongly recommend spending some time at Jean Sweeney Open Space Park. Let’s direct our money toward finishing that amazing park instead of preserving abandoned buildings.

Please vote “yes” on A and “no” on B to show that Alameda cares.