Measure A-1--Support the Oakland Zoo. It's about maintaining current quality--not expansion.

An attempt to clear up misinformation on Measure A-1. It's not about expanding the zoo.


The Oakland Zoo is a small but dazzling jewel –respected throughout the country for cutting-edge animal management, education, and conservation… and it is ours. Sadly, there has been misinformation about Measure A-1.

Be assured that Measure A-1 is not for any kind of expansion. 

Measure A1 reads that by law, the money must be used for animal care, children’s educational programs, and maintaining the Zoo’s affordability. Money can go towards upgrading animal enclosures and repairing animal shelters – but this “construction” has nothing to do with expanding the existing zoo—only for repairing and improving existing ones.

Parcel tax measures, like A-1, are always set up to describe how money will be used, not how it will not be used. However, because of a contingent that confuses Measure A-1 with expanding the Zoo, the Zoo has clarified, on the record, its intent and commitment that no Measure A1 funds will be used for the California Trail expansion construction.

I have volunteered as a docent for the last three years and am constantly blown away by the quality and integrity that I see around me. The zoo is known nationally as tops in animal management, educating Bay Area children, and conservation as well as rescuing animals. All of our tigers and lions are rescues from horrific conditions.

We have a world-class zoo at our doorsteps.  Keeping it that way--maintaining the exhibits, animal care, quality education, and entry costs to the public are crucial, and that's where your help comes in. 

How lucky we are to have a world-class zoo at our doorsteps. Please vote yes on A-1.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Fernando November 05, 2012 at 07:49 AM
The reason why the opposition has mostly an online presence and few signs is very simple: MONEY. The Zoo is on the record as having spent around $1MILLION on its campaign (Zoo director Joel Parrot is recorded on video saying this at a League of Women Voters meeting). One million dollars goes a long way towards buying yard signs, billboards, glossy mailers and more. The opposition has a tiny fraction of that. It's a purely grassroots effort of concerned citizens that want to see a Zoo that cares of animals but also respects the ecosystems that still exist in the Bay Area and that are already ours to enjoy without further taxation or having to pay for access. We do post signs on our property, believe me. But we don't have a Million dollars of campaign funds to blanket the entire county with signs and bus billboards. Now, I do wonder... Why is a zoo that is supposedly in such desperate need of money for the animals, spending a million dollars in marketing and campaign materials? If there was a real grass roots support for the Zoo, it could get this measure passed with 1/100th of that expenditure. But the fact that it's pushing a massively expensive media blitz, when supposedly in dire financial straits, should give anyone who follows money trails grave reason for concern. Especially when it appears those expenditures have been done in violation of election law: http://bitly.com/S6a1rL.
Stefanie Gandofli November 05, 2012 at 08:39 AM
Leah, as a founding member of Friends of Knowland Park, I think I can safely say that we all have unabashedly placed opposition signs on our lawns. There is no shame in being one of a small group dedicated to an important cause; change for the good has often started that way. Unlike the zoo, which apparently has hundreds of thousands of dollars at its disposal to promote A1, we can't afford to plaster the county with expensive signs, send out multiple mass mailings, and buy big ads in the paper. Nor do we have paid staff who can devote hours every day to making calls to potential voters throughout the county. Nevertheless, the traditional press, public radio, and the League of Women Voters among other civic organizations, have all taken us seriously enough to interview us, investigate our claims, and invite us to speak. There is no shame in blogging, handing out leaflets at farmers' markets, and writing letters to the editor, to promote a cause. The zoo itself has done all these things.
Carol Castro November 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Open space, protection of native flora and fauna in an ever expanding urban landscape is valuable to those who know the long term effects of an unbridled land use policy that permits and, in fact, encourages development to the benefit of a few monied groups and to the detrirment of the humble life forms (human included) that have been there, lived there, survived there for centuries, if not millenium. If you value the intangibles inherent in open space in the East Bay Hills or anywhere in the world, there is no argument about why to vote NO on A1. Your vote NO on A1 preserves something that will be hard, if not impossible, to replace If any (not just Zoo related) developers take control of how it is to be "used". Thinking about the long range view is a better investment.
Leah Hall November 05, 2012 at 07:22 PM
If you can vote, Do Vote tomorrow. I found this article in support of "Yes" on A-1 insightful, pragmatic, and detailed. http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-conservation-director-at-the-oakland-zoo-says-yes-on-measure-a-1-7f0a56c2#photo-11845363
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