Oakland, CA

Oakland City Council considers expanding voting rights to non-citizens in Oakland Unified school board elections

Refugio Garcia

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Voting rights could be expanded to non-citizens for school board elections

Parents of Oakland Unified School District students who are non-citizens could gain the right to vote in school board elections if the Oakland City Council agrees to place the proposed measure on the November ballot, East Bay Times reports.

If approved by voters, the measure would allow roughly 13,000 people to vote. The measure would not draw a distinction between undocumented immigrants and those who have legal residency or work status.

“These are parents of kids in the schools. Shouldn’t they have a say in who runs the school system?” said Councilmember Dan Kalb on Tuesday. “It just makes sense.” Kalb is promoting the measure along with Councilmember Treva Reid.

The expansion of voting rights to non-citizens is not precedent-setting and there is no federal law barring non-citizens from voting. However, all U.S. states have banned non-citizens from voting since the 1920s.

“No parent or guardian should feel ignored,” said Reid. “They want to be seen and heard with their voice and vote.”

Former East Oakland shopping center purchased by developer

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The site of the former Eastmont Town Center business complex, which was once a shopping center, has been purchased through an affiliate by veteran real estate developer Tidewater Capital for $76.2 million, East Bay Times reports.

The San Francisco-based developer assumed a $56 million loan that was issued through Wells Fargo in 2018 as part of the deal, according to county documents. The property was sold by Vertical Ventures of Walnut Creek.

The Eastmont Town Center at 7200 Bancroft Ave. in Oakland was once the Eastmont Mall, which opened in 1970 and was a large retail hub. Stores such as Mervyns, Safeway, Woolworth and Grodin’s once had locations at the site.

However, as stores exited the retail space or went out of business, the property eventually went into bankruptcy and foreclosure and was later converted into an office complex.

El Cerrito to resume in-person city council meetings

El Cerrito will allow the public to attend in-person city council meetings beginning June7, East Bay Times reports.

The in-person meeting will be open to the public, city council members and city staff. Those wishing to view the meeting remotely can still do so over Zoom. Health and safety guidelines for attendance will be announced no later than June 2.

City officials still recommend social distancing and masks will likely be suggested for those attending. Inquiries can be made by contacting cityclerk@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us or by calling 510-215-4305.

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