On Wednesday, leaders representing county fire, health, early childhood programming, and aging services joined Supervisors John Gioia (District - 1) and Karen Mitchoff (District - 4) to kickoff the Measure X campaign.
Earlier this year, community and labor organizations across the county worked together to develop a County Needs Assessment highlighting the public- and community-provided services in greatest need of funding to better serve county residents and families. If passed in the November election, Measure X, a county-wide general 0.5% sales tax, will create a sustainable revenue stream which could be used to plug current gaps and expand access to the essential services which Contra Costa County needs.
“There was a lot of community input that went into developing this measure and we want to honor the community voices,” Supervisor Gioia stated. “Essentially what we’re doing is reinvesting in our communities in Contra Costa County and those communities that need it most.”
During the Zoom Kickoff, Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230, shared that “since the economic downturn that started in 2007, we have lost 13 fire stations and have only restaffed 5 of them.” He expressed his support of Measure X, stating, “it is important that Contra Costa County find the revenue necessary to add more fire and emergency response resources for our growing communities and increased fire and emergency response needs.”
As Ali Uscilka, Director of Healthy and Active Before 5, sees it, “child care is essential to our economic recovery. Measure X is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for to bring more resources to the vital programs that can help us recover from the current crisis and address the long-term challenges we’ve faced.”
Residents have used recent County Board meetings to express the urgency required for a different response to the needs of the county. Supervisor Mitchoff assured kickoff attendees that Measure X revenue would be spent appropriately on county priorities by making sure there is an oversight committee.
Healthy and Safe Contra Costa, Yes on Measure X will generate an estimated $81 million annually to fund services most essential to Contra Costa County’s needs.