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Sunday, September 12, 2010

School District Propaganda Mailer Barrage

Measure J marches forward
Center of Community Life Goes Unmentioned In City-Wide Mailer

The latest postal barrage from the Emery Unified School District advocating for the Center of Community Life hit resident's mailboxes over the weekend in a splashy, upbeat brochure. Yet mention of the 800 pound Center of Community Life gorilla is remarkably absent from the full color glossy flyer.

Readers of the taxpayer funded mailer will find nothing at all about the Center of Community Life, and this is by design. The missing information is in keeping with the recommendations from the election consultancy firm, The Lew Edwards Group. Last spring the School District and the City retained the Oakland based consultancy firm to help assure a successful 'Measure J' vote November 2nd and to build momentum to build the community center, the penultimate goal.

Measure J, ostensibly a school bond initiative, is in actuality a vote for the Center of Community Life, a controversial $125 million school and community center construction project, according to the Lew Edwards Group. The Group recommended to City Council and School Board members to not reveal to voters the real purpose of Measure J since their research indicated weak public support for the expensive Center of Community Life project. Lew Edwards Group CEO Catherine Lew instead told Emeryville's elected officials the November election should be cast as a school bond vote, something residents would be much more likely to support.

Also missing from the School District's upbeat flyer is any mention that the Measure J bond will cost residents $95 million or that there will be no senior exemption.

The brochure, entitled 'EUSD'S School Needs & Measure J' was mailed out to all registered voters in town in anticipation of the $95 million Measure J school bond vote on November 2. School Board member Josh Simon stated he didn't know the total cost to the District for the three fold 11"x 17" mailer but he hastened to add the function is to inform Emeryville residents and the District's duty to do its level best to provide an objective analysis for voters.

This latest city-wide flyer is part of a $1.8 million push by the City of Emeryville and the School District and paid for by the taxpayers to move the Center of Community Life to approval.


  1. those over 65 will not be exempt from proposition j?

    how is the additional revenue received from the school tax, measure a, passed in 2003 and extended ten more years through 2019 being spent? shouldn't these funds have paid for bunson burners? the wording of measure a specifically states "to strengthen and improve academic curriculum and educational programs in mathematics, science, literacy, music and visual and performing arts."

    first they changed the name of the project from the emeryville center of community life, and when it was learned there wasn't enough support from the taxpayers, they changed their strategy to a school bond measure. and if proposition j passes, what happens to the demolition, renovating or future plans for the high school and grammar school, anna yates? voters will be misled thinking passage will improve the two existing schools when in fact, are plans for the center of community life going forward?

    couldn't a few hundred dollars from the emery ed fund provide bunson burners? where are the priorities in this town?

    something doesn't smell right to me.

  2. Why should I have to pay $800 a year in higher taxes to educate a bunch of kids from Oakland. Did you know that 60% of the children enrolled in Emeryville schools are from out of town? Let Oakland pay for their own schools.

  3. I don't know what thinking went into the brochure, but the Center of Community Life is an exciting idea. We've been throwing tax money at education for decades, with declining results.

    Here's a new way to spend tax dollars that revitalizes the concept of education by involving the community. What better move than for Emeryville's citizens to involve themselves in the education of its children. If taxpayers pick up a little extra education and community life in the process, so much the better!

  4. Regardless of your opinions on the Center of Community Life, Emeryville citizens have a reasonable expectation that their government behave in a transparent and ethical manner. Deception should not be a part of business at City Hall or at the School District. The government should be providing a fair and impartial analysis so the voters can make an informed decision. The government should not be engaging in the unseemly business of 'selling' Measure J to the citizens.

  5. Brian, why don't you let anyone who disagrees with you ever have the last word in the comments? Stop being so undemocratic.

    Everything the school district has done or said or produced so far complies 100% with the rules the California Supreme Court established for public agencies in Vargas v. City of Salinas. The Court has been VERY explicit on this issue. The law is crystal CLEAR.

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  7. To the commenter (above)-
    I print all comments that disagree with stories in the Tattler. Of the last ten stories, I had the "last word" in one. Of the remaining nine, two could be construed as "disagreeing" with the story. So it is untrue that I never let those who disagree have the last word.

    I usually respond in the comments section if a commenter makes a demonstrably untrue statement or a mistake.

  8. In the last ten posts, all of your comments except one have been a rebuttal of people who hve disagreed with you, giving you the last word in each case. In the last ten posts, you did not correct anyone who agreed with you. That's not because they never make mistakes. It is because you do not tolerate dissent and are thus stiffling a productive civil discourse on this blog.

    You only comment in an attempt to refute virtually every single commenter who disagrees with you. You simply can't abide giving someone else the last word.