Let's run through the facts about Oakland this year. It's broke. No, it's more than broke; it's going to be $50 million in debt. Got that? That's ten percent of the budget. At a time like this, what would you think would really help matters? How about a ballot initiative that would force the city to reserve roughly $28 million for children's programs? Yes, the extremely irritating Kids First initiative has qualified for the November ballot, which means that if it passes, the city will have to approach all future budget crises with one hand tied behind its back.
Look, we don't hate children. They're good for a lot of things: doorstops, chimney sweeps, balloon ballast, you name it. But there's a reason why citizens don't make complicated budget decisions, and it's called THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. That's why we have bureaucrats and politicians, even if theyre the caliber of Oakland's. Which programs, exactly, would you propose cutting to fund this new mandate? Street lights? Libraries? Fire protection? Wait, you don't have enough information to make this decision? How about that. This is a stupid idea, and we're flabbergasted that guys like David Kakishiba thought it was anything but.