-By Vicki Gutgesell
Misinformed opponents of the Oakland Zoo's expansion project are attempting to derail Measure A1 although A1 has nothing to do with this project! By law funds from A1 must be spent on animal care including shelters and enclosures, educational programs for children, and maintaining zoo affordability and public safety. NO funds from A1 can be used for zoo expansion in Knowland Park. An Oversight Committee will ensure that funds are spent solely on projects listed in A1's expenditure plan.
The zoo receives less money from the city of Oakland each year while operating costs increase. If A1 fails there will be less money for animal care, especially aging animals which require expensive veterinary care. Deferred maintenance on aging infrastructures will be further delayed. Educational programs for children will be decreased. Entrance fees will increase. Simple as that.
I have volunteered at the zoo in animal management since 1997 and see firsthand how much these funds are needed. Please vote YES on A1. The animals and children depend on us.