Posted 9.December 2019

Oakland Police Officers Oppose Cuts in City Services so Council can Provide Tax Breaks for Cannabis Industry

December 9, 2019

The Honorable Rebecca Kaplan

President Oakland City Council


Dear Council President Kaplan,


I am writing to you as President of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association (OPOA) to advise you that Oakland’s Police Officers oppose the City Council’s plan to provide tax breaks to the cannabis industry because its fiscally irresponsible.

Oakland Police Officers partnered with the City to address the financial crisis of underfunded employee benefits.  Leading the calls for action was the Alameda County Grand Jury that raised the alarm on the imminent financial danger.  The actions of your Police Officers tackled the problem, protected city services and ensured the City Council was able to unanimously pass a balanced budget.  Now, you have abandoned that prudence and decided to use residents’ tax dollars to subside cannabis entrepreneurs.  This is outrageous and irresponsible.

The City Council’s cannabis tax break plan harkens back to the Congress and President’s huge corporate tax cuts that ignored the plight of working Americans and fueled outrageous corporate profits.  I am perplexed by the fact that a “progressive” Oakland City Council would cut services to Oakland residents and lay off City employees to provide tax cuts to already rich cannabis entrepreneurs.  Moving forward, I would expect big tobacco and the likes of Uber to show up at Oakland City Hall seeking their subsides too.


Yours sincerely,


Barry Donelan


Oakland Police Officers’ Association


Cc: Mayor Libby Schaaf [via email]

Oakland City Council Members [via email]

Sabrina Landreth, Oakland City Administrator [via email]

President Joseph Bryant, SEIU Local 1021

President Michael Patterson, IEBW Local 1245 [via email]

OPOA Board of Directors [via email]