Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Mayor Jean Quan was loudly booed by labor activists at a rally in front of City Hall yesterday when she warned the crowd that there would be layoffs of city workers because of Oakland’s $46 million budget deficit, the Bay Citizen reports. Quan attempted to talk over the chorus of boos, but was shouted down by the angry crowd until Josie Camacho, the executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, seized the microphone and calmed the activists. The incident occurred at a “unity” rally commemorating the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
2. Quan, meanwhile, continues to push for an $80 a year parcel tax that would raise about $11 million annually for the city, is backed by labor, and would help Oakland avoid even more layoffs. The Chron reports that the city council will vote on the urgency measure tonight for a mail-in-ballot-only election in July. Three councilwomen — Rebecca Kaplan, Pat Kernighan, and Libby Schaaf — also planned to push for ballot measures that would further rein in the city’s labor costs, but fierce opposition from public-employee unions prompted them to back off. The measures would have required city workers to pay for their own pension plan costs, would have raised the retirement age to 55, and would have allowed volunteers to do jobs formally held by city workers.