POLITICS SOCIETY

What my 2016 (California) ballot looks like

I’m a California resident so this is going to be very specific, sorry! I voted for Hilary in the general election, though, ’cause I don’t want to see a conservative dominated supreme court reign during my lifetime. Plus, I DO want a president who is a slimy liar. Unqualified transparency shouldn’t run a global superpower, and outdated bigotry shouldn’t represent it either. (Plus! Most of the rags against her have either been disproved countless times over, or are made out of the greasiest context ever. Like, y’all realize….what the secretary of state can and can’t do… or what public defenders can and can’t do…or what women in politics have done or are not able to do…due to US and OUR values…)#IGuessImWithHer #ImWithHer

CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE–> HARRIS

Although I’d LOVE to see a Latina in the senate– as we make up over 20% of the population but are only represented by 5%– Sanchez is an uncomfortable “moderate” democratic. She leans toward right wing policies in regards to gun control, foreign relations (pro-Israel), and environmental regulation. Harris is far less conservative and her rhetoric mirrors Bernie’s presidential campaign slogan, ditch “establishment politics” and all that. As our state attorney general, her focus on criminal justice reform is incredibly attractive as well. She was an easy vote.

PROP 51–> NO

Statewide bond funding for construction and modernization of k-12, vocational schools, charter schools, private schools, and California CCs. Would aim to improve school environments through safety repairs and updated educational resources. I am voting NO because these benefits are given on a first come, first serve basis, therefore will NOT be equally distributed. They will go to those institutions familiar with and able to afford the process (hiring counsel for the applications), thus giving an advantage to more well-off schools and ignoring those in states of neglect. 

PROP 52–> YES

Extends the current Hospital Free program, which currently ends the beginning of 2018. These fees allow increased federal funding to MediCal through government matching programs. Required voter approval prevents legislature from being able to use funds for other programs. I am voting YES because it will expand and strengthen care to those who cannot afford it, at no expense to taxpayers. 

PROP 53–> NO

Proposes any instate infrastructure project requiring more than $2 billion in bonds must be subject to voter approval. I am voting NO because it does not include an exemption for natural disaster response. Prompted by a rich dude who was pissed construction of a bridge was going to divert waterways on his land, this measure focuses on water infrastructure. Voter approval also delays state action that could otherwise be dealt with locally (as not many projects exceed the $2 billion cap).

PROP 54–> YES

Prohibits legislature from passing any law without being published onto the internet 72 hours prior. Includes changes being made to a bill and the report of public meetings. Will be funded through an annual charge of one million dollars after an initial single billion payment. I am voting YES because it will increase legislative transparency and oversight. 

PROP 55–> YES

Extends Prop.30 for another 12 years, allocating income tax towards education funding. Targets high income tax payers. 89% of these funds will go towards k-12 schools, 11% to California Community colleges, and a 3 billion check to MediCal. Once all educational sects are filled, the excess in funds will go towards healthcare programs added onto the 3 billion aid. Funds will be managed by local units with mandatory audits and strict transparency. Aims to prevent 4 billion in education cuts. This does NOT increase taxes or propose new ones. I am voting YES because the wealthy should pay a fair, not equal, share.

PROP 56–> NO

Raises current tax on tobacco tax, including electronic cigarettes (vapers unite!). I am voting NO because although it seems nice in theory to think three bucks will be a disincentive to at-risk users, it’s an overzealous move at the expense of low income consumers (who might turn to other, cheaper means…).

PROP 57–> YES

Increases parole opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allows them to reduce their sentences through earned credits from good behavior, rehabilitation, and educational achievements. It will also transfer authority from a prosecutor to a judge in regards to charging juveniles as adults. I am voting YES because rehabilitation and community outreach participation has proven to reduce recidivism (improving felons contribution to society and relieving taxpayers millions of dollars a year). 

PROP 58–> YES

Amends parts of Prop. 227, creating different avenues for learning a new language, easing the transition for students who are immigrants. These programs, requiring 20 students to a class, will put children in a learning environment among those with the same language proficiency, as well as with a bilingual teacher, allowing them to learn more efficiently. I am voting YES because this measure is funded through reallocated funds, rather requiring new costs, aiming to accommodate rising immigration and allows kids the ability to learn at their own pace.

PROP 59–> YES

Will amend the ruling from Citizens United, not overturn it, which created the constitutional amendment that redefined free speech to include funds. A ruling cannot be taken to the supreme court unless someone is adversely affected, so this measure will create the conditions for someone to challenge it. I am voting YES because speech is something that comes out of a mouth, not a wallet. Corporations are not people, and businesses should have not the same rights as people do. And although this measure is advisory, politicians will abide by it and make note of their competitors who do not run the same, clean elections.

PROP 60–> YES

Requires adult film performers to use condoms during filming. Also requires producers to obtain a state health license and pay for vaccinations, examinations, and other health check-ups. I am voting YES because it gives more rights to sex workers and exposes viewers to safe sex practices. (Opposition says passing this measure will be at the expense of actor’s privacy and permit harassment, however only producers/agents/anyone financially involved in a film will viable for lawsuit…if they…ya know…break the law lol).

PROP 61–> YES

State agencies will not be allowed to buy drugs at costs higher than what the VA pays for. (You should google this one because my professor went off for like, half an hour and I still have no idea what would happen if it passes. Basically the discount the VA receives on prescription drugs will be available to other Californians). I am voting YES because it’s the first measure to (finally) combat rising drug prices, an issue that we can’t afford to ignore for another second!

PROP 62 and PROP 66–> YES and NO

I put these together because one will supersede the other depending on votes.

62 will repeal the death penalty as max punishment and instead replace it with a life sentence (and no chances of parole). I am voting YES because the death penalty is not only immoral, but expensive. Each execution currently costs up to 32 million dollars, due to an endless string of appeals, special facilities, and more personnel. This measure will save up to 153 million of taxpayers dollars annually, and some innocent lives (since the 70’s, over 150+ people have been freed from death row after being wrongly convicted).

66 will amend the death penalty, not abolish it. It will reduce appeals by immediately assigning defense to death row convicts, and increases the pool of lawyers who take on those cases. Also dismantles special facilities and instead establishes death row programs in current institutions, saving millions. However, these savings will be offset by the costs required to keep up with death row inmates as well as hiring their defense. I am voting NO because 66 undermines the reputation and autonomy of current attorneys, and there should not be a time limit to prove innocence.

PROP 63–> YES

Closes loopholes of current gun regulations. It will increase and strengthen background checks, prohibiting domestic abusers, the mentally ill, and those facing a restraining order from obtaining a weapon and ammunition (will take away firearms from the above as well as felons). Establishes a limit on large capacity magazines and automatic weapons, as well as a 10 day waiting period before purchase. Requires sales to go through a licensed dealer. These sales, as well as lost or stolen ammunition, must be recorded. This data is shared between state and federal intelligence agencies. I am voting YES because corporate greed should not eclipse public safety, and we should not be desensitized to someone shooting up a school, theatre, or mall.

PROP 64–> YES

Allow adults 21+ to legally use recreational marijuana and institutes a state imposed tax. Will prohibit advertising to minors and recreational in-home growing (limited to 6 plants per household). Will also permit the destruction of records of prior nonviolent drug convictions. I am voting YES because regulating weed is good for our taxes, consumption, and prisons! 

PROP 65 and 67–>NO and YES

Again, I put these together because one will supersede the other depending on votes. I have no idea if that is raw votes or percentage. 65 is a 10 cent tax on bags, and these funds won’t go to environmental programs the way 67 will, rather directly into grocery store’s pockets! People say it’s a ploy to distract voters from 67. I believe it because they had me fooled for a hot min. Check out this chart. 

Thank you for showing interest in this years ballot. Looking into the props will only take such a small portion out of your day, but will change the lives of so many people (including you! and your wallet!). Make sure you leave nothing blank this year. Whether we agree or not, this is a crucial part of our democracy. Civic duty bitches!!!!

 

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