Gimme a sticker, folks: I VOTED! The bubbles have been filled and the envelope sealed. I can't believe this is only the second election in which I have been eligible to vote, but I have nonetheless been more invested in this particular race than I ever expected to be. I have made my final decisions on each California ballot proposition and take immeasurable delight in sharing the end results with you, my noble readership. Take offense if you must, but these are the decisions I felt to be in the overall best interest of our economy, our government institutions, and more specifically, my young peers here in the Golden State, waiting patiently for adequate education funding and the chance to make a buck someday. Enjoy!
YES on Proposition 19— Control and Tax Cannabis in California! I truly hope you weigh the facts as much as you can before voting on this one. Politicians don’t know where to turn to fix California’s problems…deficits, high incarceration rates, unemployment…Prop 19 is projected to GENERATE $1.4 billion in tax revenue, REDUCE law enforcement and prison spending and save tens of millions of dollars while STREAMLINING police operations to solve more violent crimes, and CREATE 60,000-110,000 brand new California jobs. Some call it crazy. I call it common sense.
YES on Proposition 20— VOTERS FIRST Act for Congress! In 2008, voters passed Prop 11 to create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to end gerrymandering and backroom politics during CA state legislature redistricting. A YES vote will extend this Commission’s power over California’s federal congressional redistricting process as well, so our elections and representation by our lawmakers will be more fair.
YES on Proposition 21— Establishes $18 vehicle license fee surcharge to help fund State Parks and Wildlife Conservation! Kind of a no-brainer for me…this is actually the Proposition with the least dramatic fiscal impact, and hey, it’s for a good cause, right?
YES on Proposition 22—Prohibits the state from taking or borrowing certain local government funds! Didn’t know too much about this initiative, but looking back on the financial crisis we just survived, I would be a little uncomfortable allowing more insider borrowing, especially within our government. This may backfire on me, but as always, I am prepared to take the heat.
YES on Proposition 23— Suspends AB32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) until unemployment rate drops to 5.5% for full year! I have received so many dirty looks for this one already. Although the polling for this Prop is sketchy, I will not back down from my belief that our economy is too fragile for AB32 at this time. I’m all for efficiency, but voters must face the reality that our “green” industries are simply oversubsidized by the government and our “green” policies are just dragging the rest of our economy down.
NO on Proposition 24— Saves recent business tax reforms! One word: JOBS. No matter what your opinion is about “big corporations”, I hate to break it to you, but they are the ones creating the shiny consumer products you use every day and employing tens of thousands of California workers. If we repeal the 2008 tax reforms, these powerhouse companies will be double-taxed for each new employee hired. In other words, they're not going to hire, and instead they're going to pack up shop and skedaddle to Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.
NO on Proposition 25— Keeps the legislative vote requirement to pass the state budget at 2/3 majority! This was the toughest Prop for me to decide on…on one hand, I would love to take away our legislators' pay every time the budget is late, but on the other hand, it’s way scarier to give them an “easy way out” by dropping the vote requirement to simple majority. The problem isn’t the voting system—the problem is the legislators! They need to learn how to do their jobs and compromise the old-fashioned way…or get booted out of office.
YES on Proposition 26— Requires state and local “fees” to be voter-approved by a 2/3 majority! Sooo…whose idea was it to start calling taxes “fees” in order to weasel his/her way out of asking our approval? Not cool. A tax by any other name would still smell just as bad, sneaky legislators, and the voter still has the last word on that subject! YEAH AMERICA!
NO on Proposition 27— Keeps the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission! (see Prop 20) Sneaky legislators again! They must think they’re really funny, trying to get their redistricting power back so they can once again draw funny shapes on maps in order to discriminate based on locations of racial neighborhoods and party opposition within their district. We can’t allow our lawmakers to abuse our institutions and our trust in this manner, or democracy will surely fail.
Hope this gives you a little insight, whether you love me or hate me! But either way, please, please, PLEASE, if you live in California, register to vote by October 18 and get out and VOTE November 2nd!