California State Propositions: 30 (Y), 31 (N), 32 (N), 33 (N), 34 (Y), 35 (N), 36 (Y), 37 (N), 38 (N), 39 (Y), 40 (Y)
San Francisco City measures: A (N), B (Y), C (Y), D (Y), E (Y), F (N), G (Y)
30 (temporary tax increase to fund education): YES.
We need something to solve to fix the state budget and this proposition at least stops the massive education cuts that would come in January. Purely selfishly, I also want Brown to be able to think about clean energy issues instead of spending all his time on the budget.
31 (constitutional changes regarding state vs. local budgeting and oversight): NO.
Poorly worded proposition that exacerbates the problems with budgeting by ballot measures. There’s no reason to handcuff the Legislature this way and give local governments too much leeway to ignore state policy.
32 (payroll deductions for political purposes): NO.
While I do want to see money taken out of politics, and I don’t like the extreme influence that the labor unions have on state politics, this is an insidiously wrong proposition that just gives more power to corporations and PACs.
33 (changes to auto insurance costs): NO.
This is another sneaky proposition that gives the insurance companies more flexibility to raise rates while purporting to be about providing discounts.
34 (repeal death penalty and replace with life in prison without possibility of parole): YES
I’m generally against the death penalty. I haven’t seen evidence that it deters crime and even if it were to cost more money to incarcerate for life, I think it’d be worth it to avoid executing someone who’s innocent. The analysis says that it’s actually cheaper to incarcerate for life than to go through the full death penalty process, and the number of death row inmates is so small that it shouldn’t have an impact on prison overcrowding.
35 (increase prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions): NO.
Poorly worded proposition that seems ripe for unintended consequences. It’s not clear how big the human trafficking problem is and whether increased penalties would make an actual difference.
36 (repeal 3 strikes law): YES
37 (label GMO food): NO
From Kat Phillips (C9)
“Meg and I are part of this crazy food system now, working on driving change. We have knowledge that others, even those who’re passionate and have done their research, could never have. My advice is that if we say its no good then vote NO. Take it from someone who’s lives in the shadows of Ag chem companies.”
38 (tax increase to fund education – competitor to prop 30): NO.
Increases taxes across the board without actually helping solve the overall CA budget problem. Much more effective to add to the sales tax as well as increase tax rates on the wealthy. Increasing taxes on the low-to-middle income people more makes zero sense during a recession.
39 (increase income tax collected in CA and dedicates 5 yrs of revenue to clean energy projects, with some set-asides for schools too): YES.
This is a no brainer.
40 (redistricting): YES. This whole proposition is weirdly backwards, but its needs to pass in order to retain the district maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
SF BALLOT MEASURES
A (City college parcel tax): NO.
As much as I’d like to support community college, the CCSF is apparently pretty bad at financial management. If their financial problems were just due to state funding cuts, then I could see providing support. But the accreditation problems and audit issues make me not want to give more money to mismanagement.
Quote from SPUR analysis: “CCSF is facing the loss of the institution’s accreditation. Investing taxpayer dollars while CCSF is rectifying significant administrative challenges will further exacerbate the problem and allow trustees to avoid difficult decisions about the college’s future.” (note that SPUR is actually recommending YES on this)
B (neighborhood parks bond): YES.
As a heavy user of SF’s parks, I’m naturally inclined to support improvements but I did get a bit concerned about mismanagement. Reading SPUR’s analysis alleviated these concerns a bit since they specifically call out improvements in the capital management at SF Parks and Rec.
Quote from SPUR analysis: “improvements in the department’s capital planning team in recent years have restored some confidence that funds will be managed responsibly and projects delivered on time. This bond has been rigorously planned, and the department has done a good job of preparing for efficient project delivery.”
C (create a housing trust fund to support affordable housing): YES
D (consolidate odd-year municipal elections): YES. Simple common sense.
E (gross receipts tax/change payroll tax): YES.
F (hetch hetchy): NO. Might have been ok if it was just a water recycling/efficiency plan.
G (opposing corporate personhood): YES
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