I present you these recommendations as a public service, and because Jackie Goldberg is a good progressive, with an eye for LGBT issues.
STATEWIDE BALLOT PROPOSITIONS
I am going to present the statewide ballot propositions in a couple of different groups. GROUP #1 WILL INCLUDE ALL BALLOT PROPOSITIONS WHERE THERE IS AGREEMENT AMONG: L.A. COUNTY FEDERATION OF LABOR; EAST AREA PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS; COURAGE CAMPAIGN; BEND THE ARC; AND ME.
GROUP #2—WILL INCLUDE BALLOT PROPOSITIONS WHERE I AGREE WITH THREE OF THE FOUR GOUPS MENTIONED ABOVE.
GROUP #3—IS WHERE THERE IS NO CONCENSOUS, BUT I WILL DESCRIBE WHERE I AM, AND HOW I PLAN TO VOTE AND WHICH OF
THE ABOVE ARE ALSO SUGGESTING THE SAME VOTE.
GROUP #1: There is agreement on Propositions 53, 55. 56. 57 58. 59, 62, 66 and 67.
Proposition #53: OPPOSE—VOTE “NO”—This measure would require a vote on a ballot for bond measures currently approved by the legislative process in the State that needs rebuilding. Reactionary forces on a ballot measure might stop a much needed bond.
Proposition #55: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—This measure continues a previous measure that taxed those with earnings more than $250,000 to support public school funding, sometimes healthcare, community colleges. The 2012 ballot measure will expire in 2018. Prop. 55 continues the tax increase until 2030. Prevents return to deep cuts in public school funding.
Proposition #56: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack which will discourage young people from starting. Money goes to augment funding for healthcare of low income voters. Tobacco companies are spending untold millions of dollars to tell you that only 13% of money will go for smoking prevention programs. This is true; but it will go to help low income people get Medi-Cal and stay insured.
Proposition #57: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—This measure increases the possibility of parole for adults and allows judges, NOT prosecutors, to decide when to try a Juvenile as an adult. Both changes are long overdue to begin to unwind the last 30 years of keeping people in prison for longer times for doing less and less crime.
Proposition #58: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—This measure repeals the racist and ineffective “English Only” and English immersion programs as the ONLY way to teach English as a second language begun in 1998 with Proposition 227. It authorizes dual immersion programs and other forms of support in the second language for English language learners.
Proposition #59: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—This measure calls upon California State Assembly Members, and California State Senators to do full constitutional authority to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United. That was the decision when the right-wing Justices decided that Congress could not tell anyone how much money they could spend on “buying” elections. It effectively ended any control over the billionaire class and how they could spend money on elections.
Proposition #62: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—Repeals California’s death penalty and replaces it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. All European nations would still call this overkill as they believe that a Life Sentence without the possibility of parole is a death sentence. Nonetheless, it is far past time when California should eliminate the Death Penalty, and this measure does that.
Proposition #66: OPPOSE—VOTE “NO”—Fast-tracks death penalty executions by eliminating due process and other protections to prevent killing an innocent person. This is a bold attempt to speed up the death penalty because it currently is slow and costly, so rather do away with this barbaric practice, they want to move it along more quickly and with fewer protections against error.
Proposition #67: SUPPORT—VOTE “YES”—This measure says that existing state law banning single use plastic bags is affirmed. Stores can sell bags for 10 cents and keep the revenue.
Summary: YES on Propositions #55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 67. NO on Propositions #53, 66.
GROUP #2: Propositions with 3 of 4 progressive groups agreeing with me:
Proposition #51: SUPPORT, VOTE “YES”—This measure authorizes state general obligation bonds up to $9 billion over several years to build new schools and repair school facilities that are 25 years old or older; also for community colleges to build and repair and buy some equipment. Only the Courage Campaign differs on this measure and they took a “neutral” stand. Some worry that there is $50 million to build new charter schools. Some worry that student enrollment is declining. But really, new schools and school repairs are still needed, and I am most definitely voting YES on Proposition #51.
Proposition #63: SUPPORT, VOTE “YES”—Prohibits possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines. This measure also sets up a new Court system to remove firearms from individuals convicted of certain crimes. The County Federation of Labor took a “no recommendation” position. All other progressive organizations used call for a YES vote in an attempt to reduce gun violence and mass killings by those with large number of bullets in a magazine.
Proposition #64: SUPPORT, VOTE “YES”—This is the Marijuana legalization initiative which legalizes use and possession of marijuana by adults 21 years old and older. Requires a license and establishes regulations for those who grow and sell as well as standards for the product. Sets up taxes expected to raise $1 billion in revenue annually for the State. Only the County Federation of Labor differs, and it has “no recommendation.”
Proposition #65: There is always one really deceptive measure on the ballot, and this is it. Proposition #65 tries to look like an environmental measure that permits stores to sell PLASTIC BAGS, and put the money into a separate account to be used on specified environmental projects. THIS PERMITS THE ON-GOING USE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS. “No Recommendation” from Labor. Vote “NO” on this measure, and YES on Proposition #67.
GROUP #3: No consensus among the progressive groups I look at. My views:
Proposition #52: MEDI-CAL Hospital Fee—Constitutional Amendment. SUPPORT, VOTE “YES”—Both the Courage Campaign and Bend the Arc are “no recommendation” on this proposition. County Federation of Labor, East Area Progressive Democrats and I think this deserves a YES vote, even though it puts the matter in the Constitution, which means it could not be changed without another vote of the people on a ballot. I am supporting Proposition #52 because these Hospital fees generate over $3 billion in annual federal matching funds to support healthcare for the lowest income people in our state.
Proposition #54: OPPOSE—VOTE “NO”: This measure would REQUIRE that a proposed law in the state legislature would have to be published 72 hours before it could be voted on. Sounds like good government. But sadly, it is NOT good government. Though I did not always like the end of session, last minute bills that were changed on the floor, called “gut and amend,” truly progressive bills about the environment, safety, labor regulations, and LGBT rights would have been defeated by the deluge of lobbyist money and influence if they had 72 hours to organize opposition. (Think Big Oil; Big Corporations). So, Bend the Arc says Vote “YES”; the Courage Campaign has “No Recommendation”; East Area Progressive Democrats, the County Federation of Labor, and Jackie Goldberg all say VOTE “NO” ON PROPOSITION #54.
Proposition #60: NO RECOMMENDATION: I almost always take a positionon every ballot proposition. But this is a difficult one. The measure would make additional State regulations on the use of condoms by actors in pornographic/“adult” movies. Currently there are local rules and some state rules on condom use. The Courage Campaign, County Federation of Labor and I are not sure what to recommend. Bend the Arc, and East Area Progressive Democrats say OPPOSE—VOTE “NO.” Bend the Arc says that the “health crisis” leading to this measure is “unsubstantiated.” So, from my point of you, read the measure entirely in the Voter Information Guide, and decide for yourself if this measure should become state law. However, I will vote YES, personally, because that is the recommendation of the California Nurses Association, and I almost always follow their recommendations.
Proposition #61: SUPPORT, VOTE”YES”—This is a measure that would say that California as a state could NOT pay for any drug/medication at a price higher than paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Sounds like ALL progressive groups would support such a measure. BUT, knowing the Big Pharmaceutical Companies, some progressives fear that pharmaceutical companies will find ways to raise prices for Veterans to make up for any losses of profits. Others just fear whatever Big Pharma would do to keep profits high. And, some of the prices the Dept. of Veteran Affairs pay, may be confidential, and would take law suits to discover. Be all of that as may be, I think if a BIG state like California begins the push back against profit-mongering, unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies, it very might set off a nation-wide push back against them. People in the U.S. pay more for the same drugs as all other countries in the world. This will be hard, but it is time to start. Bend the Arc, and the County Federation of Labor have “No Recommendation.” They both worry about “potentially adverse consequences.” On the other hand, The Courage Campaign, East Area Progressive Democrats and I urge a “YES” VOTE ONPROPOSITION #61.
FINAL SUMMARY ON STATEWIDE BALLOT PROPOSITION
RECOMMENDATIONS BY JACKIE GOLDBERG and SOME PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS:
Proposition # 51—YES Proposition #64– YES
Proposition #52—YES Proposition #65– NO
Proposition #53—NO Proposition #66– NO
Proposition #54—NO Proposition #67– YES
Proposition #55—YES ____________________________
Proposition #56—YES Vote on November 8 th . Much love, Jackie
Proposition #60—No Recommendation, but I will personally vote YES
President of the United States: HILLARY CLINTON
I was a very strong and ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders. And I believe we must still push his platform forward, particularly on foreign policy. But I am not only voting for Hillary Clinton, I am urging everyone to do the same. It is NOT enough to defeat Trump; it is essential that he be CRUSHED in the popular vote so that the Republican Party does not think it is OK to nominate someone like him in four years. I know that California is a “safe” state for Hillary Clinton, and that some are urging a vote for the Green Party here. That would normally be my choice as well. But this is no ordinary year; and Trump is no ordinary candidate. If Hillary Clinton gets less than 50% of the popular vote, it will encourage the racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant elements in the electorate to look for a “better” Donald Trump. I want Hillary Clinton to CRUSHINGLY DEFEAT this guy, and all he represents.
In addition, Hillary Clinton has been moved to the LEFT by Sanders on domestic policy, and will be wonderful for women, children, and people of color, the LGBT community, and the poor. Activists and progressives will have to push her on foreign policy, where she is still a HAWK, and on some economic issues as well. But CRUSHING Trump is essential to moving a progressive agenda forward.
United States Senate: KAMALA HARRIS
It has been disappointing to see Linda Sanchez move to the right and court Republicans in this race instead of using this campaign to build a progressive Lationo/a base for future candidacies of her own.
U.S. Representative: Adam B. Schiff–Has voted much more progressively with his new district; good on almost everything.
Member, State Assembly, 43rd District: Ardy Kassakhian– endorsed by me, the
California Teachers' Union, East Area Progressive Democrats, Mayor Garcetti– Ardy is a great guy from Glendale Local Politics, and will look out for working people, women, teachers, the LGBT community and those who have little voice in the Assembly. I endorse and recommend him without reservation and urge you to vote for him. His opponent is getting huge amounts of funds from the Charter school billionaires. She has some progressive supporters, though I don’t know why.
Member, State Assembly 51st District– I am leaving it BLANK as Mr. Gomez seems to have turned himself into a “business democrat.”;
Judicial Offices: I have now looked at Marty Hittleman’s, and Zeke Zeidler’s list, as well.
Here is my best take: (Those in capital letters are ones I personally have endorsed)
Office #11–Debra Archuleta and Steven Schreiner: NO Recommendation from JG
— Steven Schreiner is a gang homicide prosecutor, a registered Republican, endorsed by the LA County Federation of Labor and the LA Times, and the only candidate rated “well qualified” by the County Bar. (Marty recommends Shreiner)
— Debra Archuleta’s ballot designation is "violent crimes prosecutor," but she is currently assigned to the white collar unit. She is endorsed by the LA County Democratic Party and Sheila Kuehl, has been very involved with domestic violence issues, and is rated “qualified” by the County Bar.
Office #62– Efrain Matthew Aceves
Office # 84–SUSAN JUNG TOWNSEND
Office #158–Kim L. Nguyen
L.A. County Board of Supervisors:
District # 4-JANICE HAHN is well qualified to take a seat on the County Board of Supervisors. She has my endorsement, and that of the Democratic County Central Committee, County Federation of Labor, and many, many others.
District #5–KATHRYN BARGER is a Republican, and yet Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and I have both endorsed her election. She is in an overwhelming Republican district, and she is extremely well-qualified. She and I may have some fiscal differences in points of view, but her views on helping those in need, and her former role as a Children’s Deputy for Supervisor Antonovich showed her ability to move him and others to progressive policies where children and
youth are concerned. She and I worked together on many children’s issues when I was Children’s Deputy for Supervisor Gloria Molina.
COUNTYWIDE MEASURES – (2):
A REGIONAL PARK AND OPEN SPACE DISTRICT — -MEASURE A– YES Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Beaches, Rivers Protection, and Water Conservation Measure. To replace expiring local funding for safe, clean neighborhood/ city/ county parks; increase safe playgrounds, reduce gang activity; keep neighborhood recreation/ senior centers, drinking water safe; protect beaches, rivers, water resources, remaining natural areas/ open space; shall 1.5 cents be levied annually per square foot of improved property in Los Angeles County, with bond authority, requiring citizen oversight, independent audits, and funds used locally? This measure will take a 2/3 vote which makes it unlikely to pass. But those of us who want to preserve, expand and protect open space, natural habitats, and improve water quality need to vote YES on this and get others to do so as well.
M METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY– -MEASURE M– YES Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan. To improve freeway traffic flow/safety; repair potholes/sidewalks; repave local streets; earthquake retrofit bridges; synchronize signals; keep senior/disabled/student fares affordable; expand rail/subway/bus systems; improve job/school/airport connections; and create jobs; shall voters authorize a Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan through a ½ ¢ sales tax and continue the existing ½ ¢ traffic relief tax until voters decide to end it, with independent audits/oversight and funds controlled locally? Normally I am opposed to sales tax increases as they impact lower income people much more than middle and upper income folk. But 25% of this money will go to keeping fares low for transit dependent people. And 10% of the construction jobs will be given to a targeted group of people who are sometimes called “Disadvantaged workers.” Also California does not tax rent, utilities, food (not prepared in restaurants etc.), transit fares and transit passes; prescription medicines and visits to doctors and healthcare professionals. And of course, if there are more bus lines, low income, transit-dependent people have greater access to schools and community colleges, hospitals, and JOBS. Finally, gridlock will only be reduced if people will really get out of their cars and a better transit system will need to be built to make that happen.
LOS ANGELES CITY: (4)
HHH –YES HOMELESSNESS REDUCTION AND PREVENTION, HOUSING, AND FACILITIES BOND. PROPOSITION HHH. To provide safe, clean affordable housing for the homeless and for those in danger of becoming homeless. This measure is critical to beginning to seriously deal with Los Angeles’ homeless crisis. It is a bond measure, so it will be repaid from the City’s budget. When this passes, it will provide housing and the necessary services to house and care for 10,000 of the most vulnerable of the homeless population. These are the long-term, often mentally ill, and substance addicted individuals who need both housing and services to help them stay off the streets, and get the care and attention they need. It is critical that this measure pass; and it will mean that existing agencies will then be able to serve the more recently homeless, and those for whom pre-employment services will more likely lead to successful ending of their homelessness.
JJJ. –YES AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND LABOR STANDARDS RELATED TO CITY PLANNING. INITIATIVE ORDINANCE Shall an ordinance: 1) requiring that certain residential development projects provide for affordable housing and comply with prevailing wage, local hiring and other labor standards; 2) requiring the City to assess the impacts of community plan changes on affordable housing and local jobs; 3) creating an affordable housing incentive program for developments near major transit stops; and 4) making other changes; be adopted? This measure creates an Ordinance, or City Law, that will require that the City take into account the impact of community plan changes, such as increasing density without including a requirement for affordable housing, on neighborhoods. It will also guarantee that those affordable housing building residential projects will pay prevailing wages in doing so.
RRR – CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER (DWP). CHARTER AMENDMENT RRR. Shall the Charter be amended to: (1) add qualification requirements, stipends and removal protections for DWP Board; (2) expand Board to seven members; (3) require DWP prepare four-year Strategic Plans for Council and Mayoral approval; (4) modify DWP’s contracting, rate-setting and other authority; (5) permit future alternatives to existing civil service standards for DWP employees through collective bargaining; and (6) require monthly billing? This is a complex issue, and there is no broad general agreement on it. LAANE, a progressive organization that I trust, is supporting this measure. They support it because it gives a somewhat larger DwP Commission, more power and adds that they must have some qualifications to be on the Commission. LAANE thinks this measure will reduce bureaucracy, and provide more accountability. In addition, IBEW, the union representing the workers at DwP, whom I also trust, is very supportive of the measure because all labor changes would have to be bargained collectively. On the other hand, most L.A. City civilian unions, whom I also trust, are opposed to it, because item (5) above could end civil service protections for DwP employees, and could mean that City workers might not be able to transfer to DwP jobs or from DwP to other City Departments. It could begin the undermining of civil service for all City workers, and could be a “power grab” by IBEW, some fear. The protection for any major labor changes could be that the City Council and the Mayor would also still have to vote to agree to them.
Honestly, I am not sure what I am going to do as there is labor support on both sides, as well as progressive organization support on both sides. If I make up my mind before November 8 th , I will let you know. Read up on this; it could be important to all of us DwP customers. I have decided, personally, to vote NO on this measure, as I fear the effect on the City’s Civil Service system.
SSS –YES CITY OF LOS ANGELES FIRE AND POLICE PENSIONS; AIRPORT PEACE OFFICERS. CHARTER AMENDMENT SSS. Shall the Charter be amended to: (1) enroll new Airport peace officers into Tier 6 of the Fire and Police Pensions System; (2) allow current Airport peace officers to transfer into Tier 6 from the City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) at their own expense; and (3) permit new Airport Police Chiefs to enroll in LACERS? Right now Airport Police are not allowed into the higher pension plan that LAPD and LAFD members get. The key here is that Airport Police can now enroll in the higher plan, BUT AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. This is only fair.
LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT:
CC – YES LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT AFFORDABLE EDUCATION/ JOB TRAINING/CLASSROOM SAFETY MEASURE. To repair local community colleges/ prepare students/veterans for jobs/university transfer by upgrading vocational/ career education for veterans, firefighters, paramedics nurses/ police, removing lead paint/ asbestos, upgrading campus safety/ security systems, technology, handicapped accessibility/earthquake safety, repairing deteriorating gas, water/ sewer lines, acquiring, constructing, repairing facilities, sites/ equipment, shall Los Angeles Community College District issue $3,300,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, requiring independent audits, citizen oversight, all funds used locally?
From Martin Hittleman, a very trusted source of information, comes the following
Local College Boards and Trustees
Cerritos College Board Area 1 Martha Camacho-Rodriguez
Cerritos College Board Area 2 Carmen Avalos
Cerritos College Board Area 4 Marisa Perez
Cerritos College Board Area 6 Sandra Salazar
Santa Clarita College Trustee District 2 Bruce Fortine
Santa Monica College Trustees