DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is paid for. All words represent personal opinion.
Voting can be scary- it seems like everyone wants your vote, facts are swirled up in feelings and it feels safer to just opt out. If you aren’t educated and feel like you can’t make a well- informed decision, I see no shame in not voting.
This term, I read my voter information guide, took some process time, and chose my votes. Here’s how I voted- and why. For context, my core values when voting favor environmental protection.
Overpopulation is a major trend on this years’ ballot. Five propositions (1, 2, 3, 4 and 12) directly deal with housing and resource distribution. Government regulation of private healthcare and private housing also shows up in 5 propositions (4, 5, 8, 10, and 11).
All descriptions are from the Official CA Voter Information Guide, found here.
PROP 1- Authorizes bonds to fund specified housing assistance programs.
NULL– I have mixed feelings on Prop 1. On the one hand, people who are homeless by participate in a way more sustainable standard of living than persons living in traditional homes, and California already has already reached a carrying capacity in many ways (see Prop 3, about water shortages, for more details). But Prop 1 threw veterans and victims of domestic violence into the mix. I didn’t feel confident in Prop 1’s pros or cons, so I abstained.
PROP 2- Authorizes bonds to fund existing housing program for individuals with mental illness.
YES– Mental illness is a root cause of homelessness, crime and general unhappiness. This bill called out a specific program- There’s No Place Like Home. I appreciate the transparency.
PROP 3- Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage.
NULL- I read this bill very carefully. It frees up money- not water. The types of projects include both environmental projects, which help environments, and building canals and disrupting water ecosystems, which hurt environments. We definitely need sustainable ways of managing water, but we should not be earmarking water to irrigate deserts or continue overpopulation in naturally dry urban areas. I voted yes on my local bill because it specifically mentioned reducing pollution, toxins and plastics from entering Los Angeles waterways.
PROP 4- Authorizes bonds funding construction at children’s hospitals providing children’s health care.
YES– This basically expands MediCal for children. I used to have Medi-Cal and I know it creates a ton of jobs. The government wants to pay doctors, healthcare workers, administrators and customer service reps? Let em.
PROP 5- Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to a replacement property.
NO– I interpreted this proposition as a way to decrease funding for public schools and provide tax breaks to baby boomers. I lived in Oklahoma where property taxes are low and schools (and the state’s economy) suffer. In- need seniors would still receive tax breaks. I know too many retirees taking cruises and tasting wine to justify a “yes” on this proposition. It sounds like an incentive for white flight.
PROP 6- Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding, requires certain fuel taxes and vehicle fees to be approved by the electorate.
NO– Of course I want lower gas prices… or no gas prices. Gas pollutes. I voted NO because this prop only eliminates the taxes used to fund road repair and construction. California heaps plenty of other taxes on our gas prices. This prop does not guarantee lower gas prices.
PROP 7- Conforms California Daylight Savings Time to Federal Law. Allows legislature to to change daylight savings time period.
YES– I think this is a stupid proposition, but let’s see what happens.
PROP 8 – Regulates the amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics charge for dialysis treatment.
NULL– To me, this is a perfect example of something the government should stay out of. I didn’t vote.
Prop 9 was supposed to split California into 3 states. The California Supreme Court removed it. Don’t worry, it will be back.
PROP 10- Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property.
NO– Again, this falls into the category of Things The Government Should Stay Out Of. Two words- residential property- killed my vote for this law. Prop 10 proposes government regulation on private property and does not apply to government housing. The cost of living in California is high, in part, BECAUSE of the government. I read this proposition as giving state and local governments the authority to control rent, which means they could make it lower, higher, OR more taxed. How do you think they’re going to pay for all these mental hospitals?
Prop 11- Requires private- sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on- call during work breaks.
NO– I think the government should butt out of private ambulance companies too. All employees deserve down time. Time gaps can be compensated through scheduling and hiring. Public emergency response teams already exist to respond to disasters 24/7. If we’re worried, we should be increasing funding for public ambulance services and fire departments.
Prop 12- Establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals; bans sale of noncomplying products.
NO– These laws crack me up. Last time a law like this passed, all the inhumane chicken farmers moved to Nevada and continued abusing chickens. Personally, I don’t care about chickens. I oppose large scale animal farming because of the environmental impacts, not because of the animals’ well- being. “Providing more space” is usually code for “turning more natural land into farmland”. Read this article to find out why that’s a bad idea.