tim: protest sign: "Down With This Sort of Thing" (politics)
[personal profile] tim
This is my voter guide for the November 6, 2018 election in Alameda County, California. Some measures/candidates are statewide, some not. If you're not eligible to vote in California, you can probably stop reading here, unless you're really nerdy. Eligible to vote in California but not registered to vote? You can register to vote, and vote early, on the same day, at your county elections office, right up until the election. In Alameda County, that's the basement of the courthouse at 1225 Fallon St. in downtown Oakland. This is called conditional voter registration and means you will vote on a provisional ballot. If you want to guarantee your vote will be processed without delay, today is your last day to register to vote! (Do it in person so you can be sure.)

State and federal offices

Governor: Gavin Newsom (*loud sighing*). He's an awful neoliberal, but we have a Republican who might as well be a Trump clone running against him, and there are enough conservatives in interior and southern California that we can't assume this election is safe. Vote to reduce harm.

Lieutenant: Eleni Kounalakis; both candidates seem like reasonable choices, but I'm voting for Kounalakis because she'll prioritize housing and homelessness and because, unlike her opponent, has endorsements from LGBTQ organizations.

You can safely vote straight Democrat for six more state offices, all but the last which are contests between one Republican and one Democrat:
Treasurer: Fiona Ma
Attorney: Xavier Becerra
Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
Controller: Betty Yee
Insurance commissioner: Ricardo Lara
Member, state board of equalization, 2nd district: Malia Cohen (unlike the other five, Cohen has a Green Party opponent, but I don't want a Republican to win this one.)

Senator: Kevin de Leon; it's time to send homophobic xenophobe Dianne Feinstein packing.

House of Representatives, 13th district: Barbara Lee

State Assembly, 15th district: Jovanka Beckles. Beckles is a queer Black woman who supports housing and health care; her opponent, Buffy Wicks, is exactly as neoliberal as you'd expect someone named Buffy to be.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond, almost entirely because his opponent supports the charter school scam.

Judicial Offices (the "Why do I have to vote on this?" section

Associate Justices of the State Supreme Court: Carol Corrigan and Leondra Kruger. These are both confirmation elections that are the last step after a formal nomination process, and both are incumbents. They both seem okay.

1st Appellate District, various judges:
James Humes - yes (he's gay; 'nuff said)
Sandra Margulies - no (has ruled in favor of civil-liberties-violating laws)
James Richman - no (has ruled against worker protections)
Marla Miller - no (has ruled against tenant protections... hmm... almost like a lot of judges don't want ordinary people to have rights)
Peter John Siggins - yes (haven't found out much about him, except that he ruled that conditions in California prisons violate human rights, which is good)

Statewide propositions

Proposition 1 (bonds for affordable housing): Yes

Proposition 2 (bonds to fund housing for mentally ill people): No; I'm persuaded by NAMI Contra Costa's argument against it.

Proposition 3 (bonds for water supply and quality projects): No; sounds good, but see the LA times editorial on it, particularly the "who pays?" question. Plus the Green Party also says no

Proposition 4 (bonds for children's hospitals): Yes

Proposition 5 (make Prop 13 even more favorable to rich people): No. This is sheer redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich.

Proposition 6 (repeal recent fuel tax increases): No; we should tax fuel, to discourage driving. This irresponsible proposition would take away $5.1 billion from public transit programs and bridge and road maintenance and repairs.

Proposition 7 (allow the state legislature to modify Daylight Savings Time): Yes -- this proposition doesn't get rid of Daylight Savings Time in CA, it just makes it an option for the state legislature to decide to do that. What if we just didn't have Daylight Savings Time? Apparently, it would reduce the number of car accidents due to sleep deprivation, so I'm all for that.

Proposition 8 (regulate dialysis clinics): Yes -- unions support it, for-profit health care businesses oppose it, and that's all you need know.

Proposition 9 (Three Californias): This proposition was removed from the ballot by the state supreme court. LOL, pwned.

Proposition 10 (allow local governments to impose rent control): GIANT BLINKING YES, there's no reason to vote no on this unless you're a landlord.

Proposition 11 (exempt private ambulance companies from labor laws): No; this is anti-worker.

Proposition 12 (tighten standards for farm animal welfare): Yes; there's no reason for you to vote no on this either, unless you're a factory farmer.

Alameda County

Assessor: Phong La (his opponent, Jim Johnson, opposes Prop 13 reform)

AC Transit District Director: Dollene Jones; she's a former bus driver and bus wonk. Her opponent, Joel Young, is a domestic abuser, among other appalling things.

School district Measure E (continue a property tax that supports the Peralta Community College District): Yes, as a current Peralta student.

School district Measure G (bonds for modernizing Peralta Community College District campuses): Ditto

City of Oakland

Measure V (changing how cannabis business taxes work): Yes -- this looks complicated, but the upshot is that it will make it easier to start new cannabis businesses and would lower the tax on medical cannabis. It also undermines the unfair federal law saying cannabis business owners can't deduct business expenses from taxes by changing local tax laws to offset some of that cost.

Measure W (tax vacant property to fund homelessness programs): Yes -- tax the rich. The only reason to vote against this is if you're a landlord.

Measure X (make the real property transfer tax progressive rather than regressive): Yes -- tax the rich some more.

Measure Y (amend eviction laws to protect tenants further): YES -- this would remove exceptions to the law for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes and give the city council more power to institute further tenant protections.

Measure Z (increase the minimum wage for hotel workers): Yes -- it's a step towards an even higher minimum wage than this, and for all workers.

Measure AA: No; I was initially a yes, because more taxes for schools sounds like it can't be bad. But the Alameda County Green Party's voter guide makes a good point that a lot of the money will go to Oakland Promise, a quasi-privatized commission that's not accountable to the public. The more I read about it, the less appealing it sounds (it's also championed by neoliberal incumbent mayor Libby Schaaf.)

Measure FF: No; I was also initially a yes, because more money for parks sounds good. But the measure includes wildfire remediation plans that will necessitate cutting down trees to protect rich Oakland Hills residents' homes from fire. Fuck that.

Mayor: Cat Brooks #1, Pamela Price #2, Saied Karamooz #3 -- I think this is fairly self-explanatory, and it's great to be able to rank two Black women activists who both favor radical reform in the #1 and #2 spots. But if you want a mayor who gives out tax breaks to tech companies, ignores unhoused people, and prioritizes rich people in the hills, then by all means re-elect Libby.

Auditor: Courtney Ruby #1, Brenda Roberts #2 (I'm following the Green Party voter guide on this, which suggests that both are kind of bad but Roberts is worse)

Thanks to:
Alameda County Green Party Voter Guide (I strongly disagree with their recommendation to boycott several of the races to "protest" the top-two primary system, but as usual, I find their analyses useful.)
"Don’t Just Say Yes: How to Vote in California’s Judicial Races", from the Progressive California blog
A Guide to Oakland's Ballot Measures, East Bay Express
Opinion: No on Alameda County's Measure FF, East Bay Times
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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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