Friday, October 29, 2004

Leftside's Election Special - the Californian propositions

Proposition 1A - Yes
Being a City employee, it is a no-brainer that the Governator should not be allowed to raid local government coffers whenever it needs to in order to avoid responsibility.

Proposition 59 - yes
Not really sure how this will increase public participation beyond the Brown Act., which is already the law of the land. But I am for maximum public participation in theory, even if this may indeed make my life harder one day, when I need to open up my file cabinets to nosy homeowners who want to repeal historic preservation and city planning efforts.

Proposition 60/62 - Yes and No

A vote for the status quo on Statewide elections in Cali. This is a bit tricky as the proposed change might result in 2 democrats running against each other, whereby a true progressive could take center stage. However, it is more likely that we will get Democrat versus Republican year after year, leaving 3rd parties out to dry in the election debates and election coverage.

Proposition 61 - Don't think so
A worthy cause among many on the ballot. This bond would cost us 1.5 billion to get $750 million towards building children's hospitals. Of course our health care system would benefit, but there are questions as to this being the most acute need or problem as far as child health goes. This would do nothing for access and the hospitals would probably just pass the raise costs anyway on services as they improve. I generally don't like the bonds either, which end up costing us double what a simple tax hike would do.

Proposition 63 - Yes
My favorite of them all. This tax on millionaires would go a long way towards ending homelessness by allowing funding for a wide range of social services related to mental health (housing, job-training, drug treatment, etc.).

Proposition 64 - No
The wrong approach to so-called shakedown lawsuits. This would require an actual injury in order to sue. It would not allow one to sue over environmental issues that may arise in the future, for example.

Proposition 65 - No
Like Prop. 1, except not as smart.

Proposition 66 - Yes
The three strikes law was always something than angered me, reading about it in Chicago. Since when should we apply baseball metaphors to public policy? If you commit a crime you should do the time, no more and no less... except white collar criminals should do more time and non-violent drug offenders should do less. This will help get rid of some of the worst injustices that have occurred because of the 1990's extreme crime fear mentality (like people locked up for life for stealing aspirin).

Proposition 67 - Yes
Yes, yes. Emergency health care is in crisis mode in LA; Three emergency room hospitals have closed in poorer areas of the County since I have been here (a year). For $500 million, I'll pay the extra 3% on my new (first) cel phone, plus 50 cents on the land line .

Proposition 68 and 70 - No and No
Gaming should be kept to the areas it was intended to assist - Indian tribes. However, letting them get off scott-free for 99 years without making them pay health insurance or negotiate a higher proceeds to the state is a rip-off. The public expects some benefits also for allowing Indian gaming.

Proposition 69 - Probable Yes
Should everyone who is arrested have to give up their DNA to the LAPD? It sounds awful at first, but this type of system would undoubtedly lead to better and more accurate crime fighting. I'd expect a flood of prisoners being let out of prison due to their being found not guilty because of this. But still, to get swabbed just because the police feel like making an arrest (not found guilty) opens up another pandoras box due to the existing racial profiling.

Proposition 71 - No
As much as I want to be all for stem-cell research, I do not feel this si the best venue for it. States should not shoulder the burden, and $6 billion (incl. Interest) is just too much. Let Kerry handle this when he gets in.

Proposition 72 - Yes
I strongly believe in healthcare of all, and if this will bring us part of the way there, then I support it. Though, I should acknowledge that this is not my preferred path. Being a liberal state in the capitalist country we are brings numerous contradictions. Medium sized employers should get some help form the government to cover the costs of insuring their workers, however we can deal with that AFTER we insure the millions of families that will benefit from this measure.

County Measure A - No
Though I think Los Angeles probably does need more officers, I want them to improve with what they have already first, instead of showing them an easy solution. They need to concentrate homicide officers in areas that actually have the most homicides, instead of trying to please wealthy homeowner associations and their City Councilmen. Crime is way down and the LAPD has made lots of technology advances already, so I do not believe everyone should have their sales tax increased by a substantial .5% - the definition of a regressive tax that the poor will be hard pressed to shoulder.

LA City Measure 0 - YES

Another great one. This will provide funds to protect water quality in the region's polluted lakes, streams and ocean. It will allow for a wide variety of interventions, including more green space and better planning.


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