Holy Crap There’s a Lot of Stuff on the Ballot

…or meloukhia’s quick and dirty voter’s guide. Remember, smart voters independently research, rather than blindly following one person’s advice or recommendations. If you disagree with any of my recommendations on the propositions, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Also: voting is sexy.

This is a really long post, because there is a lot on the ballot in San Francisco. I am probably going to break it up into multiple sections, actually, because otherwise it will just get out of hand. Following are the propositions and after that the ballot measures specific to San Francisco. (Note: if you are one of my Mendocino County voters, please vote yes on Measure Y. Thank you.)

State Wide Propositions

Proposition 1A: Transportation Funding Protection—NO
Prop 1A, on the surface, sounds pretty sweet. I’d like to lock transportation funding in too. The only problem is that there may be changes in budgetary needs, and rendering that money in accessible may hurt education, libraries, and other vital public needs. California spends a lot of money on roads, allegedly, anyway. The question is: where is it all going?

Proposition 1B: Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006—NO
I hate bond acts.

Proposition 1C: Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006—NO
Great cause, I hate bond acts. Furthermore, systemic change is needed in California to address homelessness and emergency shelter needs, not more money for crappy shelters.

Proposition 1D: Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006—NO
See “bond acts” above.

Proposition 1E: Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Act of 2006—NO
Again with the bonds. Also I live on an Island, so when the disaster strikes I’m going to die anyway. There is government funding available for this kind of thing. And while you’re at it some insurance reform to force agencies to cover people in flood damaged homes would be awesome.

Proposition 83: Sex Offenders—NO
While our existing system for the handling of sex offenses is far from perfect, I fail to see how an expensive GPS monitoring program will help. It’s already difficult for sex offenders to find homes, and these restrictions will make it virtually impossible. Look. I’m not a fan of raping the children, but rehabilitated sex offenders are people too. Let’s focus on proper care for those likely to commit crimes again, not on severe restrictions of civil liberties for all.

Proposition 84: Water Quality &tc—NO
Bond act. Again. With the bonding.

Proposition 85: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of a Minor’s Pregnancy—NO
NO, NO, NO, for the love of God, NO. This Prop might get its own post, because I’m so furious about it. Short story: this proposition will not help to reduce abortion rates. It may help to increase the deaths of teens and infants, if teens are afraid to seek rapid and proper care for themselves, up to and including abortion. Let’s not return to the era of back alley abortions, ok guys? Establish a relationship with your teenage children that creates clear lines of communication…or be a fundamentalist asshole and don’t, but don’t try to control her body. This prop is WRONG on so many levels that it doesn’t even deserve to be on the ballot.

Proposition 86: Tax on Cigarettes—NO
I know this comes as a surprise for a lot of my readers, given my long established loathing of cigarettes and all that comes with them. However, I don’t see why even more money should sneak into the pockets of the rich disguised as as something helpful. If the state really thinks smoking is bad, why not fund smoking cessation programs?

Proposition 87: Alternative Energy, &tc—NO
Cool prop, right? Wrong. Let’s play a little game I like to call “follow the money.” Where is this revenue going, and how will be it be used? If you said “to developing alternative energy,” you’re wrong.

Proposition 88: Real Property Parcel Tax—NO
Let’s educate the children! Let’s reform our education funding first, so that all children benefit equally from propositions like this, instead of the children in already wealthy school districts.

Proposition 89: Political Campaigns—YES
More campaign spending limits sounds like a good idea, as well as equalizing funding. I say yes, but this is one that I’m still a little on the fence on. Someone with more information who wants to weigh in should really do so.

Proposition 90: Government Aquisition &tc—NO
On the surface, this proposition protects homeowners, but this is not actually the case. In fact, it limits protections, and governmental abilities to regulate land use.

San Francisco Specific Propositions

A: School Modernization—NO
I am opposed to bond acts. I have seen San Francisco’s schools, and I agree that they are in vital need of refurbishment. However, I’ve also seen what happens to contracts like the Bay Bridge, and I am not satisfied that $450,000,000 in bonds would go to the schools and not to line a fat cat’s pockets.

B: Family Leave Policy—YES
Family leave is important, and this is a policy which allows City board and commission members to work from home while pregnant, nursing, and dealing with a new baby. While I do not like children, I also don’t like the way new parents are treated in this society, and I think this proposition is a great idea.

C: Salary Equalization—YES
Our City officials should make the same as those in other counties. I think salaries should be standardized across the state, adjusted for regional inflation, personally.

D: Security of Private Information—NO
There’s a similar law already on the books: I don’t think we need two.

E: Parking Tax—YES
It’s already impossible to park in San Francisco because of the level of cars. Perhaps this will encourage people to ditch the car and use public transit, helping to reduce the growing traffic load. I wish the money would be better accounted for, however.

F: Paid Sick Leave—YES
Some of my readers who are employers may want to weigh in on this one. I feel that paid sick leave is a great idea for the following reasons: one, employees who are sick will stay home instead of infecting everyone else. Two, it will increase worker productivity by ensuring that people are healthy, able to go to the doctor, and able to take care of themselves. Three: San Francisco is setting a lot of labor law standards, and I think it’s a good thing to go on record as supporting. However, my small business owner readers probably feel differently, because like most feel good legislation, it puts a greater strain on small employers. Any thoughts?

G: Restrictions on Formula Retail Stores—YES
Chain stores are choking small mom and pops, driving up their operating costs immensely. Chain stores are hateful and impersonal. They have cheaper stock because they are growing like filthy weeds everywhere, something which we can restrict by not allowing them to proliferate in such numbers. Down with the chains! Up with the wierd funky corner stores!

H: Relocation Payments—YES
In the case of a no fault eviction, like one which occurs when tenants are forced to move because a building is sold, relocation payments are entirely reasonable. This proposition specifies that tenants who are evicted because of illegal activity will not be subject to this proposition.

I: Attendance at the Board of Supervisors—YES
I know the mayor is awfully busy going to parties and stuff, but it would be really awesome if he would show up at least once a month to meetings of the Board of Supervisors, to like talk about public policy and do his job and shit.

J: Impeachment—YES
Hell fucking yeah!

K: Housing Needs of Disabled Adults and Seniors—YES
All you old farts should vote yes on this one especially, because there are going to be growing numbers of you. Let’s make sure that you get adequate care, yeah?

Tomorrow: State Wide Races

[California Election]