Oh, we’re just getting started

My gentle readers, you know what’s coming. 6 June is just around the corner, which means I’m going to blather on about election issues periodically until 6 June, and then I’m going to start blathering about the general election in November.

If you’re not from California, you are probably going to find this immensely boring, and I apologize. Feel free to read through my archives for something more entertaining, pray that I’ll post something else later today, or continue reading if you’d like some insight into California’s elections. Which I think are pretty interesting, probably because I live in California.

May 22nd is the deadline to register to vote in the 6th June election. Make sure you are still registered in your county, and if you have moved please switch your registration or request an absentee ballot so that you can vote!

So far it looks like we have two propositions on the ballot, 81 and 82.

Proposition 81 is a bond act, and in general I vote no on bond acts. I appreciate the cause 81 is aiming at–approximately 600 million in bonds to be augmented by 320 million in local funds for library improvement. The Fort Bragg library isn’t the only library in the state that needs some serious help. And, in general, I am a big fan of giving money to libraries.

I love the “con” argument provided by the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, that “a no vote forces free spending politicians to cut welfare for illegal aliens to pay for our libraries.” Is that the best you can do, guys? I don’t see any language in the prop about illegal aliens, and I fail to see how bonds for libraries affect our budget for dealing with illegal immigration and its associated issues. This seems like a cheap shot at the anti-immigration sector of voters, eh?

I want to love this prop, and I want to encourage you to vote yes. I love books, I love libraries, and I love education, so I know I should be all about this, but I have two problems with this prop. The first is that I don’t like bonds, straight up. I don’t think the state or national economies are healthy and stable enough to support more bond issues. I think this country needs to be looking at the way it spends money and maybe coming up with some more productive ways to use it than bombs. But hey, we all know I’m a dirty hippie.

I also am concerned about this matching local funding. For wealthier communities, that’s all well and good. But I’m not sure small beleaguered libraries like Fort Bragg’s could afford to come up with matching funds, and I don’t think they should have to. I’m concerned that small town libraries will get the shaft for not being able to contribute funds, while wealthy libraries will get the bulk of the funds. In the case of library construction, for example, the library is expected to foot 40% of the cost, according to the text of the prop. Nice, if you have 40% of the cost of a new library.

For now, my stance is NO on 81, although this may change.

Proposition 82 would increase the tax burden on high income Californians to expand preschool programs and make preschool an accessible thing to children from all demographics. This is something I can get 100% behind. Taxing the rich? YEAH! Increasing education funding? YEAH! Getting kids off the streets and into school? YEAH!

Are there better things, educationally, that we could be using this money for? Well, maybe. I didn’t go to preschool, personally, and didn’t seem to suffer for it. But then again I grew up in a household of books with a loving father who is deeply committed to seeking knowledge at all ages. So maybe I didn’t need to go to preschool.

I think, however, that a lot of young children in California could benefit from pre-school. In theory, it lays the foundation for success in later years. It socializes children at a younger age, and one would hope that preschool gets kids in the mindset for learning. For working parents, it’s a childcare network of sorts. I think it’s a positive approach to reforming K-12 education in California. And, perhaps most importantly, it fucks the rich. Maybe only slightly, but we’ll get ’em with time, my pretties.

Currently, my stance is YES on 82, although perhaps information will surface to sway me to the other side.

So kids, damn the man and vote.

[California election]
[Prop 81]
[Prop 82]