Left-leaning Westside neighborhoods are about as far as you can get from those swing districts getting so much national attention, but trust your local newsweekly that there’s plenty at stake on Tuesday to merit you casting a ballot. In particular, state and local ballot propositions offer the chance to support several very good ideas (Prop 10, Prop 12 and Measure W, especially) and oppose some particularly lousy ones (like Prop 5, Prop 8 and Measure B).
Governor of California
Before the June primary we hoped Gavin Newsom would wind up facing John Chiang, forcing substantive debate about how to keep the state fiscally sound while combatting the housing crisis and rampant economic inequalities. Instead, Newsom faces businessman John Cox, and they’ve only had one debate. Still, that was enough to see the merits of Newsom’s inclusive (though not incredibly detailed) vision for a more equitable future over Cox’s even less-detailed approach of dismantling government to let the chips fall where they may. Simply being angry about everything isn’t much of a strategy to govern — at least not in California, anyway.
Vote for Gavin Newsom.
Congress, State and Local Offices
We stick by our primary election endorsements of Reps. Ted Lieu, Karen Bass and Maxine Waters, state Sen. Ben Allen, and state Assembly members Autumn Burke and Richard Bloom — incumbents who are serving their districts well and face opponents who’ve mounted little (if any) organized efforts to create competitive races.
Vote for Lieu, Bass or Waters, Allen, and Burke or Bloom.
Los Angeles City Measure B: Municipal Bank
The L.A. City Council wants permission to start a public municipal bank, but they’ve offered absolutely no explanation of how they would do so, what it would cost, or the potential risks and rewards. What you don’t know can hurt you, and this would be a blank taxpayer check for civic misadventure.
Vote No on B.
Measures E and EE: Timing of Local Elections
To save money and encourage voter participation, it only makes sense that city and school district elections should happen at the same time as state elections.
Vote Yes on Measures E and EE.
Los Angeles County Measure W: Storm Water Capture
Storm water and other urban runoff has long been the single biggest contributor to pollution of Westside waterways and beaches, and this long-awaited measure would fund the necessary infrastructure to capture, clean and recycle it. County parcel tax increase proposals are becoming too common in L.A. County elections, but Measure W is worth every penny of the roughly $83 annual tax on the average home. We join local environmentalists and conservation groups in supporting this absolutely mission-critical leap forward in protecting our local coast.
Vote Yes on Measure W.
Proposition 1: $4 Billion for Affordable Housing
The worst thing about living in the best state in the union? Housing prices, bar none. This $4-billion bond initiative, to be paid back over 35 years at $170 million annually, would provide $1.5 billion for low-income multifamily housing, $1 billion for loans to help veterans buy homes, $450 million for transit-oriented housing projects, $300 million for farmworker housing, and $300 million for mobile homes. It’s not enough to solve the housing crisis, but
it is a worthy effort to help Californians in need that will also alleviate at least some pressure on the housing market.
Vote Yes on Prop 1.
Proposition 2: $2 Billion for Housing the Mentally Ill
Go for a walk in Venice and try to convince yourself (or some unfortunate soul conversing with invisible people) that mental illness and homelessness aren’t often related. You can’t address homelessness without considering mental health, and vice versa. Prop 2 sounds expensive but it doesn’t put any new burdens on taxpayers — just redirects some existing mental health funds toward long overdue supportive housing for those battling mental illness.
Vote Yes on Prop 2.
Proposition 3: $8.9 Billion for Water Supply Projects
Local environmental advocacy organizations are refusing to support this expensive bond measure with little fiscal oversight. The environmental benefits aren’t worth the price tag, because this is essentially a sneaky plan to tax the whole state for regional projects specifically benefitting Central California agriculture interests.
Vote No on Prop 3.
Proposition 4: $1.5 Billion for Children’s Hospitals
Medi-Cal reimbursements for hospitals serving kids from low-income families simply aren’t enough to fund safety-
oriented facilities improvements at children’s hospitals in Los Angeles and throughout the state. There should be
a better funding mechanism for facilities that save kids’ lives, but that’s no reason to punish the kids.
Vote Yes on Prop 4.
Proposition 5: Unlimited Property Tax Transfers for Seniors
Real estate interests are pitching this amendment to Prop 13 as a lifeline for seniors, but the law already lets seniors downsize without tax penalties. This is basically a tax-dodging scheme for millionaires who want to upgrade to luxury housing. Grandma doesn’t need five bedrooms at the expense of public schools.
Vote No on Prop 5.
Proposition 6: Gas Tax Repeal
Nobody wants to pay more at the pump, but taxing gasoline is the fairest way to fund necessary roadway improvements because those who drive less use roads less often and should pay less than heavy users. Neglecting repairs to highways and bridges only costs taxpayers more in the long run, one way or another. And repealing the gas tax would reverse $965 million for projects in Los Angeles County alone, from major infrastructure repairs to new left turn signals at Venice Boulevard and Centinela Avenue, Culver and Inglewood boulevards, and Washington Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
Vote No on Prop 6.
Proposition 7: Stop Messing with the Clock
There are a lot more important things to worry about right now than whether to make daylight savings time permanent, and without approvals from both the state Legislature and Congress, this measure won’t change anything. However, the question is worth asking down the road.
Vote Yes on Prop 7.
Proposition 8: Regulation of Dialysis Clinic Charges
On its face this measure claims to limit dialysis center revenues (not profits) to promote higher per-patient spending, but it’s really a union-backed measure designed to punish non-union clinics — possibly forcing clinic closures that would increase patient costs or reduce access to care. Rather than set a higher bar, it gambles with people’s lives.
Vote No on Prop 8.
Proposition 10: Ending Prohibitions Against Rent Control
The Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995 keeps Los Angeles from applying local rent control or rent stabilization ordinances to apartments built after 1978, and every municipality in the state faces similar restrictions. Prop 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins to let cities determine rent control laws for themselves. In the context of our housing affordability crisis, one size does not fit all. Local lawmakers should have the power to explore unique solutions for the communities they serve.
Vote Yes on Prop 10.
Proposition 11: Paramedic Work Breaks
Paramedics and EMTs who work for private ambulance companies should definitely be allowed to take meal and rest breaks, but this common-sense measure would require they remain on call in case of emergency. Medical service is an important calling, and in life-or-death situations a sandwich can wait.
Vote Yes on Prop 11.
Proposition 12: Cage-Free Farming
The Humane Society says Prop 12, which sets specific standards for the sizes of animal enclosures, will improve living conditions for farm animals by alleviating extreme confinement. PETA says Prop 12’s standards aren’t high enough and will promote fictions about “ethical eggs” and happy farm animals. We say that any improvement is a step in the right direction. These would be substantial gains for animal welfare, so don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Vote Yes on Prop 12.