Things I’ve learned this year:
(1) Direct democracy is an AWFUL idea. If you don’t have 2 hours, and access to the right resources, then you have no idea what you’re voting for. It’s just awful.
(2) Our current two party system is broken, and there’s really no solution in sight
(3) California is obsessed with implementing liberal policies with conservative tax plans. It just can’t be sustainable, and is really worrisome.
And with all of that… my votes for the 2016 election up and down the ballot:
President & Vice President – Hilary Clinton & Tim Kaine
I really don’t like Hilary Clinton. Her foreign policy is too hawkish. She’s too old school for me on economics and taxation. But I don’t actually care. This is actually a protest vote against Donald Trump, and a world who would have him elected President. And so I’ve switched from leaving this blank, to voting for Hilary as a way to say that I can’t imagine a worse future for my children than one after 4 years of Donald Trump.
Senate -Â Â Kamala D. Harris
I think both women are strong candidates here. I think that Kamala Harris has put together a better vision of how she would fix the economy, and deal with immigration. Loretta Sanchez’s campaign seemsÂ to mainly be about her history and her experience, and less so about what she wants to do.
House ofÂ RepresentativesÂ -Â None
Preston Picus isn’t a real alternative. He seems to just be an angry citizen who got enough votes to get on the ballot. And I don’t think that Nancy Pelosi should go back. I just see her as part of a past generation who keeps trying to fix this country in the image of their parents and grandparents (same with Hilary I guess). I wish we could provide a real challenger here, but alas no luck.
State Senator – Jane Kim
If I were going to go by the inverse of the number of flyers I received this would easily go to Jane Kim. All Scott Weiner did it seems during this campaign is trash her. And he kept trashing her for policies she stood up for that when I read into them I also supported. So he in fact did most of my research for me here. What really tipped me in her direction though was as I was reading through her policies she spoke about how she wanted to fund her progressive programs. This is a theme I constantly see missing for Democrats. Sure they want to be progressive, but who’s paying for these progressive policies. Jane Kim seems to have that plan in place
State Assembly – None
The current Assembly Member – Phil Ting – doesn’t seem to have any ideas of his own. The challenger – Carlos “Chuck” Taylor – is too Tea Party for my liking.
School Board – Mark Sanchez, Rachel Norton, Stevon Cook, Phil Kim
The folks I knocked off of the list were either there too long (I think SFUSD is broken – so bragging about 24 years on the Board was a major turnoff), didn’t have plansÂ for how to fund their ideas, or had never before been involved in creating an education program.
These four seem to be focused on technology (including working in non-profits who have had to fund their ideas), teacher retention (with ideas about how to fix it), and curriculum (with clear ideas of where to focus).
Prop 51 – No
In reading the text, this is yet another excuse by California legislators to not take a hard look at Prop 13, and find a sustainable way to fund schools. We’re effectively saying that because we don’t have the political will to challenge Prop 13 we have to keep borrowing against the future to fund schools.
Prop 52 -Â Yes
This seems to be a program that’s working, and one that we should continue to let work. I think the lack of regular check-in by making the date indefinite is a bit sketch, but not so much as to vote No.
Prop 53 – No
The last thing California needs is more direct democracy. Definitely voting No here.
Prop 54 – No
This one looked great to me at first. But the more I read, the more I didn’t like it. So I asked the one person I know who has worked in the State Legislature, and he said vote No. Sometimes you just need to know who to trust 🙂
Prop 55 – Yes
This is an extension to an income tax that will help fund schools. Unlike the construction proposition which I think will mainly help construction companies, this one puts the money into the education fund, distributes it locally, and then it gets spent locally. So on this one I’m voting yes.
Prop 56 – Yes
I’m anti-all things smoking.
Prop 57 – Yes
For this one, I think dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex is important. I also think that we need to take away from prosecutors the need to appear tough which incentivizes them to push for juveniles to be tried as adults. However, the case of Brock Turner demonstrates that giving this power to judges won’t necessarily turn out the way we expect it to. At the least, judges aren’t incentivized (I hope) the same way.
Prop 58 – No
I’m not sure what the long term outcome of this is, and the bi-lingual programs I know of in SFUSD are working for the folks who are in them. Just not convinced why we need this change.
Prop 59 – Yes
This is what my rant was all about, and so I definitely have to vote Yes here. Yes, I do want my state government which has the 8th largest economy in the world to use as much influence as it can to impact the federal government.
Prop 60 – No
This is regulation because someone wants to regulate. If you want to fix pornography, the issue isn’t condoms.
Prop 61 – Yes
I’m voting Yes here because I think the pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated in a few extreme cases (Martin Shekel and Epi-pen) that the system protects it enough without needing unfair pricing power. So if we can create a directive to drive costs down for pharmaceuticals, then let’s do it.
Prop 62 – Yes
Fabienne Gerard (my high school advisor) took me to an anti-death penalty panel when we were in high school. I’ve been anti-death penalty ever since. Yes, we should repeal the death penalty.
Prop 63 -Â Yes
I actually have no idea how this kind of move impacts the gun lobby across the nation, but at least in this corner of the country we can push back and create some sense of responsibility with gun ownership. Prop 63 is a definite yes for me.
Prop 64 – Yes
I think Prop 64 is another example of using the might of California to push change at the federal level. With most of the Western US legalizing the drug, we can create some momentum at the federal level to have a real conversation about the War on Drugs (also known as the War on Black America), and whether it’s time to end it.
Prop 65 – No
This is big industry protecting itself with a well worded proposition. No to more products made by oil.
Prop 66 – No
We don’t need to reduce the cost of the death penalty. We need to end the death penalty. No on 66.
Prop 67 – Yes
One of the simplest worded propositions I’ve seen in my time in California. We need to get rid of plastic bags. The less of our lives that is made by oil, the easier it will be to unentangle from the global obligations that come with an oil driven economy.
SF A – No
SF B – Yes
SF C – Yes
SF D – No
SF E – Yes
SF F – No -Â 16 year old shouldn’t vote. Come on.
SF G – Yes
SF H – Yes
SF I – No
SF J – No
SF K – No – Instead can we ask the technology industry to pay its fair share of taxes instead of giving Twitter a massive tax free zone?
SF L – No
SF M – Yes
SF N – No
SF O – No
SF P – No
SF Q – No
SF R – No
SF S – No
SF T – Yes
SF U – No
SF V- Yes – Take that soda companies :-p
SF W – Yes
SF X – No
BART RR – No – I just don’t trust the folks who run BART after the way the BART strike situation was handled.