League of Women Voters Releases Their Proposition recommendations

The League of Women Voters has been fighting for Democracy for 100 years. The League is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, dedicated to encouraging active participation in government, and fostering understanding of public policy.

The following are their proposition recommendations for the November 3 General Election.

For more election information, go to VotersEdge.org

PROP 15  SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES FIRST              YES

The Schools & Communities First initiative will raise $12 billion every year for California’s schools, essential workers, and local governments. This will come by ensuring that all corporate properties worth more than $3 million pay their fair share of property taxes – while protecting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agriculture. This money is needed now more than ever and is critical to California’s recovery and reinvestment.

PROP 16            OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL                YES

Affirmative action in state hiring, contracting, and education was banned in California by Prop 209 in 1996. Prop 16 will reverse that ban and allow schools and public institutions to take race, ethnicity, color, national origin, and gender into consideration when admitting students to colleges, hiring employees for public jobs, and selecting contractors for public projects. Equal opportunity programs are a time-tested way to fight systemic racism and gender discrimination by leveling the playing field and giving everyone a chance at good public jobs and wages and quality public schools. Prop 16 provides all Californians a fair opportunity in education, employment, and contracting.

PROP 17            RESTORE VOTING RIGHTS                   YES

Restoring voting rights to Californians who have completed their prison term is a matter of justice, equity, and fundamental fairness. Right now, nearly 50,000 people who have been released from prison and are on parole are denied the right to vote – a right that is owed to every citizen and important to successful reintegration into the community. Our neighbors who are working, paying taxes, raising families, and rebuilding their lives deserve a voice in the policy-making that shapes their lives. And including their voices will help California achieve a more representative democracy.

PROP 18       VOTING RIGHTS FOR 17-YEAR OLDS            YES

Seventeen-year-olds who will be 18 by the next general election should be able to vote in primary and special elections. Prop 18 will give them that right. Young people are significantly underrepresented in California’s electorate. Allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections will engage young voters while they are studying the issues in high school and have a strong interest in participation. Once voting begins it becomes a life-long habit. Furthermore, fairness dictates that people who will be eligible to vote in a general election should be able to help choose the candidates who will be on that ballot. Finally, many 17-year-olds are civically engaged and at the forefront of movements to improve the communities in which they live. We would all benefit from their voices at the ballot box.

PROP 19        PROPERTY TAX BREAKS                    NO

Prop 19 exacerbates an already inequitable property tax system – offering tax breaks to people who do not need them. Providing tax breaks to homeowners over 55 who purchase a replacement home and allowing them to “transfer” their current tax assessment to a new home anywhere in the state does nothing to help low-income seniors or families struggling to find housing. This proposition would allow not just one, but three such transfers. Senior citizens are already allowed to keep their current tax assessment when they purchase a home of equal or lesser value. And while the plan to put state revenue from increased home sales into a fund to support firefighting may sound appealing, it will make it more difficult for the legislature to fund the state’s response to other natural disasters or public health crises. While Prop 19 eliminates a tax break for some property inherited by children from parents, this beneficial element is not sufficient to merit support.

PROP 20       ROLLBACK ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS        NO

Over the past decade, California has made progress enacting laws that reduce the prison population and create a more effective and equitable public safety system. Prop 20 would roll back many advances in criminal justice reforms and reinstate a “get tough” law enforcement system that believes longer incarceration is a solution to crime. It would make minor theft of some goods worth over $250 punishable as a felony. It allows the state to collect DNA from people convicted of misdemeanors like shoplifting and drug possession. Prop 20 sends California in the wrong direction at a time when there is forward momentum toward smart justice approaches that increase public safety and reduce costs to the state.

PROP 24       CONSUMER DATA PRIVACY               NO

The League of Women Voters supports the protection of consumers’ private data. Prop 24 includes some beneficial elements, but we oppose due to the complexity of a 52-page initiative with impacts and nuances that are difficult for voters to discern and rollbacks to existing protections. Among the troubling aspects of Prop 24 is its expansion of “pay for privacy” through the addition of loyalty and rewards programs, allowing businesses to charge consumers more or provide worse service if they choose to exercise their privacy rights. The initiative also allows businesses to require consumers to direct each individual website and app not to sell information – weakening the current legal requirement that companies respect a global opt-out for all services. These burdens are fundamentally inequitable, placing the onus on the average consumer to protect their own privacy. Working people don’t have the time to do the paperwork and they can’t afford to pay companies to respect their wishes. Finally, the initiative comes less than a year after the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Rights Act went into effect, before we have had an opportunity to see how the new law works or the legislature has had a chance to address any defects.

PROP 25      END CASH MONEY BAIL               YES

A YES vote on Prop 25 is a vote to replace the money bail system with the use of pretrial risk assessment tools that focus on safety and flight risk. It is estimated that almost 46,000 Californians, a disproportionate number of whom are Black and Latinx, are being held in jail but not yet sentenced. Cash bail both criminalizes poverty and reflects the systemic racism that plagues our criminal legal process. California must move away from the money bail system to create a fairer and more equitable criminal legal system that balances public safety with the presumption of innocence. People who pose little threat to public safety should not be subject to losing their jobs, homes, and families simply because they lack the money to pay for release from jail while awaiting their day in court. While the new law that would go into effect with a YES vote is not perfect, it can be amended by the legislature. A NO vote, however, could enshrine cash bail and prevent future legislative action to curtail the commercial bail industry.

NO RECOMMENDATIONS ON OTHER STATE PROPOSITIONS ON NOVEMBER’S BALLOT

PROP 14        STEM CELL RESEARCH             NEUTRAL

While the League of Women Voters of California supports ongoing stem cell research, we are neutral on Prop 14 because of the funding mechanism used and because of the requirement for a supermajority vote to amend its provisions. Prop 14 would authorize the use of general obligation bonds to continue funding stem cell research through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). However, general obligation bonds are designed for long-term financing of capital projects, purchase of facilities for public use, and repair or retrofitting of public facilities and structures – not for funding specialized research by an entity that has little state oversight. Furthermore, the legislature is prohibited from changing the law without a 70 percent supermajority vote, thereby restricting state representatives’ ability to carry out their responsibilities. Finally, profits from intellectual property agreements could only be spent on CIRM-funded research treatments, limiting the state’s flexibility to spend funds on matters that might be more urgent.

PROP 21         LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & RENT CONTROL            NEUTRAL

The League supports efforts to help resolve California’s housing crisis. We promote solutions aimed at increasing housing production in a sustainable, accessible, and equitable manner. Rent control policies are one strategy to address California’s housing challenges, offer tenant protections, and prevent displacement. Rent control may be an effective short-term solution but studies suggest that its longer-term impact may, in certain cases, stifle the building of high-density and more affordable housing. Some of the modifications in Prop 21 have already been addressed through recently passed legislation. Because there are benefits and drawbacks to rent control, the League has chosen to be neutral on Prop 21.

PROP 23            KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS              NEUTRAL         

This measure will require operators of chronic dialysis clinics to have a minimum of one licensed physician at the clinic whenever patients are being treated, offer the same level of care to all patients regardless of how payment is being made, and make reports about dialysis-related infections to the state’s health department and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). There is disagreement about whether the presence of a doctor is always necessary or could exacerbate a doctor shortage, and over whether costs are manageable or prohibitively high. Furthermore, the League questions why voters should be deciding questions of recordkeeping and medical staffing. The uncertainty of the costs and benefits of the measure leads the League to take a neutral position.

PROP 22            RIDESHARE AND DELIVERY DRIVERS               NO POSITION

The League of Women Voters of California’s positions do not cover the issues in Prop 22. We therefore take no stand on the proposition.

4 thoughts on “League of Women Voters Releases Their Proposition recommendations

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  1. What a load of crap! Just like liberals to be willing to tax us all. Also, they appear to be pro criminal! Haven’t Democrats sscrewed up Ca enough?

  2. Oh, I do have a suggestion for the poster wanting Alameda County info.

    I notice that the Fresno Bee has a voter guide that is address dependent. Put in an address in that county and it should work. HTH.

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