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).
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.
Vote YES on Prop 15
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 because of their inability to afford bail. Cash bail both criminalizes poverty and reflects the systemic racism that plagues our criminal legal process.
Paid for by League of Women Voters Supporting Schools and Communities First – Yes on Prop 15 (Nonprofit 501(c)(4))
Where can I find non-partisan election information?
You can enter your address at www.VotersEdge.org/ca and get your entire ballot and polling place.