My Voter’s Guide for Democrats in LA County — Midterm Election 2018
This is my endorsement list for the LA county ballot!
24 October Note: I have gotten some comments questioning my bipartisanship (?) . Make no mistake, I am very partisan and I really want democrats to sweep everything. I want democrats to elect judges and I want democrats to be elected to all major offices. I am a Democrat. Clearly.
I believe in unions, in socialized healthcare, in free and expanded education, in rent control and public housing, in environmentally sustainable infrastructure, public transportation, in making the government legible and easy. It is ridiculous that the tax system is so confusing we have to hire lawyers and accountants just to file tax returns. It is ridiculous that the primary way to assert our rights is through the court system. It is ridiculous that people are not in worker-unions across the labor market to protect their rights and ensure good salaries. It is ridiculous that we do not have universal healthcare that would strip the worry, stress, and hassle from EVERYONE’s LIVES. It is ridiculous that there is no family leave. It is ridiculous that corporations strip our environment and threaten global livlihood with their polluting enterprises unscathed and unchecked while our forests and cities burn and gas leaks pump toxins into our air. It is ridiculous that housing is unaffordable. That a whole generation cannot afford to move out of their parents’ homes. That people making 100k a year are considered poor in San Francisco. It is ridiculous that our infrastructure is crumbling and that we have terrible bus and public transportation systems across the state and the country, that peopl need a car to get from A to B. It is ridiculous that in Los Angeles, there is no public transportation that takes you to the goddamn airport. Some private bus shuttles, but that doesn’t count. It is ridiculous that people spend their lives terrified of the law enforcement that is supposed to protect us. It is ridiculous that corporations own prisons and Made In America labels are likely from prison labor. It is ridiculous that people can’t love and live in the way that makes them happy. It is ridiculous that we adhere to the norms of the early 20th century still. It is ridiculous that people can’t go to the doctor when they are sick and just get help. It is ridiculous that taxpayers who have been paying into Social Security their whole lives are disenfranchised and threatened.
We are so scared of losing ‘our due’ in this country because we live in a ridiculous society that constantly threatens us. We need to change. Republican-oligarchy obviously does not function. Don’t forget that 1.3 trillion dollar tax break.
There is only one party I trust at this point. Democrats.
10/16 Note: Please leave some helpful comments of information you think I left out!! Let’s make this collectively easier to vote and navigate the ballot!
I did a bunch of research looking up endorsements, appointments, and statements so hopefully this will help make voting easier this IMPORTANT midterm election.
For judges, I tried to find out if they had information on ballotpedia or Voter’s Edge. If not, I looked at their websites or their pages on the state court system which gives short biographies including who appointed them.
Note and edit (14 October): I have been getting some really good comments on this guide, some from attorneys who also promote looking at court records. For me, I personally chose through looking at who appointed who. I am not an attorney, and honestly going through a lot of court documents is really hard. I am a private person who considers myself a progressive and I’m trying to share how I personally am navigating the ballot and even navigating the judges. My personal barometer is through appointments since going through ruling after ruling is practically impossible and there aren’t really any good endorsements out there by any democratic organizations about judges that I have found. One note I got was concerning Judge Nora Manella who was also appointed (edit 16 October: by appointed, specifically nominated and confirmed) by President Clinton as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, keep this in mind when you cast your vote.
This is the comment I received: “ As an attorney, I do not think that solely voting on who appointed them is always accurate. For one thing, the judiciary is, or at least was, less partisan than you might think. For sitting judges, it is a much better idea to look at their record, at their Bar ratings and comments, and perhaps at endorsements. For example, Presiding Appeals Court Justice Nora Manella is an excellent judge, with a long and relatively progressive record. She was appointed by a Democrat, President Clinton, to be the US Attorney for the Central District of CA, and has demonstrated excellence in both intellect and temperament for her entire career. She should be a definite YES on your guide.” (See comments below!) I added a note beside Judge Nora Manella about how I navigated this. Remember — -I’m a private person trying to make a translation out of all of this. Not an attorney. And this is another problem that we have in the United States with judges on our ballots — -democratic special interest organizations tend to not give endorsements regarding judges and most people simply leave them blank!! I really encourage all progressive attorneys out there to start making voter guides, wherever you may be. People need help understanding the judicial system. And as more people read this guide, I want them to keep this in mind. Note (added 16 October) — More research on Nora, she was reconfirmed by Jerry Brown! So keep that in mind. I marked her initially as a NO — -but I am retracting that to a CONFUSING to show you can make the decision. It seems to me that she is a very centerist judge.
Who am I?: I’m progressive and adamantly social-democratic voter. I look for progressive candidates who can incite social and political change in this poisonous political atmosphere. Given how Trump is changing the judicial system completely by appointing as many right-wing conservative judges as possible, I decided to look at judicial appointments.
The order follows the order in the ballot.
Governor: Gavin Newsom-D
Lieutenant Gov: Ed Hernandez-D
Why Ed? There are splits in the party over this since both of the candidates are democrats. I based my vote on the endorsements that Ed received in comparison to Eleni Kounalakis. Kounalakis received endorsements by Barack Obama and Sen. Harris but not really any organizations. Whereas Ed received endorsements from Planned Parenthood, California Labor Association, California Nurses Association among others. He also has a long history of civil service in local government despite having a career as an optometrist — -starting on the California State Board of Optometry and and working his way up to State Senator.
Also I liked his answer about sitting on the UC and CSU Board of regents/trustees and what he think about the future of universities in California. He pretty much talks about how we need to address crippling student debt and make our educational system more accountable and accessible. He authored a bill to limit the autonomy of these boards so they cannot raise tuition whenever they please.
Sec State: Alex Padilla-D
Controller: Betty T. Yee-D
Treasurer: Fiona Ma-D
Attorney General: Xavier Becerra-D
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara-D
Member State Board of Equalization 3rd District: Tony Vazquez-D
Kevin De Leon-D
I think we need a change. Feinstein is looking for another term which would give her senatorship until she is 91 or 92. This is crazy. Also! Change is good. Feinstein may have seniority but I think we Californians see that Kamala Harris — -despite being ‘new’ — -is making waves and respecting her constituents’ progressive agendas.
Congress: CA-30: Brad Sherman
He’s awesome and he filed for Trump’s impeachment like in 2017.
Member of State Assembly 45th — Jesse Gabriel-D
Judicial Supreme Court
How did I make my endorsements and choices: I did a lot of googling about their political association. Votersedge is great as well as simply the judge’s biography on the California court’s website. The best way to determine this, in my opinion, is too look at who appointed them.
Note added 16 October: Keep in mind that jugdes aren’t actively proclaiming themselves partisan or their political association. What we saw Brett Kavanaugh do before his confirmation is incredibly rare. I trust that the vetting system for the different democratic and republican governor judicial appointments addresses their voting records and history and politicizes that when they make their appointments and this is how I chose to navigate understanding their politics. Keep in mind as well that which governor appointed them relates to a political time in the US. Proposition 8 that would ban gay marriage in 2008 was during Schwarzenegger’s time as a governor (2003 to 2011). Jerry Brown has been governor since 2011 but he was previously governor from 1975–1983.
Earlier governors ( who still have a couple of judges on the bench): Gray Davis (D) was governor 1999–2003 and Pete Wilson (R) was governor from 91–99. George Deukmejian (R) was from 1983–1991.
This brings up an interesting political question when navigating your ballot: How can the politics of the past, which shape the appointment of judges, affect the politics of the future and progressiveness? I am becoming more of the belief that we need to lose these legacy appointments — -where someone sits on the court for 30–50 years and potentially bearing with them the politics of the past. How many times have we regularly said that “they,” referring to older generations, “simply are a product of their time”? And what does that mean for our courts.
These supreme court seats — you vote Yes or No on each candidate
17 October: These YES and NOs are how I voted myself.Here is the LA Times endorsement page on their editorials for justices that was published a couple of weeks ago: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-endorsement-justices-20181004-story.html
Carol A. Corrigan: NO — google says she is a Republican and she was appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Political Science professors have scored her as having a conservative ideology.
EDIT 15 October: Read up a little more about Corrigan after I received a comment about her on my blog. San Diego Democrats for equality say NO on Corrigan because of her long history of voting or ruling against same sex marriage. If she gets enough yeses — she will stay on the court until 2030!
31 October Note: More on Corrigan! I got a great comment linking me to his ruling regarding animal rights and conservation “ Justice Carol Corrigan rejected the theory in Leider’s taxpayer action: that the alleged criminal mistreatment of the animals was an unlawful use of public money.” — -just another reason to vote No!!! https://www.courthousenews.com/elephant-advocates-dismayed-california-ruling/
Leondra R. Kruger: YES — Appointed by Jerry Brown
Victoria G. Chaney:NO — Appointed and nominated by two Republican Governors: Schwarzenegger and Deukmejian .
Helen Bendix: YES — Appointed by Jerry Brown 21 October NOTE: I received a really good comment linking me to an article about Helen Bendix and a ruling she recently made along with her collegues regarding the handling of sexual assault and rape charges on campus in on-campus hearings. They essentially ruled that in such hearings the accuser needs to be present for questioning.(accuser is based on the language of the article linked here:)
*I had a lawyerly friend look at this bit and he said that the ruling is based on due process on extra-judicial processes. The accused should be entitled to counsel and the right to confront the accuser. There are many safe guards that are usually put in place in courts.*
As I understand it, the ruling is not about the validity of the crime because this was not brought to police. This ruling is about the legality of a university disciplinary hearing that resulted in a suspension of a student accused of sexual misconduct/assault without the accuser (language of the article) being present during the hearing.
Fromt the article: “Ruling after John Doe had already served his suspension, the appeals court said he had been denied a fair hearing because the panel did not require Jane Roe to attend or answer questions at the hearing.When a student faces “potentially severe consequences” such as suspension, and the outcome depends on the accuser’s credibility, the accuser “must be before the finder of fact,” either in person or by videoconference, Justice Helen Bendix said in the 3–0 ruling.” This is simply my understanding of the article: that Justice Bendix and the others on the appeals court did not rule on the charge of sexual assault but rather the structure of the hearing on campus that is trying to mimic a court of law in issuing disciplinary action — -even though it isn’t a court of law. In the case of a workplace accusation, companies usually have rules and regulations related to their by-laws that you sign with your job contract. I’m not sure what kind of documentation these students were signing, this article does not state it. I also do not know if the university in question has laid out their disciplinary measures. Are they all occuring in these campus tribuneals?T
The ruling by Helen Bendix is related to the structure of the hearing and how it directly results in disciplinary actions based on the testimonials rather than the implementation of discipline. This is an incredible gray zone and the wording and interpretation of the law becomes paramount.
I want to make this clear, this court that Justice Bendix sits on did not rule on anything related to consent or sexual assault but rather the processes of an institution’s disciplinary rulings. Justice is a multi-faceted phenomenon that is not simply about the judges and how they create rulings but of legal precedence, the introduction of new laws through amendments, motions, and propositions, and an interrogation of state and federal constitutions. I encourage you to read through the article yourself and make your decision when it comes to voting on Justice Bendix. At this time, I am not going to change the YES label on Justice Bendix because I am assuming that this ruling is based on examination of the law in how institutions can create disciplinary rulings and hearings and how they are structured. Taking testimonies from both sides is common practice in a court of law especially when creating rulings related to criminal charges. I believe a lot of the time some of these judges are constrained by the wording of the law and the mechanics of how bureaucracy works and this reveals so much of the gray area of dealing with social problems. Also there really aren’t any more reports about this case online. This is a ruling that really reveals the problems of bureaucracy and how complicated it can be. How bureaucracy can blur the important reality of the case: that below this college-disciplinary hearing was an event that left a woman scared and hurt. And bureaucracy can sometimes dilute this reality because you get stuck in the trappings of wording, laws, and interpretations.
“ The challenge, Harris [The lawyer of the accused] said, is “in providing some sort of fair process to students who are facing expulsion or suspension, but not have their classrooms turn into courtrooms.”” The lawyer continues to point out that Brock Turner case was tried in a criminal court rather than an on-campus tribunal.
This ruling by Justice Bendix is about the implementation of bureaucracy, but this bureaucracy can detract from important movements like metoo and times up. Our justice system needs to definitely reflect the reality of the psychology of retraumatization. This is why our politicians needs to put forward important bills like accepting recordings or statements over presence in courts. This recent hearing by Dr. Blasey Ford further illustrates the problems of ‘hearings’ that are outside the court system and how these bureaucratic systems can be incredibly flawed. We need to reapproach these systems in our laws so that judges can make rulings that reflect empathy and compassion.
Elwood G. Lui: — Appointed by Jerry Brown NOTE October 18: I received a really helpful comment linking me to a courthouse news article that stated that Elwood Lui is a Republican, despite being appointed by Brown: https://www.courthousenews.com/three-named-to-california-appeals-court/ and http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/appt110317.htm
These courthouse websites look like they were made in 2003 so they make me nervous. Who edits them? Who confirms the information? But I want to provide the information for you! I put YES because he was appointed by Jerry Brown and I assume that Brown would appoint people who held the same interpretation of the law. The problem, as you know, with these judicial appointments is that we do not have any information. I wonder who publishes Metro News or Courthouse News, and who edits the articles? Where they get the information or the sources? It shows a wider problem of citizens simply not getting information that is necessary for democracy! Lui may be simply fiscally conservative and socially liberal rather than raving Trump Republican. That is problem. We just don’t have the information! I am simply assuming that Jerry Brown and his massive team has the information when they appointed him.October 22 Note: B http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/Elwood_Lui_6132.pdf This is a link to a transcription of an interview with Elwood Lui about his career for those of you who are interested in going through! I got this from someone who commented on here and wanted to share!
Victoria M. Chavez: NO — Appointed by Republican Schwarzenegger
Luis A. Lavin: YES — Appointed by Jerry Brown
Halim Dhanidina: YES — Appointed by Jerry Brown
Anne H. Egerton: YES — — -Appointed to different courts by two Democratic govs: Gray Davis and Jerry Brown
Nora M. Manella: (I previously had NO on here — I want to retract that and show how confusing some of the justices are, but this guide is gaining popularity and I want to give as many details as possible ) Appointed by Republican Governor Deukmejian and Republican Schwarzenegger. 16 October Note: Upon further research, I see that she was recently RECONFIRMED by Jerry Brown “ In 2018, Justice Manella was appointed by Governor Brown to be Presiding Justice. After receiving an “exceptionally well qualified” rating from the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, she was unanimously confirmed.” EDIT — see note above. I got some comments regarding this judge pointing out that Nora was also appointed by Clinton. So keep this in mind when you are casting your ballot! Again, I’m not an attorney. I am just a private citizen who spent a couple of hours trying to learn about the names on this ballot and make a guide that may help others. But look this stuff up yourself!
According to this article here, Manella is a Democrat. So for that sake vote YES . I’m sorry for any previous confusion! (Added 10/16)
Thomas Willhite: NO — Appointed by Republican Governor Schwarzenegger
29 October Note: I received a really helpful comment linking me to this article about Willhite and the kind of decisions he makes: https://www.scpr.org/blogs/news/2013/01/03/11833/rape-conviction-overturned-because-victim-was-not-/
This is a horrifying and ridiculous decision : “ A California appeals court reluctantly overturned a 2009 rape conviction Wednesday, finding that impersonating a boyfriend is not the same as impersonating a husband, according to an arcane state law.”… “ “Has the man committed rape?” Justice Willhite wrote in the Second Appellate District Court’s opinon. “Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes.””
Dorothy*** C. Kim: YES — appointed by Jerry Brown ( I accidentally wrote Doris before!)
Carl H. Moor: YES Appointed by Jerry Brown
Lamar W. Baker: YES Appointed by Jerry Brown
Arthur Gilbert: YES — Appointed by Jerry Brown in 1982….
22 October Note: I have been getting some great comments linking me to forgotten articles and posts about judges. Here is an article written by Gilbert about the justice system and overturning judges https://www.dailyjournal.com/articles/347467-still-not-my-vote . He briefly writes about Judge Aaron Persky, the judge who ruled over Brock Turner giving him a light sentence, and how overturning the judge is the wrong way to further justice. Recall or overturning judges is usually because they are proven to be incompetent or corrupt. There is not really any other details here other than what I read as a trepidation over how citizens can react to decisions. Unfortunately, this surrounds a question we all have: how can we understand the judicial system better!?!
The question becomes what is engaged and democratic citizenship. Judges are on the ballot, so there is a sense that we can vote them out. Our judges may maintain they are nonpartisan, yet their decisions have huge impact on us as a people. It reads like a fear over his losing of his job. Now, this article is not going into detail about Gilbert’s own rulings. He also writes about how he disagrees with people opposing judges because they were appointed by Republicans, which I myself am doing. He writes about the concern over the independence of judges and partisanship. I, myself, am extremely partisan. So please read this link, get a sense of who the judges are and make your decision there!
Martin Tangeman: YES Appointed by Jerry Brown
Gail R. Feuer: CONFUSING , but I’m going to mark YES because I trust Jerry Brown at this point in time. Appointed by both a republican and democratic governors. (Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown). Note added 16 October: Here is a link on a 2005 profile about Feuer and how she worked as a environmentalist lawyer! This explains why she was appointed by two different governors. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/sep/05/local/me-profile5
John Segal: YES — -Appointed by Jerry Brown
Tricia A. Bigelow: (searchable as Patricia Bigelow) NO appointed by Schwarzenegger
Now this has two candidates for each one, so you pick one candidate rather than voting up or down on each name.
Judicial Number 4: Veronica Sauceda — -She was endorsed by a ton of progressive and democratic organizations and clubs
Judicial Number 16: Patricia Hunter — -Endorsed a ton of democratic orgs and clubs and grassroots
Judge 60: Tony Cho — -Endorsed by a ton of democratic organizations including LA County Dems
22 October Note: I received a comment about Holly Hancock, his opponent, who was endorsed by the Black Public Defenders’ Association and Black Women’s Democratic Club.
My personal choice was based off of the endorsment lists for example. Here you can see Tony Cho’s : https://cho4judge.com/endorsements-for-tony. I personally liked that he was endorsed by so many different democratic clubs and so many politicians that I personally admire. But this is a personal choice. So keep this in mind!
Judge 113: Javier Perez — -Endorsed by Kevin De Leon
This was a confusing one because Michael P Ribons is endorsed by the LA times, but no elected officials. I am a fan of Kevin De Leon so that made a difference in my choice but I also decided to look into their answers concerning bail reform.
Question: Most defendants are held in County jail before trial because they are not able, due to low income or homelessness, to secure bail imposed by the Court at their arraignment. Does California’s system of imposing bail on defendants need reform? If so, what would you recommend?
Answer by Perez:
Too many people are held in custody before trial because of their economic conditions. A recent case held that a person’s financial situation should be considered in determining bail. Others factors to be considered are safety to the community and securing the defendant’s appearance in court. When dealing with the liberty of individuals we should always consider ways to improve the system. An honest dialogue needs to be conducted with all the justice partners and community leaders to explore the best options.
Answer by Ribons:
No one should be in jail simply because they are disadvantaged. I support bail reform for low-level offenses/low-risk defendants. Judges would set bail terms as appropriate, provided the public is not in danger and there is a high likelihood the defendant will appear in court as required.
Very similar, but I liked how Perez talked about how justice reform is both an issue of the justice system and civil society.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond: Endorsed by CA Dems
County Assessor: Jeffrey Prang
His opponent has listed his name as John ‘Lower Taxes’ Loew. I don’t trust that.
Sheriff: Alex Villanueva — -Endorsed by loads of democratic organizations and the Coalition
for Humane Immigrant Rights Leadership Action Fund (CHIRLA). “Our nation was built on immigrants and their labor. We are proud to endorse a candidate who will represent the needs of all of our communities regardless of of immigration status. Together we can make a difference in the lives of immigrants.”-Angelica Salas, Board of Directors Chair of CHIRLA
Propositions — Based on endorsements by CA Dems and LA Dems
Prop 1: Yes
Prop 2: Yes
Prop 3: (CA dems are undecided about this) — The proposition is supported and endorsed by a number of democrats and conservation groups. “ The measure, which was authored by a former state water director, would fund scores of projects, from shiny new desalination plants to upgrades of old dams and aqueducts to restoration of tainted watersheds, including San Francisco Bay” (sfchronicle).
YET! The League of Women Voters has endorsed NO on Prop 3. According to the League of Women Voters: “While the League of Women Voters of California supports the use of long-term debt (bond measures) to finance capital projects, this measure has a number of fatal flaws, including:
● Shifting the cost for water from the end users to California taxpayers;
● Reducing state money available for other critical state programs like education, affordable housing, and healthcare;
● Failing to provide for adequate project oversight and financial accountability.”
So I decided to vote NO on prop 3 due to the fact that I think desalination plants is the WRONG way to go about water conservation. The better way is to actually be smart about water — -stop letting Nestle drain water from reserves and stop letting private companies (that would likely run the desalination plant) misuse government funds. There are better ways to doing water conservation.
Prop 4: Yes
Prop 5: No
Prop 6: No
Prop 7: Yes
Prop 8: Yes
Note added 20/10 : I got a comment asking about Prop 8 — -specifically encouraging me to consider voting NO on prop 8. So here is a little breakdown to help you voters:
Prop 8 “Requires rebates and penalties if charges exceed limit. Requires annual reporting to the state. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source. Fiscal Impact: Overall annual effect on state and local governments ranging from net positive impact in the low tens of millions of dollars to net negative impact in the tens of millions of dollars”
According to the Vote Save America guide (by Crooked Media) “ So what’s that mean? For example, the clinic can charge to cover the wages and benefits for clinic staff who provide care, pharmaceuticals, or medical supplies to patients. They can also charge for what they paid to cover staff training, patient education, and counseling. However, clinics must refund any charges that do not fall into those categories. According to supporters, the purpose of the proposition is to limit profits of dialysis corporations and encourage profits to be invested in better care through hiring more caregivers, purchasing new equipment, and ensuring clean and safe facilities. Opponents say the measure severely limits what insurance companies are required to pay for dialysis care and will not cover the actual cost of providing care, which means clinics could operate at a loss.”
Those who are for it: CA Dems, California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU) among others
Con: California Medical Association, National Kidney Foundation, California Dialysis Council, DaVita Dialysis, American Nurses Assocaition/California
The question becomes: do I trust politicians and bureaucratic bodies or do I trust doctors? And I wanna say this: I don’t trust doctors to deal with insurance businesses. Of course they want dialysis to be available — -as it should be — — but it is unfortunately controlled by a corporate entity that is bleeding people dry of their money! Corporate entities also control the selling of most of our products — -and we have to have regulations on those corporations to protect consumers. That’s the thing — -patients embody a dual position: they are both patients and consumers. The prop is designated to protect consumers why the doctors, obviously, are thinking to protect the patient. We will always be consumers as long as healthcare is non-universal and privatized. So as much as I want to trust doctors — -we have to remember that we are not patients in this system and as consumers we need to protect ourselves from conglomerates that control our health. That is why I am a YES and follow the endorsement by the CA Dems.
Prop 9: Removed
Prop 10: YES
Note added 15 October: I received a comment regarding proposition 10 and whether or not it is a threat towards certain groups. Prop 10 is the following: “Prop. 10 restores authority to establish rent control in local communities, putting fair, annual limits on the amount landlords can raise rent. This keeps tenants in their homes rather than being pushed far away or into homelessness. TEN protects TENants. Supporters: CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association, ACLU of California, Housing California, Eviction Defense Network, SEIU, National Urban League, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California.” (http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/10/) If you look at https://voteyesonprop10.org/endorsements/ you will see the numerous endorsements it has.
This is what those who want you to vote NO on prop 10 say: ““Tens of thousands of renters, including seniors and others on fixed incomes, could be forced out of their apartments and communities under Prop 10, which allows wealthy corporate landlords to turn apartments into condos and short-term vacation rentals. It will increase the cost of renting and make it even harder to find affordable housing.”~ Alice Huffman, President, California State Conference NAACP”
The attacks on prop 10 are as follows: it attacks baby boomers who are approaching fixed income retirements and therefore will hinder their libertarian right to do what they please with their property.
It sounds very libertarian in its design: I own what I own and I should be able to do with it what I like.
Ok. Well, here is my response to that: you live in a society. And in a society we have a shared social contract — -one that, of late, has been promoting equality and furthermore, equity. We should be striving towards a society that does not limit people to their economic and social classes. We should move beyond that. The argument against prop 10 is that the housing crisis will be made worse. Here is the flaw: what made the housing crisis worse was not the limiting of freedom of private homeowners to airbnb their houses, but rather the idea that those with money do not need to be held accountable within the free market. But that kind of idea is incredibly elitist. We cannot trust rich people to make good decisions for the rest of society, and we all know that. Prop 10 is the opportunity to give communities the power again to bring back rent control over private owners who dominate large properties and are bleeding people dry making their lives unsustainable. Los Angeles is an unsustainable place to live — -and I say we should vote YES on prop 10 as the first step back towards social sustainability and accountability on the rich.
18 October Note: I received this comment and I wanted to post my response to it here as well
comment “ Question on Prop 10: What would you say to people who oppose Prop 10, saying that it will increase the housing and homeless problem in California. No on Prop 10 has received a lot of bipartisan support. Thoughts?”
I would say that Prop 10 addresses just one aspect within the housing crisis in California specifically that of unchecked rents that drive people from their communities and homes. It puts back into place systems which will ensure that there can be rent control so that people on fixed incomes can stay in their homes! This is especially important in the face of growing gentrification that is splitting and destroying communities who are primarily comprised of people of color and are working class.
Homelessness and housing insecurity has skyrocketed in the years since the economic crash in 2008 and since rent control checks were eliminated (which the prop wants to restore).
I think the next step would to be creating a regional public housing system. I live in Sweden currently and public housing is not stigmatized but rather seen as a renter’s alternative. There are boards which create housing queues for all the different housing companies (public and private) and people apply for them online. The housing market is further regulated to keep prices affordable for everyone. The California government is the sixth largest economy in the world — -it needs to create a public option for houses that will drive down the prices of living costs. People shouldn’t be spending more than 25% of their paychecks on living costs!
Prop 10 is not the solution to the housing crisis — -but it is the first step there. It allows us to put communities and local governments back into power to check and regulate the housing market by implementing rent control.
Why are some democratic organizations against this? My opinion is that our culture has been so infused with this capitalist mantra that makes us believe “richer is better” rather than actually helping people. We need to shift towards social democracy. We need to listen to grassroots organizers that promote this proposition.
Hope this answers your question!
24 October Note: I got a great comment about funding and contributions of the prop. This person said if you follow the money you can really see who supports what.
Contributions as listed on Ballotpedia
- October 17, 2018: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation contributed $2.0 million to the Yes on 10 PAC, bringing the organization’s total donations to $22.86 million.
- October 17, 2018: The California Association of Realtors Issues PAC contributed $1.50 million to the No on Prop 10 PAC, brining the organization’s total donations to $8.00 million.
- October 10, 2018: AvalonBay Communitites, Inc. contributed $1.50 million to the No on Prop 10 PAC, brining the firm’s total donations to $3.07 million.
- October 5, 2018: Essex Property Trust, Inc., and affiliated entities contributed $2.26 million to the No on Prop 10 PAC, brining the firm’s total donations to $4.52 million.
- October 5, 2018: Blackstone Property Partners, L.P. and affiliated holdings contributed $2.00 million to the No on Prop 10 PAC, bringing the firm’s total donations to $5.00 million.
Prop 11: No
Prop 12: Yes
October 22 Note:
I have received a couple of comments regarding prop 12 so I wanted to break it down a bit. One comment brought up that Prop 12 is just a repeat of prop 2 from 2008. According to ballotpedia, that proposition did not put restrictions or regulations on cage-sizes and this proposition would. Another comment asked me how to approach this since PETA does not support this proposition
Now this is my personal opinion, but I’m not a fan of PETA. I used to promote them when I was a teenager, but then I started doing a lot of research on the structure of the organization and do not trust them, to be honest.
Here is an article about how many animals Peta has euthanized instead of promoting adoption. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/petas-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-history-of-killing-animals/254130/ I have heard stories of PETA individuals going to dogshows and opening up all the cages. They fight against animal testing and yet many of their employees rely on life-saving medication like insulin which is tested on dogs. So, yeah. Also their reasoning on not supporting prop 12 is because they do not support the farming industry at all. They believe that supporting prop 12 is a legitimation of the farming industry that they oppose. They will only support the proposition if it banned meat farming essentially. This is just unrealistic and I personally support really pragmatic laws. We are not in a society where the majority of people are vegan or even can afford to be vegan. Animals will be consumed — -so we need to make laws that promote better farming practices that move farmers away from factory farming.
As for Prop 12 — — it is about giving farmer legal designations about how big cages must be. And it transitions chickens to free roaming either indoor or outdoor by 2022. As consumers now, we can make these choices already. But we all notice there is still a price difference between ‘cheaper’ eggs and ‘free range’ eggs and this will ultimately make cheap eggs into free range.
Here is what prop 12 does — -and I think this is a good systematic and structural change that will make the industry more ethical. Right now, ethical eating is a single consumer enterprise — by and large. We need to set regulations so that people can’t cheat the system to cut costs at the expense of animals and that’s why I support prop 12!
- Establishes new minimum space requirements for confining veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens.
- -Requires egg-laying hens be raised in cage-free environment after December 31, 2021.
- Prohibits certain commercial sales of specified meat and egg products derived from animals confined in noncomplying manner.
- Defines sales violations as unfair competition.
- Creates good faith defense for sellers relying upon written certification by suppliers that meat and egg products comply with new confinement standards.
- Requires State of California to issue implementing regulations.
County Measures: Note 28 October: I got a comment asking why I voted this way. I based my votes on the endorsements of the LA democratic party endorsements that you can see here: http://www.lacdp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/LACDP-BallotMeasuresCommittee-2018-InfoGrid-08.20-1-1.pdf