Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What My Ballot Will Look Like on Nov. 4 (So Far)

We lucky Californians have a long ballot on our plates for November 4th, thanks to a slew of propositions that are mostly just wrong wrong wrong. I still have to research a few of these to figure out how I'll vote, but here's where I stand now:

Local Measures:
Yes on Measure OO to ensure much-needed funding for children and youth programs in Oakland. In a year when violent crime is on the rise, these programs are needed more than ever.

No on Measure N, which was placed on our ballot by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, probably to win some political points in his buildup to running for Governor in 2010.

Yes on Measure VV. Not only because I ride the bus, but because poor people, elderly folks and young people all rely on public transit to get around and live.

Yes on Measure WW, because I love our East Bay Parks and I believe that having green, open, undeveloped land is important to the health and well-being of any community.

Other measures I'm still pondering: Measure NN (more cops)

President of the United States - Barack Obama

California Statewide Ballot Measures:
Proposition 2
Proposition 5

NO NO NO to these heinous ballot initiatives that are just an abuse of the initiative process:
Proposition 4, which would force doctors and abortion providers to notify parents when their daughters are seeking abortions. I'm against it because I grew up in an abusive household, and nothing would have scared me more than to have to tell my parents I was pregnant. This law is all about limiting a woman's right to choose what to do with her body, not about creating more harmonious families.

Proposition 6, which would try juveniles as adults and further criminalize our young people, many of whom have so little opportunity to do positive things with their lives--the school system being as crappy as it is--that they turn to street life to just survive.

Proposition 7, which promises to deliver clean energy but is really just a scam on the part of utilities companies.

No on Proposition 8, which scares the shit out of me. Really, aren't there more important things to fight than whether people should have the right to love and marry the people they choose? As someone who's recently married myself, this initiative scares and saddens me, especially when I think about all my friends who are queer and just want to live and love without being intimidated or seen as 'illegal'. Gay rights are obviously not just about marriage, but I can't help but think that if gay marriage were legal in this nation then it would set a precedent for a lot of other pro-gay and anti-hate policies to come into place. As one of my colleagues who is in an interracial marriage recently said, "Fifty years ago my marriage would have been illegal too."

Proposition 9, which would eliminate early parole for nonviolent offenders, among other wrong-headed things. And especially at a time when our state and national economy is in tatters, throwing more money at inhumane, ineffective and expensive imprisonment strategies is not the answer to crime.

Other ballot initiaitives I'm still pondering: Propositions 10, 11 and 12.

Whew! That's a whole lot to vote on. But i'll be there with my black pen in hand and looking forward to getting my 'I Voted' oval sticker to wear proudly all day. I hope you'll be at the polls too.


Paula Silinger said...

My name is Paula and I’m an intern for Ms. magazine. I just came across your post about California Proposition 4 and wanted to let you know about a new celebrity-filled "No on Prop 4" video just released from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms. Feel free to post it onto your website!

Paula Silinger
Ms. magazine

PeonInChief said...

No on 11. For three reasons:

1. Redistricting is inherently political and, suggesting that it can be made nonpolitical simply submerges the politics. I want my politics upfront and clear. And, theoretically at least, we can hold politicians accountable for their decisions. A commission is entirely unaccountable.

2. Minority communities are better protected by the politicians who serve them than they would be in the commission system.

3. The real problem in California politics is the 2/3 requirement for tax increases, which allows a political minority to control the budget process. Claiming that redistricting reform will solve the problem is simply not true.

And it does nothing to improve the situation of, for instance, tenants, who are permanent minorities in most of the state, which is reflected in our lack of legal protections.