California Ballot Guide: How to Vote in the Nov. 6 Election

This is a voter guide I created for my friends who’ve asked me how to vote in elections.   Full disclosure: I’m a Democrat and I vote blue. I care about social issues and the greater good. I’m fortunate to make a good living and I pay a lot of taxes. But I never vote for candidates based on tax cut promises. I believe that most tax cuts are aimed at reducing taxes for the 1%. I have rarely seen GOP’s tax cuts benefit the working families that need the money.

Now that you know my biases, here’s how I’m voting in the upcoming election. Hope this is helpful for you.

California’s Nov. 6, 2018 Ballot Measures

  • Prop 1 – Yes
  • Prop 2 – Yes
  • Prop 3 – No
  • Prop 4 – Yes
  • Prop 5 – No
  • Prop 6 – No
  • Prop 7 – No
  • Prop 8 – No
  • Prop 10 – Yes
  • Prop 11 – No
  • Prop 12 – No

CA Elected Officials  – Nov. 6, 2018

  • Governor – Gavin Newsom (duh)
  • Lieutenant Governor – Eleni Kounalakis (she’s my personal preference but i’ve also heard good things about Ed Hernandez. As far as I’m concerned both will make good lieutenant governors so go with your preference)
  • Secretary of State – Alex Padilla
  • Controller – Betty T. Yee
  • Treasurer – Fiona Ma
  • Attorney General – Xavier Becerra
  • Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara
  • Member State Board of Equalization 3rd District – Tony Vazquez
  • US Senator – Dianne Feinstein (all the way!)
  • US Representative – Adam B. Schiff (I can’t wait to see that troll Johnny Nalbandian to disappear)
  • State Senator – Ben Allen
  • State Assembly – Richard Bloom

CA Judicial Offices:

  • If they’re running unopposed, I voted for them yes
  • Superior Court Office No. 4 – A. Verónica Sauceda
  • Superior Court Office No. 16 – Sydne Jane Michel
  • Superior Court Office No. 60 – Holly L. Hancock
  • Superior Court Office No. 113 – Michael P. Ribons

CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Tony K. Thurmond. Initially I was going for Marshall Tuck, but after additional research and consideration I changed my mind and now I’m going for Thurmond.

CA Sheriff:

  • Jim McDonnel

LA County Measures

  • Measure W – Yes
  • Measure B – Yes
  • Measure E – Yes
  • Measure EE – Yes

A few friends asked about some of the propositions and why I’m voting the way I’m voting. Here are few of my explanations on some of the ballot initiatives:

Proposition 3: CA Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative 

We recently approved a $4 billion bond in June 2018 which went through the legislative process. Proposition 3 did not go through the legislative process. If this passes, the annual commitments will not need to go through annual legislative budgeting cycle to ensure that the funds are going where they were intended to go.  Ultimately, there’s not enough oversight for how this money will be spent. The LA Times Prop 3 endorsement does a good job of explaining.

Proposition 6:  Gas Tax Repeal

Tries to repeal the road repair accountability (RRAA), which narrowly passed last year and generates over $5B annually for transportation projects. The RRAA added a gas tax  that ads up to a little over a dollar at the pump each time you fill up your car. It also added additional fees to owners of electric vehicles car registrations to ensure they also pay their fare share of contribution to road repairs (instead of just taxing at the gas pump).   Now the State Republicans are trying to repeal it.  Read Prop 6 on LA Curbed. 

Proposition 8: Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative

I wasn’t convinced that voting yes would make the treatments cheaper for patients. I could see clinics shutting down or fewer clinics opening which would create a bigger crisis for patients.

We do need a way of regulating cost of services but this didn’t seem like the best way to go about it. Medicare and insurance companies already have caps on how much they reimburse for services.

I also read that this ballot measure was initiated by SEIU because they’ve had trouble with unionizing dialysis workers.  I am very pro union, but I’m against using this type of tactic against an entire industry where the outcome is more likely to be negative on patients who need these services.  There should be another way for them to unionize without blackmailing through a ballot initiative.

Proposition 10: Local Rent Control Initiative

This would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Costa-Hawkins) and allow counties and cities to adopt rent control ordinances that regulate how much landlords can charge tenants for any type of rental housing. Proposition 10 would also states that a local government’s rent control ordinance shall not abridge a fair rate of return for landlords.

I know that California is becoming very unaffordable and for cities that don’t have rent control, landlords can increase rent exponentially after the end of a lease. For example, I’ve known people whose landlords increased their rent by $600-$1000 after the lease ended, forcing them to move.  This would help create a safety net against predatory rent increases. In Los Angeles, 64% of the residents rent (only 36% own). In LA County, 54% are renters, which means affordability increases in the suburbs but still out of reach for the majority of the population.

Did I mention that a private equity firm with ties to Trump, has boosted the campaign to defeat Prop 10?  That’s another reason I’m voting YES.


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