Former three-term 35th District California Assembly Member Hannah-Beth Jackson will present her views on the Nov. 8 special election propositions in the Women’s Center Library today at 4 p.m.
Women’s Center Programmer Sharon Hoshida said she organized the event with the cooperation of Jackson, who currently co-teaches a sociology class on campus with Professor Beth Schneider titled “Public Policymaker-in-Residence.” Jackson said she will give a progressive perspective on the upcoming ballot propositions.
Hoshida said Jackson was more than qualified to speak on the propositions because of her experience working as a legislator promoting progressive and feminist causes.
“I really respect her opinion,” Hoshida said. “She’ll fire up a crowd … We want somebody who will be engaging and people will be interested in what we have to say.”
Jackson said she wants the event to be more of an open discussion than a formal lecture.
“It’ll really be a talk,” Jackson said. “I’d like to spend a little time just kind of giving an overview of what this election is really about.”
Jackson said she thinks the Nov. 8 special election is part of a larger conservative strategy to control Californian politics.
“It’s a power grab by the right wing to put all the power effectively in the governor,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she will examine the propositions one by one from a progressive point of view in her lecture today. She said the “progressive vision” promotes better education, social health-care, dignity for all people and the ability to realize the American dream.
She said the propositions on the upcoming ballot contradict progressive goals.
“If the governor’s proposals pass, the voice for the working person in this state will be effectively silenced,” Jackson said. “It’s a crucial election.”
Jackson said she opposes propositions 73 through 78, but supports 79, which she said would pressure drug companies to lower drug prices for low-income groups. She also said she supports proposition 80 because she said it would increase government regulation of California’s energy infrastructure.
One of the propositions, Prop 74, would be harmful to schools because it would increase the time it takes for K-12 teachers to be eligible for tenure from two to five years, Jackson said.
“This initiative … blames the teachers for something that is not their doing, [at a time when] we are desperate for more teachers,” Jackson said.
Besides speaking in public, Jackson said she promotes her views regarding the Nov. 8 election on the Speak Out California website at speakoutca.org. The Institute for Renewal of the California Dream, a progressive organization co-founded by Jackson, operates the website, which features a blog with member commentaries and a list of vote recommendations on the propositions. Jackson said she will also discuss her views further when she teaches a political science class at UCSB with Professor John Woolley.
Woolley said having Jackson on campus is beneficial to the university and gives professors an opportunity to better understand applied policy-making.
“I think that it’s an opportunity for the campus to learn about the project she is involved in, which should be exciting for a lot of people,” Woolley said.
The upcoming special election comprises eight statewide propositions. If passed, Proposition 73 would require parental notification and a waiting period before a minor could have an abortion. Proposition 74 would lengthen the period public school teachers would have to wait in order to receive permanent status at a given school, and Proposition 75 would require workers’ unions to ask for member consent before using money from their dues for political campaigns.
Proposition 76 would grant the governor the power to veto line items on the state budget proposal, giving him substantial power to limit state spending, including funding for higher education. Proposition 77 would hand the power to change electorate district boundaries from the state legislature to three retired judges, who would be selected by legislative leaders. Propositions 78 and 79 both seek to reduce the cost that certain residents of the state would pay for prescription drugs, while Proposition 80 would regulate electric service providers.