Prop 1A: In light of California’s current economic crisis, it is difficult to imagine our state spending nearly $20 billion on a high-speed train. That said, we believe the train is an essential component to the viability of California’s future. For a state that consistently leads the nation with its progressive politics, we believe that Prop 1A can help bring California in line with European modernity and public transport efficiency. Furthermore, the high-speed train will bring legitimacy to California’s environmental aims and ambitions.
Prop 2: While we are slightly concerned about the adverse effects this proposition’s passage may have on California’s egg industry, we ultimately feel obligated to endorse it. We believe that it is important for farm animals to be allowed to extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around. We hope that passing this proposition will help set the standard for the healthy and humane treatment of animals. With more and more consumers opting for “cage-free” eggs, the demand on California egg producers should only grow with the passing of Prop 2, right?
Prop 3: Cognizant of the financial struggles — from mounting infrastructure to treatment costs — children’s hospitals around the state are faced with, we endorse Prop 3. It is essential that these hospitals remain fully equipped, furnished and funded. Although California is under immense economic strain, we cannot allow this fact to blind us to other state issues. We believe the $980 million in general bonds — 20 percent of which directly fund the University of California’s acute care programs — is essential to the viability of these hospitals. With so many uninsured children relying on these hospitals for care, this money, though in no way a permanent fix, appears to be at the moment, essential.
Prop 4: In support of pregnant teens’ privacy rights and safety, we strongly oppose any attempt to curtail the medical options currently available to these young women. Forcing pregnant teens to notify their parents of their pregnancy before having an abortion does nothing but put them at risk. Many teens that are unable to confront their parents become scared and desperate, and this can often lead them to make dangerous decisions such as back alley, illegal abortions. Prop 4 has nothing to do with “family involvement” and everything to do with damaging the livelihood of a pregnant and scared teen.
Prop 5: Our prisons and jails are currently overflowing with prisoners. The majority of these prisoners are non-violent drug offenders. Pumping state funds into rehabilitation programs will open up much needed space in our prisons, while potentially freeing up $2.5 billion in taxpayer’s money. With non-violent offenders out of prisons and money saved, our state can focus on more important issues such as education and job growth.
Prop 6: Violent crime rates are dropping and yet Prop 6 asks for almost $1 billion to stop gangs. Our prisons are overcrowded, but Prop 6 wants to keep offenders in jail for longer sentences. This severely misguided proposition is a both a budget-buster and a waste of voters’ time. We understand the concern of law enforcement officials who want to keep our streets safe from gangs. But when our neighborhoods are already getting safer, while our prisons overflow, $1 billion dollars is not the right answer. Save the money for better use and don’t vote for Prop 6.
Prop 7: As tempting as it is to throw support behind any initiative to make California green, we do not feel that this is the right path to an environmentally friendly state. Prop 7 promises to force energy companies into producing renewable energy. Specifically, it would require utilities to get 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2010. Yet, investor-owned utilities, such as Southern California Edison, are already bound to this commitment. The vague and unclear wording of Prop 7 makes it deceptive to a public that wants renewable energy and lacks the proper knowledge needed to make the right vote.
Prop 8: Proponents of Prop 8 claim that their only goal is to preserve marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. They claim it does not take any rights or benefits away from gay couples. They are wrong. And anyone who plans on voting in favor of this discriminatory proposition should step back and take a better look at themselves. Proponents want to change the Californian Constitution, barring gays from marriage. This is discrimination at the most basic level. It is nothing more than a blatant attack on the civil liberties of one group. We believe it is imperative to the integrity of California and its voters to reject this proposition.
Prop 9: This is nothing more than another poorly written proposition that does nothing to help our faulted judicial system and overcrowded prisons. It hopes to re-write the California Constitution by giving victims more rights, such as the ability to take part in any court proceedings. It would also reform parole hearings by allowing for members of the victim’s family to testify. We believe that all of this unnecessarily involves the victim and his family in the judicial process, while wasting more taxpayer’s money on inmate expenses. We strongly oppose any attempt to bring the family and its inevitable emotional baggage into a court of law.
Prop 10: When you think billionaire Texas oilman, what thoughts come to mind? Energy conservation? Fiscal responsibility? No? Not to worry, we didn’t make that link either. T. Boone Pickens’s pet project, Prop 10, is a $3.2 million scam aimed at playing off the desires of Californians to make this state green. Like Prop 7, this proposition sounds good in writing, but does little to help the environment. What it does is strip Californians of $1 billion in bonds at a time when we are in financial disarray. Its main goal of shelling out rebates for those who purchase alternative fuel cars is even more deceiving. The majority of the rebates will end up in the pockets of truck and van owners who drive “natural gas powered” (resource depleting) vehicles. Don’t be fooled by a billionaire. Vote no on Prop 10.
Prop 11: As it stands, the state legislature has the power to draw their own district lines. By doing so, congressmen and women are able to incorporate as many partisan voters as possible into their district. Known as gerrymandering, this helps them win elections. If this proposition passes, a commission made up of registered voters would draw district lines, leaving gerrymandering out at bay. Although we worry that this proposition could carry unwanted bureaucrat baggage, we feel confident that it will take the politics out of the districting process. Our board was less than enthusiastic about the proposition but begrudgingly endorses it.
Prop 12: After serving time in the military and putting their lives on the line, veterans are returning home to find a nation in the middle of an economic crisis. Now, more than ever, they need help in affording a place to live. This proposition gives them the help they need in the form of a $900 million bond. Both houses of the Legislature voted unanimously in favor of it, and the Democratic and Republican parties endorse it as well. As important as it is to keep an open mind, sometimes a single voice is needed on a subject. This is such an instance. Help the veterans and vote yes on Prop 12.