October 31, 2008

Ballot Recommendations:

City of San Diego

Proposition B. Marine Freight Preservation and Bayfront Redevelopment Initiative

Proposition B is some developers’ pie in the sky (literally) dream for the 10th Avenue terminal and Crosby Street to build what we don’t know for sure but the focus is on the tourism industry.

The tourism industry does not provide for good paying jobs. The marine industry does provide good paying, livable wages of employment. Putting a roof over these good jobs and eliminating the future growth of industry does nothing but provide a disservice to the working people of San Diego.

Every major organization in San Diego opposes this plan, the Port District, the Navy, the Taxpayers Association, the Unions, and the Coastal Commission has concerns. The only ones who favor this boondoggle are the developers!

La Prensa San Diego urges a NO Vote on Prop. B, in support of the workers and good paying jobs for the community.

State Propostions:

Proposition 1. Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train:

Shall $9.95 billion in bonds be issued to establish a clean, efficient high-speed train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area? With at least 90 percent of bond funds spent for specific projects, with federal and private matching funds required, should all bond funds be subject to an independent audit?

A fast, reliable passenger train system is desperately needed in the State of California. There is no such thing as an affordable airline ticket, it cost a family of four to go to San Francisco from San Diego over a $1000. Driving forget about it, the pollution, the congestion, the price of gas. It is not a very attractive alternative. Amtrak is better than driving but it is unreliable and it takes just as long as driving.

California needs to take this step and create a safe, fast, and reliable form of transportation that is environmentally and economically viable for travelers.

We recommend a Yes Vote on Prop. 1A.

Proposition 2. Standards for Confining Farm Animals: Shall certain farm animals be allowed, for the majority of every day, to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around?

Proposition 2 is a feel good proposition that would change the way farmers, in particular chicken farmers, would confine the animals. While this proposition sounds good, the bottom line is that this proposition would drive up the cost of eggs and poultry and in turn would impact the poor. Families who survive on a budget that does not allow for steak or ham products usually look forward to a chicken dinner as one of the few meat products that is still affordable. Eggs are a basic that every family uses and needs.

The cost of these products would increase and here again would be another product or staple that would put another economic squeeze on the poor up.

Consumers who feel that there needs to be a change in how farm animals are caged already can make a choice at the grocery store. Stores sell organic eggs and free range chickens. There are farmers who provide the consumer who can afford it the opportunity to buy eggs and chickens that have the space to move around. If a change is needed it can be brought about by making a change at the grocery store in their food selection.

To create a mandatory change will negatively impact the poor and the last thing they need is pay higher prices for the one of the few things they can enjoy at a reasonable price.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 2.

Proposition 3. Children’s Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program:

Shall $980,000,000 in general obligation bonds be authorized for construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of eligible children’s hospitals?

We Recommend a Yes Vote on Prop. 3

Proposition 5. Nonviolent Drug Offenses, Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation: Shall $460,000,000 be allocated annually to improve and expand treatment programs?

The State of California has the 3rd largest prison population in the United States is overcrowded, cannot provide basic services to the inmates, and is costing the taxpayer billions of dollars each year to keep all these prisoners locked up. Prop. 5 offers an alternative to locking up non-violent drug offenders by providing drug treatment programs for minors and rehabilitation programs.

We need to find an alternative to locking up these non-violent offenders while reducing the prison population and the associated expense.

We recommend a Yes Vote on Prop. 5

Proposition 6. Police and Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Penalties and Laws: Shall a minimum of $965,000,000 of state funding be required each year for police and local law enforcement?

Proposition 6 is about increasing the amount of money we spend annually on the prision system and law enforcement on top of the $10 billion annually and going up. This proposition also increases the penalities for gang involvement which in turn would lock up more Hispanics for life terms for such things as non-registration as a gang member.

The bulk of the State budget already goes to law enforcement and the prision system we don’t need to throw more money at incarcerating people. What we need to do is find ways that deal with the issue of gang involvement in a realistic substantive way instead of trying to find ways to lock up these individuals. If we spent this money on education, jobs, and neighborhoods this would go a lot further in reducing gang involvement and crime than in locking up more Hispanics.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 6

Proposition 7. Renewable Energy Generation: Shall government-owned utilities be required to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010, a standard currently applicable to private electrical corporations? Shall all utilities be required to generate 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025?

This propostion is poorly written and will not increase renewable energy but it will increase our monthly energy bill. We need to create renewable energy but this proposition is not the bill to do this.

We Recommend a No Vote or Prop. 7

Proposition 10. Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Bonds — State of California: Shall $5 billion in bonds paid from state’s General Fund be authorized to help consumers and others purchase certain vehicles, and to help research in renewable energy and alternative fuel vehicles?

In a nutshell this Proposition is the brain child of T. Boone Pickens that is designed to benefit T. Boone Pickens.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 10

Proposition 11. Redistricting: Shall the authority for establishing state office boundaries be changed from elected representatives to a commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party selected from the registered voter pool in a multilevel process?

We won’t argue that the way the State of California goes about their Redistricting every ten years but we will argue that this proposition is the wrong fix. Prop. 11 will make one person, the State Auditor, responsible for picking the 14 commission members who will redraw the districts every ten years. The effect being that Hispanics will not have their fair say in how the districts will be redrawn.

One of the benefits of a growing Hispanic electorate is the greater opportunity to have a say in the direction of the State of California. This proposition will take this authority away and put the district redraws into the hands of the white power structure. The growing Hispanic political base will be muted by the newly redrawn districts.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 11.

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