Alright folks. We've got 7 days until election day. Many of you have already voted - but many of us haven't sent in their vote-by-mail ballot yet and many others will be voting at their local polling place.
So why should we vote? I mean, after all, we've got the electoral college voting for President and the President gets to decide which direction our nation goes, right?!?
This election, just one week away, is arguably the most important in California's history and it's the people who get to decide which direction we will go. Prop. 30 will ensure that my tuition will not go up by thousands of dollars in January. It raises most of its funds from the wealthiest among us through a modest income tax increase only on those at the top. Worried that it will be a permanent solution to a temporary problem? It takes care of that as well, expiring in 7 years. The second provision is a very, very small sales tax increase-- only one cent on every $4 spent on non-grocery taxable consumer goods! I don't know about you, but paying one cent on every pack of paper towels to fund education is well worth the cost. And this provision will only be here for 4 years. If we don't pass it, the UC system, which has sustained drastic cuts over the past decade, will see another 20 percent cut, effective immediately.
Given the importance of education to our economy and our future prosperity, Prop. 30 is arguably the most important measure on the ballot. But the ballot doesn't end at 30.
Prop. 31 would allow California's health and environmental regulations to be severly diminished, which is why the Sierra Club, the Democratic Party and others have urged its rejection.
Similarly, Prop. 32 might sound nice, but it is actually a concerted effort by corporations to remove labor's ability to take political action and does nothing substantial to eliminate corporate influence on our electoral system. No on 32!
Skipping ahead, we've got a very real chance at saving funds and ensuring our justice system functions properly with Propositions 34 and 36, both of which I'm supporting. Prop. 34 will replace our ineffective and unjust death penalty sentence with life without parole. It's a common sense measure and has the support of a broad range of interests and individuals. Prop. 36 will take the three strikes law and make it function the way should: ensuring that those who commit violent crimes stay behind bars without adding to our bloated prison system with nonviolent offenders. Yes on 34 and Yes on 36!
Prop. 37, which will ensure our right to know what we've buying, is very straightforward. Monsanto and big agriculture have spent a fortune to convince us that this measure will raise food prices, but this has been disputed. What it does do is mandate a very simple label saying whether processed products contain genetically modified ingredients. Regardless of what your opinion is on GMOs, this will allow you to choose what you buy by telling you what is in each product. Yes on 37!
Between all these measures, California voters get to decide what direction we will turn towards. We have the opportunity to invest in education, to fix our broken justice system and demand the right to know what is in the food products we purchase. This Nov. 6, please join me in taking the time to research each of the 11 propositions on the ballot and voting for those that speak to your values.