By Jim Miller
Greetings procrastinating progressive poll voters! After you are done voting against Donald Trump and attending to all the high profile races that have received plenty of attention elsewhere, there are a myriad of other issues to decide. Here is my list of good things progressives can do down ballot:
*Vote to Fund Education and Elect Actual Educators to School and College Boards: Of course, the central statewide ballot measure to vote for is Proposition 55, which extends Proposition 30’s taxes on the wealthiest Californians while leaving the sales tax behind. If you value public education, this is an obvious vote. For more on Prop. 55 see my column here.
And while you are at it, vote for actual educators for education board seats, not corporate education reformers or political opportunists with no real education experience or expertise. There are several key races in our region where you have a chance to really make a difference on this front.
This means supporting Professor Mary Graham for San Diego Community College Board, educator Sharon Whitehurst Payne for San Diego Unified School District Board, and longtime teacher Rick Shea for County Board of Education. If you live in the Grossmont Community College District, vote for career educator Elena Adams to preserve a progressive majority on that board. And in the Grossmont Union High School District, make sure to vote for teachers Elva Salinas and Chris Fite.
Call me crazy, but I believe that actually knowing something about education should be a prerequisite for serving on an education board. All of these folks have spent their lives in education and know it inside and out. That really matters–more than how much money you have or what politician you know or have worked for in Sacramento.
Finally, spare a moment to Save San Diego High School and vote Yes on Measure I. Losing this fine school that serves a diverse community and has a long, rich tradition in San Diego would be a travesty.
*Say No Way to Measure A and business as usual politics out of SANDAG. As I wrote of this flawed proposal in an earlier column:
“In the face of looming catastrophic climate change, this kind of tired incrementalism doesn’t cut it. Something isn’t better than nothing if that something keeps us on a steady course down the suicide path. Perhaps it’s a convenient way to keep our collective cognitive dissonance at bay and feel better; but it is a deeply irresponsible, morally bankrupt approach to decisions that will help seal or save the fate of our children.
So just say NO Way to Measure A.”
*Vote for a More Robust Local Democracy, Support Measures K and L: If you think democracy works best when more people vote, these simple reforms that move candidate and ballot measure elections to November make perfect sense. For a more inclusive and progressive future for San Diego, Vote Yes on K and L.
*Vote Yes on Propositions 64 and 57 for Sane Criminal Justice Reform: Marijuana should not be illegal and the prison industrial complex should not be a human warehouse for non-violent offenders. The “war on drugs” has failed us badly and these much-needed reforms will save money and offer a road to redemption rather than a dead end.
*Vote for Georgette Gomez for San Diego City Council District 9: There is a reason why all the shady big money poured into this race to attack Georgette Gomez–she is a solid progressive and all the usual suspects who want to keep running the city like they own it need to stop her because they know they’ll never be able to control her vote on the council. Gomez is a longtime activist and great asset to the community. Elect her and ordinary folks will have a stellar advocate on the City Council.
*And finally, I’d like to ask any readers in National City to vote for my old student and all-around fine human being, Jose Rodriguez for National City, City Council. Our region needs to support smart, committed young progressives and Jose fits the bill.
To the polls, Dear Reader!