This is perhaps the most crucial midterm election of our lives and all eyes will rightfully be on the national scene with everyone hoping for a Democratic take-over in the House of Representatives that will put a brake on the increasingly dangerous Trump Administration. Nonetheless, there are still a number of very important things that progressives can do at the state and local level that make it worthwhile to not neglect the down-ballot races and propositions.
Here’s the short list:
Elect Tony Thurmond to Superintendent of Public Instruction: With most of the other statewide races looking like sure wins for the Democrats, this one stands out as the most critical. As I have written in this space in recent weeks, “Make no mistake: this is not just a battle between a corporate Democrat with wealthy backers and a small “d” Democrat with community support. Tuck is THE Republican choice who is endorsed on statewide Republican mailers . . . Thus, the choice could not be
Vote NO on Proposition 5: Funded by millions of dollars from the California Association of Realtors, Proposition 5 will create another loophole in Proposition 13 that will give wealthy home owners a new tax break and result in $1 billion of cuts to schools and community services. It will also likely increase the cost of housing in California.
As the California Budget and Policy Center analysis of this flawed measure notes :
Prop. 5 would make changes to California’s local property tax system by significantly expanding tax breaks for certain property owners. These tax breaks would provide advantages to older, wealthier homeowners at the expense of younger, less affluent homeowners and would do little to address the state’s current housing shortage. Voters should weigh Prop. 5’s tax breaks against annual revenue losses that would reduce funding available for local services and state programs. Prop. 5 would reduce annual funding for local governments by $1 billion over time, dollars that would no longer be available to support an array of local services including schools, police, fire services, housing, infrastructure, and human services. Another important consideration is the measure’s impact on the state budget. Prop. 5 in most years would reduce funding available to the state by $1 billion over time for key programs such as health care, housing, human services, and higher education.
Vote NO on Proposition 6: This is Carl DeMaio’s nefarious plan to gin up support for John Cox and other California Republicans who have suddenly found themselves nearly irrelevant in state politics. In addition to reasons Doug Porter outlined last week, this horrible initiative should also go down in flames because it is terrible for the climate and the environment. As the Sierra Club statement opposing Proposition 6 argues, “Proposition 6 is a bad deal for the environment because it will cut funds that support safer bicycling and cleaner buses. And it’s a bad deal for any Californian who depends on any kind of transportation to buy groceries, get to work, or visit friends and relatives.”
Vote Yes on D: This simple measure e
Support David Alvarez, Maria Nieto Senour, and Craig Milgrim for San Diego Community College District Board: Unfortunately, the races to elect the Trustees for the San Diego Community College District attract very little attention as many folks bailout by the time they get this far down-ballot.
This year, please don’t neglect these races and support the candidates endorsed by the educators in this district where I work. All of them are committed to affordable, quality public higher education and serving the community. While many college board races bring in candidates with little to no experience in education or government, we are fortunate to have a team of two fine educators and an experienced public servant who are all supremely qualified to do the important work of the San Diego Community College District.